How to setup Notification Server 6 custom inventory for Windows

Article:HOWTO10707  |  Created: 2009-10-09  |  Updated: 2010-07-26  |  Article URL
Article Type
How To


The following information describes how to setup custom inventory for:

  1. standalone testing purposes 
  2. a live setup on a notification server.

Standalone Test Setup

  1. Copy the sample custom inventory file to a temporary directory on a target computer.
  2. Copy aexcustinv.exe to this temp folder. This file is normally found at:
    • On the Notification Server: "\Program Files\Altiris\Notification Server\NSCap\bin\win32\x86\Inventory Solution"
    • On a managed client computer: "\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Software Delivery\{01B54EB5-3679-4C73-9E10-E169D5A5EC59}\cache"
  3. If you want to test loading the data to the Notification Server’s database, copy aexnsinvcollector.exe to this temp directory, also.
  4. From a DOS/Command shell window, run the following commands. Be sure that the "/out" (output) file name ends in ".nsi". The "/o" option means the nsi file will be written to the current, temporary directory. The "/s" option means the Collector will scan only the current, temporary directory, for results to be sent to the Notification Server.
    AeXCustInv.exe /in .\<mycustinv_filename> /o .\ /out <mycustinv_filename>.nsi
    AeXNSInvCollector.exe /s .\ /nsctransport /v default /useguid
    This will produce an .NSI file in the current, temporary directory which you can edit to verify the results.
  5. If you ran collector, you can check the NS server's database or Resource Manager to verify that the data was loaded correctly. The dataclass name can be found on about line two of the custom inventory source file in the "<inventoryclass name=" section. The table name will be the dataclass name prepended with "inv_<dataclass name>". Any spaces in the dataclass name will be replaced with "_" (underscore) characters in the table name.

Live Environment on the Notification Server

  1. Copy the xml file to the inventory solution package directory: "\Program Files\Altiris\Notification Server\NSCap\bin\win32\x86\Inventory Solution". Anything in this directory will be downloaded to every managed client computer.
  2. In that same directory, select and edit an appropriate "AeXInvSoln*.ini" file, depending on how often you want the custom inventory to run. These ini files include the following:
    • AexInvSolnAdm1.ini – used by the "Hardware Inventory" policy.
    • AeXInvSolnAdm2.ini – used by the "Full definition file with CleanBeforeRun option" and "Software Inventory" policies.
    • AeXInvSolnAdm3.ini – used by the "Full definition file with CleanBeforeRun and Slow Mode Delay option" policy.
    • AeXInvSolnUsr1.ini – used by both the "User Inventory" and "Recreate User Inventory" policies.
  3. In the ini file, copy the existing "aexcustinv.exe…" and paste it onto a new row in that file. There can be multiple rows beginning with "aexcustinv.exe".
  4. Modify the name of the xml and nsi files to match the name of your custinv xml file.
  5. Save the ini file to the same directory. It will now be ready for use by all client computers managed by that Notification Server. Distribution points will have to update, either manually or via the scheduled task, and the clients will need to update configuration and download the updated package files before they actually run the custom inventory.
    * To update distribution points, go to Tasks > Assets and Inventory > Windows > Inventory Tasks > Hardware Inventory and click on Go To Package in the General tab. This will open a new window. Go to the bottom of this new window and click Update Distribution Points.

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