Note

 

This documentation supports the 20.17.01 version of Remedyforce.

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Managing reconciliation - BETA

Reconciliation (BETA) of data helps you to avoid adding duplicate configuration items (CIs) and assets to your Remedyforce CMDB.

Overview of reconciliation

The reconciliation process enables you to achieve the following goals:

  • Merge information from different data sources: With multiple data sources to add CIs and assets to your CMDB, you might get different data related to one record. If you enable and configure reconciliation, you can merge information about a CI or asset. Therefore, reconciliation enables you to make your Remedyforce CMDB richer with information.

  • Avoid duplication of information: With multiple data sources, you risk data duplication. 

By default, reconciliation is disabled. To apply reconciliation, you need to create reconciliation rules to identify duplicate CIs or assets of a class. If a new record matches an existing record, all the fields of the new record are matched with the existing records. If the new record has additional or changed information in one or more fields, the field values are updated in the existing record. If multiple matching records are found within the CMDB, neither the existing records are updated nor the new record is inserted. An error is displayed in your Data Loader or Pentaho logs.

Note

Reconciliation does not address existing duplicate records within your CMDB. It handles any incoming records once reconciliation is enabled, a rule is defined and activated. 


The following table describes the conditions when values in a matching record are updated based on the values in the existing records:

Field value in the imported or new record
(field not included in the reconciliation rule)
Field value in the existing, matching recordField value after reconciliation
XYZABCXYZ
XYZ<blank>XYZ
<blank> ABCABC

Best Practice

BMC recommends that you mark the fields used in a reconciliation rule as Required. Records with blank fields are imported to Remedyforce CMDB but reconciliation is not applied. 
 

The following figure shows an overview of the reconciliation process: 

Reconciliation process

When you import records, BMC Remedyforce first verifies if reconciliation is On. After reconciliation is enabled in your Salesforce organization, BMC Remedyforce validates the data against various conditions before inserting or updating a record in the Remedyforce CMDB. The following figure shows all the conditions that are used for data validation.

After you enable reconciliation, reconciliation rules are applied only on the new records imported (from any source). Reconciliation rules are applied when you edit an existing record only if the fields that you edit are present in the active reconciliation rule.

Known limitations

Reconciliation of Remedyforce CMDB records is considered BETA for the following known limitations:

  • If reconciliation is On, the devices discovered by enabling and configuring Remedyforce discovery are not imported even if the import job is running. Turn off reconciliation when you are running Remedyforce discovery.
  • When you are importing records from Pentaho packages or Data Loader, results of successfully updated records are shown with failure or error records.

  • Remedyforce Discovery provides a summary count of records imported, inserted, and updated per discovery job run. Unlike the Data Loader and Pentaho, it does not provide access to a detailed log at the record/row level. This limitation poses a challenge when troubleshooting importing and reconciliation errors as the log does not identify which specific records were not processed (that is not successfully inserted or updated).
  • If the reconciliation process is on and an update on at least one record occurs during an import, a temporary record is created and removed. This record is created with Mark As Deleted = checked and Inactive = checked and then removed within a few minutes, so that it never shows up in the Remedyforce CMDB viewer or any CI lookup within BMC Remedyforce.

Best practices

BMC recommends you to follow the following best practices when you enable reconciliation:

  • For faster search of records in your CMDB, BMC recommends that you get the custom indexes added to the fields that you are using in your reconciliation rules. To add custom indexes on a field, contact Salesforce support. For more information, see Salesforce Help.
  • While importing records by using Data Loader, Pentaho Packages, or any other third-party tool, ensure that you import records in a batch of no more than 20 records. All the out-of-the-box Pentaho packages provided by Remedyforce to import records from various products have been updated to import only 20 records in a batch. BMC recommends that you use the latest Pentaho packages to import records or configure the recommended batch size in the packages that you are using.

     Steps to configure batch size in Pentaho

    1. From the KJB file, open the required KTR.
    2. In the KTR file, open the Upsert steps.
    3. In the Batch Size field, enter 20.
    4. Click OK.

     Steps to configure batch size in Data Loader

    1. In Data Loader, click Settings and then select Settings.
    2. In the Batch Size field, enter 20.
    3. Click OK.

  • The Source field of type Picklist is added to the Base Element object. When you import records, the field value is set appropriately. For example, if you imported a record from BMC Atrium CMDB by using the Pentaho package provided out of the box, the field value is set to Atrium. This field is not available on the Instance Editor by default. You can use this field in reports. Ensure that you assign Edit permission for this field to your profile.

Creating reconciliation rules

To enable reconciliation, you need to configure how to identify a duplicate record. For example, to uniquely identify a record of the Computer System class, you can use the combination of Serial # AND (Asset # OR System OID) fields. You configure these fields in a reconciliation rule. Reconciliation rules are created for each class. You can create multiple reconciliation rules for a class. However, you can activate only one rule for a class at a time. 

The following information about reconciliation rules is provided:

Considerations for creating reconciliation rules

Consider the following behavior before you create a reconciliation rule.

Rule creation considerations
  • By default, reconciliation is disabled and no rules are created. When you create a rule, it is saved as an active rule. Therefore, when you save a rule, reconciliation is applied to all new imported, added, or updated records. Therefore, before saving a rule, you must be sure that you want to enable reconciliation.
  • To identify a matching record, use one or multiple fields that uniquely identify a record. You can create a combination of these fields to identify a record uniquely by using the logical operators (AND and OR). You can select a maximum of 20 fields to create a reconciliation rule.
  • You can create reconciliation rules for all active classes, including Rule Based classes. You cannot create reconciliation rules for abstract and hidden classes. 
  • Reconciliation rules are not run under the following conditions:
    • If you create reconciliation rules for a class and then hide the class or mark the class as abstract
    • If you create reconciliation rules for a Rule Based class and then later you deactivate the class
  • By default, all rules are saved as active rules. However, if you have multiple rules for a class, only one rule can remain active at a time.
Rule application considerations
  • Reconciliation rules are applied under the following conditions:
    • A new record is created or imported in the Remedyforce CMDB
    • In an existing record, fields that are included in the active reconciliation rule for a class are edited.
    • Multiple records are edited in the Remedyforce CMDB tab
    • If you have enabled agentless discovery or integration with BMC Client Management, in the Remedyforce Console, when a CI or asset is linked to a record on the Client Management tab of the Select from Configuration Items window
  • Reconciliation rule for a class is triggered when a record of the class is created, imported, or edited.
  • While editing a record, only if you update the fields that are used in the active reconciliation rule of the class (whose record you are editing), the reconciliation rule is triggered.
  • If the fields that are used in a reconciliation rule are blank in an imported or new record, reconciliation is not applied and the record is inserted to the Remedyforce CMDB. Therefore, BMC recommends that you mark such fields as required.
  • Reconciliation rules of a class on which a Rule Based class is created are not applied to the Rule Based class. For example, BMC_Desktop is a Rule Based class of BMC_ComputerSystem. Reconciliation rules created for the BMC_ComputerSystem class are applied to the instances of BMC_ComputerSystem class only. Rules of the BMC_ComputerSystem class are not applied to the BMC_Desktop class. Similarly, reconciliation rules created for the BMC_Desktop class are not applied to the BMC_ComputerSystem class.
  • Reconciliation rules of parent classes are not triggered for the children classes.
  • If duplicate records are present in the same batch of imported records, those records are not reconciled and are not inserted in Remedyforce CMDB.

Before you begin

You have large number of records (more than 200,000) in a class and you are enabling reconciliation for the class by creating a reconciliation rule. When a new record is created for the class or an existing record is updated, you might receive an error. To avoid the error, enable custom indexing on the fields used in the reconciliation rule for the class. To enable custom indexing on a field, you must raise a case with Salesforce. To resolve your case, Salesforce would require information, such as SOQL with bind values as mentioned here. For your reference, see Salesforce Help.

To create a reconciliation rule

  1. Click the Remedyforce Administration tab.
  2. On the Home page, click the Configure CMDB 2.0 tile, and from the menu, select Reconciliation Rules (Beta).
  3. On the Reconciliation Rules page, select the Reconciliation Service slider.
    Selecting this slider ensures that whenever a new record is imported, a record is added through the Instance Editor, or an existing record is updated, reconciliation rules are triggered. This slider enables reconciliation on all classes.
  4. Click New.
  5. In the Rule Name field, enter a unique name for the rule.
    For example, Computer System (Serial Number or Asset #).
  6. From the CMDB Class Type and Class Name lists, select the type of class and the class on which you are creating a rule.
    In the Class Name list, only the active, Rule Based classes are available. Abstract and hidden classes are not available.
  7. Select the fields based on which you want to identify duplicate records.
    Only the fields of the selected class and the classes higher in the hierarchy (up to Base Element) are displayed. If you have added custom fields to the field set of the selected class or any class in its hierarchy, those custom fields are also shown. 
  8. In the Filter Logic field, to form a unique value by using the selected fields, specify the logical operators.
    By default, AND is specified. BMC recommends that you use such fields in a rule whose value would be unique and do not use fields with lots of text, such as Description.
    You can use all the fields in any order in the Filter Logic. For example, you can use 2 AND (1 OR 3).
  9. Click Save

    Note

    By default, records marked as deleted are considered in reconciliation. To exclude these records from reconciliation, update the value of the CMDB_ReconcileMarkAsDeleted custom setting to False.

Verifying reconciliation status

To understand which field values are changed after applying reconciliation, BMC recommends that you track those fields on the Remedyforce Administration > Configure CMDB 2.0 > Track Attribute History page. You can view the field update history on the Remedyforce CMDB Details > Auditing tab.

Note

To successfully reconcile new, imported, or edited records, Remedyforce marks the first reconciled record as inserted and others as reconciled records. For example, if five imported records are reconciled, the reconciliation results show that the first record is inserted and the remaining four are reconciled.

The following table describes where can you view the results of reconciliation based on the product that you have used to import records to Remedyforce CMDB.

Source of importing recordHow to verify reconciliation

Data Loader

After the Data Loader imports the records, a message box is shown that gives the options to view success and failure records. To verify reconciliation results, click View Errors. Both success and error messages are displayed.

Click View Errors to open the CSV Viewer.

Pentaho Packages

Logs are available in the folders from where job files are located or the FailureRowsInput folder.

Discovered records imported from scanners 

The number of successfully reconciled records imported from Discovery Server can be verified by using the record generated in the Discovery Import Log object after successful import.

The details of the reconciled or inserted records are not available.

Third-party tool or created or updated recordIf a reconciliation rule is triggered and a record is updated, the date and time details when the record is updated are added to the Reconciliation Date field.


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