Inventory Agent for Automatic Deployment

FlexNet Manager Suite 2019 R1 (On-Premises Edition)
This section controls two outcomes:
  • The version of FlexNet inventory agent use for all adoptions (or automatic deployment of FlexNet inventory agent on newly-discovered devices), regardless of platform
  • Upgrades (or downgrades) of "policy-controlled" installations of FlexNet inventory agent for selected operating system platforms. (Installations of FlexNet inventory agent that automatically upload inventory to an inventory beacon are controlled by device policy, which is a file that specifies their desired state and processes.)
    Note: For policy-based upgrades, the method of originally deploying FlexNet inventory agent, whether by the Adopted method or by Agent third-party deployment, is not relevant. If it uploads to a connected inventory beacon, it is controlled by policy, and managed from this page. If you have a disconnected inventory beacon, or if you have separately deployed core components rather than the full FlexNet inventory agent, you must manage their upgrades separately. For more information, see the Gathering FlexNet Inventory PDF, available through the title page of online help.
This section allows you to choose which platforms you allow to self-update, leaving the unselected platforms for your management through a third-party tool. It also allows you to control the timing of new releases by choosing when to authorize the new version for use in your production environment (whether for self-upgrades, or for adoption).
Tip: If an inventory device is already running a version of FlexNet inventory agent later than the one you specify here, the FlexNet inventory agent is automatically downgraded at the next policy update, to match your specification. This technique can be used to roll back a version of FlexNet inventory agent on selected platforms. In short, the version you select in this control is the only version permitted on your chosen platforms, and the installed FlexNet inventory agent works to match your specification as received through device policy.
Note: For situations where automatic upgrades are not recommended, see Inventory Agent Automatic Deployment Cautions.

To manage adoption and self-upgrades of FlexNet inventory agent:

  1. Choose a value from the Version to deploy drop-down list to set the target version of FlexNet inventory agent that should be used for adoption and for upgrades on the platforms you will select:
    • Latest version (nn.nn.nn.nn) — The release number of the latest version available on the application server is included in brackets. The FlexNet inventory agent self-upgrades to this latest version (for each of the platforms you select in the following step) once this version has been downloaded to an accessible inventory beacon.
    • Version (nn.nn.nn.nn) — All upgrade packages currently available on the application server are listed. By default, new implementations include only the current version of the FlexNet inventory agent. Upgraded systems by default start from version 13.1.1. However, if you have previously requested automatic upgrades enabled for a version lower than 13.1.1, that selected version also appears in the Version to deploy drop-down list. You may select any version, later or earlier than one currently deployed on target inventory devices running the operating systems you target in Platform options.
      Tip: Rarely, your selected version may display an alert that it has been deprecated. This means that a serious issue has been discovered with that version. Selecting another version is recommended in this case. Once the deprecated version is no longer selected, it is also removed from the list.
  2. Choose one of the following values from the Upgrade mode drop-down list.
    • Do not upgrade automatically — There are no automated self-upgrades of FlexNet inventory agent on any platform. You take responsibility for upgrades using separate technologies or methods. Proceed to Step 3.
    • Upgrade selected platforms to specific version — Select to choose the platforms on which the FlexNet inventory agent will automatically upgrade at the next policy update. Upgrade packages are distributed to inventory beacon automatically as soon as they are available on the central application server, typically after each product upgrade. This choice displays the Platform options grid where you can choose one or more platforms as follows:
      • In the Platform options grid, select the check box for one or more platforms. Selecting all platforms is sensible when you want to globally limit the deployed versions of FlexNet inventory agent to some version prior to the latest.
        Tip: Instances of FlexNet inventory agent installed on platforms that you do not select are unchanged through policy, and remain at their current installed versions, neither upgraded nor downgraded.
        Because non-selected platforms are completely unaffected by the current setting, you can use (and re-use) these controls to work through a scenario such as:
        • Release version X to Windows devices when the team administering Windows has completed their testing. Weeks later perhaps, when the Linux team finishes their testing, a new setting on this page authorizes version X for the Linux platform, while other platforms are unaffected.
  3. Click Save.

Your changes are saved in the compliance database, over-writing the previous settings. At the next request for any updated beacon policy (inventory beacons check for updates by default every 15 minutes), the latest settings are deployed, along with any new update packages. Thereafter, when an inventory device checks for updated policy (which happens daily at a random time between 5-6am local time for operational agents), affected platforms receive the changed policy and download any new upgrade packages required. Once FlexNet inventory agent has both the policy update and the required package available, it waits for any of its current processes to complete, and then launches an installation of the specified package, which results in its version being either upgraded or downgraded. On successful completion of the process, FlexNet inventory agent resumes normal processing to ensure that it meets the requirements specified in its device policy. Its next uploaded inventory reports the newly-installed version of itself.

These process cycles suggest that, for scenarios that require a series of changes to these settings, you should leave an interval of at least 48 hours between changes. For safety, you can monitor the deployed versions of FlexNet inventory agent in the Discovery & Inventory > FlexNet Inventory Agent Status page. See FlexNet Inventory Agent Status.