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07 July 2011
Feature highlights, Tips & Tricks, Total Network Inventory | 1 Comment

Feature highlight: The Network Tree

Once again, hi! This time I’ll demonstrate the matchless powers of the new network tree. We all like to have matchless powers, right?

The first of your new powers is called Displayed text. Click the  button and choose which piece of data all the assets will be represented by. If you don’t care for network names, you can choose to see IP addresses in their place. Or asset tags. Or user names. Or simply custom aliases. Also, you can use any of these values for additional text that will be printed out in blue on the right.

The second power is Instant search. Well, we’re modest guys, so we call it simply Search in the software. But it’s still instant. Press Ctrl + Shift + F and try it out. Note: you can search by both primary and additional text values that you’ve set up using your first power.

The third power is Indicators. Hit the light bulb button and choose an Assistant that you like the most. They’re great guys, all of them. Let’s go with Operating system, Online status and Alert presence, for instance. After adding each of them, you’ll see something like that:

Hover your cursor over an OS icon to see the full name of OS, or hover over a red flag to reveal the explicit list of problems with the asset. You’ll find other useful hints as well.

Finally, the fourth power at your disposal is Filters. You use them to hide assets. Offline assets, maybe. Or assets without alerts (in case you want to build an alerts report). Or all assets but Linux ones. Or virtual assets, if you don’t want any virtual hardware in your reports. Use the Filter button of an added Assistant to enable or disable filtering.

Sure enough, you may abuse your matchless powers as much as you like. Who are we to deny you that? You’ll end up with something like this, I guess:

That’s no big deal. The tree can easily be hidden with this little fellow: 

This was Donald Grizzly. I’m done blogging for today. Thanks for your time, enjoy our software and stay tuned for more cool stuff!


07 July 2011
Feature highlights, Releases, Total Network Inventory | Leave a comment

Feature highlight: The Scanner

I’m back again to showcase the new scanner. Like most other things in TNI 2, it’s easy to use and quite self-explanatory, but has some potential that is not at all that obvious. But first things first.

It’s not a wizard anymore. Not a Wizard — I could write a song with this title! Over the years we’ve grown sick and tired of those omnipresent step-by-step wizards that make you follow some unnatural screenplay by an invisible screenwriter while cut off from the rest of the program’s features. Not anymore. It’s a single screen just like the rest of screens: another place for you to do things.

It scans Mac OS X and Linux. Yeah, I believe you already knew that. Stay tuned for the news on FreeBSD support, soon.

It’s task-driven. You create tasks, the scanner executes them.

There is a number of ways to create a task, but the most powerful of them is to use the Quick Add bar.

Let me explain what it does. You type what you want to scan. It creates a task. Simple. Here is what you can type:

  • IP address, “192.168.0.13
  • Network name, “DEV_141
  • Subnet, “192.168.0.0/24”
  • IP range, “192.168.0.1-192.168.2.150” or “192.168.0.1,5,7” or, say, “192.168.0.1-150
  • Windows workgroup, “WG:MSHOME” (just don’t forget the “WG:” part)
  • Domain controller, “AD:10.0.0.1
  • LDAP notation, “LDAP://OU=Seattle,OU=Washington,OU=USA,DC=company,DC=local

Rescanning assets is another easy task. Just open the scanner and drag some assets to the task area directly from the network tree. Bam!

One of the most requested features is the ability to load tasks from text files. You can do it now. A file should contain one task per line. Look for the Load tasks from file button on the sidebar.

To wrap it up. Do you remember that awkward “Watch scan process” thing in TNI 1.6? We stumbled upon this label the other day and freaked out. We actually made you watch… we’re so sorry. Don’t watch scan process anymore. Scanner is great at doing its work in background. As soon as any node is scanned, you can work with it right away, no need to wait for the rest. They’ll be fine.

Don't watch scan process

Ok, we’re done with the scanner for the time being. Consult the user manual for more, if you will. And I just feel like writing some more today! Thus, welcome to the next post about the new network tree!


07 July 2011
News, Releases, Total Network Inventory | Leave a comment

We’re rolling!

Greetings, gentlemen! Donald Grizzly at the keyboard, hereby presenting you the new site and blog of Softinventive Lab! This blog, by the way, is totally worth subscribing to. It’s our new dev-log, pro-tips collection and the company herald. Why not subscribe?

You’ve probably noticed the new design of the site. Ah, pretty sea-green gradients. It makes you feel underwater, I guess… whatever. We’ve been making this from scratch, you know. We had some casualties here and there, but all in all we’re through, and we’re happy with it.

But wait, here comes the point.

We’re extremely proud to present

TNI 2

In case you don’t know, TNI stands for Total Network Inventory, and that’s exactly what the software does. The v.2 is brand new and shiny, rebuilt brick by brick from ground up. The only thing that’s left unchanged since v.1.6 is: it still doesn’t play lossless MP3. Everything else has changed. I mean it.

Let me clarify that a little. TNI 2 includes, but is not limited to:

  • New slick user interface. The clear concept of having a separate screen for each task will make your life with TNI 2 much easier.
  • New scanner. “New” as in “new from core to surface”. It now scans Mac OS X and Linux assets (FreeBSD coming soon, too). And it understands you at a glance: if you want something scanned, it will be scanned in no time. Just like that.
  • The network tree. It has never been so informative and vivid. It now acts as an ultimate dashboard that you can fine-tune to your heart’s desire. Display an OS icon next to every node, filter out all offline devices, use domain names, user names, asset tags or whatever you like for node titles, and I can go on forever.
  • New storage format. It’s 40 (forty) times smaller now. About 35 KB per asset. You can imagine traffic saves while scanning and gain of speed in report building. And we also have snapshots now.
  • Table reports are pure pleasure to set up: every last piece of data that is known about an asset can become part of a table report.
  • Instant search in network tree, screen reports, table reports, print previews, software accounting… speaking of which.
  • Software accounting. It’s a story of its own.

But as the song goes, words are meaningless and forgettable. Experience it!

Did you subscribe already? Oh, you did. Great, thanks. Phew. We can move on to the next post now. It’s the very first feature highlight of ours. I’m so nervous…