Last time out we were looking at the CMDB as a means to ‘hide’ specific custom data against particular assets, in our Smartphone example the IMEI number specifically. Following on from this I’d like to demonstrate how the CMDB is also an excellent ‘visual’ filtering tool for the asset register. We recently completed a project for a client involving the import of over 2500 facilities management type assets and the CMDB proved an excellent means of organising, viewing and searching this information.
 
Going back to our Smartphone IT example it may be the case that we have various different models of phone that we need to manage. Now if we use the Asset module in ManageEngine it’s not immediately clear of the separation of these various phone models as they are all grouped under an Asset (or Non-IT) Category heading in the left search pane. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In order to browse your mobile assets you have to use the filter options at the top of the main viewing pane to select the products you want to search. Seems easy enough but is there a more visual way?
 
If we take a look at the CMDB it doesn’t immediately appear that we can improve on this, especially as there is no default filter option at the top of the main viewing panel.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
However, if we define appropriate ‘Configuration Item (CI) Types’, under ‘Admin – Configuration Item Types’, that are associated to the Parent CI Type of ‘Smartphone’ we start to create a nested group and this is where we can start to see the advantage of the CMDB left browser pane.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

All that remains to do is to use the column search tool to find the relevant products and use the drop-down ‘Actions’ menu to move the items into the correct CI Type using the ‘Modify CI Type’ option having multi-elected the assets.
 
Now you can simply click on the required element of the CMDB and view, search and manage the filtered group of assets in the main viewing window. In our example above the element ‘Smartphone’ shows all the Smartphone assets, while the nested CI Types show a list of the relevant Smartphone models.
 
Enjoy!
 
This article is relevant to:
Service Desk

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