Structure of an Inventory Adapter

FlexNet Manager Suite (Cloud)

Each inventory adapter is a set of reader instructions for the compliance importer. The permitted structure depends on the origin and operational mode for this adapter.

Each adapter runs in one of (up to) three modes:
  • "Connected mode", where the adapter has simultaneous access to both the source and target databases (for example, when the source database is accessible from the server running the operations database for FlexNet Manager Suite).
    Note: For security reasons, connected mode is not available when you are using FlexNet Manager Suite as a cloud service.
  • "Disconnected mode", where you need to install an inventory beacon, either because the source database and target database are on separate networks, or because you are using FlexNet Manager Suite as a cloud service. For more information see Disconnected Mode.
  • "Disconnected mode (Tier 1)", where the same operational conditions apply with the adapter running on an inventory beacon, but because the adapter is factory-supplied, security provisions take a different form, discussed below.
The operations that are available when creating a custom adapter depend on the mode in which it runs.
Note: Adapters engineered by Flexera and provided as standard functionality (sometimes called Tier 1 adapters) may include operations of all types. However, when working on an inventory beacon, you must not edit any Tier 1 adapters. For security reasons, a modified Tier 1 adapter in disconnected mode is automatically failed, and cannot import any inventory.
Table 1. Availability of all adapter operation types
Type of operation Description Available in modes
Target to source Executes a database query on the FlexNet Manager Suite database and copies the result to a table in the source database. This data is to provide context for a subsequent query on the source database. Connected
Source to target

Executes a database query on the source database and copies the result to a table in the FlexNet Manager Suite database.

Restriction: For fast transfers, the Compliance Importer uses SQL bulk copy operations to move data from one database to another. This means that the query on the source and the table on the target must match exactly in column order and data type.

For disconnected (tier 1) operations, a source to target step is modified so that data is saved to intermediate packages before upload.

Disconnected (Tier 1)

Source to object

Replaces 'source to target' for use in disconnected mode with custom adapters. Instead of writing source data directly to the target database, it is written into an intermediate package format and saved on the inventory beacon. The intermediate packages are uploaded asynchronously to the cloud server, and processed (by default overnight) for import into the operations database.

Restriction: Since you cannot modify the internal processing, the data in the intermediate packages must map correctly to a standard set of objects and their attributes (see Inventory Adapter Object Model).
Execute on source Executes an SQL script on the source database.

Disconnected (switchable for disconnected only)
Disconnected (Tier 1)

Execute on target Executes an SQL script on the FlexNet Manager Suite database.

Disconnected (Tier 1)

The three architectures are shown in the diagrams below. From a security perspective, the distinction between the modes is:
  • Connected mode applies only for on-premises installations where the security of both databases is entirely in your control.
  • Disconnected mode for custom adapters protects the central operations database in the cloud service by disallowing any custom SQL on the target side. This also limits the permissible imports to the standard set of objects and attributes available in the Inventory Adapter Studio running on an inventory beacon. You can also find an XML file defining those objects and attributes on your inventory beacon at C:\ProgramData\Flexera Software\Compliance\ImportProcedures\ObjectAdapters\InventoryObjectModel.xml.
  • In disconnected mode, Tier 1 (factory-supplied) adapters are able to use factory-approved custom SQL on the target side. Security is provided by disallowing the slightest revision of any kind to these adapters. If you change anything on Tier 1 inventory adapters for disconnected mode, they will not run, and importing your inventory will completely fail.

FlexNet Manager Suite (Cloud)