B2B connectors overview

You may have purchased products or services for your organization from manufacturers that DTS refers to as "B2B connectors." B2B connectors are manufacturers whose websites store data records of customer purchase history, software license information, and so on that you may find valuable for reporting and auditing purposes. By configuring B2B connector rules, you have the option of importing this information into the inventory database.

The types of data you can retrieve will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. For example, a rule for Adobe can import their most current software license data, helping you maintain up-to-date records within Management Suite's software license monitoring (SLM) console. A rule for CDW can import information about devices purchased from CDW, such as purchase price, P.O. number, and so on.

The B2B connector rules rely on vendor websites to import data. On occasion, a vendor may change their website, preventing the rule from working correctly. If this occurs, contact Ivanti to ensure that the rule functionality is updated via a content patch.

You may also find that a vendor has added a Captcha key, which prevents a B2B connector rule from accessing the vendor's website. In this case, contact the vendor directly.

When configuring B2B connector rules, you'll notice there are two types—file based and web based. Both types import manufacturer-supplied records, each in different ways:

  • File based: You log into the manufacturer website directly, create a report file from available data records (or request one from the manufacturer), and store the file in a directory location. When you run the rule, DTS imports the .CSV, .XLS, or .XLSX file. You'll want to update this report file periodically when new manufacturer records become available. Manufacturers that require you to create a report include Softchoice and Softmart.
  • Web based: DTS dynamically pulls data records from the manufacturer's website and imports them each time you run the rule. All manufacturers listed under the B2B connector folder are web based except for Softchoice and Softmart.

When you expand the B2B Connector folder, you'll see that DTS has an extensive list of manufacturers that you can set up as B2B connectors. To open the wizard for a manufacturer, right-click the manufacturer name and select New Rule.

Each manufacturer has slightly different requirements for configuring B2B connector rules. For more information, see B2B connector wizards.

About the Universal B2B import rule

You may also have a manufacturer-supplied report file that you want to import into the inventory database. In that case, use the universal B2B import rule to import the file data.

A list of manufacturers whose .CSV, .XLS, or .XLSX files DTS can currently import is accessible via the Universal B2B import folder's Edit Manufacturers right-click menu. If a manufacturer is not in this list, you must contact Ivanti with a request to add it. For more information about this rule, see Universal B2B import wizard.

Merging records

One key feature of DTS is the ability to use a B2B connector to create a "stub" record for a device that doesn't yet exist on your network.

For example, when you receive a computer at your loading dock, you can scan the barcode on the box, and DTS will create the stub record. Then, depending on the manufacturer, DTS may pull additional information from the web about the device. After you put the device on the network with an installed Ivanti agent, this stub record is merged with the normal inventory record.

Stub records are stored in the following places:

  • For devices that can be managed (such as computers), records are stored in the inventory database.
  • For a non-agent device (such as a printer), records are stored in Asset Control.
  • For a software license, records are imported into Management Suite's software license monitoring (SLM) console.

When a B2B connector rule creates a stub record, it assigns the Computer.Scan Type as Vendor Import. It also assigns the serial number (or similar identifying number) to the Computer.Barcode field. A service then runs on the core server looking for all records of Computer.Scan Type Vendor Import. It checks the Computer.Barcode against all other devices to see if a device with a different scan type exists.

By default, the Ivanti agent does not report a Computer.Barcode value. You must use a system-generated rule that's installed with DTS to populate this field.

If you plan on merging records, we recommend manually running this rule (located in Calculate Data > All Rules > Computer.Barcode). After comparing the barcodes for a match, the service will copy only the stub record data that doesn't already exist as part of the inventory record and then delete the stub record.