Skip navigation
All Places > Snow Product Hub > Blog

Snow Product Hub

14 posts

Every License Management Tool is only as good as its software recognition. Once subscribed to our Software Recognition Service, you will receive a daily updated version of our huge database. The updates are transferred to your customer environment through Snow Update Service and applied to the SnowLicenseManager database on the SQL server. But how does this recognition database grow over time?

 

The Team

Snow has a special team that is constantly working on the recognition database to grow.

 

Manual Enrichment through import template

Customers can enter software recognition patterns to the global Software Recognition database manually through an import template. These patterns will be entered to the global Software Recognition database and published through Snow Update Service to every other customer worldwide.

Please submit the import template through Snow Support.

There are overall three different forms to submit data to the SRS database.

 

Local Rules in SMACC

Customers can design custom recognition rules using Snow Management and Configuration Center (SMACC). These rules are unique per customer and will not be transferred. This is a reasonable approach for inhouse development where no other customer benefits from the recognition rule.

 

Automated Enrichment through SUS

Customers send in their unrecognized applications automatically through Snow Update Service (SUS). This information is collected and manually reviewed by Snow. It is then added to the Software Recognition database and all customer environments are updated.

 

Sounds interesting right? But what about data protection and personally identifiable information?

The customer’s Snow platform will upload metadata for any software inventory data that is not yet recognized.

Software inventory data includes:

  • Software file inventory
  • “Add / Remove programs” , “Programs and Features” (Windows)
  • Package Manager entries (Unix / Linux)
  • Installed apps (Mobile platforms)
  • Operating system (Name, Manufacturer, Version)

 

The following metadata is uploaded to the Software Recognition Service for all software inventory data that is not yet recognized:

  • Name (File Description)
  • Manufacturer
  • Version
  • Language
  • OS Type
  • Path and File Name
  • Indication if the entry is a file or a registry / package manager entry
  • Collapsed user catalogue

The data uploaded to the Software Recognition Service only contains software inventory data (as detailed above). No information related to the computer assets where the software inventory data was found is uploaded (e.g no hostnames, IP addresses).

When data is transmitted personal user details are collapsed when it reports to Software Recognition Service. From a global perspective it is received as “C:\Users\{user}\...”for integrity reasons. However, locally in your environment the data will still present itself with the corresponding user.

The data is encrypted, compressed and sent over a HTTPS connection initiated from the customer platform. By default (configurable) this is initiated daily at 7PM. The customer platform will initiate a connection to https://updates.snowsoftware.com.

 

It is possible to deactivate the functionality of customer recognition patterns being uploaded to the Software Recognition Service. This will turn the Software Recognition Service to the 'Read Only' mode.

  1. Go to 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Snow Software\Snow Update Service' on the License Manager server.
  2. Add a string value called 'SRSReadOnly' and set it to either 'true' or 'True'. Any other value will default this setting to false and continue to upload SRS data.

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to either comment on this blog post or submit a question through our forums.

/marcel

This Blog Post describes all required steps to ensure that all components of your estate are scanned properly. After reading this Blog Post you should be able to tell, which system requires which inventory method to deliver data.

 

This blog post will focus on the latest versions as of August 2018. Later versions will be added in the beginning of 2019.

 

Prerequisites

Understanding of the Snow ArchitectureLow Level Design and Details Overview.

 

Abbreviations

  • SLM - Snow License Manager
  • true/false - A setting is set to active/inactive

 

Preparation

Knowing your estate is key. The more details you can provide, the better the scanning can take place. At the beginning of your Snow journey you should make detailed plans, how to cover every corner of your estate.

Which platforms do you know of?

Begin by listing all server and client operating system types, that you know of. Every server and client needs to be scanned by a Snow Inventory Agent. It doesn't matter, whether it is a server or a client operating system, as long as it meets the System Requirements.

Please note: Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 are supported by Snow Inventory Agent for Windows v5.2.4 only! Compatibility with later Snow Inventory Servers is given.

 

Getting to know Snow Inventory Agent

Every agent needs a configuration. This configuration contains an endpoint ("Where do I need to send my scan files to?"), a scan trigger (daily, weekly, monthly, at startup, at logon, ...) and identification fields (SiteName, ConfigName), just to name a few. If you have questions on how to get yourself a configuration, please stick to this User Guide: Configuration Guide for all Snow Inventory Agents. If you would like to dive deeper, our Technical Reference: Configuration document for all Inventory agents will help you.

If you would like to know more about our Snow Inventory Agents, have a look at the User Guides.

User Guide: Snow Inventory Agent for Windows - Update revision 5.3

User Guide: Snow Inventory Agent for macOS - Update revision 5.1

User Guide: Snow Inventory Agent for Linux - Update revision 5.2

User Guide: Snow Inventory Agent for Unix - Update revision 5.0.4

 

AD Discovery & Network Discovery

Snow Inventory Server contains two discovery modules that help you to identify all devices in your estate.

Please check the following post for more details: Getting the Most Out of Snow Inventory Discovery

 

Configuration of Snow Inventory Agent

Snow Inventory Agent offers different modules and functionalities, that can be distributed either globally or dedicated to certain entities of your estate.

  • SiteName (mandatory) The specified item was not found.
  • ConfigName (mandatory) (comfort feature to distinguish multiple configurations - is being transferred to SLM)
  • Endpoint (mandatory) (the server, where the inventory agent sends its data to)
  • Schedule (mandatory) (the time or event, when a scan is performed
  • Drop Location (alternative to Endpoint - if http(s) transport is not available, you can transfer files via UNC)
  • Metering (measures executed applications and established user connections to servers)
  • Web Application Metering (description of Web Application Metering capabilities); (Recommended Blog Post)

Once you have your configuration(s) ready, you can request your Snow Inventory Agent via Snow Support. You will receive installation packages, which you can deploy manually or through your desired software deployment solution.

 

Configuration of Snow Integration Manager

After you have covered your operating systems, continue by listing your Virtualization Centers (vmWare, Hyper-V). Virtualization Centers can be connected by a Snow Integration Connector. You will need information about the management servers and you will need a read-only service account. Details are described in the user guides.

User Guide: Microsoft Hyper-V Connector

User Guide: VMware vSphere Connector

Do you have any of the systems, that are listed in our Technical Description: Snow Integration Manager - Update revision 5.9? If so, please refer to the respective user guide and connect all external data sources.

 

Special Server Types

Not every use case can be covered by a standard scan configuration. Two common cases that our customers struggle with are Terminal Servers and VDI environments.

  • Terminal Servers need to be equipped with an agent that has metering enabled. This is important to detect application usage from connected clients.
  • VDI environments are described in this blog post. Please make sure to set your Snow Inventory Agent to the right parameters for VDI detection. Snow Support will help you with that.

If you need further information, please refer to this Technical Description: Virtual environments.

 

Basic Troubleshooting

If you are experiencing difficulties and can't help yourself, the following steps are suggested:

  1. Watch your logs. They often tell you exactly, where a certain process is struggling. This enables you to take first actions by yourself. Please check: How To Find Log Files
  2. Search Snow Globe. For many cases, there have been previous questions from other customers and partners.
  3. Post on Snow Globe. If you are still stuck, please reach out to us via this forum.
  4. Ask Snow Support. Please note, that Snow Support is a technical product support only. If you are experiencing any issue with an application or its configuration, you are very welcome to reach out to us. If your question is not technically related, please stick to this forum.

This is no guideline, but a best practice suggestion. You may of course contact support directly if desired.

 

Questions?

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I will try to keep this post up to date, once new features are being released.

 

/marcel

For troubleshooting purposes it can be useful to perform a manual agent scan.

 

  1. Open an administrator command line
  2. Type 'cd C:\Program Files (x86)\Snow Software\Inventory\Agent'
  3. Type 'snowagent.exe scan'
  4. Copy the latest *.snowpack file from 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Snow Software\Inventory\Agent\data'

You can use this snowpack file for troubleshooting purposes with Snow Support or e.g. inside your own environment for transfer troubleshooting between Service Gateways and Snow Inventory Master Server.

 

/marcel

This update version SOS 2.1.0 includes few feature enhancements and corrections.

Release Information

ProductSnow Optimizer for SAP® Software
New version2.1.0
Release DateSeptember 5, 2018
DistributionSupport Portal
Current StatusReleased

 

New features in SOS 2.1

Indirect usage: Digital documents

Digital documents analysis— this report shows all digital document data existing on selected data sources or digital document data for a selected user.

New menu item: Cost allocation

Cost allocation operations include defining cost center hierarchies and cost allocation schemes. In addition, this version includes a report for executing cost allocation, as well as viewing the results of cost allocation.

New menu item: User master data maintenance

Provides the capability for solution users to define and apply user master data schemes.

Management dashboard

This dashboard is now integrated into SAP Solution Manager (version 7.2 and later).

Inventory data/Snow License Manager data integration

This version includes a new report called Client applications from external sources.

Active Directory

A report called Active Directory Info is now included in Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software 2.1.

 

Enhancements in SOS 2.1

Additional report in Indirect Usage | External Accesses 

The External access overview report shows an overview of system access from and to external systems by using an RFC or a HTTP connection.

Indirect Usage | Third-party Product Namespaces

This report shows additional information about used namespaces that are not installed.

Additional fields in User Master Data 

The field SNC Name has been added to the user master data fields of ABAP systems.

Additional reports in Administration | Job Overview

Shows all existing and planned jobs of Snow Optimizer reports and supports any necessary changes, and Data for Inventory data and Active Directory data.

Additional report in ABAP Data Administration | Statistic data availability check

Shows the availability of statistics data (transaction ST03N) on satellite systems.

BusinessObjects Administration 

Load LMBI measurement file shows LMBI Rights IDs, the RFC destination REST Webservice declaration is only required for changes and no longer for reading data, and BusinessObjects offline data reports can now be loaded and created offline.

Additional condition type in Local Rules

Self-implemented condition allows the implementation of a self-developed condition to use in rule sets. A self-developed condition can consider specific objects and meet customized requirements.

Additional rule type in Global Rules

Resolve combination allows a license type combination to be resolved to a single license type.

Settings: Enhanced customizing

ABAP data load, HR connector with HR data source assignments (moved from Administration), AD connector, and inventory data can be customized.

HANA connection for tenant databases, HANA database usage report

Tenant databases can be connected separately. The report shows the usage of HANA databases.

Baseline report: User Licenses

Drill-down functionality for direct access to user master data.

Change Documents

In addition to the change documents for business processes, Snow Optimizer now also reads the changes for user master data, user authorizations, and user profiles.

Processing of large Usage Profiles

The performance of processing large Usage Profiles has been improved. 

 

Migration Requirements

To use the new Digital Documents feature, additional authorizations are required on the satellite systems. These are delivered as authorization role /DYNAM/SATELLITE_DIGDOC_LOAD, which is included in the collective role /DYNAM/SATELLITE_ALL.

If the delivered authorization role /DYNAM/MASTER_ALL is not used on the master—but more restricted roles are used instead—then these roles may need to be adapted for using the new features.

Release Notes

 

Snow Academy is an E-Learning Platform that provides our customers and partners with useful information regarding products and latest releases, as well as general licensing terms. Every customer and partner can login to Snow Academy with their Single Sign On (SSO) login credentials.

 

For our latest release 2018:1 we have created a learning package, that has been designed to enable our customers to experience our latest technology in a row of  training courses.

 

The Snow for Cloud learning package

 

Narrative and visual content

 

Is this really for free?

Yes. We are giving out this course with no charge. There are other courses that may be of interest for you. Please reach out to your account manager, if you need more information about contents and pricing.

 

Login to Snow Academy now!

  • Go to Snow Academy and login with your company email address.

  • Search for "CUSTOMERS: Snow for Cloud learning package" and enter the course.

 

Need assistance?

Only active customers and partners are enabled to login, private email addresses will not work. So please make sure, that you are using your company's email address. If you are a new employee and the access won't work, please reach out to your account manager and ask for permission.

Successful SAM starts with Inventory

There are a number of steps to a successful SAM program and the first key, important step begins with discovery; an exhaustive list of all of your computer assets.

Once you have this Discovery list, you can now start on targeted deployment with an Inventory Solution. You should then start to see your Discovered Computers list reduce as the number of your Inventoried Computers increase.

Your key companion here is the 'Computers that are not inventoried' report in Snow License Manager.



 

Never Ending Inventory

Newly deployed computers, whether physical or virtual, come and go on a daily basis in most organisations. Best practice is to configure your 'Gold Builds', 'Templates' or automated deployment tools to ensure anything new automatically receives a Snow Inventory agent or is covered by an Inventory Solution that's used together with Snow (SCCM, Altriris, etc).

In reality, there will always be inventory gaps for a variety of reasons; deployments that have bypassed processes, whether that be business or technical ones. This creates a challenge meaning that Inventory status rarely reaches 100%, or even close.

Inventory deployment should be a continual BAU process that needs constant assessment to determine the coverage of your IT Inventory. The perfect way to do this? A Snowboard of Course!

 


 



Multiple Discovery Tools? Multiple Reports?

It is not uncommon that different teams will use different tools for Discovery. Snow Discovery is one solution used by one team producing a report that could look slightly different to another report. 

Different teams that are not directly using and benefiting from Snow License Manager data could be having a much harder time to obtain and interpret Discovery Data; Extracting data in multiple formats, creating various SQL queries, PowerShell, etc, then merging data with VLOOKUP’s and other comparison methods, this is a very time-consuming task that leads to one team reporting one thing whilst other teams are see something different.



The Answer? Multiple Discovery Tools, ONE Report

Wouldn’t it be great if all this data from multiple discovery sources from different teams could be merged automatically, providing one complete comprehensive report that all parties could use with data fed from their own respective trusted sources?

There's an answer for this very challenge, by this using the Snow Integration Manager.

You may or may not have noticed the 'Import Discovery from file':

 

This allows discovery data to brought in to the 'Computers that are not inventoried' report.

It's easy to configure and only requires a minimal number of datasets, as seen below:
 


 

 

This solution will consolidate all your discovery data, regardless of the source or tools used, ensuring a commonality in reporting within cross functional teams to ensure you have the best data to act in with your Never Ending Inventory process.

And remember, if those teams do not have access to Snow License Manager, you can always set an automated schedule for the report to automatically appear in the inbox to where it's most needed!

For further information, look for SIC_UserGuide_DiscoveryDataFromFile.pdf on the Knowledge Base.

This blog post describes how to update Snow Inventory Agents. It contains useful information and a clear how-to guide.

 

Why should I update?

Updates contain both security fixes and new functionalities. Please consider, if you would like to update, by reading through the Release Notes. If you would like to update one of your agent, follow the steps described below.

 

Preparation

Open Snow Management and Configuration Center (SMACC). Login to your Snow Inventory. On the 'Overview' page, you are seeing how many of your agents are on the latest version. The figure should look like this:

We can see, that not all windows agents are on the latest version (5.3.0) and we would like to update.

 

 

How can I update?

There are two ways, how a new agent finds its way to the machines in your estate.

1. Request a new agent package via Snow Support

  • Snow Support will build a new installation package for you, which you can then rollout via your software distribution tool.
  • Open a ticket and include the following information:
    • Target Operating System (Windows, Linux, MacOS, Unix)
    • Architecture (64/32 bit or both?)
    • Attach a valid configuration. Please read below, how to extract the most recent configuration from your estate.
  • Please stick to this Support Guide.

 

2. Perform an agent update package via Snow Management and Configuration Center

  • Go to Snow Management and Configuration Center (SMACC) and select 'Agent update' from the side menu.
  • Click on 'Create new' in the top menu.
  • Work through the wizard. Give a name for this update, for example 'Update Windows to 5.3.0'.
  • Select a target (Win32 in this example)
  • Make sure to select 'Install agent'.
  • Select a target group. In my example the site 'Test'.

    You can also select a subset, for example a certain configuration. This makes sense, if you only want to update a certain number of agents.
  • Select an update time. By default, this will be the current date with 00:00 UTC. Make changes, if desired.
  • Complete the wizard. Your created update will be visible in the table under 'Agent updates'. You can view the status of the update there.

The agents will update by themselves, after they have reported their scan results. After some time, the overview panel should show progress.

Congratulations! You have successfully updated your Snow Inventory Agents using the builtin update function.

 

Additional Information: See your current Configurations

Go to Snow Management and Configuration Center (SMACC). Select the tab 'Configurations' from the side menu. You are seeing all configurations, that are currently reporting in. Select one, then click 'Edit' to view/edit or 'Export' to export and attach the configuration to your agent creation request.

 

If you have further questions, feel free to comment on this blog post.

/marcel

This blog post is all about installation sources and manual/automatic updates. Download installers, in case you want to perform a fresh installation. Configure your Snow Update Service to receive automatic product updates or to manually apply offline updates.

 

Current Product Versions

Get product versions of all Snow products here.

 

Installation Sources

Snow License Manager

ftp://ftp.snowsoftware.com/SetupPackages/CurrentProductVersions/SLM/

Snow Inventory Server

ftp://ftp.snowsoftware.com/SetupPackages/CurrentProductVersions/Inventory%20server/

Snow Integration Manager

ftp://ftp.snowsoftware.com/SetupPackages/CurrentProductVersions/SIM/

 

Snow Update Service

All Snow products are being updated via Snow Update Service, which is a separate component coming with each application. It has two operation modes, which are described below.

You can open the Snow Update Service GUI here:

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Snow Update Service\SnowSoftware.Update.Gui.exe

 

Automatic Update

This is the default setting. Snow Update Service relies on an internet connection to gather updates from the central Snow Update server. It will download updates the following components:

  • Snow Inventory Server
  • Snow License Manager
  • Snow Inventory Agents
  • Snow Management and Configuration Center
  • DIS Rules
  • SRS Rules

Updates are scheduled. This schedule can be viewed/changed in the Snow Update Service GUI under 'Change settings'.

 

Manual Update (Offline Mode)

As obvious, Snow Update Service requires an internet connection. If, for whatever reason, there is no internet connection available, you can use the builtin Offline Mode.

Let's say, we want to update the software using the offline mode.

  • Go to 'change settings' and click 'Use offline mode'. Hit 'Save' afterwards.
  • New menu entries appeared in the left menu. First, you need to export the Product Manifest by hitting 'Export product manifest' in the left menu. Safe this file to your local computer.
  • Visit the Snow Software Updates Portal, click 'Software Update'. Put in your email address in (the download link will be sent there) and upload the product manifest file. Hit 'Request package'.
  • After the creation process, download the package and transfer it to the server.
  • In the Snow Update Service GUI, hit 'Install offline updates' and refer to the update file. Finally, hit 'Install'.

 

You may have missed Snow Integration Manager in the list of automatically updated applications above. This is because it is currently not included in Snow Update Service and therefore needs to be updated manually. Watch this video to see a guide.

 

/marcel

After reading this blog post you will be able to tell, which versions your products are on. I will focus on both the "easy" and the "techy" way. Both ways may be good to know, if  - in a troubleshooting case - one way won't work.

 

Version information is important to log a ticket, decide, whether an update has already been applied and much more.

 

An exact version consists of 3 digits and is built up in the schema Major.Minor.Patch. Version 8.5.2 would mean, that you are on Major version 8, Minor version 5, Patch 2. To find the right server, that your installation is located on, you can have a look at this guide. Once you are on the server, follow the described instructions to get the version information of your products.

 

If you want a complete version overview, your first source of truth should be the registry. You can open a computer's/server's registry by hitting WIN+R, typing 'regedit' and then navigating to the following path in the opened 'Registry Editor' (just like in a normal file explorer):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Snow Software\Snow Update Service\Installed Products

This location stores all products's version information except of Snow Integration Manager and Snow Inventory Agent. These two need to be explored by the paths described below.

However if you are looking for one specific version information, one of the ways described below may be faster and more usable.

 

Snow License Manager

Easy: Go to your Snow License Manager web frontend by typing your server address in your browser. Login to the system by entering your user credentials. On the right top corner, click your username. then select 'About' in the dropdown menu. The version will be displayed in the blue space on the top.

Techy: Go to C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Snow License Manager\Web\Logs\Application on your Snow License Manager server. Open the most recent log file (e.g. 31-12-2018). Have a look at line four, which states your version.

 

Snow Inventory Server

Easy: Open the file C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Snow Inventory\Server\snowserverconfig.exe on your Snow Inventory server. In the bottom left corner, you find your version info.

Techy: Go to the registry and open the path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Snow Software\Snow Update Service\Installed Products\SnowInventory. Have a look at the key ProductVersion.

 

Snow Inventory Agent

Easy: Go to the control panel, then select "Programs and Features" or "Apps and Features". Scroll down to Snow Inventory Agent and expand the details.

Techy: Go to the path C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Inventory\Agent\. Right-click the file snowagent.exe, click on 'Properties', then select the 'Details' tab.

 

Snow Integration Manager

Easy: Open the file C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Snow Integration Manager\SnowSoftware.ExternalDataProvider.Properties.exe. Click on the 'About' button on the bottom left.

Techy: Open the folder C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Snow Integration Manager\. Right-click the file SnowSoftware.ExternalDataProvider.Properties.exe, click on 'Properties', then select the 'Details' tab. Cut out the third block to get your actual version.

 

If you are missing a product or encounter an error, please let me know.

This blog post will be updated on a regular basis.

/marcel

Marcel Hirsch

How To Find Log Files

Posted by Marcel Hirsch Employee Jul 30, 2018

For many support cases, logs will be needed to investigate certain behavior. This blog post will tell you, where to find logs of your components.

 

Please provide the designated logs, if requested. You can of course do research by yourself, if you are encountering issues with certain components.

 

Depending on the size of your environment, applications may be spread over several servers. Find the right server for the appropriate function with these tables. Please keep in mind, that the sizing may also vary in your environment due to your preferences. To be 100% certain, please have a look at your installation documentation.

 

Up to 1000 units:

1000 to 5000 units:

More than 5000 units:

 

The described locations are for default installation paths. If you are using custom installation paths, the log locations may vary.

Snow License Manager (Web Frontend)

Snow License Manager Web Application general

Logs SLM key validation, DB connection status, application initialization status.

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Snow License Manager\Web\Logs\Application 

Snow License Manager Web Application Error

Contains any error message generated within the web application.

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Snow License Manager\Web\Logs\Error 

Snow License Manager Web Application Security

Contains information about failed user login attempts.

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Snow License Manager\Web\Logs\Security 

Snow License Manager Web Application WebAPI

Contains information about WebAPI.

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Snow License Manager\Web\Logs\WebApi

 

License Manager Services

Contains information about windows services, that are related to Snow License Manager functions.

Snow License Manager Event Store Service

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Logs\EventStoreService

Snow License Manager File Import Service

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Logs\ImportTool

Snow License Manager Notification Delivery Service

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Logs\NotificationDelivery

Snow License Manager Office 365 Service

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Logs\Office365Service

Snow License Manager Report Exporter

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Logs\ReportExport

Snow License Manager Software Enterprise Agreement Service

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Logs\SoftwareEnterpriseAgreementService

Snow Software Licensing

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Logs\Licensing

Snow Software Licensing Service

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Logs\LicensingService

 

Snow Inventory Server (Backend)

C:\ProgramData\SnowSoftware\Inventory\Server

 

Snow Management and Configuration Center (SMACC)

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Logs\SnowMACC

C:\Users\<CurrentUser>\AppData\Roaming\SnowSoftware\Logs

 

Snow Inventory Agent (Client Scanner)

Windows Agent 5

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Inventory\Agent\data\snowagent.log

OSX Agent 5

/opt/snow/data/snowagent.log

Linux Agent 5

/opt/snow/data/snowagent.log

Unix Agent 5

/opt/snow/data/snowagent.log

Oracle (SIOS) Scanner

The log of the oracle scanner (sios.log) will always be found in the directory of the used Agent

 

Snow Integration Manager (External Components)

This component is most likely installed on your Snow Inventory Server.

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Logs\Snow Integration Manager

 

Snow Update Service

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Logs\UpdateService

 

Active Directory Discovery Tool

C:\ProgramData\Snow Software\Snow Inventory\Server\snowserver.log

C:\ProgramData\Snow Software\Inventory\Server\snowserver-<Date>.log

 

Data Update Job

The data Update Job is writing all log activities to the SnowLicenseManager database.

Get these logs by opening SQL Management Studio and firing the query select * from followed by the table name against the database SnowLicenseManager. Paste/Export the results to an Excel file.

tblJobLog

Contains the log of the last Data Update Job. 

tblJobLogHistory

Contains the results of previous Data Update Jobs. 

tblJobLogMetrics

Contains meta data for a number of completed Jobs. (table sizes, number of computers, number of users and so on.) 

tblErrorLog

Contains data about the errors within the Data Update Job

 

Summary

To sum it up, you are having server logs in the following directories:

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Logs\

C:\ProgramData\Snow Software\Inventory\Server

 

This article is being updated on a regular basis. If you are missing any information, please comment and I will add information accordingly.

/marcel

There comes the time, when you need support for your product. To save time, reduce questions and to speed up the whole support process, you as the initiator of a support case can do a lot.

 

Instead via email, open your ticket via the Support Portal

This gives you as the initiator a hand full of options, that you don't have via email.

  • You can add the product, component and version of the component, that you are having issues with. This reduces check backs with support.
  • After you selected your product, you receive articles that may help you to solve the problem by yourself. This can be a user guide or a qualified knowledge base article.
  • You can easily add people to the 'watchlist' of the ticket. They will be put in cc of every email, that comes in or goes out from the ticket. Put in your colleagues, business partner or Snow account manager to let them know, what is going on.
  • Set the impact and urgency to a correct level. This helps support to distinguish, which of your tickets deserves more attention than the other. You know best, what bothers you most.
  • You can track your open cases easily. In addition, you can see tickets of your colleagues as well. If they are on holiday or sick leave, you can jump in and work on their tickets, if you like.

 

Attach all relevant information

  • Logs are key. Attach as many logs, as you can find. If it is more than one log source, put them in different folders and name them wisely. Finally pack them as a zip archive and add them to the support case. Follow this guide to find the logs of your components.
  • When does your issue occur? Is it reproducible? The more information, the better.
  • Did anyone do any major changes prior to the issue? The earlier support knows, the faster your issue can be resolved.
  • How is your system setup? There are different sizings of Snow environments, depending on your total devices. Do you have a dedicated SQL server or a shared one? Do you have Snow License Manager and Snow Inventory running on the same server or on separate machines?

 

If you have any questions on this, please don't hesitate and comment this article.

/marcel

This blog will guide you through the different steps of creating a new Automated process with the Automation Platform. From adding the Activity and setting up the workflow to creating the service itself.

 

We start with the parameters and activity. To add an activity in the Automation Platform you can use a PowerShell script or an executable. As an example, I use a simple PowerShell script which will create the different parameters and uses these parameters to create a user account in the Active Directory.

 

This script will create the activity with the different parameters. You can save the script as a ps1 file. For example: Onboarding new employee.ps1. Before you use the script make sure you have changed it according your own environment.

 

param(

[Parameter(mandatory=$true)][string]$givenName,

[Parameter(mandatory=$true)][string]$surName,

[Parameter(mandatory=$false)][string]$samAccountName,

[Parameter(mandatory=$true)][string]$upn,

[Parameter(mandatory=$true)][string]$SecurityGroup,

[Parameter(mandatory=$true)][string]$password,

[Parameter(mandatory=$true)][string]$displayName

)

 

Write-Host "Starting to create AD user"

write-debug "Setting samaccountname to $givenName$surName"

$samAccountName="$givenName$surName"

$securePassword = ConvertTo-SecureString -String $password -AsPlainText -Force

New-ADUser -GivenName $givenName -Surname $surName -name $displayName -SamAccountName $samAccountName -UserPrincipalName $upn -Path "OU=DemoUsers,OU=Snow,DC=snowtrain,DC=local"

Add-ADGroupMember $SecurityGroup -Member $samAccountName

Write-Host User created

 

Adding a new activity to AP.

First, we start with creating an activity.

 

Action 1

Login to the Automation Platform with a user account with admin privileges and open the Activity Admin menu.

 

 

Action 2.

Click on +Add activity, upload the PowerShell script and click on Add activity.

 

 

Once the Activity is created you will see the Activity with all the Parameters.

 

 

Action 3.

On the General tab you can change some basic settings like:

1.   The Name of the activity.

2.   The Display name of the activity.

3.   The Description of the activity.

4.   You can add the Activity time savings.

(This setting will be used in the Automation Platform reports. Every time this activity is used in a service request you will save time because it is an automated process. So, let’s say, when you normally request a user it will take 1 hour. Once you implement this automated process you can request a new user in only 5 minutes. The time savings is 55 minutes.)

5.   Use the Category to categorize the different activities.

6.   The On error e-mail address is used to send an error notification in case something goes wrong.

7.   The Service account is used to execute the commands. So, in this case the service account need to have permissions to read and

      write in the Active Directory.

 

 

Action 4.

On the preview tab you can check the PowerShell script. If you want to change the PowerShell script you can only do so by editing it in the ps1 file on the server. See Activity path and file name on the General tab.

 

Add a new workflow to AP.

The second step is to create a workflow. We can attach different actions to one workflow but in this example, we will only attach the action created in the previous step.

 

Action 1.

Go to the Administrator menu and open the Workflow admin.

 


 

Action 2.

Click on +Add workflow, fill-in the form and add the workflow.

1.   Specify a name for the workflow.

2.   Select Order as the Type.

3.   Add a Description.

4.   Add a Notification e-mail address.

5.   You can use the Cope existing option to copy all settings and activities from an existing workflow.

 

 

Action 3.

Open the workflow and drag and drop the activity in the workflow. It is possible to add more activities to a workflow. For example, if you want to send an email after the new user is created in the Active Directory, you can add an Email notification activity to the workflow.

 

 

Action 4.

Save the workflow and check if the activity is available.

 

 

Add a new service to AP

After we’ve created the workflow we can start adding a new service. The service is what the end user will see in the Automation Platform website.

 

Action 1.

Go to the Administrator menu and open the Service admin.

 

 

Action 2.

Click on +Add service, fill-in the form and add the service.

1.   Add the Name of the service.

2.   Add the Display Name of the service. This is the name which is visible for the end user, requesting the service.

3.   Add a Manufacturer. In case you add a service which is delivered by a 3rd party you can add the name of this 3rd party in this field.

4.   Add the Description of the service.

5.   In the Order workflow, select the New AD user workflow

6.   Set the Status to Active.

7.   If you want, you can add a purchase Price for this service which is visible for the end user.

8.   If you want, you can add a rent Price for this service which is visible for the end user.

9.   Add the On error e-mail address.

10.   Instantiate is used to add the requested service to the My Task overview from the requester.

 

 

Configure the service in AP

 

Action 1.

Open the service New AD user and go to the Image tab. In the image uri you can provide the location and filename of an image stored on the Automation Platform web server. This image is then visible for the users, requesting the service.

 

 

Action 2.

Open the service New AD user and go to the Category tab. In the Category you can add the service to an existing category or create a new category.

Click on Edit categories to open the category editor and then add a child category. Add a category description and Save the changes.

 

 

Add the service to the new category and save the changes.

 

 

Action 3.

Open the service New AD user and in this service select the workflow New AD user on the Workflow tab.

 

 

Action 4.

Click on the View button to view the activity parameters.

 

 

Action 5.

We will now start with the configuration of each Parameter. We start with the technical part and will change the displayName, SecurityGroup, samAccountName, and the upn.

 

displayName.

-   Open the displayName and select the tab Value population. Change the What kind of input field to use? In a Readonly field.

 

-   Add a parameter in the What is the value for this parameter?. Combine the parameter givenName and surname in this field like

   this: Workflow parameter: givenName Workflow parameter surname

   (When you start typing in the field it will automatically provide some suggestions.)

 

 

-   Click on Save all to save the changes.

SecurityGroup.

-   Open the SecurityGroup and select the tab Value population. Change the What kind of input field to use? In a Dropdown field.

 

-   Select the Static value list tab and create a dropdown list.

   (This list is a static list with Active Directory security groups. It is also possible to setup this list as a dynamic list by using a    PowerShell web service via the PowerShell web service tab.)

 

   Click on the + sign after the dropdown list and add a name to the form. Choose a Display name and a Value. The display name is    what visible in the dropdown list. The value is used in the PowerShell script to select the right AD Security Group. By clicking on the +    you add the row to the dropdown list.

 

 

   Add more AD Security Groups to the dropdown list.

   (The value need to match the Security Groups in the Active Directory.)

 

 

-   Click on Save and select the AD Security Groups dropdown list in the Static value list.

-   Click on Save all to save the changes.

 

 

samAccountName

-   Open the samAccountName and select the tab Value population. Change the What kind of input field to use? In a Readonly    field.

 

-   Add a parameter in the What is the value for this parameter?. Combine the parameter givenName and surname in this field like    this:

   Workflow parameter: givenName.Workflow parameter surname

   (When you start typing in the field it will automatically provide some suggestions. To add the “.” between the 2 parameters first use a    space and replace this later with a “.”.)

 

 

-   Click on Save all to save the changes.

 

UPN

-   Open the upn and select the tab Value population.

 

-   Add a parameter in the What is the value for this parameter?. Combine the different parameters to generate an e-mail address.    Use the samAccountName parameter and add the domain name like this:

   Workflow parameter: samAccountName@snowtrain.local

   (When you start typing in the field it will automatically provide some suggestions. Just type the domain name after the parameter.)

 

 

-   Click on Save all to save the changes.

 

Action 6.

We can now start the first test of our new service.

 

-   Go to the Start menu and open the User Management.

 

 

-   Add the New domain user account service to the shopping card and click on Checkout.

 

 

As you can see the form is not very user friendly. We will change this after our test.

1.   Select the SecurityGroup.

2.   Add the givenName.

3.   Add a password.

4.   Add the surname.

5.   Submit the request.

 

 

You can follow the status under the My requests page.

 

 

You can check the result by validating the new user account in the Active Directory. You can see there is a new user which is a member of the Sales Security Group

 

 

Finetuning the new service:

As you can see the form is not very user friendly. Strange labels and data fields which are not in the right order. We can change this by changing the parameters from this service.

 

Action 1.

Go to the Administrator menu and open the Service admin.

 

 

Action 2.

Open the service New AD user and in this service select the workflow New AD user on the Workflow tab.

 

 

Action 3.

Click on the View button to view the activity parameters.

 

 

Action 4.

We will now start with the configuration of each Parameter.

 

SecurityGroup

-   Open the SecurityGroup and select the tab General. Change the Display name to 5. Department

-   Click on Save all to save the changes.

 

displayName

-   Open the displayName and select the tab General. Change the Display name to 3. Full name

-   Click on Save all to save the changes.

 

givenName

-   Open the givenName and select the tab General. Change the givenName to 1. First name

-   Click on Save all to save the changes.

 

password

-   Open the password and select the tab General. Change the password to 4. User password

-   Click on Save all to save the changes.

 

samAccountName

-   Open the samAccountName and select the tab Value population. Uncheck the Checkout view checkbox.

   (This will hide this parameter from the user request form.)

-   Click on Save all to save the changes.

 

surName

-   Open the surName and select the tab General. Change the surName to 2. Last name

-   Click on Save all to save the changes.

 

upn

-   Open the upn and select the tab Value population. Uncheck the Checkout view checkbox.

   (This will hide this parameter from the user request form.)

-   Click on Save all to save the changes.

 

 

Finetuning the new service:

The service is now ready, and you can request a new user account.

 

 

 

 

This configuration is very basic, but you can use this procedure to create more complex automated processes.

Hopes this helps you on your Automation Platform journey.

I wanted to share with you today some quick information on where you can see the latest release information of the current versions of Snow Software products, tools and utilities. This page provides information on officially released software.

 

Current state for top products as of 23-08-2017:

  • Snow License Manager 8 - 8.1.2
  • Snow License Manager 7 - 7.0.24
  • Snow Inventory 5 - 5.1.6
  • Snow Inventory 3 - 3.2.1 SP1
  • Snow Automation Platform - 3.3.1
  • Snow Integration Manager (SIM) - 5.4
  • Snow Device Manager - 5.5
  • Snow Optimizer for SAP - 2.0

 

You can use it to see any latest fixes to the software, updates and which is the latest version of each product. You can find the full list here: https://www.snowsoftware.com/int/support/current-product-versions

 

I will be posting a series of Snow Software knowledge shares in the community in the coming weeks, I intend to post some information that I see customers and partners asking for the most here. If there is anything you wish to see from me, you have any questions, or suggestions please send me a message on the SnowGlobe.

 

 

Kennie Chamberlain

Technical Engineer

Snow Software

 

KS001

Snow for Office 365

Product:                              Snow License Manager

New version:                      8.1 

Build no:                             #6331

Revision:                             #310

Release date:                     May 16,  2017

Distribution                       Setup package and SUS

Current status:                  Released to market

 

We are pleased to announce the availability of Snow for Office 365 as part of the Snow License Manager 8.1 release, on May 16th, 2017.

 

SNOW FOR OFFICE 365 OVERVIEW

Snow for Office 365 extends Snow users’ view of the Microsoft estate to provide a single integrated view of all Microsoft Office users, usage and cost across on-premises, Office 365 and mobile platforms.

Snow for Office 365 directly addresses key pain points faced by organizations using the world’s most popular SaaS application, Microsoft Office 365. With an integrated view of on-premises, SaaS, and mobile usage, organizations can eliminate overspend by identifying unused and duplicate licenses. Component-level usage details empower organizations to select the most cost-efficient subscription level for each user in the enterprise, which considering an Office 365 list price range of $8/month to $35/month, can drive significant cost savings.

In addition to detailed, actionable intelligence, Snow for Office 365 provides automated approval-driven workflow technology to attack administrative costs which can equal as much of 93% of Office 365 licensing expense. Organizations can leverage automation to support self-service access request, redeploy unused licenses, shift users to lower cost plans based on usage and provision time-limited subscriptions of expensive services such as Project 365, Visio 365.

The full Snow for Office 365 offering comprises Snow License Manager, Snow Integration Connectors and Automation Platform. 

 

 

IMPORTANT PRICING INFORMATION

Snow for Office 365 is the first of a series of new ‘Cloud Connectors’ that will be introduced in the coming months into the Snow Integration Connector package.

 

ON PREMISE/EULA/PERPETUAL LICENSES

Perpetual license Snow Integration Connector is sold separately. The prices for Snow Integration Connector license and annual maintenance will increase 20% effective August 31st, 2017. Please refer to the On Premise/EULA price sheet for details.

 

SERVICE PROVIDER EDITION (SPE) PRICING

To reflect the significant value being introduced in the upcoming Cloud Connectors along with the additional value that has been available in the Software Recognition Service, Snow is aligning the prices of SPE, Software Recognition Service and client fees with a 15% increase of the annual cost. To help our partners prepare and recognize the full benefit of the Office 365 connector, we are pleased to announce this increase will not be introduced until August 31st 2017, giving you more than three months’ free use of the new connector!

 

SNOW FOR OFFICE 365 - KEY USE CASES, FEATURES AND BENEFITS 

Challenge

Feature/Benefit

Duplicate licenses.  “I need a consolidated view of installed (device-based) and SaaS users of Microsoft Office to ensure I haven’t bought duplicate licenses for the same person.”

Consolidated cloud and device-based reports:  Provides complete visibility into cloud and device-based users and usage of Office 365, enabling identification and remediation of duplicate licenses.

Unused licenses.  “I believe there are many licensed users not using O365 either because they don’t need it or because they left the organization.  I would like to reassign these licenses to other users and ensure I’m not wasting money.”

Detailed usage and entitlement analysis: Provides detailed usage reports at the individual user and cost center level, enabling identification and reassignment of unused licenses.

Expensive subscription levels.  “I know that many of my users don’t need all the applications to which they are currently entitled.   I need detailed usage information so that I can save money by downgrading their subscription.”

Component-level entitlement analysis.  Provides component-level usage details, enabling organizations to select the most cost-efficient subscription level for each user in the enterprise.

Manual processes.  “Despite being a SaaS application, I’ve found Office 365 still requires significant resources to manage.  I need automated processes to add new users, reassign licenses and select the correct subscription plan; manual processes are inaccurate and time consuming.”

Automated, approval-driven workflows

·       Self-service access request

·       Time-limited access to expensive services (Ex: Project 365, Visio 365 and PowerBI Pro)

·       Harvest and reassign licenses

·       Automatically shift users to lower cost plans based on usage information

·       Fully customizable to fit customer’s needs

 

For any questions regarding this exciting new release please contact your Account Manager.