How can data in Altiris be alphabetized?

Article:HOWTO80673  |  Created: 2012-10-11  |  Updated: 2012-10-11  |  Article URL
Article Type
How To

Depending on what data, where, there are various ways to alphabetize data seen in the Symantec Management Platform (Altiris). The following examples demonstrate how this can be accomplished.


Reports can be alphabetized or otherwise re-ordered by clicking on their column names.

If the report is always desired to be alphabetized by a specific column name without the user having to click on, for example, it's Name column, it can be edited and changed accordingly. For example, if it is a SQL-based report, add the "ORDER BY" statement to do this. Note: Out of box reports must be cloned first before they can be edited.

FROM vComputer

This defaults to ascending order (A - Z). For descending order (Z - A), add "DESC" after the column name:


Then, save the report.

Data Connector Import Rules

Data can be attempted to be alphabetized when imported in by an Import Rule. However, most lists will display data in the order it was added to the database in. This may then have the end result of causing descending ordered data, the opposite of what is attempting to be done. Theoretically then, if data is imported in Z - A, this may work (depending on where the data is being later viewed at), however, additional new data will not be inserted into this "alphabetized" list, and so this likely will not be of any real use.

Manual SQL changes

It's possible to re-arrange data in the database, if the user knows which table to alter. Warning: Re-arranging data in tables can result in severe problems and is not recommended. The user should back up their database or at least the table before attempting to re-arrange data in this fashion. If issues then occur after the changes, revert the database or table back to restore the database to working order. Symantec Technical Support is unable to help resolve this and this process can be tried at the user's own risk. Furthermore, this should be tested on a development server first before trying it on a production server to ensure that this works to the user's expectations. Also, the user may want to stop the Notification Server processes as if data may come into the table to re-organize during the process, this will be lost.

  1. Run the following example query that will copy the desired table data to the temporary table and re-order the specified column alphabetically:

    USE Symantec_CMDB
    SELECT *
    INTO <new table>
    FROM <original table>
    ORDER BY <column name>

    Change "<new table>" to be the temporary table to copy data to, "<original table>" to be the name of the table to copy data from and "<column name>" to the column to use to sort alphabetically.

    Tip: If the destination table has a unique column, this will not be able to be inserted into and the user will need to modify the query to manually add each field then to copy, not using "SELECT *" for every column.
  2. Drop the original table:

    DROP TABLE <original table>
  3. Copy the re-arranged data from the new table back to the original table:

    SELECT *
    INTO <original table>
    FROM <new table>
  4. Verify that the data is back in the original table and in the desired order:

    SELECT *
    FROM <original table>

    If so, then drop the new table:

    DROP TABLE <new table>
  5. Test where in the Symantec Management Platform Console that this should now appear as alphabetical. If it still does not, the columns of the tale may be deciding the order. For example, some tables have an ID column that is used. This column would need to be sorted based on the alphabetization of the Name column or what ever column is desired, which may be problematic as it may not allow data to be inserted/changed in it. If not, then there is no other workaround for this process as this is hard coded in the table for its sort order.
  6. As this is a one-time process, the user would need to manually run this each time they wanted to re-alphabetize the data. This could be set up to run on a schedule on the SQL Server automatically, but is not recommended.

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