Configuration file tracking

The horizontal discovery process can find configuration files that belong to certain applications and add those configuration files to the CMDB. You can track the changes to these files by comparing them to previous versions.

Components for configuration file tracking

  • Configuration item (CI) type:

    Every application and host in your organization must have a corresponding configuration item (CI) type which allows Service Mapping and Discovery to discover and process this application correctly. In a base system, many CI types have configuration file paths defined for them. You can add new or modify existing definitions for tracking configuration files. See Modify tracking changes in configuration files for instructions.

  • Patterns:

    Configuration file tracking is available for patterns that discover applications. On the pattern, you can create tracked file definitions that specify the CI type to which the application CI belongs and the path of the configuration file. Specify as many tracked file definitions as needed. You can also specify whether you want to save the contents of configuration files so you can view and compare the contents of different versions.


    Configuration file tracking is not available for discoveries performed by traditional probes and sensors.

    The classifier that triggers the pattern must specify the Horizontal Pattern probe, which in turn, must specify the pattern. If you upgrade to Jakarta, not all classifiers are configured to use patterns for discovery by default. See New patterns for the Jakarta release for more information.

  • CMDB:

    All configuration files are saved as a CI in the Tracked Configuration file [cmdb_ci_config_file_tracked] table. If you enable the content to be saved, these CI records provide the contents of the configuration files, including previous versions. From the configuration file CI record, you can compare different versions. See Compare versions of CI configuration files for instructions.

  • Properties:
    You can also specify properties to control these aspects of tracked configuration files:
    • The size and number of tracked configuration files.
    • The time window during which changes to configuration files are tracked for a given version.
    • The number of changes allowed on a configuration file during that time window.
    See Discovery properties for more information.

Dependency maps and business service maps

Both dependency maps and business service maps display tracked configuration files. The relationship between a configuration file and its host is a contains relationship. The application contains the configuration file.

For example, this IIS web server contains three tracked configuration files:

Sometimes you organize CI types as a main CI type and its related CI types. On a business service map, Service Mapping shows changes to configuration files of related CIs for the main CIs in inclusions. In inclusions, the system treats applications hosted on a server as independent objects. For example, the Tomcat WAR CI appears separate from its host, the Tomcat CIs. In this case, Service Mapping shows changes to configuration files of Tomcat WAR when you select Tomcat. In addition, Service Mapping displays changes to configuration files of the hardware server hosting inclusions. In this example, it is a Linux server:

Example of inclusion with a host

Deletion strategy

You can specify what you want to do with tracked configuration file CI records when discovery can no longer find them. You can keep the configuration file CI record, automatically delete it, delete only the CI relationships to it, or mark it absent. See Set the deletion strategy for tracked configuration files for instructions.

Discovery patterns that support configuration file tracking by default

These patterns provide tracked file definitions by default:

Classifier Pattern CI Type File path of tracked file
Microsoft IIS Server IIS Microsoft iis Web Server [cmdb_ci_microsoft_iis_web_server] EVAL(javascript: var rtrn = '';var winDir = CTX.getCommandManager().shellCommand("echo %WinDir%", false, null, null, CTX);rtrn = winDir.trim() + '\\System32\\Inetsrv\\Config\\*.config';)
IIS Virtual Directory [cmdb_ci_iisdirectory] $install_directory + "\*.config"
Active MatrixBusiness Works Active MatrixBusiness Works ActiveMatrix Business Works [cmdb_ci_appl_tibco_matrix] $config_file
Enterprise Message Service Enterprise Message Service Tibco Enterprise Message Service [cmdb_ci_appl_tibco_message] $config_file
Oracle Oracle DB on Windows Pattern Oracle Instance [cmdb_ci_db_ora_instance] $install_directory + "\network\admin\*.ora"
Oracle Instance [cmdb_ci_db_ora_instance] $install_directory + "\dbs\*.ora"
Oracle DB on Unix Pattern Oracle Instance [cmdb_ci_db_ora_instance] $install_directory + "/dbs/*.ora"
Oracle Instance [cmdb_ci_db_ora_instance] $install_directory + "/network/admin/*.ora"
Tomcat Tomcat Tomcat [cmdb_ci_app_server_tomcat] $install_directory + "/conf/server.xml"
Tomcat WAR [cmdb_ci_app_server_tomcat_war] $install_directory + "/WEB-INF/web.xml"
WMB WMB On Unix Pattern IBM WebSphere Message Broker [cmdb_ci_appl_ibm_wmb] $install_directory + "/*/etc/config/*/*.prop"
WMB On Windows Pattern IBM WebSphere Message Broker [cmdb_ci_appl_ibm_wmb] $install_directory + "\*\etc\config\*\*.prop"
WMQ WMQ On Windows Pattern IBM WebSphere MQ [cmdb_ci_appl_ibm_wmq] $install_directory + "\*\config\*"
WMQ On Windows Pattern IBM WebSphere MQ [cmdb_ci_appl_ibm_wmq] $install_directory + "/bin/*.sh"