Network Management / Inventory Tab
This tab provides access to the various different features of the software which help the user build and maintain an effective records database by poling nodes for information and organizing that information in the desired order. The first tool offered is the Scan wizard. This routine searches for undocumented network assets, and is also documented on the installation page.
Clicking on the Wizard icon or using the shortcut (Ctrl+W) will launch the scanning wizard.
The second icon on the Inventory tab prompts a menu which offers several of the advanced scanning methods designed specifically to add new assets to existing databases.
It can be accessed with the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+N) and offers both targeted scanning options and the ability to manually create new asset records without a scan. The importing of data from other sources is also possible using this menu.
The third selection available under the Inventory tab is the Export Audit Agent wizard.
When this wizard is launched, it offers the user several different types of remote agent code which can be deployed either manually or automatically to asset nodes which are incapable of effective scanning using the regular scan protocol.
The next icon provides a quick and convenient way to import nodes from existing sets of Network Inventory Advisor formatted data.
When triggered, it launches an OS folder-browsing window in which the user may specify where the data from other scans is located.
There are three additional horizontal options in the first block of the Inventory tab. The first of these is the Manage nodes menu.
Using this menu, the user can arrange the relationships shared by different nodes in the network tree.
The second option provides the capability to directly rename a given node. It is only active when a node in the Network Structure pane is selected; at other times, it will be grayed out.
The final option in the first block of the Inventory tab provides other tools for managing network structure data sets.
Clicking on the option will present a menu of importing, customizing and saving options.
The second block of the Inventory ribbon provides access to tools which allow an administrator to poll known nodes for updated information. The first option offered allows for the scanning of all known nodes at once.
A drop down menu gives the option of forcing re-scans whenever required.
This block also offers three narrower scanning options. The first allows the user to scan only the host computer for updates.
The second option allows the user to scan whichever node is currently selected in the network tree.
The third option allows for scanning of a currently unlisted asset. New assets can be added via IP address or network name.
The next icon on the Inventory tab allows for scheduled scanning. By automating scanning at regular intervals, it can ensure that your network snapshot stays up to day.
The network summary icon is located by itself in the third block of the Inventory tab. Clicking on it will replace the detailed view of individual assets in the view pane with a summary screen outlining the various nodes being tracked.
There are three smaller icons next to the Network Summary icon. They allow the user to perform regular functions relating to the report. The first is a refresh icon, which acts in the same manner as Function key 5. It updates the contents of the summary being displayed by re-scanning and re-generating as required.
The second icon is shapes like an alarm bell. It provides access to a report which is specifically focused on relaying alerts and inconsistencies encountered during the rendering of the last network snapshot.
The third icon is that of a magnifying glass. It provides access to a search function which allows the user to locate text or other string-identified content in the current report.
The final cluster of tools on the Inventory bar occupies the extreme right-hand end of the fourth block. The first of these is the Export this now icon, which provides access to the exporting menu.
This menu allows the entire contents of the current snapshot to be exported in a wide variety of different data formats.
The Print option is the second in this group. It allows for hard-copy logs to be exported via the local terminal’s printer or over available network printing assets.
The menu which it provides allows either direct printing or page setup options.
The final icon on the Inventory tab provides access to the software’s many settings.
When the user clicks on the settings icon (or uses Function key 9) the settings browser will load in its own window. The different headings available are listed down the left-hand side of the browser, and can be accessed by clicking with the left mouse button. The first heading is General, and it provides users with the opportunity to adjust some wide-ranging performance characteristics.
The second option in the settings browser allows the user to stipulate connection-related particular.
The third option allows the management of login certifications. Username and Password fields for different nodes in the system can be managed here.
The fourth heading in the browser offers a number of select-able extensions which can further enhance or inhibit the software’s performance when building results from completed scans.
The fifth heading in the settings browser is designed to allow users to customize the presentation of reports, how they look and where they are emailed from when auto-generated.
The Alerts heading controls which types of detected network events are noteworthy. These settings will affect when Network Inventory Advisor attempts to notify the user of an emergent network condition.
The Snapshots heading offers an automated mechanism whereby older network snapshots can be removed from storage as they are replaced with updated information.
The Repository heading allows users to configure the Central Repository used for storing and aggregating data from multiple, independent scan agents. Assets that are unable to be scanned in the conventional manner use the Central Repository to report their condition when Network Inventory Advisor is offline or otherwise unavailable.
The next heading in the Settings browser allow the user to decide which scan-able and report-able elements from Windows-based assets should be included in the reports Network Inventory Advisor generates.
The SNMP Heading offers access to settings relating to non-computer assets which share the use of the same IP space as your network.
The Custom fields heading allows users to add additional data fields of their own design to be tracked across all assets in the database.
Finally, the Software audit heading allows the user to select which software suites to itemize during reporting.
In addition to the various tools arranged across the top of the Inventory tab, there are several other ways to interact with the data on the inventory screen. The first of these is right-clicking in the Network Structure pane. This will bring up a context-sensitive menu allowing the user to directly modify the selected asset in a variety of different ways.
Right clicking on the other pane will bring up a different menu, one designed to facilitate acting on discovered information (by exporting or printing it) and updating information immediately.
Furthermore, the upper left-hand corner of the screen provides easy access to a main menu which provides overlord options for the entire application.