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Entry Inspector – View, Modify, Export & Delete Data Quickly

Introducing Entry Inspector

Entry Inspector is a Java based utility developed to leverage the power of the BMC Remedy Java API to give you back some control & finesse over your Remedy data.

In Summary, Entry Inspector is a utility that puts the power to manipulate, explore, export & delete data from any BMC Remedy system quickly and accurately.  It is meant as a productivity tool for Administrators, Developers and Consultants.  It’s purpose is not to bring back the full BMC Remedy User Tool experience however it attempts to rectify gaps left by it’s departure.  Below is a quick screenshot of the main interface:

mainInterfaceSmall

 

 

Click below to Download:

I strongly recommend downloading the the utility to make sure it works for you and that you can connect to your AR system prior to purchasing.  Until a license key is purchased, the application will run in evaluation mode which limits the entries returned to 20 entries per query/action and displayed on the screen that it is an evaluation copy.  If you have any trouble with the Evaluation version, please let me know either directly or in the comments on this page.  This page also includes a walk-through of the capabilities so you can scroll down for more information regarding what this tool can do.

In order to license your copy of Entry Inspector to remove the nag text and hard coded max results, you can purchase your license key by clicking on the following link to take you to the check-out.  Make sure to include your email address so that I may contact you to provide your license key.  Email addresses will be kept private and not used/sold for any marketing purposes other then sending out updates when major upgrades have been published for download.

I will also provide a full un-restricted 30 day trial-license to those who ask for it to fully evaluate the tool.  Simply email me at support@soleauthority.net and ask for an evaluation license.  Please make sure to provide your full name, email address and the name of your company so that I can generate you a trial license that will remove the 20 entry limit for 30 days.

 

Click below to Purchase

(Will re-directed to a PayPal storefront):




Upon check-out, you will receive your key via email in 1-2 business days.  If you have any questions at all pre/post purchase you can reach me at support@soleauthority.net

 

Walk-Through and Demonstration of Entry Inspector

Since the  deprecation of the BMC Remedy User Tool, there have been some annoyances and loss of productivity for Admins & Developers living in a Mid-Tier only world which is why I created this new tool.

There are four (4) major areas of capabilities this tool focuses on and I will go over them one by one below.  These capabilities include:

  • The ability to Query and display data from any form, including fields that normally are hidden
    • No more filtering through logs or un-hiding fields to see what data is hiding unseen
  • The ability to Modify single or bulk entries extremely quickly
    • No more relying upon slow ModifyAll or Escalations to fix data in bulk
  • The ability to Export single, selected or all entries within a Remedy form, in both ARX and CSV format
    • No more having to build reports for simply exporting data
  • The ability to Delete single, selected or all entries within a Remedy form extremely quickly
    • No more having to overlay your system to delete the odd entry

All of the above is accomplished by way of the BMC Remedy Java API so no security layers or data integrity issues will arise from any of the above operations.

Now let’s walk through this tool:

In order to launch the tool, you must have Java 1.6+ installed on your workstation, depending on how your system is configured, you may simply be able to double-click the EntryInspector.jar file to launch it.  If this does not work, you may launch it via the command line using a command like “java -jar EntryInspector.jar”.  There is no ‘installation’ required for this tool so you can drop it anywhere (including multiple copies, so long as the licensee is the is the one using it) that is convenient and even keep it on a USB drive if you choose.

When you first launch Entry Inspector, you will be presented a login screen that supports login profiles.  Login profiles are maintained within the profiles.ini file included in the distribution, you can open this file and follow the instructions for defining your own profiles, this is purely optional.

loginScreen

Query & Display Data

Once we have successfully logged in, we are presented with the main application. For this screenshot I will show it fully populated, pretty much everything is driven from the “Form” field which is a menu that will populate with all the Remedy forms your logged in user has access to (visible and hidden).

mainInterfaceSmall

Here we can see that I loaded the HPD:Help Desk form from my local ITSM 8.1 system. You’ll notice from this screenshot that after the Form selection, you have a Search Builder that allows you to build qualifications based upon either a selected views fields (using field label names) or DB names/FieldIDs. Once you have your query ready (or you can leave it blank and it will do a 1=1 query to get around no unqualified search options that are sometimes set) you hit the “Perform Search” button to populate the table below it. By default the results limit is set to on and to 100 entries but you can un-check that to return all rows if you want (even if a max entries returned by getList option is turned on, I work around that in the logic so that limitation is bypassed).

The results table itself will by default show the same columns as are defined in the Results List properties of the form (e.g. it’ll match the same info that Mid-Tier search results show). The only difference is I always add Request ID as the first column as this is almost always useful for the target audience of this tool (Admins / Developers / Consultants). You can also add any of the form fields as an additional column or add all fields as columns, once you refresh the search those columns get populated.  You can also right click on the column headers names and hide specific columns from the view, move columns around, and re-size as needed.

If you double-click on a row in the table or right-click and hit the “Display” option, a new window will be displayed that will allow you to browse the full contents of that selected entry.

 

Modifying Data

Now looking at data is great, and this tool is very fast at it, sometimes you want to make quick data fixes.

When you right-click on an entry, you are presented with three (3) additional options, Modify, Export and Delete. If we click on Modify, we are presented the Entry in the Modify window where you have several options.

  • Modify Type
    • SET – This option is the same as a normal save, it will trigger normal “On Save” filters and update things like Modified Date and Last Modified By fields.
    • MERGE – This option is the same as using the BMC Import Tool where data will be brought in without triggering Filters. I’ve also disabled Pattern Matching, Required Field Checks and Merge Filters. This option should be used when you really want to update data without any real limitations outside of field data type enforcement.
  • Write Mode
    • Overwrite – This option is the same as a normal save, what you put in the “New Value” column will replace what is in the “Current Value” column.
    • Append – This option allows for appending your new value in the “New Value” column to the existing value in the “Current Value” column. This can be useful when you are say adding group IDs to Assignee Groups field as an example.
    • Replace – This option allows for replacing one value with another within a field based upon a regex lookup.  The convention is “whatToFind”, “replaceWithThis” where the whatToFind can by any valid regex expression.  E.g. to replace a group ID within a field, you could perform the following: “;100000012;”, “;100000013;”
  • Allow Display Only
    • If you check this box, Display-Only fields will also be available for setting.  Having Display-Only fields available allows for triggering workflow upon SET or MERGE actions as needed (e.g. setting z1D_Action fields in BMC Remedy ITSM)

 modifyInterfaceSmall

 

To date I have added a few row editor ‘helpers’ for fields like Selection Fields, Date/Time and Date fields. For each of these types, an appropriate editor or drop down will be presented.

We also have the ability to update entries in bulk

modifyAllInterfaceSmall

Here we can see a very similar interface however it doesn’t display the “Current Value” column anymore as when modifying multiple entries we don’t‘ know what the values are in all the entries at the same time (same behavior as Mid-Tier where you get basically a blank window to put your values into). We again have the same Modify Type and Write Mode options here to be used as required.

You’ll notice right off the bat that modifyAll action is quite fast, the reason being is that it is heavily multi-threaded operation so instead of updating entries one at a time and waiting for the AR Server to return, the system will try and process as many in parallel as the client machine and the AR Server will handle.

Exporting Data

Ok Great, we can modify our data, how about being able to export the data? In Mid-Tier, if you’ve ever had to export a full ARX of say the CHG:Infrastructure Change form, and don’t have access to the AR Server to leverage tools like the arexport or armacro commands, building that report for the first time can turn your hair white… Using our right click option again (or in the Action menu from the toolbar) we are presented with some export options.

 exportInterfaceSmall

 

In the example above, you can see that I actually had three (3) entries selected so I am given an option of only exporting those selected entries, or I can export all rows based upon the results of the query. Also, we can select if we want all data fields exported or only the fields being displayed in the query results table.  Lastly, we also have the option of selecting the format, being ARX or CSV. Once you have selected your options and click “Export” you will be presented the window to select where and what to call your export and then when you click save it will begin to process and notify you when completed.

Deleting Data

Ok, we can now export, what about deleting? In Mid-Tier, unfortunately if the “Delete” menu item is not on by default, you need to overlay the form to go make it visible. In my tool, any entry you display can be deleted, either singular or many entries in bulk. This is exposed via the right-click option (or the Action menu in the toolbar). Similar to the ModifyAll action, this is heavily multi-threaded so it will delete entries extremely fast compared to deletes performed via Mid-Tier or through workflow (e.g. escalations). 

deleteInterfaceSmall

Release Notes – Version 2.5

  • Improved install to allow setting of java path and properties
  • Added server specific preferences that can set default behaviours and defaults
  • Added a Recent Searches menu that will record the last 10 searches against the current form for quick recall without having to save the search
  • Added ability to search / recall searches
  • Added the Ctrl-S short-cut for saving to preferences, create, modify and profiles screen as well as many other keyboard shortcuts
  • Fixed date/time localisation issues
  • Initialisation of interface after selecting a form (especially one with many views) is significantly faster
  • Added keyboard shortcuts for common actions
  • Added the ability to copy contents from a cell rather then simply copying the whole row
  • Added the ability to remember the last server you logged into and will always default to that one on next launch of the tool
  • Sorted the Manage Profiles screen alphabetically by Profile Name
  • Increased the Delete action performance considerably by switching from a fixed 20 thread pool to a Cached Thread Pool so it’ll delete as fast as your client and the server can handle on it’s current queue
  • Increased the Modify/Modify all performance considerably
  • Fix a weird bug that sometimes caused Entry Inspector to fail to display Request ID for join forms (e.g. like those used in Asset Management applications, i.e. AST:ComputerSystem)
  • Fixed arx export whitespace bug
  • Many more improvements and bug fixes accumulated over this past year

Release Notes – Version 2.1

  • Added ability to do Create and Service actions against Display-Only Forms
  • Changed the field selection drop-downs to support auto-completion
  • Managing columns pop-up will allow for multiple actions now
  • Replaced existing login managers back-end with an embedded database

Release Notes – Version 2.0

  • Packaged with new installer (if you require non-windows version, please let me know and I will provide one)
  • Added selected row counter to allow for knowing how many you have selected without having to drill into a specific function for a count
  • Added SERVICE as an action type in the Modify/ModifyALL functions that will trigger Service workflow
  • Changed Display, Modify & ModifyAll function windows from jDialog to JPanel so that they can be maximized/resized as needed
  • Fixed Replace function not being used when Action Type MERGE was selected (it was appending instead)
  • Added new Create entry capabilities, you can do a standard create or a merge create against any data form
  • Added Copy To New capability, you can do a standard create or a merge create based upon the selected entry that will pre-populate
  • Added support for properly expanding Keywords (e.g. $USER$) for modify/modifyAll/create operations
  • Added ability to set specific Merge options rather then always using defaults
  • Increased performance of ARX/CSV exports by roughly ~30-40% and lowered memory consumption by about 50% during exports
  • Added ability to ‘append’ ARX data rather than just overwriting every-time
  • Added a new Utility section on main interface and include an Execute SQL utility
  • Added a new Utility section on main interface and include an Execute Process utility
  • Added a new Utility section on main interface and include a Manage Attachments utility
  • Added a new Utility section on main interface and include a Manage Diaries utility

Release Notes – Version 1.4

  • Added better error handling for Delete action, will now report errors instead of silently failing and refresh table after completing
  • Add the ability on the modify screen to ‘Replace’, if replace is selected in the fields modify box, insert a regex expression, e.g. “ABC, “123” to replace ABC with 123
  • Added the ability to pop-out the ‘current value’ in modify window in read-only mode while still allowing edit mode on ‘new value’ column
  • Added auto-sizing for results list table so that few columns will auto-grow to the available space, when more columns come in, once the min size it hit, add horizontal scroll bar
  • Fixed issue where re-logging in / switching servers would throw an ARError successful or not
  • Added the ability to manage login profiles from the login screen.  Login profiles are saved into the profiles.xml file if any manual manipulation / corrections are required
  • Changed behavior of Delete and ModifyAll threading to used a fixed thread pool of 20 instead of an unlimited pool, uses less memory and avoids crashes in lower memory machines

Release Notes – Version 1.3

  • Added ability to see/set Display-Only fields in Modify/ModifyAll window
  • Added ability to “Add all visible fields in the selected view”
  • Added ability to export only the fields displayed within the results table rather then always all fields
  • Switch to non-modal windows for Display, Modify & ModifyAll windows to allow for having multiple ones open
  • Added count to the delete window so that you know how many selected items you have before deleting
  • Added ability to select form name by MouseClick in addition to the normal enter key
  • Added Total Entries for form display when form is selected so you know how big your form is prior to any searches being performed
  • Minor polish and updates to the user interface

Release Notes – Version 1.2

  • Updated the Limit Results spinner to only allow valid values (1-999999998)
  • Added a new “Display” action which will open the request in a read-only window similar to the Modify / Modify All window
    • This is now the default double-click action rather then the Modify / Modify All action
    • You can open multiple “Display” windows against different entries if you wish to compare different entries
    • This replaces the old “Display Entry” section that previously was below the results table
  • Added additional informational columns to the Display, Modify & Modify All windows, the following columns now show:
    • Field ID, Field Type, Entry Mode, Field Name, Field Label (based upon the view you have selected in the main interface), Current Value and New Value (depending on the type of window you are in)
  • Corrected issues introduced in version 1.1 related to the Modify and ModifyAll actions as a side effect of adding the additional informational columns

Release Notes – Version 1.1

  • Fixed an issue with the ARX file generation that was causing ARX’s that were exported from this tool to not parse with BMC Import Tool properly.
  • Double-click behavior for selection in the results table has been updated to launch the modify window instead of displaying the entry in the text area below.  If you have multiple entries selected, so long as you are still holding shift key when you double-click, the modifyAll window will be presented.
  • In Modify & ModifyAll windows, added additional informational columns regarding the field which includes the Field Type & Entry Mode of the field.
  • Now when hitting the “Add All” button, which will add all available columns to the results table, it will automatically refresh the search to populate those columns rather then relying on the user to manually refresh.
  • Incremented the non-licensed evaluation mode to have a limit of 20 instead of 5 per feedback from multiple individuals thus far on the limit of 5.  Hopefully this will make the tool easier to evaluate
    • I have also added the concept of time based evaluation licenses so users can experience the full potential of this tool with no restriction for a period of 30 days.  Simply request an evaluation key by emailing support@soleauthority.net and asking for one, please remember to include your full name, email address and company name so that I can generate you a proper evaluation key.

Release Notes – Version 1.0

  • Due to an apparent bug in the Java API, when you are selecting non-English views to assist in the query builder, the qualifications will not parse properly and throw errors.  Until this is resolved, please limit actions to English only view locales.  Once this is corrected, I a new version will be released with hopefully better overall multi-lingual support through-out the rest of the application which is currently English-Only.
  • Due to a confirmed BMC Defect as it relates to the Java API (SW00467684), when you are using the query builder and your view contains field labels that are the same but have a different special character at the end, the qualification will fail to parse.  Example: If a form view contains the following fields ‘Assignee*’ and ‘Assignee+’, any query that leverages either will fail as the special characters I assume both get flattened to the underscore (_) character I assume which makes them no longer unique.
  • While Java 1.6+ is the recommendation (both 32-bit and 64-bit supported), I would strongly recommend using a 64-bit version as for large exports the memory consumed can rise above the limit of a 32-bit process on large forms (e.g. CHG:Infrastructure Change).  If you find the tool completely stalls or doesn’t not seem to be running well, try using the latest version of Java 1.7 64-bit which is confirmed to run this utility at it’s best and fastest.

6 thoughts on “Entry Inspector – View, Modify, Export & Delete Data Quickly

  1. ***Note for the release of version 1.1 to those who have already purchased and received their licenses.

    Because of the evaluation licensing I am now providing I’ve had to revise how I handle licenses so unfortunately this will require a replacement license. I will strive to get everybody who have already received their previous license a new one before I sign off for the day today and if you had order it but not received it yet, please download the latest build and when I do send you your key, it will be the proper key. I apologize for the inconvenience.

  2. Hi Curtis,

    I’d like to be able to evaluate this utility for use in a government setting, but before I will get an authorization to use it I’ll need to be able to answer some questions for our policy folks. Where is the best place for me to supply the questions?

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