Local Tracking Best Practices

This guide describes a general approach and best practices when setting up Local Device Tracking in Infinite Device Management on a site for the first time.

1) Install Print Audit Server components on the machine where ICE is installed.

In order for Local Tracking to be possible, you must install the Print Audit Server Components (Database Communicator and Administration tools) on the same machine running ICE.  Ensure that you install the Database Communicator, create a new database and install the Administration tools.  Do not install the Copy Audit Communicator, nor is there any point to installing the Job Editing and Reporting tools in an Infinite Device Management-only (where PA is being deployed only for local device tracking) deployment.  Typically you do not need to install the client either, but that really depends on how much printing to local devices that occurs from the PA/ICE server.

2) Set the default tracking profile for new devices to "Ignore"

This step ensures that as new devices show up, they aren't assigned a tracking profile which will have them uploaded to Infinite Device Management.  This gives you the chance to ensure that Serial Numbers, Locations, and virtual life counts are set before the device is uploaded to Infinite Device Management the first time.  This is useful behavior both during the initial configuration of local device tracking, and on an on-going basis, ensuring that you have the chance to perform those little configuration items on new devices before they are uploaded to Infinite Device Management.

Procedure:
i) Open Administrator
ii) Select Printer Profiles from the sidebar.
iii) Above the main frame is a drop down menu labeled "Default Profile"
iv) Select "Ignore" from the drop down menu
v) Close Administrator

The ignore profile should exist by default, but if it does not simply create a new printer profile with a track option of "Do not track" and set this as the default profile.

3) Deploy the Print Audit clients.  Allow time for the clients to populate all the printers that the customer has.  Note, you will populate all of the printers, including those network printers already being tracked by Infinite Device Management, this is not an issue as both the tracking profile these devices will get, and the upload filters will prevent them from creating duplicate devices in Infinite Device Management.

4) Merge duplicate printers and setup auto-merges.

Very often a single physical device will appear multiple times in Administrator.  A trivial example, a local printer printed to from the computer it is attached to will have a different port than another computer printing to that same printer via a share.  With Administrator you can merge these devices into one device, and clicks sent to any of the constituent printers will increment the virtual lifecount of the merged device.

Procedure:
i) Open Administrator
ii) Select Printers from the sidebar
iii) Select the printer you want to merge the duplicates into.
iv) CTRL-click on each printer that corresponds to the physical device
v) Select "Merge Printers" from the Advanced Menu.

Some devices, like USB printers can change their port if unplugged and plugged back in, this can cause duplicate printers to populate in Administrator.  To prevent this, use auto-merging to detect and automatically merge duplicate devices as they are discovered.

Procedure:
i) Open Administrator
ii) Select Printers from the sidebar
iii) Double click on the printer you want to set up auto-merging on
iv) Select the automerge tab
v) Specify criteria which when met will result in automatic merging, you can use * as a wildcard.

For example, with a USB device, you would replace the number in the port field with a *, ensuring that any device on that host, with that name/model will be considered the same printer, regardless of which USB port it populates.

5) Do any required/desired configuration of the local devices.

Print Audit will not automatically populate Serial Number, or Location, and virtual life counts will start at 0.  If you want the serial number or location of the device to show in Infinite Device Management, you can put those values into the appropriate fields on the edit printer page and they will be uploaded on their first scan.   Virtual lifecounts should be set to the appropriate values taken from the actual device.

NOTE: Always do this after merging duplicate devices.  Virtual lifecounts are not added when devices are merged.

NOTE: Always do this BEFORE any of the following steps.  If you allow a device to upload with virtual lifecounts of 1 for example, then change them to their actual values, those actual values will then be uploaded and in Infinite Device Management it will appear that the device ran it's entire lifecount in a single day...

6) Change the tracking level for all local devices to "Track."  Devices will not be uploaded when they belong to the Ignore profile.  To make this easier in a large site, always merge devices into the local printer that they represent, when it comes time to change device profiles you can filter the printers list in Print Audit Administrator to local printers.

7) Enable local device tracking for the site in Infinite Device Management, and ensure the upload filters will pass the devices you've assigned tracking levels to.  By default the upload filters will match devices whose port conforms to USB*, LPT* or COM*.  You may have to add additional filters, for example DOT4*.

On your next scan, local device tracking information should flow up to Infinite Device Management.

8) Adding tracking levels to your newly discovered local devices.  As all you will collect for local devices is color and mono life counts, there is no point to using a tracking level other than Silver for local devices.

Remember that your default profile is Ignore, so when you deploy a new local device to this site, you'll need to perform the same steps in the same order before the device will be tracked, but the device will then be tracked with complete and consistent data from it's very first scan

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