Inventory User Document

Logging in

The inventory system is available at https://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/cscf/internal/inventory/ for current *CF staff. Your UWDir password will get you into the system from that URL. Logins last 1 day.

If you follow a URL pointing at an inventory item, such as from inside ST, you will first have to log in to the inventory system to view the URL.

Search for Existing Equipment

After logging in, the main screen has search functions to find the item you're looking for. For most searches, type in the top-left text field and hit "return" to search- it will find data in any field which contains the search term.

The default search type, "contains," puts wildcards around the word. Re-direct the search from "contains" to "starts with," "ends with," "is," and "is not" with the pull-down directly to the left of the search. "is" and "is not" do an exact-string search without wildcards. "excludes" does an exclusion-search with wildcards.

For search types other than "is" and "is not", put wildcards within words using "%" ("CS%8" will match "CS123458").

Valid Data

Room numbers are in AAnnnn[a] format (two alpha, four numbers, and one optional alpha).

Dates are recorded in numeric year-month-day format ("2007-06-27").

MAC addresses are recorded in hh:hh:hh:hh:hh:hh format. For editing data, any format with the proper number of hex characters will be accepted and converted to this format.

Search Results

A search will either result in a list of matches, or the single item if there is only one match. See the "Item" section below if there is one match.

The list of items has sortable columns for Barcode, Type, Model, Location, Hostname, and whether the item is Active. The default search is by barcode. Re-sort by a column's alpha order by selecting the up-arrow by a column (then by inverse alpha, by selecting the down arrow).

You can show more search results than the default (30) with "Show [box] results per page."

Linking to search results

You can link to search results in other webpages by copying and pasting the search URL. When linking, the user will be asked to log in and the search will be re-displayed on successful login.

Examples:

Link to a barcode with the URL-ending (replacing SC000170 with your item barcode) : search.php?sbarcode=SC000170&page=1 Link to a room-number with the URL-ending : search.php?sRoom=DC2555&page=1

Generate CSV for Search Results

The search output page has a "CSV Search Results" button next to "Show [ ] results per page."

It will produce a header line and one line of output for every search result, supplying all data you can edit for the records. This can be saved to a .csv file and opened in a spreadsheet, edited by hand, and/or copied and pasted into the "Mass Add" feature (in "More Options" in the menu bar; and as described below under "Mass Add.")

Note that three fields must be unique per item: Barcode, hostname (optional), and IP address (optional).

Searching Specific Fields

Restrict the search to particular types of equipment using the "short query" section below, for:

  • Barcode
  • Room
  • Fixed Asset Tag
  • Hostname
  • IP Address
  • Mac Address
  • Serial Number
  • Purchase Order
  • Attached to Barcode
  • Account number

Searching Specific Fields: Complex Searches

You may search for "has this property but not that property" by combining a "contains" search with a "excludes" search; such as "model includes G4 Cube" and "comments excludes decommissioned".

If you have more specific search terms, you can query any of the fields in the database using the "long query" link at the centre-top of the "short query" page.

Finally, you can dump the CSV for search results (described below) to perform queries on the search results using command-line tools or in a spreadsheet program such as Excel.

Complex Searches for a List of Items

There is a three-step process for performing a search on an arbitrary list of items chosen by barcode, IP address, serial number, or pKey. The result of this search can be a .csv of data on matching records, to be used in other programs.

Note that if you are doing a search on barcodes or rooms for evergreening purposes, you may prefer the feature #Summary_of_Barcodes_and_Rooms_Se below.

  1. ) Perform a "Mass Edit" on your list of barcodes/IP addresses/serial numbers/pKeys. You will use your search-term as the first column, and "Special" as the second column. Fill in a unique value string for the second term, such as today's date.
  2. ) Perform a regular search for your unique value string, and choose the "CSV" output option. Save your data.
  3. ) Perform another "Mass Edit" to set Special to NULL again.

An example:

You want to search for IP addresses: 129.97.15.1, 129.97.152.2, 129.97.83.3

1) mass-edit:

ipAddress, Special
129.97.15.1, 2009Apr10
129.97.152.2, 2009Apr10
129.97.83.3, 2009Apr10

2) search for "2009Apr10". The match will only be your selections. Do what you like with them.

3) mass-edit:

ipAddress, Special
129.97.15.1, NULL
129.97.152.2, NULL
29.97.83.3, NULL

Deleting Items, Viewing by Room, and Mass Actions

Certain actions are available if the user has permission to delete or perform mass actions (mass-add and mass-edit).

Deleting Items

The search result page also has a column with a trash-can for each item; selecting it will show a popup dialog asking for confirmation. "Yes" means the object is permanently deleted from the database.

On an item's view page, there is an equivalent trash-can icon at the right-hand side of the page. (See the "View Item" section below for more information about viewing items.)

Viewing by Room

When doing an inventory room-by-room, there is a streamlined process for entering/viewing all barcodes found in a room.

From any page, choosing "More Actions" will show a page with the option to "Enter Room Number". A valid room number (as above in "Valid Data") will show the "Room" page, which prominently shows a barcode field. Workflow is usually to use the barcode scanner to scan each barcode in the room, which automatically shows a result for each scan; when done, go on to the next room.

The Room page has options at the top to: "Change Room," "Enter Barcode," "View Contents," "Search DB," and "Logout". "Change Room" is self-explanatory, as is "Logout."

"Search DB" brings up the Search Page (as above) with an additional field to "Open Room" previously selected.

"Enter Barcode" shows the barcode field, which is the default view upon entering a room. When it is filled in with a valid barcode, the location of that barcoded item is changed to this room, and the result page displays editable summary info for that item. There is a similar barcode field selected for scanning of further items. Alternatively, "View Detailed Information" will show the normal Edit page for that item, with an additional "Open Room" link near the top-right to view the room's contents.

The "Open Room" or "View Contents" shows a search-result list for the room, with the same layout and columns, but no re-sorting headers. Further viewing items will preserve the "Open Room" link at the top-right, to return to the room-browsing mode.

Mass Actions

If the user has permission, the "More Options" page has two additional sections: "Mass Add", "Mass Edit" to allow CSV import of bulk new data.

A final section, "Summary of Barcodes/Rooms," provides selected output based on arbitrary choices of rooms or barcodes.

The page lists instructions for these items; expanded upon here.

General info about Mass Add and Mass Edit

Entries are made in CSV format, one line per item. The first row is a Header Row, which must be a list of the columns used for the data. Columns may be entered in any order in the header row.

A data field may contain a comma if it is surrounded by quotes.

Upon hitting "Submit", there will be a report on the results added or edited. Any problems will be described in red, with the instructions to go back and edit their data. The back button should be used for editing: only the fields that had errors will be listed. The entries can be fixed and resubmitted.

On success, the user may choose any of the top links such as to view items or log out.

The following columns are available to both Mass Add and Mass Edit:

equipmentType, room, memory, numberOfCPUs, speed, barcode, warrantyStart, warrantyStop, supportBegins, supportEnds, purchaseCost, macAddress, contractCost, contractPurchaseOrder, contractAFF, contractBegins, contractEnds, contractVendor, contractQuoteNumber, accountNumber, ipAddress, model, vendor, serialNumber, fixedAssetTag, authUser, purpose, region, sponsorCode, description, comments, groups, special, supportClass, hostDomainName, purchaseOrder, purchaseCost, hardware, operatingSystem, processor, cpuModel, physicalAddressDate, supportAFF, supportBegins, supportEnds, subscriptionCode, dns_contact, dns_admin

Note that 'hostDomainName' is the proper field to change records' hostnames.

Mass Add

Mass Add has the following required fields (which may be entered in any order in the header row):

equipmentType, room, barcode, model, serialNumber, sponsorCode, sponsorClass

Successful submissions will enter the rows as new entries, with history-data saying they had been created by the active user.

This feature is useful if you want to clone many copies of an existing record; you can use the "Generate CSV" feature (described below under "View Item") to generate data in the format used by Mass Add. Paste the CSV into a text-file, open the file in a spreadsheet, duplicate as many rows as required, and change whatever fields in the duplicates you need. When the spreadsheet file is saved as CSV, it can be re-opened in a text-editor then copied and pasted into the Mass Add field.

Mass Edit

Mass Edit has a required first column, which is used to uniquely match existing records. The first column of the header must be one of:

barcode, serialNumber, ipAddress, pKey

pKey is found by looking at the URL of an existing record; it is used internally by the database, and is guaranteed to be unique for an item. Note that pKey is not a valid field after the first column, as it isn't variant. The remaining header fields may be in any order.

Successful submissions will change all fields listed in the header for each uniquely identified first item. There will be errors reported if the first row does not uniquely match an item.

Summary of Barcodes and Rooms Search

This search provides results in a special format requested by people handling "evergreening" tasks; it may not be as useful for general searching. The "Summary of Barcodes and Rooms Search" offers a text-field where you may supply a header ("Room" or "Barcode") and an arbitrary set of matching values. In other words, you can search for all items in any number of rooms, or matching any number of barcodes.

There is a 3-step process to perform similar arbitrary searches on a list of elements; see #Complex_Searches_for_a_List_of_I for details.

Viewing an Item

When viewing an item's data, there are 4 basic actions available: Exiting to other functions, Creating a New Record, Operations based on this record, Viewing visible and hidden data, and making changes.

Exiting to other functions

The menu bar at the top has options to perform new searches (as on all other pages), and "Perform this search again". The back button will redisplay the previous search result, or the user can select the "Perform this search again" link.

As on all other pages, the right side of the menu bar has "More Options" and "Log Out". If the user has previously come through the "Open a Room" there is a link to revisit the room-contents page.

There is also a link to "Create New Record"

Creating a New Record

Selecting this button first requires choosing the type of record, such as Computer, Display, Printer, IP, and so on. The choice will determine whether some fields are displayed for the record. Any record may be changed to a new type at a later time.

Upon selection of a type, the empty record will be shown. There is only one mandatory field, "Sponsorship Code," which is found in the "Support" section.

Any changes must be saved with the "Save Changes" button. Any errors on input will be described in a section at the top and marked in red.

Differences between Record Types

All of the types may be seen as a hierarchy with a base-type of "Unknown".

  • Fileserver is essentially same as Unknown, with error-testing for room-number and barcode if they exist.
    • Computer is similar to Fileserver, with more error-testing for memory/CPU/speed.
  • UPS is similar to Unknown. [lots of repeated code; I haven't mapped out the changes yet- DanielAllen]
    • Printer is identical to UPS, except that Printer has a field for Memory.
    • Terminal is identical to UPS, except Terminal has a field for Hardware.
      • Networking is the same as Terminal with additional fields for OS, System Description/Date.
  • Other is for generic equipment (not Displays) without an IP/MAC address.
    • Display is like Other with a barcode check and a custom Maintenance display [unknown diffs].

Operations based on this record

Below the menu bar there is a row of operations on the current record: Reload, Save Changes, Duplicate Record, Generate CSV, and Delete.

Reload

Reload will discard any unsaved changes and redisplay the last saved version.

Save Changes

Save Changes will try to save any changes. Any errors on input will be described in a section at the top and marked in red.

Duplicate Record

Duplicate Record will make an identical record in the database. This will require the following fields be changed to blank or unique values:
  • Barcode
  • Name
  • IP Address

Upon changing these, the record may be saved with the "Create" button near the top.

Generate CSV

Generate CSV will produce two lines of output, which may be copied and pasted into the "Mass Add" feature (in "More Options" in the menu bar; and as described above under "Mass Add.")

Delete

Deleting an item is accomplished by clicking the trash-can icon. The action requires confirming before the item is permanently deleted.

Fields: Viewing Visible and Hidden Data

Data for each inventory record is shown in up to seven logical sections: Header info, General, ST Items, Hardware, Support, Maintenance, and History. By default, the first two sections are expanded. Selecting the appropriate button will expand any other section.

Most items will have all seven sections. Some, such as Displays, will not have ST Items or Hardware.

The Header info includes Type, Barcode, (Domain) Name, Room, and the Active checkbox.

General info includes three fields which are read-only and populated by other sources in the database: Entered, Last Ping Date, DNS Hosts, and DNS IP Address. Other fields include Purpose, Description, and Comments.

"Authoritative User" should contain the name of who is responsible for deciding the fate of the machine. (As per StoredResearcherEquipment)

The ST Items are found in the ST database via the Name of this record. If there are ST records matching this hostname, they will be listed here, separated as Open and Closed records.

There may be a separate list of links to ST items, in the General Info section, below the Comments box, if data in the Comments box includes an ST number. ST numbers are identified in the comments box by the regular expression "/\b([Rr][Tt][# ]?)([0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9])\b/"; which includes "ST#nnnnn" "rt nnnnn" or "rtnnnnn".

The Hardware section has four read-only fields which are supplied by other sources: SNMP Mac Address and date, System Description and System Description Date.

The Support and Maintenance sections are straightforward.

The History section is populated by changes made by users of the Inventory system. These list the Time of changes, User ID making the change, Field Name changed, and the old and new values of the field.

Most records have a CREATED record, which lists when the record was created. (Some data is incomplete due to the audit records not being complete for all items).

Making Changes

Except for the inventory fields identified as read-only, fields may be changed and saved with "Save Changes." Any errors will be identified at the top of the page and highlighted in red.

Also See

-- DanielAllen - 13 Aug 2008

Topic revision: r19 - 2012-09-06 - BillInce
 
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