The program supports three methods of collecting the inventory data from network computers (which can be combined for various groups of computers):
- 1. Remotely through WMI (the default method)
This method is available right after the program installation without additional efforts. You just need the admin rights on remote computers. If computers belong to a domain, WMI should work. Specific security settings and the Firewall can block WMI from proper operation. WMI operates over DCOM so DCOM should be allowed on your network. Home versions of Windows do not allow the remote WMI request execution (allowing only local).
Pros: Does not require configuring or installing anything on remote computers (in the majority of cases); works in a domain.
Cons: Requires the administrative rights on remote computers and a professional OS (XP Pro, Vista Business, 7 Pro, etc.)
Read more about gathering data via WMI
- 2. Client Application (offline) and Logon Script for Running Clients
This is the most preferred method for large and distributed networks (with hundreds of machines or the "field" laptops) but it requires some configuring efforts. The Client application is a little program which needs to be started on network computers. It scans the computer's inventory locally and saves the data to two files which are then "pushed" somewhere (copied to a share on your file server, sent via email, or uploaded to FTP).
The main program imports these client data files to the main database from all locations and processes the new data.
Pros: Does not require the administrative rights on remote computers (when polling the data) and a professional OS. The main program does not need to monitor and wait for the moment when computers are online to scan them. Computers "push" the data themselves when they can.
Cons: Requires time for installing and configuring the client starting on computers.
Read more about gathering data using the Client application
- 3. Agent Service
The Agent is a background service with a TCP server part which receives requests from the main program, executes WMI requests locally, and sends the information back via TCP. You can use Agents when the remote WMI cannot be used for some reason (for example, security settings blocking DCOM). Agents are available as .msi and .exe installation packs and can be installed using Group Policy.
Pros: Does not require the administrative rights on remote computers (when polling the data) and a professional OS.
Cons: Requires time for installing and configuring agents on networked computers.
Read more about gathering data using the Agent service
Important note: If you use WMI or Agents, you will need to build the computer list first. You can scan your network for computers using various methods (scan an IP address range, scan the Network Neighborhood, scan the AD, import hosts from a text or CSV file) or add their addresses manually.
If you use Clients for gathering the data, you do not have to add computers to the computer list (as it is described above). Computers with Clients will be added to the list automatically when the client data files are imported into the main database.
If you cannot decide what polling method to choose and implement, you can contact us and have a free consultation. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org