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Creating a component signature

The Discover tab lets you can create a single component signature, which contains the conditions that must be satisfied for a component to be associated with a server.

For example, the conditions in a signature can check for membership in a list, determine whether creation dates fall within a certain range, check for inequalities, or compare text that you provide with text contained in configuration files, registry values, or metabase values.

The component signature can contain the following types of conditions:

  • Basic conditions, which perform the following tasks:
    • Check for the existence or number of occurrences (cardinality) of a configuration object, such as a service or a certain type of installed software.
    • Compare configuration object properties or component properties with defined values or with other such properties.
  • Conditional constructs, which organize multiple conditions in an if-then-else logical sequence.

For more information, see Defining a basic condition and Defining a conditional construct.


The process of defining a signature is very similar to the process of defining a compliance rule, and the Discover tab is very similar to the Rule Definition tab of the Compliance Rule Editor (see Defining a rule in the Rule Editor). Note, however, that loops can exist in compliance rules but not in a signature.

Before including a local configuration object from the component template in your rule, ensure that the component template was saved since the local configuration object was defined.

A status bar below the Rule Editor guides you through the process of creating or editing a signature, with information about what to do next or short error messages (in red) to help you correct invalid input.

To create or edit a signature that associates a component with a server

  1. On the content editor for the component template, click the Discover tab.
    The lower half of the panel, Rule Definition, displays the rule definition for the signature. In this area, you can connect to the Rule Editor to edit the signature. The upper half, Parts to Include in Discovery Operation, lists the parts specified for analysis within the signature.


    The only way to include a part in signature matching and have it appear in the upper half of the panel is to include that part in a condition within the signature, on the lower half of the panel. The list of parts in the upper half of this panel is not inherited from the Parts tab, as opposed to the behavior of the Browse tab and the Snapshot/Audit tab.

  2. In the Rule Definition area, do one of the following:
    • To create a new signature, click the Add icon on the right.
    • To edit an existing signature, click the Edit icon.


      Only one icon (either the Edit icon or the Add icon) appears in the top right corner of the Rule Definition area, depending on whether or not a signature currently exists within the component template.

      A new tab in the content editor displays the Rule Editor for defining a signature.

  3. In the Rule Editor, do one of the following:
    • To add the first condition to an empty signature, click the New Condition icon for a basic condition, or click the drop-down arrow beside this icon and select from the full range of available condition types.
      • Basic Condition for a basic condition
      • If... Then... End, Elseif, or Else for a conditional construct or block within it
    • To add a new condition to a signature that already contains other conditions, select the line above where you want the condition to appear before using the New Condition icon.
    • To edit an existing condition within the signature, double-click the line that you want to edit. The text within the selected line is displayed in editable fields.
    • To copy conditions from another location, select the relevant lines in the current signature or in a different signature, and click either Copy selected conditions or Cut selected conditions . Then place your cursor in the line above where you want to paste the conditions and click Paste conditions .
  4. In the displayed fields, provide the necessary input (such as operands and operators), as discussed separately for each type of condition in the following topics:
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for all the conditions that you want to include in the signature.
  6. To modify the logical organization of multiple conditions, you can use any of the following additional options:
    • To set logical operators between conditions (either AND or OR), use the last drop-down box at the end of each line. Within one block of conditions, all conditions on the same level must be connected using the same logical operator.
    • To rearrange the order of conditions in the signature, select the relevant lines and click either Move up selected conditions or Move down selected conditions .
    • Use the Not icon to add the NOT logical operator to a selected line. This logically reverses the TRUE/FALSE outcome of the full expression.
    • Add parentheses to a selected line.
    • To delete a condition, select the relevant line and click Delete Selected Condition .


      In the display of conditions in the signature, condition operands that are very long are truncated and end with an ellipsis (...). To view the full text within such conditions, click the Condition Zoom In View icon and select the relevant lines. The selected lines are presented in the read-only Rule Editor Condition Zoom view.

  7. Click Save .
  8. To test the signature, see Testing a component signature.
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