Project Open 3.5.x

POConfItemBuddy and Expanding Conf Item Functionality

I really like the breadth of features that Project Open’s Conf Item subsystem gives me. It’s not just an inventory listing. It gives me tools to manage configuration items. For example, here are some of the things I really like about Project Open (]po[):

  • Track hardware or software.
  • Track data specific for a given conf item type, so that I can track IP addresses for server but not even prompt for that on software.
  • Add types of configuration items, so I can expand PO’s usage beyond what comes with the default package.
  • Link hardware or software to a help desk ticket, so it’s easy to see what conf items are generating help desk activity.

However, I can’t find how ]po[ allows me to group servers, or to link software to a server. So, I developed POConfItemBuddy to do three things:

  • Group Servers: POConfItemBuddy lets you use a Conf Item that defines groupings among other Conf Items. For example, POConfItemBuddy lets me add a Conf Item like ohcolx00 that would define all of my Linux servers. That means I can enter a Help Desk ticket that links to ohcolx00, and that ticket now represents an action involving all of my Linux servers.
  • Link Software to Servers: POConfItemBuddy lets me define what pieces of software run on what servers. So, I could link Tomcat and Enterprise Service Bus to a Linux server or SQL Server 2008R2 to a Windows server.
  • Link Applications to Application Servers: POConfItemBuddy lets me say what servlets run on my Tomcat servers or what workflows run under my Enterprise Service Bus servers.

Important note:I want to apologize to the ]po[ developers for not building this as an add-on to ]po[ itself. I would have loved to have contributed back to the project that’s helped me so much. Trouble is, I didn’t have time to invest in learning TCL or AOLServer to the point I’d be comfortable that I could write something secure and functional. So, I fell back to one of the languages I do know: Java.

On a positive note, since it’s written in Java, it’ll run wherever you’ve installed your ]po[ server. You can find POConfItemBuddy here:

Get POConfItemBuddy

You can download the binary that’s ready to run. You can also download the source code that you can compile yourself. You’ll also find the Owner’s Manual that, I hope, will be clear enough to get you up and running.


Terrance A. Crow is the Senior Security Engineer at a global library services company. He holds a CISSP and has been writing applications since the days of dBASE III and Lotus 1-2-3 2.01.