I am trying to apply asset data onto inventory data. For example, we have 400 computers currently online with a great deal more to come (mostly Windows but some Apples), I want to apply locational data from the computer asset type into the computer inventory so that when we call a report or I view the computer from inventory, we have locational data attached and filled in the asset field. Currently I can only do this manually by going to each individual computer and selecting the location, etc. from the fields that I created in computer assets.

I have some time to do that now to each individual computer, but I am an intern that the team hired because they don't have the time for it, "time for it" meaning they hired me to figure out their system and train them so they can quickly manage it once I leave. So once I leave they need to be able to import a csv into assets and then directly apply that onto the inventory.

I've spent only about 10 hours trying to learn this system so far, mostly trial and error and lots of whitepapers, but I can tell I am going have more questions in the future. So any tips, tricks, or pitfalls to make note of in addition to this advice are welcomed and appreciated.
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So is this forum going to be completely useless to me or what? I thought it was to be able to obtain help. But then I thought KACE support chat/email was too and those failed as well. I'll change the question: Does anyone know where I need to go to get an answer?
Answered 02/03/2012 by: Gearshock
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When dealing with Assets you are either doing a manual entry or importing the information in via a CSV file. There might be other ways using ticket rules to do updates but that might be a complex task and require services.

If you want to update information under Inventory, you will need to:

1. Populate the "location" table under Assets manually or through an Asset import
2. Once you have that you will need to somehow match the machine name to the location it belong to.
3. Using the Asset import function. You can take your CSV file with machine names and locations and import them into the computer asset table. Make sure to match name to name, location to location and then enable PK for the machine so we can match what you import to what is already there.
Answered 02/03/2012 by: nshah
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Are your computers tied to assets via the Computer asset type settings? When viewing a computer in the Inventory I can scroll down the bottom of the page and click the link for the Asset Information, which then shows the information for the related asset (in my case that includes the location). When running reports on the inventory that data can also be included. Unless you have another need I'm not sure what the use of having the location information tied to both the asset and the inventory record accomplishes.

If you do have a need for this, then it could be accomplished using ticket rules. The SQL you need to do that could be complicated, but it might be possible. Ticket rules can be used to make changes to other parts of the KACE database, it's just a matter of crafting the appropriately.
Answered 02/03/2012 by: steelc
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Sorry for the response delay, I don't have access on the weekends to the KACE and thus wouldn't be able to answer well.

Are your computers tied to assets via the Computer asset type settings?
To my understanding, yes. If I click a computer within inventory and go to asset info, it has the fields I created in the computer asset type (location, Service Tag, notes). I need a way to populate them en mass and I think nshah mentioned the proper way, using computer name or other unique identifier as a PK and having specific location associated with that identifier in the CSV file which I import and it will auto-populate. But, I did a test run with something like this and it seems that it just made duplicates in the assets, it had the computers that were there prior to trying to add locational data and the same computers but with location included which must have been created in the import.

When viewing a computer in the Inventory I can scroll down the bottom of the page and click the link for the Asset Information, which then shows the information for the related asset (in my case that includes the location). When running reports on the inventory that data can also be included. Unless you have another need I'm not sure what the use of having the location information tied to both the asset and the inventory record accomplishes.
So my next question is what good does having a specific location asset type do if I can place location info as part of the computer asset type? I'm really new to this and can't find much in the way of tutorials that explain what things are, just how to use them to a degree.
Answered 02/06/2012 by: Gearshock
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It's been a while since I imported assets, but it should show you a preview of the information it is importing. If it doesn't show that records will be updated then the primary key might not be matching correctly.

I find that the location asset type allows me to do the following:

  • When an asset is associated with a location, viewing that location shows all of the related assets. So when I view the Library location I get a list of all of the computers, printers, etc. in the Library.

  • I can rename a location and the data stays the same. I work at a college and sometimes building names change, not too often, but often enough that manually updating that information would be a nightmare. With the asset location type I can just rename it and all of the corresponding data is changed.
  • I have added other custom fields to the location asset type to help us track information about the locations. For instance, we assign a lead technician to each building and that data is now stored in KACE, which means I can use it for reporting purposes, or just have others reference it easily. I can also have a field that gives the Facilities Management code for each building, since they have their own nomenclature for speaking about buildings which we sometimes need but don't always remember. Now, it's in KACE and easily found by everyone.


In reply to your last comment, I find that the KACE system is flexible enough to allow you to devise multiple solutions to suit your specific needs. If using the location asset type doesn't work for you then you have the ability to setup your own custom field and use that instead.
Answered 02/06/2012 by: steelc
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Ok, that all makes good sense, thanks for taking the time to help me out here and sorry if any of this is overly simplistic, I really had no guidance for it; I was just plopped down and told to figure it out. I'm at a university too so maybe you will have more good insights along the way. Anything you wish you would've done when you were establishing things?

I think I have found how to relate things properly. I am under asset type details for computer and created a field for Asset Location. That appears to pull from the location assets that I've created and allows me to select from one of them. Does that sound like a good approach?
Answered 02/06/2012 by: Gearshock
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That sounds good, linking computer assets to location assets. That is how I have set up our computer assets.

Also, if you import and get duplicate assets, make sure you are checking at least one field as the PK on the import! This matches data in the import to existing data, so that the import will update the existing record instead of adding a new record.
Answered 02/06/2012 by: grayematter
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Cool, thanks for the reinforcement, it's nice to not be completely left to my own devices. :) So I should check PK on any matching fields that I want updated right? That seems to be the case anyhow.

Thanks for the help guys, I am sure I will have more questions soon so I hope you won't think "oh crap not this guy again".
Answered 02/06/2012 by: Gearshock
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ORIGINAL: Gearshock

Cool, thanks for the reinforcement, it's nice to not be completely left to my own devices. :) So I should check PK on any matching fields that I want updated right? That seems to be the case anyhow.

Thanks for the help guys, I am sure I will have more questions soon so I hope you won't think "oh crap not this guy again".


No, you should check PK as an attribute to match the record in KACE with the record imported, such as serial numbers for computers. If the PK field of an import record matches the mapped field in KACE, all of the fields mapped in the import will be updated. Any fields not mapped will remain as they were. If there is no record in KACE that matches the PK, a new asset record is created. Hope that helps.
Answered 02/14/2012 by: grayematter
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Yeah that does help clarify it. I sort of figured it out with some experimenting but having it laid out in words from someone who knows better is good. Thank you for clearing that up.
Answered 02/15/2012 by: Gearshock
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I'm new too and have found tons of very simple complications :) ...you asked for gotchas, so here is one I just had.
I really needed to do an export of our computers, and all fields, so I could make some mods, then import to update the assets in bulk...Just easier to do in excel, I guess...Anyway, you can't just get stuff displayed and then export to csv. That just gives you what you already see. Turns out, you have to run a report. I selected Asset - computer, and after a few tries, I had my data. Sweet! And I get to try to learn SQL code too...yeah :)

Just thought you may want to know in case you prefered to just start there, instead of starting where I did...the Assets page.
Answered 02/17/2012 by: MichAda
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Don't know how I didn't see this before, thanks for posting that. :)
Answered 03/14/2012 by: Gearshock
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