Working with components and component templates

The following topics describe how to use components and component templates in BMC Server Automation:

Tip

To help you review the details of rules and parts in component templates, you can use scripts to export lists of these items in .csv files. For more information, see Export Template Rules and Parts in the Server Automation community at the BMC Communities site.

Topic Description
Components and component template overview

A component is a collection of configuration settings that encapsulates a business or infrastructure service, application, or security policy.

To create a component, you must first define a component template, which establishes rules and provides necessary information for the component, and then associate the template with a server.

  Click here to see the parts of a component template.

A component template consists of the following:

  • Template parts — Server objects that constitute the component. You can parameterize template parts to accommodate variations between servers, departments, and networks.
  • Signature — A set of conditions that must be satisfied on a server for a component template to be associated with that server. A Component Discovery Job compares a signature to the configurations of designated servers. When the Component Discovery Job finds that a server satisfies a component signature, the Job associates the component template with the server and creates a component.
  • Allowed operations — Decisions about what operations can be performed using this component, such as browsing, snapshots, audits, deployments, and discovery.
  • Compliance rules — A collection of one or more rules that express corporate policy about some or all of the parts included in the component template. For example, compliance rules can specify security requirements or test for an application's required configuration. If a component does not satisfy a compliance rule, you can specify remediation in the form of a BLPackage that can be deployed to correct the component's configuration.
  • Local properties — A set of properties that are assigned to the component template. Using local properties, you can define multiple instances of a component on the same server.

This topic describes the basics of components and component templates and provides an overview of how to use components.

Process for using components

This topic discusses the BMC Server Automation recommended strategy for using components, which includes:

Creating a component template

You can create a component template, which, at its most basic, is the definition of the parts that make up a component.

Using the procedure described in this topic, you can create a component template and specify its parts, or you can define an empty component template with no component parts and later add parts during the editing process. To more fully develop the component definition, including its signature and compliance rules, you must edit the component.

Editing a component template

When you create a component template using the Create New Component Template wizard, you typically define the parts that make up the template. Later, you refine the component template during an editing process.

While editing you can add additional parts, define a signature for the template, define compliance rules, and add local properties. Usually editing a component template is essential because you can only develop signatures and compliance rules during the editing process.

Examples of editing templates and compliance rules This topic presents videos with examples of edit tasks that you can perform in component templates to create special types of compliance rules.

Adding components to servers manually

You can add a component to a single server without running a Component Discovery Job.

The procedure described in this topic is useful as a way to quickly add a single component, particularly if the discovery operation is not activated for a component template. The procedure is also useful if you want to create a component on a server and bypass the use of local property sets when one or more local property sets are defined for a component template. 

Modifying components Typically, to modify a component, you change the component template (as described in Editing a component template) and your changes are automatically applied to all components that are based on that template. However, in some situations you may want to modify general properties of a component, as described in this topic.
Validating a component To quickly determine whether a component's signature conditions are valid on its associated target server, you can run a short validation process on any existing component.

The validation process described in this topic is useful in the case of components that you created manually, or if you need to re-validate a component after modifying the signature in the component template.

Setting multiple components as exceptions to compliance rules

Use the procedure described in this topic to excuse multiple components from compliance rules for a component template.

For more information about compliance exceptions and when you would want to define them, see About compliance exceptions.

Adding components to a component group You can group components together in groups or smart groups, regardless of whether the components have been discovered or manually created. Use the procedure described in this topic to add components to an existing component group.
Installing or uninstalling a component

You can install or uninstall a component by running a Batch Job that is associated with the component template, as described in this topic.

Using Batch Jobs in this way lets you manage the full life cycle of a component. When creating a component, the Batch Job can include jobs that deploy component parts and then run a Component Discovery Job to discover the component. When uninstalling, the Batch Job can delete component parts and then run a Component Discovery Job to invalidate the existing component.

Packaging and deploying a component You can package a component as a BLPackage and then run a Deploy Job to deploy the package. The procedure described in this topic can be used to automate the packaging of software models.
Using component templates to ensure compliance for multiple instances of an application

A BMC Server Automation system offers many tools for ensuring compliance with organizational standards for application configurations.

This topic provides an example that demonstrates how these tools, when used together, can monitor and enforce compliance for multiple instances of the same application running on the same server.

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