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Adding a Custom Data Class to IT Analytics Cubes

Created: 27 Nov 2012 • Updated: 22 Nov 2013 | 10 comments
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dprager's picture
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IT Analytics 7.1 offers several predefined cubes out-of-the-box that each include their own set of fields to allow for flexible ad-hoc reporting on your Altiris environment. For users who leverage custom inventory or the CMDB capabilities within Altiris to create custom data classes that contain data specific to their environment, there is a method by which this data can be added to IT Analytics cubes. This involves the download and installation of the IT Analytics Cube Extension Utility (.zip file attached to this article) and a simple configuration to add the custom data class as a dimension to the cubes.

This utility is provided as an optional configuration to IT Analytics and is separate from the Symantec Management Platfrom so that it can be updated on as as needed basis. Any issues and requested enhancements to the utility should be sent directly to the author. In the event of future upgrades to subsequent versions of the Symantec Management Platform, this utility will need to be run again to include any custom data classes previously added to the default set of cubes.

NOTE: Only the cubes that contain Asset or Computer data are currently supported for extension using this utility. After custom data classes have been added to the cubes, if at any time those data classes are modified to include additional attributes, you must remove and re-add that data class through the utility to ensure the changes are reflected in the cube.

UPDATE (3/28/13): This utility has been updated to version 1.0.2, which includes the ability to handle data classes with 'bigint' as a column data type.

To successfully install and use the IT Analytics Cube Extension Utility the following prerequisites must be met:

  • .NET Framework 4.0
  • Must be run on the machine hosting the Symantec Management Platform
  • db_owner access to Symantec CMDB database
  • Administrator access to the IT Analytics Analysis Services database
  • Be a member of the Symantec Administrators role in the Symantec Management Platform

 

Installing the IT Analytics Cube Extension Utility

  1. Download the ITAnalyticsCubeExtensionUtility.zip file attached to this article.
  2. Extract and open the ITAnalyticsCubeExtensionUtility.msi file, and if prompted to download .NET Framework version 4.0, click Yes.

  1. After installing .NET Framework version 4.0, open the ITAnalyticsCubeExtensionUtility.msi file, ensure the IT Analytics Cube Extension Utility Setup Wizard screen is displayed and then click Next.

  1. Select the installation folder for the IT Analytics Cube Extension Utility and decide whether or not the utility can be accessed by other users on the computer, then click Next.

  1. Click Next to confirm installation and install the IT Analytics Cube Extension Utility.

  1. Allow the installation process to complete.

  1. Close the window and allow the IT Analytics Cube Extension Utility to launch.

 

 

Adding a Custom Data Class as a Dimension to the Cubes

  1. If not already open, launch the Cube Extension Utility by navigating to: Start > All Programs > Bay Dynamics > IT Analytics Cube Extension Utility and clicking on Cube Extension Utility.
  2. Wait for the Cube Extension Utility to initialize.

  1. Select Add Dimension to launch the Add Dimension Wizard.

  1. Select the Cube Name you want to add the dimension to and click Next.

  1. Select the Data Class Name you want to add and click Next. In this example, we have created a custom data class called "Support Group" to identify which corporate group supports a particular computer. 

  1. Specify the Dimension Name or accept the default name and click Next.

  1. Verify the information is correct on the Summary screen and click Next.

  1. Wait for the dimension to be added.

  1. If you would like to add additional data classes click Add Dimension, otherwise click Finish.

  1. After you have finished adding dimensions, you must reprocess the modified cubes for the changes to take effect. From the Symantec Management Console, navigate to: Settings > Notification Server > IT Analytics Settings > Processing to reprocess cubes.
  2. Open the modified cube by going to Reports > All Reports > IT Analytics > Cubes. In the Pivot Table Field List you should see the new dimension that was just added.

  1. You can now use this dimension when creating pivot table views, the same way you use any other default dimension.

 

 

Removing a Dimension from the Cubes

  1. To undo the dimension addition process described above, launch the Cube Extension Utility by navigating to: Start > All Programs > Bay Dynamics > IT Analytics Cube Extension Utility and clicking on Cube Extension Utility.
  2. Wait again for the Cube Extension Utility to initialize.
  3. Select Remove Dimension to launch the Remove Dimension Wizard.

  1. Select the Cube Name you want to remove the dimension from and click Next. In the example above we had added our custom data class to the Computers Cube.

  1. Select the Dimension you want to remove and click Next. In the example above, we used our custom data class called "Support Group."

  1. Verify the information is correct on the Summary screen and click Next.

  1. Wait for the dimension to be removed.

  1. If you would like to remove additional dimensions click Remove Dimension, otherwise click Finish.

  1. After you have finished removing dimensions, you must reprocess the modified cubes for the changes to take effect. From the Symantec Management Console, navigate to: Settings > Notification Server > IT Analytics Settings > Processing to reprocess cubes.

 

 

Troubleshooting

When closing the IT Analytics Cube Extension Utility, you may see the following error message:

This error does not affect functionality and will be addressed in a future product update.

Comments 10 CommentsJump to latest comment

datadrudge's picture

Thanks for creating this utility! I have a couple of questions:

1. A commonly-requested Asset report is assets by assigned user-owner --I have not been able to find that data in the Asset cube. Could this utility be used to add that data to the cube?

2. The pre-requisites state that the utility needs to be installed directly on the system that hosts the Symantec Management Platform --does this mean the actual SMP server or the server that hosts the SMP databases? If the answer is the SMP server, how do you avoid conflicts between the required 3.5.1 .NET version for the platform and the 4.0 .NET requirement for the utility? Concerned that loading 4.0 will break the system (?) 

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dprager's picture

In regards to your questions:

  1. There is a User dimension in the Asset Cube that should contain the data you are looking for here. Make sure you have processed that cube after assigning users to assets and that should do the trick.
  2. This would be the actual SMP server. Different .Net versions can exist can co-exist as side by side installations, so you should be fine. We’ve tested it on multiple systems here without any issues. Of course as a best practice, you may want to make sure you've backed everything up to be safe but I wouldn’t anticipate any problems, nor have I heard of any being reported from customers using this utility.

Hope that helps.

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Jan Trnka's picture

We have dedicated ITA server, so local Symantec_CMDB is not used (except SMP configuration and only single Agent). We use External Connection option to pull data from 10 production databases.

How can I make this CubeExtensionUtility aware of that, so I can see dimensions used on client-facing servers?

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Sally5432's picture

I created a custom data class to collect bitlocker encryption status as shown here

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/forums/how...

I was trying to see if I could use IT Analytics to report on that status, but when I go to add data class in the wizard, the new data class isn't listed there.  Is it because my DB is off box?

 

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Don't forget to mark posts as helpful if they are, and mark answers as solutions.

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dprager's picture

Sorry for the late reply here but as long as the CMDB containing the custom data class is the same one shared with IT Analytics, the extension should see it even if the DB is off box.

If you are still having trouble with this please feel free to send me a note directly and I'll be happy to help troubleshoot.

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sfreeman's picture

Hi,

Thanks for this guide.

I have tried to use the IT Analytics Cube Extension Utility with SEP pack. But it seems not compatible with SEP Cubes.

Could you confirm?

And if yes, in the near future will it be possible to extend for SEP Cubes?

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haroldvm89's picture

Is this currently working in Altiris 7.5???

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Lark's picture

When we run this on 7.5 SP1 it does not show our custom data classes to import.  Could we please have an updated version?

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SonicGT's picture

How long does adding a dimention take.  I got to the end and it is now saying "adding dimention" for about 30 or so minutes at this point.  Wondering how long I wait until I kill the wizard processes? 

We are on 7.5 SP1 HF2

 

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SonicGT's picture

Nevermind I let it run for about 90 minutes then our server crashed.  When it came back up I had the data class added.  So guess it worked.

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