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Questions and issues using Heartbeat to deploy


We deploy most of our packages using different shedules which trigger on heartbeat.
The reason for choosing 1 package / shedule is that we have a lof of government legacy software running which doesn't always work with the latest version of java / firefox / chrome / ... so we have to carefull.

I know we could use nested packages, but I find more clear to have a shedule / packge. So we can disable a specific shedule in case of known problems or the opposite, force a specific package to fix issues.

We prefer working with a heartbeat trigger, so machines get updated when an employee enters the office and switches on his computer. A fixed sheduled would blow up parts of our network. Some remote locations use point to point beam connections.

The problem we face now is that some machines haven't updated in a while. I would guess the problem lies in the fact that some machines are never truly switched off, but go in this deep sleep (fast startup as Microsoft calls it).

The PDQ website cleary states: "When PDQ Inventory detects that a machine has gone from an offline state to an online state, it can trigger something that we call a Heartbeat Trigger."


Our users switch off their desktops every evening, but some machines report in PDQ Inventory that they are already up for 100s of days. I guess some computers use the fast startup method.

So if a machine never switches truly off, but uses that fast startup, the state from offline to online is never triggered and thus packages will not be deployed.

Am I understanding this correctly?



Date Votes
  • You are very close. Heartbeat uses pings to determine if a computer is online or offline, not its uptime. Inventory automatically pings every computer in its database based on the interval you have set in Options --> Preferences --> Network --> Interval. You can manually heartbeat a computer with CTRL+H.

  • Hi, the interval is set to 300 seconds.

    But if the computers (which have an uptime of multiple days (some have more than 100)) can be pinged by PDQ Inventory, the heartbeat trigger for the packages should fire and update for for example Google Chrome should run.

    Unfortunately the versions of Google Chrome, Firefox ... are all old. So it seems they don't get updated by the sheduled tasks....

    I don't really care about the uptime off the devices, but I do care about software updates.


  • A target's Online state has to go from No to Yes in order for a Heartbeat trigger to fire. If a computer is only rebooted, never shut off, it is very possible for it to complete its reboot with the Heartbeat Interval. I recommend adding a time-based trigger to your schedules to catch these computers.

  • Aargh! What a embarrassing beginners' mistake: the computers were not in the target group.

    I've added the computers to the target group and they seem to update just fine


  • It happens to all of us :)

    I'm glad you got it working!