Connector Configuration

IT Asset Management (Cloud)

Accounts used to connect to the REST APIs of BMC Discovery (as this connector does) do not use passwords. Instead, they use a bearer token that allows the account to make API calls. For this reason, before setting up the connector in the FlexNet Beacon interface, you need to correctly configure the account details in BMC Discovery, and obtain the bearer token.

To configure FlexNet Beacon to connect with BMC Discovery:

  1. First, collect the bearer token:
    1. In the BMC Discovery interface, select the Administration tab.
    2. In the Security section of the Administration page, click the Users icon.
    3. If you need to create a new account in the Users page, click Add at the bottom of the page. (Otherwise, locate the appropriate account within the list of accounts.)
    4. In the Add User page, complete the details for the account:
      • For Template, the API Access is appropriate for the connector account. (This choice disables the password-related fields.)
      • For Username, create a convenient account name such as FNMSConnector.
        Tip: There is no requirement for this username to match the account name used on the inventory beacon to trigger the connector.
      • For Full Name, enter a useful value – perhaps your own name as the contact person for maintaining this account.
      • When done, click OK to save your changes.
    5. In the list of users, locate this account, and on the right-hand end of the row, expand the Actions drop-down and select Generate API Token.
    6. In the resulting dialog displaying the bearer token, click Copy to Clipboard.
    7. For safety, paste the value into a Notepad document or similar.
  2. Log into the inventory beacon interface as an administrator (for example, in the Windows Start menu, search for FlexNet Beacon, right-click it, and select Run as administrator).
    Tip: Starting the FlexNet Beacon interface requires that you are logged in with administrator privileges.
  3. Select the Inventory systems page and click the down arrow on the right of the New... split button, and choose PowerShell.
    Tip: Alternatively, you can edit a connection you have defined previously, by selecting it from the list of connections and clicking Edit....
  4. In the dialog that appears, complete (or modify) the following required fields:
    • Connection Name: The name you give this inventory connection is also used in the web interface of IT Asset Management to name the data import task. The name may contain alphanumeric characters, underscores or spaces, but it must start with either a letter or a number, for example BMC Discovery.
    • Source Type: Select BMC Discovery from the drop-down list.
  5. Optionally, if your enterprise uses a proxy server to enable communication between FlexNet Beacon and BMC Discovery, select the Use Proxy check box, and complete the following additional details:
    • Proxy Server: Enter the address of the proxy server using HTTP, HTTPS, or an IP address. Use the format https://ProxyServerURL:PortNumber, http://ProxyServerURL:PortNumber, or IPAddress:PortNumber). If the protocol is omitted, it defaults to http:. If the port number is omitted, it defaults to :80 for http, or 443 for https.
    • Username and Password: If your enterprise is using an authenticated proxy, specify the credentials to access the proxy server you just identified.
  6. In the BMC Discovery section, complete the following fields:
    1. BMC Discovery Server: Enter the IP address of your BMC Discovery instance, for example 10.20.300.40
      Do not include the http:// or https:// protocol with the IP address.
    2. Bearer Token: Paste in the bearer token that you retrieved from BMC Discovery in step 1 .
    3. Optionally, select the Import Software Key check box (for more information, see the notes below this process).
  7. Click Test Connection to make sure that your specifications are correct (adjusting as necessary for success).
    When FlexNet Beacon has successfully accessed the BMC Discovery REST APIs using the details supplied, a Test connection succeeded message displays.
  8. Click OK to close this dialog, and you may also click Save.
    The new connection is added to the connections list in the Inventory Systems page.
  9. If you do not already have a suitable schedule for this connection available on this inventory beacon, select the Scheduling page and click New... to open the Edit Schedule dialog and define one.
    For more details see Scheduling a Connection in the online help.
  10. Back on the Inventory systems page, select the new connection in the list, click Schedule... to select your appropriate schedule in the Select schedule dialog and then click OK to confirm your selection.
  11. In the main FlexNet Beacon interface, click Save to store your newly scheduled connection.
  12. Select the newly-added connection and click Execute Now.
    The Execute Now confirmation dialog displays and the import of BMC Discovery inventory data commences.
  13. Click OK to confirm.
The resulting import (which follows immediately) may take some time to complete. You may monitor progress in the web interface for IT Asset Managementnavigate to the system menu ( in the top right corner) and choose System Health > System Tasks, and periodically refresh this page. When the process is complete, you can inspect the inventory imported from BMC Discovery in the All Inventory page on IT Asset Management.
Tip: In the All Inventory page:
  1. Add the Connection name column to the page.
  2. Display the simple filter bar.
  3. Filter for the name you gave your BMC Discovery connection (the example given was BMC Discovery).
You may also find it useful to troubleshoot using the log file on the inventory beacon. To do so:
  1. On the inventory beacon, navigate to ProgramData\Flexera Software\Compliance\Logging\ComplianceReader.
  2. In your preferred flat text editor, open the file importer-digits that was modified on today's date (or the date of the last import), and scroll to the end of the log file. The following entries indicate success:
    [INFO] 0 source data warnings
    [INFO] 0 errors, 0 warnings
    [INFO] Import has been completed successfully
    If there are warnings or errors in the log file, try to correct the issues. If you are unable to do so, save the log file and attach it to a support ticket for examination by a Flexera support engineer. Some typical early issues include:
    • Incorrect details for the account name or bearer token for the connector accessing the BMC Discovery server
    • Proxy or firewall settings preventing access to the Internet
    • Import fails with hexadecimal character in the data stream
    • Import fails with unable to create the intermediate zip file (is there sufficient disk space?).

After a successful data import, the hardware and software inventory data from BMC Discovery are visible in the appropriate pages of IT Asset Management.

Using the Import Software Key option

The Import Software Key option, mentioned in step 6 in the above process, is clear (false) by default. If you select the check box (setting the option to true), two changes occur in data gathering through the connector:
  • When the connector calls the API to retrieve discovered packages from BMC Discovery, it also fetches the PackageKey value
  • When the connector calls the API to retrieve software instances from BMC Discovery, it also fetches the SoftwareInstanceKey value.
These two values are useful if you are using BMC Atrium configuration management database (CMDB), and you are using IT Visibility to enrich the collected software data. In this scenario, the process works like this:
  1. BMC Discovery collects hardware and software details from devices on the network.
  2. BMC Discovery writes the results into BMC Atrium CMDB. When the check box is selected, the PackageKey and SoftwareInstanceKey values are also imported into the CMDB.
  3. Inventory is extracted from BMC Discovery using the connector, and is processed by IT Visibility, where the software records are both normalized and enriched (for example, data is added about the end of service life of products).
  4. Subsequently, inventory is again exported from IT Visibility into BMC Atrium CMDB. As software records are processed, the PackageKey and SoftwareInstanceKey are used to match the corresponding records in the CMDB created in step 2, updating the records with normalized and enriched data from IT Visibility.
If you are not using BMC Atrium CMDB and passing data through IT Visibility, leave the Import Software Key check box clear (not selected).

IT Asset Management (Cloud)

Current