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Application Metering not populating Inv_Monthly_Summary

Created: 28 Jan 2011 • Updated: 02 Feb 2011 | 11 comments

We are having serious problems with Application Metering 7.0.x. Sometime in June 2010 AM stopped populating the Inv_Monthly_Summary table which is the table used for the Used vs. Install report.

I only realised the problem in late October 2010, so it's almost impossible to determine, what and if something happened in June. But to my knowledge we did nothing special, only install the usual MS updates and possibly an SMP Update.

I was on the phone with the company that supports us and even Symantec support. Which resulted in 2 suggestions: 1) Reinstall SMP Client Agent and 2) Repair Inventory solution. I did both, but nothing helped. A couple of days ago our supporting company and I updated to the latest version of SMP and still it's not working.

Application Metering in general seems to be okay. Start- and Stop-Events are being logged for the policies we activate, but the Inv_Monthly_Summary table stays empty.

How is this table populated?

Thanks for any input... the case is still open and will get to someone at Symantec soonish... but if I can resolve it sooner, my boss will be happy (which will make me happy ;-))

Comments 11 CommentsJump to latest comment

mclemson's picture

That table should be populated.. Are your application metering policies enabled and gathering data?

Are your clients using the current Agent version and plug-in versions, since you've upgraded your SMP version?  Are your solutions also up-to-date?

Any errors or warnings in the Altiris Log Viewer on the server?  What if you install diagnostics on the client -- any errors there?

Mike Clemson, Senior Systems Engineer, ASC
Intuitive Technology Group -- Symantec Platinum Partner
intuitivetech.com

flospi's picture

Well, it isn't populated. SMP stopped populating that table sometime in June last year. Since then I repaired the Inventory Solution as suggested by Symantec and I have installed a couple of new clients, so I deployed the Agent freshly all the time. And a Symantec Support Engineer and I checked, if the Policies are enabled, distributed and if they gather data.

As written, last week we updated the whole SMP to the latest Version (Symantec Managment Agent is Version 7.0.8641.1641, AM Agent is 7.0.1295). We disabled all AM Polices except for two very simple ones, that only check for one criteria and we can see the Start-Stop-Events being shown on the server. So yes, AM must be working to a certain degree.

No warnings that we can see. Whereas "we" is the Support Engineer of OnTrex (a local Symantec Platinum Partner) The AM Configuration is set, so "Clients send summary data every:" is set to 1 day at the moment. On friday when we worked on it, we even set it to 5 minutes for some hours.

I'll install diagnostics on the client today... if I find out how to do it ;-)

But the main question I have remains... what does populate the Inv_Monthly_Summary? How is it populated? Stored procedure? Server-Task?

KSchroeder's picture

AFAIK, the Monthly Summary dataclass is also managed from the client side (at least it is in 6.0).  You may be able to check if the clients are actually generating the information by enabling event capturing.  Again under 6.x you could do by setting a valid folder path (i.e. C:\NSEs) at:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Transport

As the Agent generates events, the NSE (just an XML file; rename for easier viewing) will be saved in that directory you specify.

This is again a 6.x thing (can you tell I haven't upgraded yet??!?!)...but you can check the AeXProcessList.txt in the Altiris Agent directory.  Per TECH35271, this is updated on a regular schedule.  Possibly your antivirus is interfering with writing this file?

You may also want to look at http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO8818 which has some other details about how AM works (at least in 6.x; I'm not sure how extensively the inner workings were modified for 7.0).

Thanks,
Kyle
Symantec Trusted Advisor

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mclemson's picture

Kyle is waiting for 7.4 SP12..

Mike Clemson, Senior Systems Engineer, ASC
Intuitive Technology Group -- Symantec Platinum Partner
intuitivetech.com

jharings's picture

wink

Jim Harings
HP Enterprise Services
1st Rule of Connect Club: Mark the post that helped you the most as a 'solution'. 2nd Rule of Connect Club:You must talk about Connect club.

flospi's picture

Hey Kyle, thanks for your answer. Even thought we use SMP7, I checked on your suggestions.

The clients are generating files in c:\nse if I use the registry key. I can see some of the files contain the Start- and Stop-Events. Both of the txt-Files are also in the Agent-Folder. So it seems, the client is not generating the NSE-file for the monthly summary.

Do you have an example, of how such a file would look like?

KSchroeder's picture

Har har, what a bunch of jokers...

What is your summary data setting configured for?  I know there was an App Metering bug at one point that prevented Summary data from sending (something in relation to Adobe putting square brackets in some of their internal file properties fields?), so the file would be generated client-side, but the NS would reject it.  Check your \\server\nscap\evtqfast\Bad folders to see if you have app metering NSEs in there which are malformed (you can check by renaming the .nse to .xml and viewing it with IE; you'll get a syntax error if the file is invalid).  Check out TECH46446 for specifics.  Do all of your users use Adobe Acrobat by chance?

Also check out TECH127234.

Thanks,
Kyle
Symantec Trusted Advisor

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flospi's picture

What do you mean by "What is your summary data setting configured for"? If you're talking about the frequence with which the client should send the data then it's set to 1 day at the moment. We even set it down to 5 minutes for testing. Purge settings are set to 90 days or more.

As for the two tech articles. I'm not monitoring any Adobe product right now. We are keeping it really simple and I have only two policies. One for VMWare Workstation, as it's only installed on my client and one policy for the software we really need the data for. The only thing I check fo in the policy is the internal name of the EXE-file. And as written earlier, the Start- and Stop-Events are correctly logged and sent to the server and getting fed into the DB.

I did check for malformed NSEs in all the BAD-Queues but couldn't find anything related to Application Metering.

So to me it seems, the file is not even created on the client. On my client I have the logging for NSE-files activated and I only find Application Metering material there, that is connected to the Start- and Stop-Events but nothing for filling the Inv_Monthly_Summary. I added on of the Start-Stop-Event-files as an attachment.

Oh and we stumbled upon the other Tech-Article as well and did set the regional settings to English (US).

Darn, that problem is getting annoying. I can feel my superios breath in my neck ;-)

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KSchroeder's picture

Have you had a look at the Inventory Solution 7.0 SP2 Introduction and Troubleshooting doc (hopefully that link works; if not search SymWISE for "Inventory Solution Introduction Troubleshooting".  In particular, look at the information starting on the bottom of page 29:

  1. AeXSystemPerformance.dll:
    1. This DLL interacts with the AMAgent.dll.
    2. It’s usually present in the system32 folder.
    3. This is a COM DLL. I.e. needs to be registered using regsvr32 for it to come into effect. (I would guess that this happens automatically during installation, but it can't hurt to try re-registering it).
    4. It’s responsible to keep the performance statistics of all applications for which we send in monthly summary for.

There are some other "tricks" on page 31 & 32 of the document that may help as well.  This little note in particular (I suspect Support already had you verify, and based on what you said above I'd bet it is, but just in case)...

  1. There’s some confusion about how sending monthly summary data works. To send monthly summary data we need to do two things: The Monthly Summary "global switch" aka "Send Summary Data" setting, needs to be explicitly turned on. This is not turned on by default at this point. WE will make this turned on out of the box in 7.1.

Finally, is LoadAppInit_DLLs set to 1 in the registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows?

Thanks,
Kyle
Symantec Trusted Advisor

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For all content, please give a thumbs up if you agree with or support the post.

flospi's picture

Cheers Kyle and thanks a lot for you patience and help... but... it still doesn't work.

I registered the DLL and got the message it was registered succesful. I checked for the AMAgent.DLL and checked for the registry key. The LoadAppInit_DLLs was not present, but from the Troubleshooting guide I understood that it didn't have to be there neccesarily, depending on OS (at the moment we are running XP SP3 and migrate to 7 in about 6 months).

I set the "Send Summary Data" for half a day to 5 minutes and started the software on my client that should trigger events. As before, the Start-Stop-Events were recorded and sent to the server, but nothing for my Monthly_Summary table that feeds the Install vs. Used report.

I guess I need to have a tech guy from Symantec have a look at the system.

TORB's picture

Hi Flopsi

We are experincing the exact same thing.

Can some Symantec PM please look into this as there must be some bug in the procedure that populates Inv_monthly_summary. We know that evt_Application_start is populated daily, but we are still only seeing data in the Inv_monthly_summary from May 2010.

The task "update summary data" also fails if we try to run it manually.

Best Regards

Torb