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Using the configuration catalog

This section describes how to use the configuration catalog in BMC Asset Management to set up and manage approved configurations in your company.

Configuration administrators and application administrators use the configuration catalog to define approved configurations to be used for people and groups within a company.

For example, a salesperson's configuration might consist of a laptop, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a keyboard, a mouse, and a printer. You can add this configuration to the configuration catalog as the salesperson approved configuration.

Each of the approved configurations in the configuration catalog contains items. The items in a configuration are not CI records. A CI record represents an actual item in your IT environment, such Joe Unser's laptop. The items in a configuration outline the components that comprise the configuration. Some items might be tracked as CIs in BMC Atrium CMDB (for example, a laptop). Other items might be tracked as bulk inventory (for example, a mouse). After you add items to a configuration, you must relate the corresponding CI records to the configuration. By relating the CI records to a configuration, you can keep track of which CIs are deployed in the configuration.

Configuration diagram

Click on the following image to expand it.

On the effective date of a new configuration, the following actions occur:

  • Approved configurations become active.
  • Previous versions of the configuration become inactive.
  • Obsolete configurations are deleted from the database.

Use the configuration catalog to help accomplish the following tasks:

  • Make sure that only approved configurations are deployed — New configurations must be approved before they are deployed. If BMC Change Management is installed, approvers can use it to approve configurations. If BMC Change Management is not installed, approvers can approve configurations manually.
    Approved configurations serve the following purposes:
    • Help IT specialists to troubleshoot problems. Any CIs that are not included as part of the approved configuration for that user might be contributing to the problem.
    • Help the configuration administrator determine how many systems are out of compliance or how many systems have previous configurations.
  • Check inventory — When you require an approved configuration, use the configuration catalog to check whether the items are in inventory, and to reserve the required items. For example, when a new salesperson is hired, you can check that items for the salesperson approved configuration are in inventory.
  • Submit purchase requisitions — You can access configuration functionality when creating a purchase requisition, and can access purchase requisition functionality when checking a configuration.
    • When creating a purchase requisition, you can select a configuration in the configuration catalog to order. For example, when a new salesperson is hired, the manager can submit a purchase requisition for items that are not in inventory.
    • When checking inventory for a configuration, you can create purchase requisitions for CIs that are low in inventory or that must be replaced because they are damaged or obsolete.
  • Review configurations — You can schedule a review of configurations. You might review active configurations on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. You can use this review to find configurations that have outdated hardware or software. When you review a configuration, you can create a new version of the current configuration and relate all new CIs. For details, see Generating a review schedule.

This section describes the following topics:

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