How Can I Exclude Certain Machines from the Collections Within the Collection Library?


Harness the power of the built-in Collection Library but exclude certain machines.  


This is actually not too difficult especially if you have other static or dynamic collections you can reference.

Example: I’ve got some computers that need Java 8 32-bit but all of the rest of my computers need to be updated to the latest release version. When I look in the Collection Library at Java 8 32-bit (Old) I see that I have 17 computers.

Out of those 17 I don’t want Coach, Hannibal, Fox, or Newman to be part of the machines that get updated.

Because I want to link my Deploy Schedule to an Inventory Collection, I need to exclude them from this collection. 

First, create a Static Collection of those four computers so that I can reference them again.

Next, create a new Dynamic Collection to find All computers that meet the following criteria:

  1. A member of the Java 8 32-bit (Old) collection

  2. Are not members of the Testing Machines group.  

This results in the expected 13 remaining computers.

The machines have been successfully excluded from the collection and life is good. Then the boss says the Finance Department needs to be updated after-hours. This requires setting up a different schedule just for that department with the collection you’ve already put together. This shouldn’t be a problem because those computers are in their own Security Group in AD.

In this example, it is easier to manage the collections by department given the requirements of this organization. That being the case, create another Dynamic Collection to identify machines in the Finance Group.  Because each department has different needs, narrowing down results and collections to link specific schedules allows for a high level of granularity in deployments.

The Finance Department collection stands on its own* with 10 computers.  If I click and drag the previous collection on which we were working on top of this one, it nests itself underneath.  I can then double-click the Java collection (edit) and check the box to “Drill down from parent collection.”  This is only going to show results of the second collection based on only the machine results from my first (parent) collection.  Now we’ve also excluded Freyja, Nessy2008-32, and Naddy2008-64 that are not in the finance department. 

*This is important: Dynamic Collections must be able to work regardless of their placement on the navigation tree. For additional information on Drill Down, what it is and what it is not, see this other article: Using Drill Downs in PDQ Inventory

See Also:
Introduction to Collections

Advanced Collection and Report Filtering in PDQ Inventory

Advanced Filtering for Collections and Reports

Using Drill Downs in PDQ Inventory

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