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ChangeBASE 6.2.2 - User Guide

Introduction Before You Start... Installing ChangeBASE Configuring ChangeBASE The Pre-Loading of Packages into ChangeBASE Import Options Applications Options Checks Options Dependency and Conflict Checker Dashboard Reporting Repackaging and Virtualization Web Capture

Working with External Data

Working with External Data Sources

Creating links to external data sources allows you to expand your application assessment to include information on how the applications are being used (such as the number of users per application, the frequency of their access, whether there is a duplication of users or products, the last time the application was accessed, and so on).

Once the link has been created, it will be maintained and refreshed to ensure that the most up-to-date data is used within custom checks and for reports. For example, you may want to create a custom check that looks for applications that have not been accessed for a considerable amount of time as this may indicate they are no longer required. Tapping into external data gives you insights to help plan for migration projects.

The External window allows you to access the data stored by an external application assessment tool and create links to the applications currently being assessed by ChangeBASE. As long as the data is stored within a SQL database or available from an .csv file, it can be linked to packages.

To create a link to external data

  1. Enter a name for the external data link file.
  2. From the Data Source tab, select whether you want to import the data from a SQL server database or from an .CSV file.
    1. If you select SQL server:
      1. Enter the name of the SQL server that you want to connect to.
      2. Enter the database that contains the external data.
      3. Port 1433 is used by default, but if required enter another port.
      4. Select the required authentication and credentials.
      5. Click Test Connectivity to ensure you can access the database.
    2. If you select CSV:
      1. Enter the file name and select Test Availabilityy to ensure you can access the data. The filename must be entered as a unc path, and must be accessible to the service account.
  3. From the Query tab, enter a SQL query to return the information required to match packages to the external data source.
  4. Save your changes.
  5. Click Refresh to execute the query.

    The external data sources and the available content will be listed on the right side of the screen.

  6. From the Fields tab, define the data that you want to use to match the external data to the equivalent in ChangeBASE. Select the fields that you want to import into your ChangeBASE database.
  7. From the Matching tab, select one or more fields to configure how you want the external data to match the packages stored in ChangeBASE. Select a field from the ChangeBASE database, along with a corresponding field from the external source. Associate a weighting to this match. Add further field pairs, as appropriate. ChangeBASE will attempt to match the defined pairs. The sum of the matching weightings must equal or exceed the specified threshold.
    1. Select the threshold at which a match must meet or exceed to have the link created from the drop-down list.

      Note: You have the option of configuring the match criteria either through the Designer or through a PowerShell script. We will assume the use of the Designer for this procedure.

    2. Click Add to select the match criteria for the ChangeBASE field to its equivalent in the external data source. (Click in the columns to enable the field selection.)

    3. Select whether case should be considered and provide the weight associated with each match.
    4. Click Test to evaluate your selection.
    5. Add and remove match criteria as required.
  8. Once you are satisfied with the selections select the Enabled option, and click Link to store the external data and links in ChangeBASE and make the information visible for all users.
  9. You can ensure that you are working with up-to-date data by configuring a periodic refresh of the data links through the Refresh Period option. As well, you can configure the it to occur at a convenient time through the Preferred Execution Time option.

Once the configuration is complete and the data links are established, you can make use of the data through:

 

 

 

The Pre-Loading of Packages into ChangeBASE

MSIs (Windows Installer files), and, provided that Auto Select Single Transforms remains selected in Import Settings, any associated Transform files (MSTs), are detected automatically in any sources that you set up (including SCCM) and are automatically pre-loaded into the Import Options. Once the files have been pre-loaded, they can then be selectively imported, whereupon they are automatically assessed against all the checks in the assessment groups that you selected via Platform Setup and the Platform Settings, and given RAG statuses.

Note: Any Web capture files (refer to Web Crawler) in your Package Sources, are also automatically pre-loaded ready for import and assessment.

With regard to other files types, for example EXE, VBS, BAT or CMD files that are used to install legacy applications, you can pre-load them into the Import window using either a CSV file (refer to CSV Import), or via an SCCM server (refer to Configuring New SCCM Server Access and SCCM Options).

Once these non-MSI files have been selectively imported into the Applications Options, they will be marked as unassessed (indicated by a gray status in both this window and Dashboard). They will need to be selectively repackaged in ChangeBASE - via Virtual Machines into MSIs - and then re-imported, before they can be given a non-gray RAG assessment.

Import Options

The Import window allows you to see which files, including Transforms, have been pre-loaded from the various Package Sources, and to import them selectively into ChangeBASE.

Any File System Package Source is simultaneously updated as new packages are added to it.

A in the Import window indicates that a package has previously been imported, with any import issues shown in the right hand Severity panel.

Note: If you have a CSV Package Source, you can, if required, keep using the same source, by updating the CSV file that is associated with it (the file's path is shown at the bottom of the ChangeBASE screen), by for example adding extra packages. Provided that the associated Package Source is open in the Import window, you can click the Refresh button that now appears in the window, to load the additional packages from the CSV file.

If a file has been deleted from a CSV Package Source in the Import window, but not from the CSV file, it will be re-imported from the CSV file during a Refresh.

To import pre-loaded packages into ChangeBASE

  1. From the Import window, select the tab for the required source.
  2. In the Status column, check the packages to be imported. You can hold down the [Shift] or [Ctrl] key in order to highlight multiple items, and then press the space bar to select and deselect the highlighted items.
  3. Once the required packages are selected, click Import at the top of the screen.

    You will see progress bars in the Progress column, and a spinning icon in the Status column, while the packages are being imported, and then a against each successfully imported package.

  4. If any import warnings were generated, then the severity is indicated in the Import Warnings column. To export the log of import issues for a particular application, to a text file, highlight the ticked application and click Export Log at the top of the screen.
  5. To delete an item that has yet to be imported, select it and then click Delete at the top of the screen.
  6. If required, you can right-click on the arrow to the right of Select, to do one of the following: select All packages simultaneously, select None simultaneously, or Invert your current selections.
  7. If you wish to filter packages by Status, click the pin in the Status column, and select from the following:

    If, for example, only is selected, then only the imported packages are displayed, as shown by the filter at the bottom of the screen:

     

    The available Status numbers are:

      • None=0
      • Deleted=1
      • Queued=2
      • Loading=3
      • Loaded=4
      • LoadFailed=5
      • LoadedNotAssessed=6

    So, for example, to remove any unsuccessful jobs from the window, set Status to Does not equal 5, using the instructions below.

    You can also filter the items by right-clicking on any column header and selecting Filter Editor. This allows you to enter queries that determine which items are displayed.

    If you want to amend the search criteria, click on the right of the bottom row, to bring up the Filter Editor. To clear the filter, click the adjacent cross .

    Figure 1: Filter Editor

    Note: You can access the same screen by selecting Filter Editor from the right-click menu for any of the column headers.

    Figure 2: Column Context Menu

    The Filter Editor allows you to define exactly what you want to be displayed. Click to display new rows, and then click on the colored hyperlinks to make your selections within those rows. Click Apply to keep your selections while keeping the dialog open, or OK to keep your selections and close the dialog.

    To sort the items by a particular column, click the column header, and then again to reverse the order.

    Alternatively, right-click in the column header and select Sort Ascending and Sort Descending as required.

Note: The filters are refreshed during pre-loading and import so that all relevant new activity is displayed.

If you want to search for a particular item, right-click on a header and select Show Search Panel. A search box appears above the display.

If you now want to load some more files from another source, either click the empty tab immediately to the right of the current Package Source, or go to Package Source Settings under the Configuring Required Settings, in order to display the Package Source Type screen. Proceed in accordance with Package Source Settings.

To manage the imported applications, go to the Applications Options.

Troubleshooting - Import

Troubleshooting - Packages fail to Import

Symptoms: The is displayed when you attempt to import a package.

Figure 3: Severity/Time/Text Table for Package that has Failed to Import

The most basic reason for a failure to import is that you may have exceeded your licensed number of packages. If you have received an error message to this effect, proceed according to the instructions shown in Unlicensed Number of Packages. Otherwise, there are various other checks that you can carry out:

  • Are Security settings preventing package import? Verify in Roles (refer to Manage Users and Roles) that your user role has permission for Import from File System.
  • Click Export Log at the top of the screen (to send the log to a text file), or, having highlighted the required error in the Import window, open up the Severity/Time/Text table on the right of the window. Go to the point at which the package failed to load and trace back the previous steps to establish the cause.
  • Is it a duplicate? This information is stored in the log file. Refer to Duplicate Package.
  • Verify that the application installs on your current version of Windows.
  • Verify that the application has access to its required files, for example external Cabinet Files (CABs).
  • Verify that the application loads into Orca and/or MSI Studio and/or WISE/Installshield, and apply the associated MST file. If you are unable to do this in Orca, you can suppress the Transform validation flags and errors in the Options menu within Orca. If the package loads now that the validation flags and errors are switched off, then you should be able to check Suppress Transform Validation within Settings > Product > Import Settings in ChangeBASE to load the MSI with the MST. If the MSI and MST combination still do not load, try the MSI on its own.
  • Verify the MSI Media table entries in MSI Studio or Orca. Invalid sequences, duplicate CAB names and other invalid MSI entries can all cause ChangeBASE to fail to load packages. If a Transform is being applied, remember to apply the Transform in MSI Studio or Orca too. Invalid media table directives may also cause ChangeBASE to fail during load. It is recommended that you obtain the correct source media to resolve this issue.
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