Blog


16 June 2014
Feature highlights, Releases, Tips & Tricks, Total Network Inventory | 4 Comments

TNI 3.1.0: The Change Log

When you rescan an asset that has already been scanned in the past, you probably want to get the most up-to-date information. And you also want to see what exactly has changed.

The latter used to be a rather tricky thing to do. But look!

  • BIG FEATUREChange log.

 

How it works

A quick reminder: every time you scan an asset, TNI creates a new snapshot of it and puts it in your storage. In the View details tab you switch between snapshots using a date/time box next to the asset name:

Snapshot_menu

In Options / Scanner you can tweak the way TNI treats snapshots. By default it stores up to 10 of them per asset and removes those more than 90 days old (except for the oldest one). Thus you probably have about 10 time points of data per asset, the oldest one being from the very first scan.

That’s a long story to tell, so it’s about time TNI became a storyteller.

The story of your network

There is a new tab in the main TNI area: the Change log tab. It works out of the box, so go ahead and click it. Select any asset with at least two snapshots and see what has been going on. History!

[Changed] Software item: Total Network Inventory — Version: 3.0.0 → 3.1.0

It’s pretty much straightforward.

The timeline is divided into Intervals. Each interval has a starting and an ending date and time—from corresponding snapshots. It also shows you at a glance how many changes were there.

History interval

Intervals contain Events grouped by object types.

Events represent things + Added, – Removed or ○ Changed during that time.

You can see software being installed, uninstalled or updated…

Software history

…hotfixes being applied…

Hotfixes history

…services changing their state…

Services history

…hardware being moved around…

Hardware history

…and a lot more: look for changes in logon counters of user accounts to know who had used the computer, see disk space usage dynamics, devices changing error codes, items appearing in Windows autorun, etc. It’s all there for you now.

And to make browsing changes as easy and fast as it can be, we’ve implemented our trademark instant search, of course. And filters, too. If you don’t need some of all that data, just hide it using the sidebar. If you want to check for something in particular, just press Ctrl + F and type it in.

You can select multiple devices in the network tree, too. Select the root and see the History of All Your Network as a single report, and then, say, search for a software title to see each and every time it came up. Our data browsing is as always quick and powerful, so use this to your advantage.

Surely, the change log is also available in the form of printable report:

Printable report

And that is the new Change log feature. It has proven so useful for us that we started using it in our own network as soon as we’ve built the first working prototype. We really think you are going to love it!

If you have any ideas as to how the change log could be improved, tell us! There’s an ocean of new possibilities here.

Can’t wait to hear from you. Till next time!


We remind you that as of version 3.0 (released March 3, 2014), optional one-year subscription for updates is introduced to TNI. By purchasing a license you get one year of free updates, and each subsequent year costs 20% the price of your license.

All users of TNI and TNI 2 got a free upgrade to TNI 3.0!

All users who have purchased their licenses between March 3, 2013 and March 3, 2014 are entitled to free updates till March 3, 2015.

Warning! All users who have purchased their licenses before March 3, 2013 may upgrade to TNI 3.1 for 20% of the cost of their licenses, thus extending the update period by another year. License keys purchased before March 3, 2013 will not work with TNI of version 3.1 and higher.


03 March 2014
Feature highlights, Feedback, News, Releases, Softinventive Lab, Total Network Inventory | 8 Comments

TNI 3 is out! Meet advanced Software Asset Management

We’re delighted to announce that Total Network Inventory 3 is available today.

TNI 3 is a major update we’ve been working on for quite some time. It’s packed with great stuff.

  • BIG FEATURESoftware Asset Management module.
  • BIG FEATURENew hardware scanning technology: collected data is now far more detailed and more accurate.
  • + lots of less noticeable improvements and bugfixes

 

Software Asset Manager (SAM)

You may have heard a word or two from us about this one.

Software browser

We’ve brought the Software accounting feature in TNI to the whole new level. You won’t find anything like this in other products, and we’re extremely proud of it.

Discovering software in your network is now easier than ever. Browsing computers that have an application installed is simple and straightforward. Finding programs, managing them, assigning tags and stars, filtering by various criteria, building reports, etc. — everything is intuitive, fast and accurate.

Software installations

And if your license includes the advanced SAM features, you get one of the most flexible License managers out there for storing crucial data on each of the licenses you own, their license keys and models.

Various licensing models

And sure enough, automatic calculation of your licensing status per software, per license or per individual installation.

Status

You can read more about it on our updated site or find getting started instructions on our user manual page.

Better scanning technology

A new driver is introduced as the TNI means of collecting inventory data. With it, information in the hardware categories will get incredibly detailed and accurate:

  • NewMore information on motherboard (chipset, USB version, RAID possibilities);
  • NewCompletely revised information on CPU (socket, codename, TDP, instruction sets, correct detection of multicore CPUs and multithreaded cores);
  • NewComplete information on memory modules (manufacturer, type, speed, part number);
  • NewNew section in Peripheral devices – USB devices (manufacturer, serial number, USB version supported and current speed, driver manufacturer, version and date).
  • ImprovedMore information on video-adapters (chipset, video memory, video card name, frequencies);
  • ImprovedMore accurate detection of multiple monitors;
  • ImprovedMore informaiton on audio devices (adapter name, HD codec, driver version and date);
  • ImprovedMore information on storage devices (HDD: interface type, device type – HDD or SSD, serial number, firmware revision, rotation rate, form-factor, buffer size, NCQ/TRIM/SMART support, SMART data; CD/DVD-drives: serial number, type, revision, firmware date, read and write support).

 

Our new licensing and pricing policy

Please take a minute to familiarize yourself with our new policy.

  • TNI 3 Standard license gets cheaper. It includes all scanning and reporting features from TNI 2. It also includes part of the features of the new Software Asset Management unit. Namely: software browser and manager, installations viewer, software merging, software tracking and corresponding reports. It does not include license managing features.
  • To get advanced Software Asset Management features (license manager, license status calculation and detailed licensing reports), you need second tier license. We call it TNI 3 Professional. It costs additional 50% of the original price (depending on the number of nodes).
  • When you purchase your license you get 1 year of free updates. In a year you can renew your license to keep receiving updates. It will cost 20% of the price of your original license. Extending your update period is optional and is not subscription-based. Just a hint: As you can find by scrolling through our blog, a year of updates adds a lot of value to the product.
  • Support remains free and perpetual (not connected to the limited update period).

And now a few points regarding our current customers.

  • We are grateful to all TNI 3 beta testers who provided feedback. This feedback was invaluable to us. Therefore you get TNI 3 Professional license for free. Drop us a letter to claim your license.
  • All our customers who own TNI 2 get TNI 3 Standard license for free (your TNI 2 license will continue working with TNI 3).
  • Customers who purchased TNI 2 before March 3, 2013 will get free updates until 3.0.1. All further updates (3.1 and higher) will require a renewal of the license.
  • Customers who purchased TNI 2 between March 3, 2013 and March 3, 2014 will get free updates until March 3, 2015.
  • All our customers who own TNI 2 get 50% discount for TNI 3 Professional license (this offer is valid until the release of TNI 3.1).

That about covers it. If you have any questions feel free to ask on our support page.

Download TNI 3 and enjoy all the great new features it has to offer. During the trial period you will be able to evaluate all features of the full TNI 3 Professional package.

Don’t forget to use the Feedback button. Your feedback made this update possible, so keep it coming and let’s see what’s next!


24 June 2013
Feature highlights, Releases, Total Network Inventory | 4 Comments

TNI 2.2.2 (1483): Action-packed update

Today we’re back with new TNI 2 update. And it’s all about ACTION!

Or, rather, actions: things you can now do remotely to computers in your network right from TNI. But before we jump in, as always, here’s the change-list:

  • BIG FEATUREStandard and custom actions.
  • NewDetection of CentOS and SliTaz Linux distributions: SliTaz and CentOS icons
  • FixedFreezing of the scan process in some cases.
  • FixedName resolving for assets with dynamic IPs.

 

Introducing actions

There are a few Standard actions that TNI performs directly (Reboot, Power-off and Wake-on-LAN) as well as Custom actions, where you can use a simple scripting syntax to perform just about any action you need using system routines or third-party utilities.

Let me show you some examples of the latter, starting with the most obvious one. Assume you want to ping an asset using the good ol’ ping.exe routine. You open up cmd.exe and type ping.exe followed by the asset’s IP. Why not automate the task by creating an action:

Ping asset=cmd.exe /K ping.exe %IP%

After putting that in place you just right-click any asset in the network tree to see this:

Ping action

You get the idea. Now let’s see some variety!

Conditional directives

Things like this are now a no-brainer:

Manage computer=mmc.exe compmgmt.msc /Computer=%IP%

But this action is not applicable to non-Windows machines, so why even have it available for Macs or Linuxes, right? Let’s prefix the action definition with a conditional directive.

{$IF WIN}Manage computer=mmc.exe compmgmt.msc /Computer=%IP%

It makes way more sense this way. Further, we may want to do something like

Browse web=http://%HOST%/

But this can also be enhanced:

{$IF OPEN80}Browse web=http://%HOST%/

We have a bunch of available conditions that make use of the information TNI knows about a device, and it’s a good idea to use them to remove confusion in a multitude of cases:

  • OPENXX — whether the specified port is open.
  • OPENSSHPORT — this takes the SSH port from the scanner settings.
  • ONLINE
  • WIN — whether it’s a Windows device…
  • LIN — … a Linux device…
  • MAC — …or a MacOS X device.
  • SSH — whether the device was scanned via SSH (it could be a Linux, Mac OS X or a FreeBSD device).
  • SNMP — whether the device was scanned via SNMP.
  • LAN — whether the device and your PC share the same subnet.

And of course you can prefix any of these with a “!” to make it a negative. E.g. !ONLINE means “offline”, !WIN is “anything but Windows” and so on. Also, you can list several conditions under one IF directive separating them with commas, this will be treated as logical AND. Like so:

{$IF LAN,!ONLINE}Wake-on-LAN=wol.exe %MAC:%

Actions for multiple devices

Some actions are not supposed to be executed for several devices at once. By default, an action is considered to be aimed at one asset. To make it available when several assets are at gunpoint (or when you right-click a group), you should add the {$MULTI} directive.

{$MULTI}{$IF LAN,!ONLINE}Wake-on-LAN=wol.exe %MAC:%

There’s another matter to consider when dealing with multiple devices. The declaration above makes the action applicable to a group of assets if any of them is offline and any of them is in your subnet. While there’s nothing wrong with the former condition (online assets will receive WOL packets too, no big deal), there’s no point in trying to send WOLs beyond the LAN. So, we change the latter condition to all of them are in your subnet by attributing a “!” after it. As in, LAN! — mandatory for all!

{$MULTI}{$IF LAN!,!ONLINE}Wake-on-LAN=wol.exe %MAC:%

Now this action seems pretty well-defined.

Protection from accidents

While most actions will probably do nothing destructive, some of them may be dangerous if used accidentally. Use {$?} directive for those. It will display a confirmation dialog every time you fire the action. Here we use Sysinternals PSTools to shut a device down. Dangerous, right?

{$?}Shutdown=”C:\PSTools\psshutdown.exe” -k \\%HOST%

Sending keystrokes

Let’s take it even further. Suppose we have an action to initialize Remote desktop.

Remote Desktop=mstsc.exe /v:%IP%

Simple enough, but what it will do is open the authorization window and require us to type in the password manually. There’s a better way. We can send the password in there by simulating key-presses!

Remote Desktop with login=mstsc.exe /v:%IP% /sendkeys:%PASSWORD%{ENTER}

After the /sendkeys command you may use:

  • Any line of text — it will be sent as is;
  • Templates;
  • {$WAIT X} — this directive will pause the execution by X milliseconds. If you omit this directive, the default pause before sending any keys is one second;
  • {key name} — simulate pressing a special key. Key name may be one of the following: F1..F10, LEFT, RIGHT, UP, DOWN, ENTER, BACKSPACE, PGUP, PGDN, HOME, END, TAB.

So, in the example above, we virtually type in the password and press Enter. The %PASSWORD% template will be automatically replaced with the password associated with the asset in your storage.

Speaking about templates.

Templates

The following templates in action definitions will get replaced with actual values for each specific asset:

  • %HOST% — FQDN, hostname or IP, depending on the Static IP flag
  • %HOSTNAME%
  • %IP%
  • %MAC-%, %MAC:%, %MAC% — MAC-address separated by hyphens, colons or without separators, respectively
  • %SSHPORT% — SSH port number, as specified in the Scanner settings
  • %USERNAME% — username from the assigned login
  • %PASSWORD% — password from the assigned login

And this about sums it up for the actions highlight. You will find most of the actions used above as examples already included, feel free to modify them as you please or delete the ones you don’t need. Don’t be shy and experiment with custom actions, there’s no limit to what you can do using third-party tools and our simple scripting syntax.

How to edit them? Right-click any asset and find the Edit actions button in the Actions submenu. Or go straight to Options » Actions. You’ll find a handy cheat-sheet there (click a value to copy it!) and a big button to open up the definition list in Notepad — the best text editor there is… ish. :)

One last thing. If you can think of anything we’ve missed (a useful condition, directive or template perhaps) then please let us know, we’ll implement it.

Update TNI 2.