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20 July 2018
Releases, Total Software Deployment | Leave a comment

TSD 3.0.0: New deployment and uninstallation features

Hello, friends! Sensational news from the Total Software Deployment team: TSD 3 has arrived! The number of changes made was so great and the improvements so evident that we decided to up the major product version.

We’re confident that you’ll be pleased with our efforts. After all, Total Software Deployment will now successfully handle the deployment of an even wider range of installers, the list of software supported for uninstallation was expanded by 50%, and the interface became more convenient and comprehensible. Just look at this impressive list of changes:

  • NewNew deployment setting in the Software passport: installation context. It allows to specify under which user will the software installer be run.
  • NewNew deployment setting in the Software passport: deployment verification file. It allows to check if this file was created (or updated) on the remote computer as a result of the deployment.
  • NewUninstall support for software installed using the following installers: InnoSetup, NSIS, Smart Install Maker, Excelsior Installer, Ghost Installer, Install Aware, WinRar Installer.
  • NewSupport for uninstalling all versions of MS Office.
  • NewSupport for REG files in the software storage.
  • NewAbility to add multiple programs at once to the software storage.
  • NewHint panels in the software and network trees for getting started with the storages.
  • NewSoftware tree and network tree can now be hidden. The storage loading progress is now also available in the status bar.
  • ImprovedMacro deployment engine.
  • ImprovedMacro deployment of MSI packages now works on computers where interactive services are disallowed.
  • ImprovedBitness of the interpreters that are used to execute scripts now matches the target system bitness.
  • ImprovedSoftware passport revamped.
  • ImprovedSoftware with unspecified bitness and installation context is now marked with the /!\ icon in the software tree and the software deployment list.
  • ImprovedAdding of single-file installers made easier. Now it’s enough to just select the installer(s) in the file open dialog.
  • ImprovedThe size of the deployment and uninstallation logs can now be changed.
  • ImprovedDouble click on the program in the software tree now adds it to the software deployment list.
  • ImprovedDouble click on the computer in the network tree now adds it to the deployment targets list or to the scanner’s task list (depending on the selected TSD mode).
  • FixedDeployment of software that requires the environment variables of the user.
  • FixedInteraction with the software component selection list during the Macro deployment.
  • FixedFreezing that occured with some installers at the very beginning of installation when deploying using the Macro method.
  • FixedWorking with some MSP files.
  • + Many other fixes and improvements.

The full changelog can be found on the update screen in the program itself.

Deployment

Several changes were made to Software editor’s Software passport. The first thing you’re bound to notice is a more convenient placement of elements in the passport. There are two new settings too.

The Installation context setting allows to select with what privileges the deployed software installer will be run. This setting is very important for the correct installation of programs that require a particular installation context, as well as for executing scripts. Select the local system installation context for programs that are installed for all users on the computer. This is the simplest and most common scenario, so we recommend to use this context most often. However, there are programs that can be installed only for the current user, and that’s the name of the context that you need to select in these cases. As you may have already guessed, someone must be logged into the system at the time of deployment for there to be a current user. The final option for installation context is network administrator. It’s intended solely for running scripts on the remote computer when they require access to remote network resources.

Setting up the Deployment verification file will allow you to save valuable time and make sure that the program was installed correctly without rescanning the target computers. Just specify the path to one of the files that must be created or updated on the remote computer during the deployment process. TSD will check it and show the result in the deployment log. If you deploy scripts, then you can verify their execution as well in this way.

Significant improvements were made to the Macro method and positively affected the deployment success rate for packages created using this method. Now there’s full deployment support for computers configured not to allow interactive services (the default setting for Windows 10 and 8.1), and more elements of the installer’s interface can be interacted with when recording a macro. All these improvements allow us to safely recommend that you use the Macro method in all cases where the Silent method doesn’t allow you to configure the installation exactly the way you want it.
And last but not least in this section: after numerous requests, .reg files can now be added to the software storage for their further deployment.

Uninstallation

As we’ve promised, the list of installer formats supported for uninstallation was heavily expanded. Right now, software uninstallation is supported for all popular types of installers. Specifically, the update adds support for InnoSetup, NSIS, Smart Install Maker, Excelsior Installer, Ghost Installer, Install Aware and WinRar Installer (device rescan required). We’ve also paid special attention to MS Office: uninstallation of any packages of this popular software is now fully supported.

Interface

In the end, we’d like to draw your attention to the various improvements in the user interface. For example, both storage trees can now be hidden, and the size of the deployment and uninstallation log can be changed manually to make it easier to work with the deployment and uninstallation desktops:


The process of adding new programs to the software storage is no longer unnecessarily cumbersome. Now you can add as many installers at a time as you want, and less actions are required of you overall. For new users, we’ve added useful hints that will help them to get started with TSD.


And so now you should be aware of all the new things that were added in the third version. Have we managed to surprise you with anything? Download the update and try them for yourself. We’re positive that you won’t be let down!
The update is already available to all users via the usual link on our website or in the program itself (Help – Check for updates).

That’s everything for today. Keep following the news: there’s a major pleasant surprise in store for you ;-)


18 May 2018
Releases, Total Network Inventory | 2 Comments

TNI 3.6.0: New scanner core and extended capabilities of the Windows agent

Hello to all! We’ve put a lot of time and effort into improving the scanning mechanism, the Windows agent and many other program components. This time we’ve also paid special attention to improvements requested by our users.

Please bid welcome to version 3.6.0!

Updated Scanner

The TNI scanner underwent an in-depth tuning and refinement. We’ve completely rewritten the internal scanning mechanism: increased the stability of the whole process, expanded the network discovery mechanisms and significantly raised the scanning speed for medium and large networks. How events in the scanner are logged and how it interacts with Active Directory have been improved as well, with many other positive changes that will speed up the scanning process and make it more thorough and reliable.

Scheduled scans will no longer be delayed because the scanner is busy with the previous task. They will start in the background exactly when you’ve planned!

Enhanced Windows agent

We’ve added more features to the Windows agent. Yes, we mean tniwinagent.exe that’s used when scanning remote computers from the Scanner tab and can also be run manually to scan the computer. You may also be using this file as an automated resident agent. So what we’ve done for this new agent version is updated its own scanner, added more fields to be collected and improved the interaction with the SMB protocol. Lastly, now it supports the new FTP/FTPS and SFTP/SCP protocols. All this was done to obtain as complete and reliable information about Windows systems as possible.

You asked, we delivered

In each update we try to pay special attention to fixes and improvements based on your feedback and requests. In Total Network Inventory 3.6.0, these changes have affected many parts of the program: interface, reports, temporary files, compatibility with Total Software Deployment, other elements have been corrected and improved thanks to you! In addition, we’ve finally solved a number of issues that may arise when corrupted files are present in the storage and, by optimizing internal processes, heavily improved the stability of the application as a whole.
After these changes, TNI becomes considerably faster and even more stable.

Here is the full list of changes:

  • NewSilent installation/uninstallation mode in the resident agent.
  • NewAbility to update the resident agent via FTP/FTPS and SFTP/SCP, as well as via SMB with authorization.
  • NewSupport for file sending via SFTP/SCP after the resident agent performs a scan.
  • NewCollection of information from the SystemSKUNumber field.
  • New“Device name” field when exporting the Change log contents in the CSV format.
  • NewTelnet and ESXi agent versions displayed on the About screen.
  • ImprovedInternal scanning engine was totally reworked, resulting in better scanning stability and increased reliability of network device discovery.
  • ImprovedScan scheduler now runs in the background, independently of the Scanner tab.
  • ImprovedAuxiliary modules for working with SSH and SSL/TLS were integrated into the Windows agent.
  • ImprovedSending files via FTP by the resident agent: TLS is always used if supported by the server (explicit mode), and for the implicit mode, specify “ftps: //” in the URL (also applies to updating via FTP).
  • ImprovedAbility to create screenshots when scanning various types of devices that have a web interface.
  • ImprovedInformation refresh when filtering the network tree.
  • ImprovedDevice type selection lists now have a common look.
  • ImprovedСompatibility with the network storage in TSD. Also more information is now collected for the software uninstallation module.
  • ImprovedScanner operation logging system was expanded.
  • FixedObtaining information about Windows Firewall and Windows Updates.
  • FixedChecking for files when the resident agent is auto-updating.
  • FixedProgram operation when the temporary folder is not found.
  • FixedMissing option to delete logins in Edit – Logins.
  • FixedProgram doesn’t restart after it’s closed when the license key is submitted.
  • FixedRounding of the prices in custom fields.
  • FixedUndefined device status after scanning.
  • FixedRendering issues when deleting scan tasks.
  • FixedIncorrect rendering of the storage selection window on the Windows classic theme.
  • FixedPCI devices with the 0xFF class not being detected when scanning ESXi systems.
  • FixedCertain unexpected program shutdowns, as well as the issues when working with corrupted files in the storage, were corrected. Overall stability of the program was increased.

 

PS: Our team is now working on creating a network map feature and improving the scanning of SNMP devices. Stay tuned for more updates!


16 February 2018
Releases, Total Network Inventory | 2 Comments

TNI 3.5.0: ESXi scanner improvements

Greetings to everyone who reads the Softinventive blog and wishes to receive first-hand information about our software’s new features!

Today, the Total Network Inventory team introduces a major update, TNI version 3.5.0. This update significantly expands the functionality concerning ESXi virtual servers. And as you can see, much has been reworked and improved:

  • NewObtaining information about services on the ESXi server.
  • NewObtaining firewall information from the ESXi server (ESXi version 5+).
  • NewObtaining software information from the ESXi server (ESXi version 6.5+).
  • NewObtaining information about licenses from the ESXi server.
  • NewGrouping ESXi server devices by PCI class.
  • NewObtaining information about the ESXi server’s serial number.
  • NewESXi agent version that was used to perfrom the scan can be displayed in a report.
  • NewObtaining information about the manufacturer, model and serial number of routers when scanning via SNMP.
  • ImprovedESXi server scan engine reworked.
  • ImprovedAsset pinger operation.
  • ImprovedSystem error logging engine.
  • FixedObtaining information about the Network File System type on the ESXi server.
  • FixedObtaining information about ESXi server’s processors.
  • FixedObtaining and updating the Hostname field when scanning the ESXi server.
  • FixedObtaining information about the size of repositories on the ESXi server.
  • FixedMethods of using the PingerLib and ADLib libraries changed.
  • FixedPinging methodology when changing the “Handling of dynamic IP addresses” setting.
  • FixedDisplay of information about unscanned assets.
  • FixedUpdating of ESXi server hostnames after rescanning.
  • + Many small improvements in ESXi and SNMP scanners.

 
Let’s review in a bit more detail.

The data collection and analysis engine has been redesigned and substantially improved as a result. TNI 3.5.0 is fully compatible with the latest versions of ESXi server. ESXi 4, 5, 6, 6.5 are officially supported. The collected dataset was also heavily expanded: now you can get information about the installed hardware and software, firewall, services, serial number, ESXi licenses and other miscellanea that will give you a complete picture of the scanned ESXi server.
We have thoroughly tested all kinds of configurations and can say with confidence that the chance of obtaining the information from an ESXi server is now almost 100%!

We would also like to mention another important change, namely the SNMP scanner upgrade. Now the information about the manufacturer, model and serial number of most devices can be collected without the need to enable the full SNMP scan in the program settings.

And so I bring this blog post to a close.
Until the next one!