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Microsoft

Universal Inventory - Troubleshooting and Additional Tips - Updated 08/08

Hello IAM 2018 Community!

We have gathered some information to assess you troubleshoot some common UI items that we have been seeing coming trough our Support tickets.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other questions and if you think topics like this one are helpful!

  • UI Installation:
  1. Be sure the user installing UI on the customer environment has local admin rights.
  2. (NEW) The current build works only on an English install of Windows. The best practice is to install on a new (virtual) machine with an English version of Windows.
  3. The machine where UI will be installed can be either a Windows Server or Windows Client, but it is recommended to ask for a machine with newly  deployed Windows Server or Windows Client), as long as it has the necessary memory & cores described on the User Guide, to operate normally. If the customer cannot provide it, ask for a clean Virtual Machine.
  4. Create a user in the local user database for the Service Account. This is possible in a Windows Client (via Computer Management > Local Users & Groups > Users) or on a Windows Server (via Computer Management > Local Users & Groups > Users). If you cannot follow this procedure due to local rights, you should create a Virtual Machine where you can do it, or ask your local IT to create the local user or directly install UI for you.
  5. The IAM Encryption and Decription Tool has a shortcut installed on the desktop when going through the User Guide installation process, after installation you an also find it in %ProgramFiles%\UniversalInventory\IAMEDT\IAMEDT.exe.

 

  • Scanning Inventory Data Using MAP Toolkit:
  1. A LocalDB of MAP is not the same as a full SQL Express or SQL. A LocalDB uses the user that did the MAP installation as the owner of the LocalDB. This means it is standard not reachable via the Service Account of UI (as that account has no rights to the localDB). The procedure on how to make it work is available but we highly recommend to use SQL Express instead of LocalDB since it will save you some hassles.
  2. MAP Toolkit should be installed on a SQL Express database with instance named MAPS and using the standard collation string “SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS”, if this is not the standard used to collect the database, MAP should be updated or you can use one of the 3 scripts we have provided, contact support for scripts and instruction or have a look at the Technet Guide.
  3. (NEW) It is to be expected that Projects are gone when the service is completely uninstalled and then re-installed, even when 'Also remove all inventory data' is unchecked. Projects are only preserved during an upgrade. The inventory data however is still there. The checkbox in the installer allows user to access their inventory databases (called UI_xxx) with other tools or for archival after uninstalling UI. The user can access his data with e.g. SQL Management Studio, Excel... But the installer does not 'automagically pick up' any existing UI_xxx databases during a fresh install.

 

  • Generating CIDC Using UI:
  1. Multiple datasources to be gathered: If the customer has MAP & Vcenter, the partner needs to run the UI Project against the 2 different datasources otherwise they will have warnings, errors and an incorrect CIDC.
  2. Manual updates of the Inventory data are not possible through UI. Be sure the inventory source collects the correct set of information. Universal Inventory has been built to work with quality data and is not an engine with the intent to modify customer data.
  3. Currently the Exclude feature in “Verify” stage will add to the CIDC “Note” column the word “Excluded:” and the reason selected. It also decreases the counts on Sheet G of the CIDC. It will not automatically exclude that item from your final CIDC due to reason described on the topic above. 
  4. The SNOW Refinement application can only be activated and used by a “Microsoft Work or School” account and not via a Microsoft Live ID.
  5. The SNOW Refinement application might need 24 hours to normalize a few applications, please check last column of your CIDC (in any sheet), if a row says “Not Normalized”, please wait 24 hours and run the SNOW Refinement application again.

 

  • New SAM Partners to integrate with UI: 
  1. If you know of a SAM Tool/Service Vendor that would like to integrated their application with Universal Inventory, please forward the UI ISV Onboarding Process document or have they contact SAM-UI@microsoft.com directly for more information

For more training resources, please access AKA.MS/SAMIAM.

For any additional UI and IAM 2018 Support, please reach out to IAMSupport@microsoft.com.


Accepted Solutions
Microsoft

Re: Universal Inventory - Troubleshooting and Additional Tips

Thank you for the questions.

The next version publish of Universal Inventory, which will come shortly in a matter of weeks, will already contain an update and will make the uninstall feature available.

As for your second question regarding the requirements of the CIDC, this should be checked under the "create CIDC" section. If there are error messages on the screen right next to the "Create CIDC" button, it shows that some of your data does not contain the minimum data quality standard suggested by Microsoft. The UI app does not block you from till creating your CIDc even with errors, but we always suggest that the errors should be solved to make sure we are able to deliver high quality insights to the Customer based on our IAM data.

Also, if you can and would like to give me more information regarding the tool you are using, that will help me give you a more detailed answer to your case!

Have a good day!

 


All Replies
Level 2 Contributor

Re: Universal Inventory - Troubleshooting and Additional Tips

Hi Beatriz,


Just a couple of follow-up questions and comments;

"Currently there is no uninstallation capability in UI. Contact IAM Support for guidance if it is necessary to remove it"

That is an issue for some of our customers, when will there be an uninstall and what is the current process if we were to contact IAM support?

Also, what is the minimum requirement for a CIDC, seeing that we are increasingly using one scan for a VE and the tool used is not necessarily one of those that can be "pulled" into UI (it is one that can be "pushed")?

Microsoft

Re: Universal Inventory - Troubleshooting and Additional Tips

Thank you for the questions.

The next version publish of Universal Inventory, which will come shortly in a matter of weeks, will already contain an update and will make the uninstall feature available.

As for your second question regarding the requirements of the CIDC, this should be checked under the "create CIDC" section. If there are error messages on the screen right next to the "Create CIDC" button, it shows that some of your data does not contain the minimum data quality standard suggested by Microsoft. The UI app does not block you from till creating your CIDc even with errors, but we always suggest that the errors should be solved to make sure we are able to deliver high quality insights to the Customer based on our IAM data.

Also, if you can and would like to give me more information regarding the tool you are using, that will help me give you a more detailed answer to your case!

Have a good day!

 

Level 2 Contributor

Re: Universal Inventory - Troubleshooting and Additional Tips

Thanks you for your answer.

It could be any tool really, but right now it's Movere we are manually importing into UI.

Level 2 Contributor

Re: Universal Inventory - Troubleshooting and Additional Tips

 Is the below, marked in red, also something we can expect in this next release?

1. Download the content of Universal Inventory, which is an application called "UI_Setup". Once you run it, it will install two different client apps on the computer: Universal Inventory and the IAM Encryption/Decryption Tool.

NOTE: The installation of UI must be done on Customers domain, so Partners should download the UI package through the Step 2 and hand it over to Customer to run install in their domain, or the Partner must be granted access to Customer’s domain for installation. This might change soon in the future so keep an eye on our IAM communications.

Microsoft

Re: Universal Inventory - Troubleshooting and Additional Tips

Hello Hindberg,

Well in this case let us know if you have got any more specific questions related to your push/pull tools and we will be able to assist!

Yes, we plan on changing the way customers and partners download UI with the release of the next version..

Best,

Bea

Level 3 Contributor

Re: Universal Inventory - Troubleshooting and Additional Tips

Though the tips are very helpful, still the technical and skills requirements to set things up go beyond most SAM consultants. No only ours, but that's what is heard from a lot of SAM partners. Too bad, because the change from workspace to I-AM is more than welcome as everybody knows. Any other thoughts on high level of tech required to set up SQL Server, I-AM inventory and so on?

Level 2 Contributor

Re: Universal Inventory - Troubleshooting and Additional Tips

I agree, the whole setup is pretty cumbersome and not very intuitive, especially the SQL part. However, most customers manages, some with a bit of assistance from us.

My real "issue" is that the customer does not see the real benefit of this and expect it to be something we provide. Obviously we want to spend as many of the hours allocated, on the analyse part, rather than on installing and running different tools.

Tools are a big part of what we do and therefore they need to intergrate with each other, IAM can be a part of that but we are not there yet.

 

Level 1 Contributor

Re: Universal Inventory - Troubleshooting and Additional Tips - Updated 7/3

Hi,

I'm trying to configure IAM with MAP localDB and you say its possible and documented:

  1. A LocalDB of MAP is not the same as a full SQL Express or SQL. A LocalDB uses the user that did the MAP installation as the owner of the LocalDB. This means it is standard not reachable via the Service Account of UI (as that account has no rights to the localDB). The procedure on how to make it work is available but we highly recommend to use SQL Express instead of LocalDB since it will save you some hassles.

The question is where exactly is it document how to do that.

One more question, does the tool provide any logs? and if so, where to find them.

Level 1 Contributor

Re: Universal Inventory - Troubleshooting and Additional Tips - Updated 7/3

Well I managed to solve the issue of connecting to LocalDB and documented it on my blog:

http://www.itbl0b.com/2018/07/configuring-universal-inventory-to-work-with-a-localdb-map.html/

as for the second question (log files) would love to hear from the product team.

Microsoft

Re: Universal Inventory - Troubleshooting and Additional Tips - Updated 7/3

Hello Yury, thank you for your post on your blog and for contributing for our community! 

As for your question regarding the log files:

The log file is in a subfolder called \Logs of the Work Folder. The location of the Work Folder is asked during installation.

Let me know in case you are not able to find it! 

 

Microsoft

Re: Universal Inventory - Troubleshooting and Additional Tips

Hello,

Thank you all for your feedback and contributions.

We are working on next iterations of the Universal Inventory to simplify this installation process and the whole SQL configuration, so hopefully this will make it easier for Customers using UI and will allow them to understand better the value of capturing their data through UI.

Not sure you have seen the news, but we have already published the very first update to UI (link below), which already solves bugs and enhances users privacy..

I suggest you try it out and let us know if the experience has improved and what are your comments for improvements on the next updates! 

https://www.microsoftpartnercommunity.com/t5/Universal-Inventory/IAM-Update-Download-NOW-Universal-Inventory-v1-1/m-p/5632#M14

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Universal Inventory - Troubleshooting and Additional Tips - Updated 7/3

Hi Yury,

In most cases, the database hosting MAP is, as you said, a localDb instance.

From a technical standpoint, the MAP localDb instance is tied to the Map Toolkit application because the database engine isn't running as a service. It starts on demand and under the context of the user running the MAP Toolkit application.

That situation has pros and cons : you can integrate the database into the application you want to publish and make it really portable, but...

The downside is that other products or applications (e.g. Universal Inventory) have a hard time accessing your localDb instance, especially when Map Toolkit is not running, and it's even worse when the other application (e.g. Universal Inventory) is running under a service account context...

You can see this behaviour by closing Map Toolkit and checking the status of the localDb instance on your computer (sqllocaldb info maptoolkit in a command prompt). You should see the state of the instance change from running, when Map is running to stopped, after closing Map, unless the database is used by another application.

Added to this, localDb doesn't have an sa account enabled by default so, unless you're impersonating the current user, good luck trying to connect with a service account to the Map database and zero configuration on the localDb instance...

Long story short, after long hours of discussions, headaches, tests and considering the dependency with Map, the product team decided to advise having a Map setup where the Map database is hosted on a Sql engine (e.g. Sql Express).

We know it's not the most widely spread use case, so a documentation and a script is available for customers requiring assistance with the configuration of the Map localDb instance.

I attached the documentation and the script to this post, please have a look and let me know your feedback !

 

Level 1 Contributor

Re: Universal Inventory - Troubleshooting and Additional Tips - Updated 7/3

Hi Alain,

The script and the docs look great! wish i had them before trying to figure it by my self :-)

 

Level 1 Contributor

Re: Universal Inventory - Troubleshooting and Additional Tips

@Peter_van_Uden,

We are well aware of the fact that Universal Inventory is a technical step up from WorkSpace. But you know also from experience that the IT staff of an organization often is surprised when we show them the actual number of computer accounts, VMs, or SQL Server installations that turn up in their infrastructure. A correct inventory requires data collection directly from the source. Moreover, a complete inventory requires correlating data from various sources. With virtualization, containerization, hybrid data centers, and mobile devices, this becomes ever more complex. Finally Universal Inventory must work in many environments: in workgroups with a couple of dozen worksations, and multi-domain enterprises with complex security policies.

In other words, gathering correct data requires a minimum of technical insight. WorkSpace also was a technical step up from the manual collection and scripts used previously. Remember the time when Microsoft tried to include SCCM certification with the SAM Partner competency? Nevertheless, we also realize that this gap is not easily closed. That is why the SCCM certification never was enforced.

With Universal Inventory we continue to strive to close that gap. One of the objectives of Universal Inventory is to allow SAM consultants to gather more, and more accurate data with less effort. We're not there yet, we do have teething problems. This is only a first iteration. Universal Inventory was only introduced on the 1st of May. We think the elimination of Step 1 is a step in the right direction. But we will continue to make it easier to install Universal Inventory, connect to various sources of data, maintain and exploit an accurate inventory, export to value providers, and report to Microsoft. In order to do so we need feedback and suggestions from partners like yourself to turn Universal Inventory into a tool that facilitates your job.

Universal Inventory was implemented as Window service for several reasons, a.o. to make it easier to keep the inventory up to date, and to allow for integration with other tools. But running UI in the security context of a service account complicated the connection to a localdb, which is only accessible from the user context that launched it. We will solve that issue. Meanwhile there are two possible workarounds: use Maptoolkit's feature to backup its db and restore it on the UI database server. Or, if you have the opportunity to install Maptoolkit yourself, install a MAPS SQL Server instance.

I hope this helps.