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ZCM should expose an API

Idea ID 2788764

ZCM should expose an API

For integration, automation and reporting purposes, ZCM should expose its objects and methods available via ZCC in a documented, uniform API / web service, similar to the Groupwise REST API (https://www.novell.com/documentation/groupwise2014r2/pdfdoc/gwsdk_gwadminweb/gwsdk_gwadminweb.pdf)

Our ZCM-managed environment is in a mid-sized university with ~1,500 managed workstations and a couple of servers. We have multiple independent ZCM zones for bundle / deployment testing and production, are installing and managing AD-joined Windows Desktops, Windows Servers and Linux Servers. Windows machine deployments are supported by the ENGL deployment toolkit, Linux hosts are deployed via the netinstall and installer automation methods of the respective distribution in use. The organization is decentralized with departmental admins having full responsibility over their infrastructure.

In our effort to streamline deployments for student labs and faculty staff, we use "deployment control" meta-bundles with "Install Bundle" actions to define an installation order for bundles upon initial deployment. We do not use the application window / launcher or user-assigned bundles.
This process is working well enough that "initial deployment" actually may be performed several times a year in a lab if the list of bundles undergoes significant changes. Bundle authors benefit hugely from this process as they mostly do not have to test for regressions on upgrades, uninstalls, reinstalls and uncommon / undefined software combinations.

Striving for full automation and decentralization of administration, we had demands from users which we could not implement due to limitations of the current automation interface (zman really) or role and security model:
- creation / modification of Preboot Services Hardware Rules and Registration Rules for integration with our IP address management solution
- copying of bundles referencing other bundles (either as an "Install Bundle" action or as a dependency) between independent zones
- automation of wrap-ups of bundles assigned to a container into a "deployment control" meta-bundle with "Install Bundle" actions
- automation of synchronization of containers and their properties (e.g. setting ZCM folder system variables based on AD OU's attributes) between our AD OU structure and the ZCM folder structure
- reporting for unused bundles and subsequent deletion automation
- delegation of control for select ZCC functionality to department administrators where either the administrators are unable to cope with the complexity of the ZCC or the role model does not allow for specific delegation to anyone but Super Administrators

In addition, I have noted a number of ideas already published on this site which could be implemented easily if an API exposing the respective properties and methods were available. Following a colelction from the latest 80 ideas here:

Bundle Requirements - Specified devices List - Import/Export https://www1.v1ideas.com/MFI/novell-zcm/Idea/Detail/2087
Report that shows what Admin groups a ZCC Administrator are in and what rights those groups have - https://www1.v1ideas.com/MFI/novell-zcm/Idea/Detail/2100
Bulk-add Discovery Tasks (via zman) - https://www1.v1ideas.com/MFI/novell-zcm/Idea/Detail/2108
Need zman command to grab contentfile name along with bundle ... - https://www1.v1ideas.com/MFI/novell-zcm/Idea/Detail/2190
zman options for patch policies - https://www1.v1ideas.com/MFI/novell-zcm/Idea/Detail/2250
6 Comments
Absent Member.
Absent Member.
Yes please!
Absent Member.
Absent Member.
Would be great!
Cadet 3rd Class
Cadet 3rd Class
This feature is a must for ZCM. So it would be possible to start CALL-Services like WOL.
Absent Member.
Absent Member.
Just stopping in to make a fresh comment in the hopes someone at Micro Focus sees this. GUI features for exporting lists of things (as requested in other threads) are fine, but that doesn't help me automate workflow. As an automation tool the zman utility is clunky at best, worse if performing more than a single task, but it does use the Zenworks web service, which I can deal with. Add more features to the web service targeted at enabling automation and orchestration and give us (supported, documented) access to that.
Commander
Commander
This would be awesome! Especially since zman is as clunky as it is.
Cadet 2nd Class Cadet 2nd Class
Cadet 2nd Class

Having originally posted this idea, I need to add an update:

after a reverse-engineering effort of ZMAN and some further poking the SOAP API of the zenworks service (https://your.zenworks.server/zenworks-wsdls/), we've sorted out most of the necessary SOAP API calls for manipulating admin users, bundles, devices and groups - which covers our needs for the time being.

 

Having this API supported and publicly documented would be a major move forward, though.

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