Do you manage printers with Microsoft Active Directory Print Management? Are you tired of manually creating and updating printer items in Micro Focus Service Desk? Even if you have done this, chances are good that this process quickly got out of hand. Manually keeping up with changes to printers can be exhausting and error prone. You are not alone in this pain.
The folks at Missoula County, MT were experiencing this pain with managing their printers in Service Desk. They really didn’t want to have to manage them in two places. They contacted me to find a solution. At first, we couldn’t come up with one. The trouble was that we could list the Print Management printers in LDAP, but Service Desk doesn’t read Items directly from LDAP. However, Items can be imported from a database. If there was only a way to get the LDAP objects into a database….
Well, it’s a good thing our customers are so smart! Ken Marshall at Missoula County figured out how to create a database view that reads the printer objects directly from LDAP dynamically. He provided the scripts to create the database view and the connector that ties the view into LDAP. From there, we were able to write a Service Desk AMIE import driver to import the printers from the database view.
Thus, it is possible to completely automate this process! Jason Knudson at Missoula County has been using this implementation for several months and reports that it is working flawlessly. He is also very anxious that I share it so we all can benefit. With his and Ken’s permission, I will walk through the required steps for creating the database connector and view. I will also detail the process for connecting Service Desk to this view.
The AMIE import functionality of Service Desk makes this possible. We will make use of the following for this article:
NOTE: This is a structure that the PrinterView will use to connect to our Active Directory LDAP server.
NOTE: An Active Directory user could also be used here. To do that, edit the User Mapping for the Active Directory user instead of creating a new Login.
NOTE: Even though this step isn't technically necessary, it will make the printer items cleaner.
I renamed my AD Printers Category fields as follows:
Using the steps outlined in this article, you should now have printer items from Active Directory Print Management showing up in Service Desk. This makes it easier to manage and open tickets for printers in your environment.
Because the PrinterView performs a live LDAP query to Active Directory Print Management, the Service Desk import is dynamic. As printers are added or updated from the Print Servers, subsequent imports from Service Desk will add or update the printer Items. This means that you can simply manage the printers in Active Directory instead of having to worry about manually creating the printers as Items in Service Desk.
I hope this makes it easier to manage printers in Service Desk. Thank YOU for using Micro Focus Service Desk!