Configure Collection of Oracle Inventory

IT Asset Management (Cloud)

Rules must be established that allow Oracle inventory collection, including the use of .ora files.

Inventory rules are created on the Discovery and Inventory Rules page of the web interface for IT Asset Management. Each rule has three parts:
  • A target that identifies the machines on which the rule is to be exercised
  • Actions that are the be performed on those target machines
  • The schedule on which the rule is to be applied.

When an action includes permission to use a .ora file, the relevant inventory beacon uses the locally-available .ora file to 'filter' the related target and identify the Oracle Database servers from which inventory should be collected. For example, if you target an IP range that covers your server room, and include the action setting to apply the .ora file to this range, then Oracle inventory is collected only from the matching machines listed in the .ora file.

Once a discovery and inventory collection has been completed, the individual Oracle Database servers are identified in the list of discovered devices. Should you wish to change to tighter targeting rules, you can use this information to redefine the target until (if you wish) it identifies exactly the Oracle Database servers and no others. Keep in mind that if you use this approach, you will need to adjust the target each time you vary the list of your Oracle Database servers. To reduce this manual maintenance, keep a target that specifies an appropriate IP range (or ranges), and applies the .ora file to this to identify the individual Oracle Database servers from which to collect inventory.

To configure Oracle inventory collection:

  1. In IT Asset Management, navigate to Discovery & Inventory > Discovery and Inventory Rules (in the Discovery group).
  2. If you do not already have a target to reach the Oracle servers from which you want to gather inventory:
    1. On the left side, select the Targets tab.
      Fastpath: In the hints area across the top of the page, click Create targets. These hints can guide you through the process.
    2. On the right side, click Create a target.
    3. The page appearance changes, allowing you to define a target.
    4. Complete the details requested, with particular attention on Define machines to target.
      Notice that:
      • After you complete each definition for this control, a + icon is displayed that allows you to add more to your definition of target machines. Use these lines to define a target sufficiently broad to capture your Oracle Database servers.
      • If you do not want the FlexNet inventory agent to be installed on these Oracle servers, be sure to select Do not allow these targets to be adopted.
      • You should likely also select Do not allow application usage tracking on these targets, since you may not want to collect a large quantity of file evidence from these servers.
    5. Click Save.
  3. If you already have an action for Oracle discovery, you can check its settings; or create a new one:
    1. Click the Actions tab (or in the hints section, click Create actions).
    2. If you wish to collect hardware inventory for these servers (perhaps to assist with licensing calculations for your Oracle Database license), expand the General accordion and select Gather hardware and software inventory.
      Tip: You may want to clear the check box for Discover devices, if you are limiting this action specifically to inventory collection for known Oracle Database servers identified in your .ora file.
    3. Expand the Oracle database accordion.
    4. If you are confident that every Oracle Database is identified in your .ora file, you may clear the check box for Discover Oracle databases. Alternatively, if you may have rogue servers, leave this check box selected, and the network within your declared target will be probed for other Oracle servers.
    5. Select the check box for Also gather Oracle database inventory.
      Additional controls, if not already visible, are exposed.
    6. Ensure that the Port scan check box is selected, and if necessary use the + icon to add additional ports to the list until every port listed in your .ora file is included.
    7. Ensure that the SNMP scan check box is selected.
    8. It is critically important that you select the TNS names file check box.
      This setting authorizes the relevant inventory beacons to apply any .ora files found in the 'magic path' to the target used for this action (in the rule soon to be completed). This is the mechanism that most efficiently restricts probing to the relevant servers.
    9. Adjust other settings in other parts of the accordion to suit your environment, and click Save.
      The action is stored, ready for inclusion in a rule.
  4. Select the Rules tab (or in the hints area, click the third Create rules step).
    1. Do either of the following:
      • If you have an existing rule to review or modify, click the edit (pencil) icon on its right-hand end.
      • Click Create a rule (upper right) to define a new rule (as described in the following steps).
      A rule builder work area appears above the list of existing rules.
    2. Return to the Actions tab (for example, using the link in the rule builder), and on the row for your edited Oracle action, click Add to rule builder.
      The name of your action appears in the rule builder.
    3. Return to the Targets tab (for example, using the link in the rule builder), and on the row for your edited target, click Add to rule builder.
  5. On the right side of the rule builder, click Schedule.
    The rule builder changes to display controls for scheduling:
    1. Choose a value from the Frequency drop-down list.

      This control sets the style of scheduling. For example, the Daily option lets you make further choices about a pattern of days, and does not enforce inventory collection every day.

      Option Notes
      Once A single-shot trigger for inventory collection the next time the declared time window occurs (you cannot nominate a future date). For example, if it is 4pm when you set a Once schedule for 8am, commencing within 4 hours, inventory collection normally occurs next morning. Compare with As soon as possible. Keep in mind the propagation delays for your changed instructions, as described there.
      Daily An additional drop-down list, Every, appears so that you can choose the pattern of days you want, extending the time intervals between inventory collection in multiples of 24 hours. For example, you may wish to trigger inventory collection every second day. The starting time is within the Commence within time window following the next occurrence of your Start time setting after the changed schedule is distributed (and received by each installed FlexNet inventory agent). For example:
      • Start time is set to 8:00 am.
      • Commence within is set to 2 hours.
      • The schedule is saved at noon today, and by default the inventory beacon policy is distributed every 15 minutes.
      • By default, each FlexNet inventory agent chooses a random time within a one-hour window from 5am local time to request any policy (and schedule) changes. Most devices therefore start using the changed schedule tomorrow morning.

      In short, the setting applies individually to each installed FlexNet inventory agent, and does not synchronize the activities of all agents across your enterprise to identical days.

      Weekly New check boxes appear that allow you to choose specific days within the weekly cycle when inventory should be collected. For example, you may want collection on Sunday and Wednesday every week. Select (check) the boxes for the days you prefer.
      Monthly New controls appear that allow you to specify a pattern within the month:
      • Choose the option for On day to nominate a particular day within the month (such as the third Saturday). Make your choices from the two drop-down lists adjacent. Notice that the option Last chooses the fifth occurrence in months long enough to have one, and otherwise takes the fourth occurrence.
      • Choose the option for On date to nominate the calendar date within the month.
      As soon as possible This is a single shot trigger which causes each FlexNet inventory agent to randomize an inventory collection within the time window starting when it receives this setting and lasting for the interval you specify in the Commence within controls.
      Tip: Any change you save to these settings is first collected by the inventory beacons on the schedule specified by the Beacon settings (further down this web page), by default checked every 15 minutes. Each inventory beacon then prepares new instructions for any installed FlexNet inventory agents that request an update to device policy (the operational FlexNet inventory agent checks for updated policy once per day, randomized across a one-hour window in the early morning; but newly installed agents seeking their first policy make a request once every 12 hours on UNIX-like platforms, or once every system restart on Windows). Because of these propagation periods, As soon as possible typically means starting early tomorrow morning.
  6. In the rule builder, click Save as, give the rule a name you will recognize later in lists, and click Save.
If you accepted the default Enabled setting, the rule is ready to run on the schedule you have established. (Remember to allow around 15 minutes for the new rule to be distributed to your inventory beacons.) When the rule is executed on an inventory beacon, if a .ora file exists in the 'magic path', the systems that lie both within the inventory beacon's assigned subnet(s) and within the .ora file are targeted for Oracle inventory collection.

IT Asset Management (Cloud)