Preparations

For a successful configuration of the Snow XML connector, the contents of this section should be taken into consideration.

Data validation and verification

This section includes guidelines for converting data from a third party inventory system to Snow XML format.

General best practices

The data exported from the third party inventory solution should be checked to make sure it complies with Snow Software's hardware and software recognition standards. The best approach is to analyze the raw exported data from the third party inventory solution before it is converted to the Snow XML format. The final XML file should be validated regularly against the most current XSD schema file.

To avoid performance issues the queried, transported, and processed data must be limited to the required minimum of the processes in Snow Inventory, Snow License Manager and the connected tools.

Snow XML guidelines

For detailed information on the available elements and their descriptions, refer to the Snow XML schema definition schema.xsd document, which is located in the installation directory of the Snow Integration Manager.

The XSD schema defines example values for each element, tags, and the type of data that should be provided.

Some guidelines on how to use Snow XML:

  • Only one XML file should be produced per computer.

  • The Client element is mandatory. All other elements are optional.

  • If an optional element is added, the mandatory tags for that element must be included in the XML file.

  • Occurrence indicators are used as follows:

    • maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="1"

      This indicates that the element is mandatory and that there can only be a single instance of that element in the entire XML file.

      Example 26.

      Device Name



    • maxOccurs="1" minOccurs="0"

      This indicates that the element is optional but if provided, there can only be a single instance of the element.

      Example 27.

      Operating System



    • maxOccurs="unbounded" minOccurs="0"

      This indicates that the element is optional and that there can be multiple instances of the element.

      Example 28.

      Installed applications of the device



  • The Date format should be yyyy-MM-ddTHH:mm:ss.

  • The elements and tags should be in the same order as stated in the XSD schema.

  • If a value for a mandatory tag is not available in the source inventory solution, then it should be added with a value of 0.

    Example 29.

    <filepath>0</filepath>



  • Custom data types are defined at the end of the schema file.

Applications recognition requirements

The information about the installed applications must be reported as either raw inventoried data or pre-recognized data, otherwise the applications may not be displayed correctly in Snow License Manager.

  • Raw inventoried data

    This alternative should be used when the source that the Snow XML connector retrieves the data from is able to perform a full inventory file scan that provides the same type of data as Snow Inventory Agents, for example executables and registry keys. This will automatically match the predefined software recognition rules in Snow License Manager and the normalized applications will automatically be displayed in Snow Licence Manager.

    Example 30. Application with executable information
    <Software Manufacturer="Microsoft Corporation" InstallDate="2018-12-12 17:08:00" Name="Internet Explorer" PathName="C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" Version="11.00" IsRecognized="(n/a)" FileSize="823560" FullVersion="11.00.17134.1" LanguageName="English (United States)" IsLocal="1" FileDateTime="2018-12-12 17:08:00" /> 


  • Pre-recognized data

    Pre-recognized data consists of entries from the source’s recognized software catalog. Those entries have some level of recognition, which means it will provide a standardized name, manufacturer, version and edition of the product. That data is later linked to the corresponding applications in the Snow SRS (Software Recognition Service) database. It is not possible to create custom recognition rules for recognized software.

    Example 31. Application from source software catalog (“IsRecognized =1”)
    <Software Manufacturer=" Microsoft Corporation" Name="Internet Explorer" Version="11.0" IsRecognized="1" FullVersion="11.0" /> 


After processing, the data is displayed in the Snow Inventory Server user interface.

  • Raw inventoried data is found under Computer/Software/Installed application.

  • Pre-recognized data is found under Computer/Software/Pre-recognized applications.

Best practice is to only process executables with the file name extension .exe, and skip all other files. To save performance, Windows updates, drivers, and Windows components may be excluded from the processing.

In summary, how the data should be treated in the Snow XML connector depends on the capabilities of the source inventory solution. If it is unclear how it should be treated, please contact Snow support.

Data identity management

When the Snow XML connector is used for adding additional data to the existing inventory data in Snow License Manager, there are some guidelines that should be followed to properly merge or append the additional data. For more information refer to Snow Integration Manager.

Conversion to Snow XML files

There are several ways to convert the exported data from the source inventory solution to Snow XML files, for example by using PowerShell, TSQL or Phyton.

Contact your local Snow representative to discuss the different possibilities when you want to use the Snow XML as the only option.

Data processing flow

The diagram below shows the flow of inventory data from the source inventory system to Snow License Manager.

SnowXMLDataProcessingFlow.png

For each step a log is kept, which can be used for troubleshooting purposes. The log files are available here, per default:

  • Snow XML Connector: C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Logs\Snow Integration Manager

  • Snow Inventory Server: %:\ProgramData\SnowSoftware\Inventory\Server

  • Data Update Job (DUJ): %:\Program Files\Snow Software\Logs\UpdateService