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Creating or editing a federated data class

As part of the process of configuring the retrieval method of federation, you must define a federated data class in the BMC Atrium Configuration Management Database (BMC Atrium CMDB) data model. The federated data class represents a set of information about the external source of data (such as a table on a database), so that data can be viewed within the context of the data model. Federated data classes that you create are subclasses of the BMC_FederatedBaseElement class.

The following topics provide information about creating or editing a federated data class:

Creating a federated data class

The following procedure includes examples for a Calbro Services administrator who wants to create a new federated data class for computer system information stored on a Microsoft SQL Server database. Specifically, you want to federate information for name, workgroup, last data transfer, and so on. You have already created a plugin and data store for this database.

After you have created a federated data class, you must verify the new federated class and its attributes.

To create a federated data class

  1. In Federation Manager, open the External Data Repository page by using one of the following methods:
    • As part of the procedure to create a new data store, as described in Managing federated data stores.
    • In the navigation pane, select an existing data store. Then in the Retrieval Definitions tab, click New next to the Federated Data Classes table.

      Create launch interface method

      Method

      Steps

      Creating a new data store

      1. Create a new data store. For more information, see Managing federated data stores.
      2. On the Federation Definition Method page, select Retrieval.
      3. Click Next.

      Create launch definition in an existing data store

      1. In Federation Manager, select a data store from the list.
      2. Click the Retrieval Definitions tab.
      3. Click New next to the Federated Data Classes table.

  2. From the Repository list on the External Data Repository page, select the plugin that you want to use to connect to the data store.
    For example, the Calbro Services administrator would select the banking server plugin, as created in Creating plugins for federated data.

    Note

    If you defined a plugin alias in the ar.cfg file that is different from the plugin name, the alias is listed in the Repository field.

  3. From Available Tables, select a table that you want to access on the external data repository, and then click Next.
    For example, the Calbro Services administrator would select the BankingServers table.
  4. On the Federated Data Class General Information page, review or provide the following information, and then click Next:
    • A namespace for the new federated data class.
      By default, new federated data classes are in the BMC.FED namespace. For more information, see Namespaces and partitioning the data model.
    • (optional) A valid name for the class. You can use only the following characters: a-z, A-Z, 0-9, and a period. By default, the Name field is auto-filled, based on the table you selected previously.
    • (optional) The name of the person or company creating this class.
    • (optional) A description of the class.
      For example, the Calbro Services administrator would select the BMC.FED namespace and name the class CAL_BankingServers.
      If your organization follows particular naming conventions when extending the data model, apply those conventions to this class.
  5. On the Field Selection page, select the data fields on the external data source that you want to make available through federation:
    1. From the Fields Available in the External Table list, select a field, and then click Add.
    2. Continue adding fields to the Attributes in the CMDB Federated Class list until you have added all of the fields that you want to be available in the new class.
    3. Use the Key Attribute menu to select a field in the new federated data class as the key identifier for the class.

      Note

      Select a field that contains a unique value for each instance in the table. The key identifier should be either a character or integer field on the external source of data. When you submit the federated data class, the key field is created in BMC Atrium CMDB as a character field. When the underlying vendor form that represents the federated data class is created, the key identifier field is internally mapped to the Request ID field (field ID 1).

    4. Click Next.
      For example, the Calbro Services administrator would add the PrimaryKey, Name, Priority, LastDataTransfer, and Workgroup fields as attributes in the new federated data class, and would specify PrimaryKey as the key attribute.
  6. Review or assign Hidden and Visible permissions for the new class, and then click Next.
    For more information about BMC Atrium CMDB permissions, see BMC Atrium CMDB data permissions for classes and attributes and Setting class permissions in the Class Manager.
  7. On the Summary page, review the details for the federated data class, and then perform one of the following actions:

    Action

    Steps

    Create the federated data class and then start the process of creating a federated relationship class.

    1. Select Create the Data Class and Continue with Relationship Class Creation.
    2. Click Next.
    3. If the federated data class is successfully created, click OK to close the SUCCESS dialog box.
    4. Create the federated relationship class.
      For more information about creating a federated relationship class, see Creating or editing a federated relationship class.

    Create the federated data class only.

    1. Select Create the Data Class and then Exit.
    2. Click Finish.

To verify the new federated class and its attributes

  1. Open Class Manager.
  2. Select the BMC_FederatedBaseElement class.
    Your new federated class is displayed as a subclass next to it.
  3. Double-click the federated class to open the CI Class dialog box.
  4. Review the general properties of the federated class.
  5. Click the Attributes tab and review the fields that you selected from your external data repository.
    These are listed as attributes in your federated class.
  6. Click OK.

To edit a federated data class

As your installation of BMC Atrium CMDB matures, you might want access to a different set of data than you originally made available through a federated data class. For example, a database might have new information about banking servers that you want to associate with Configuration Items (CIs) in BMC Atrium CMDB.

Note

You cannot modify the plugin name, table name, or key attribute associated with a federated data class.

  1. In Federation Manager, select the data store containing the federated data class that you want to edit.
  2. In the Retrieval Definitions tab, select the federated data class you want to edit, and then click Edit.
  3. In the General tab of the Edit Federated Data Class dialog box, verify the setting for the Allow Unqualified Queries check box.
    By default, the field is not selected, forcing you to enter a qualification when querying for data in this class. If you want users to be able to submit unqualified queries for this class, select the check box.
  4. If necessary, change the Visible and Hidden permissions for the class.
  5. Click the Attributes tab.
  6. Click Add or Remove to configure which fields on the external table are included as attributes of the federated data class.

    Note

    Do not remove the key attribute from the federated data class.

  7. Click OK.

To edit an attribute of a federated data class

Attributes for federated data classes function well without editing. However, you can change some characteristics of the attributes. For example, you might want an attribute to have a name different from the one used on the external source of data.

  1. In Federation Manager, open the federated data class that you want to edit.
  2. In the Edit Federated Data Class dialog box, click the Attributes tab.
  3. In the list of attributes used in the federated class, click the edit button next to the attribute that you want to edit.
  4. In the Attribute - Edit dialog box, edit values for any of the following fields:
    • Attribute Name
    • Namespace
    • Any field that controls the storage capacity for the attribute (such as Max Length)
  5. Click OK to save the changes to the attribute.
  6. In the Edit Class dialog box, click OK.

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