IT Asset Data – natural for SQL tables
The decision to publish the format of the database of our former IT asset management product Asset Manager Pro was taken many years ago at the inception of the software. Reasons at the time were a mixture of ethical, practical and marketing.
– Ethical because we felt it right to ensure that customers had the maximum potential to exploit their asset data.
– Practical because we realized that many organisations would have existing business intelligence tools which they would want to use in preference to our embedded Crystal Reports.
– Marketing because an open format database goes some way to countering concerns about lock-in and proprietary designs that are deemed particularly important when dealing with a smaller vendor.
Publishing the structure of the SQL-Server based database enables customers to read and write data through SQL statements. We came across a great example in a past training session for a major European customer.
We discovered that they had generated a Web-based front end for the capture and storage of all IT-related asset data, exploiting AM Pro’s support for customers to define their own asset types. This customer had also had the foresight – or good fortune – to have invested in a finance package that provided similar accessibility. So their Web front end was able to also write the financial details of assets to the finance system.
If I can twist their arms to show us the SQL they are using, we’ll publish this in a Best Practices note.
Update: today, we offer the new and improved Vizor Assets, which provides users with the ability to define their own assets and details, along with many other IT asset data customization & functionality.