Editing Baselines and Custom Tasks

(imported topic written by mauricev91)

From what I can tell, I can incorporate tasks into baselines that affect every computer including computers that are added after the fact, but I am battling the highly confusing UI.

I want to set up a task that prevents a client from going into standby and spinning down the hard drive. I made a new baseline, clicked components tab, added one component to the group and chose the one for changing the power default. Now I get a popup menu that lets me an assign action, but I don’t know what the action refers to since it just calls itself “action x” or exactly how specify the relevant values, but I’d rather not here because I need to choose more than one action (both standby and hard drive spindown), and I don’t want the same name for both. So I opt to create a custom copy of the default task. In the custom copy, I can see all the actions and I can click “here” to edit the setting, but nothing happens when I click. I find that I can edit the actual text even though it’s presented as a hyperlink with a blue border, but apparently even though it lets me edit the hyperlinked word “text” itself, it’s not clear if it’s editing the real value or not because in other places, they are editable only from a dialog box.

I also noticed that the “Edit Baseline” window opens outside of the BigFix console program, which is confusing.

I figured out that to engage the baseline, I have to deploy it as an action. When I do, I’m now suddenly presented with a dialog to set the parameter of one of the two components I assigned, the one for the hard drive spin down time, which seems odd since I thought I had been doing that earlier as I described above, but apparently not since it’s value is still 30 (at least it’s back in the dialog). But what happened to the second action about preventing standby? That’s still listed as a component in this baseline, but for some reason doesn’t show up here.

(imported comment written by BenKus)

Hi mauricev,

It sounds like most of your confusion is around the idea that you are making a baseline using Tasks with multiple actions that have “action parameters”. Couple notes:

  • The “Edit Baseline” window (and other windows) open as a non-modal dialog to allow you to edit multiple things at once and allow you to navigate, copy, and paste from the console (this was a change we made in BES 6.0 by popular request).

  • Baselines are “groups of Fixlets/Tasks” that are commonly used to indicate if a computer needs one of the issues in the baseline. For instance, you can add 10 patches/AV checks/vuln checks to a baseline and it will be relevant if any one of the Fixlets is relevant. However, in your particular example, you are really using baselines as a way to “group actions”, which is why you need to click on the action in the baseline to apply the action.

  • “Action parameters” (values that you type in when you take an action) are entered when you take the action. You only need to put these in when the action has an action parameter (which you can see in the “actionscript”). To answer your question, I think that probably your power management task to disable stand-by did not need an action parameter.

Since you are exploring many advanced uses of the console (which we try to make intuitive yet very powerful and flexible), perhaps one of our training classes can help… but we are happy to answer questions on this forum too.

Ben

(imported comment written by mauricev91)

However, in your particular example, you are really using baselines as a way to “group actions”

Hmm, it even says in the action portion of a baseline, "Click here to deploy this

action group

". It kind of seems the UI expects this.

To answer your question, I think that probably your power management task to disable stand-by did not need an action parameter.

It does. On the one hand, parameters seem to be associated with individual actions, but the baseline deploys actions only as a group, so there’s no facility to enter each action’s parameter.

To workaround this, I made two separate baselines, one with each action and it seems to be working.

What happens to the action after it’s been performed initially? I set them to not expire and indeed it remains open, but not to reapply, so if I understand correctly, it will apply one time to each newly attached client.