A frequent element of my ITM orientated customer engagements is a bespoke monitoring or integration requirement, typically for an in-house developed application or 3rd-party tool. Historically that would have meant cranking out the Universal Agent and the rather daunting task of constructing one or more meta files. Fortunately the ITM Agent Builder has all but done away with the Universal Agent (the socket data provider, with the Agent Builder localhost restriction, is the only use case I can think of). Admittedly the first few versions of the Agent Builder felt a bit clunky but with each release it has developed into a powerful and easy to use tool. The range of supported data sources means that there is often a native alternative to having to write data collection code, which can reduce the development cycle enormously. The ability to automatically generate a Cognos data model, used in conjunction with Tivoli Common Reporting, is also a nice and welcome feature. Coupled with the introduction of the ITM Self Describing Agent functionality, which removes the burden of having to manually manage application support, the Agent Builder is a real asset in the ITM offering and one in which any ITM administrator should be well versed. If you are looking to develop your skills in Agent Builder, we have a course available that covers the development, testing and packaging of agents based on a variety of data sources.
The capabilities of the ITM Agent Builder have been exploited to help in the delivery of our IBM Endpoint Manager based “Patch and Asset Management” and “Mobile Device Management” Software as a Service offerings, both of which are proving to be popular propositions. As you can imagine, ensuring the availability and operational integrity of these services is a key priority, so having pro-active monitoring in place is an absolute must. Using the Agent Builder we can expose data gathered from the IBM Endpoint Manager web reporting interfaces using Relevance queries and make it available in the Tivoli Enterprise Portal. The agent also includes log, Windows service and URL availability monitoring, ensuring we have visibility of any issues that may occur.
The IBM Endpoint Manager agent is now available for purchase in our Agent Store.