In K2 version 7.1, we added a new Status for Products called “Ignored”. This gives you an easy way to control which Products should be excluded from Audit Products reports. Here we’ll discuss some other aspects of this new Status, and describe why some products from PRS are initially set to Ignored.
Ignored and Audit Products reports
The main purpose for Ignored products is to have an easy way to control what you want to see and what you don’t want to see. Ignored products are never included in the Audit Products reports, and they can easily be hidden in the Products window using the appropriate checkmark in the Status section. Unreferenced products are included in the Audit Products reports (assuming they are installed somewhere). Products can be moved freely between Ignored and Unreferenced by dragging the product onto the desired Status category on the left hand side of the Products window. You cannot move a product in or out of the Referenced category as this is solely determined by whether Purchases or Policies exist for each Product.
For example, you might simply decide that you no longer want to see information about installs of a particular product. Moving the product to Ignored is better than completely deleting it, since by making it Ignored you can change it again at any time in the future without finding or recreating the product definition.
There are also some products where two different editions have an identical “footprint” – i.e. both editions are made up of the same major applications, and K2 has no way to distinguish them. In these cases, Audit Products reports will show both products. You should determine which edition you have actually purchased, and set the other editions to Ignored.
Ignored products from PRS
Certain products discovered by the Product Recognition Service will appear in the Ignored category. As above, these products will not be included in Audit Products reports. We have set certain definitions to Ignored when we believe that the majority of K2 Administrators will not take any interest in that product. For example, definitions for free Internet Browsers are set to Ignored so that they won’t automatically start appearing in the Audit Products reports. You can set them to Unreferenced if you want to see them in Audit Products reports.
There is one other implication of PRS treating products as Ignored. When a product definition comes from PRS, we go to great lengths to make sure that the “Variant Mask” is correct, so that exactly the correct minor versions of a program are included in a specific version of a product. For most commercial products, it is important to use the appropriate variant mask, and there would rarely be any reason to configure management in any other way. Browsers on the other hand are free, and if you pay any attention to them at all, you might want to just treat all versions as a single variant. For more about program variant masks, refer to the Program Details Window documentation.
Normally, importing a product definition from PRS forces program variant mask changes to align with what is needed by the new product definition. Ignored products don’t finalize program association – so they don’t force a mask change. Products Pending import look a little bit different. First, the product icon is different than usual:
Notice that the gear emerging from the product box is just an outline, instead of the usual solid gear. Next, if you open the product details for one of these products and look in the Programs pane, you will see:
Note the label “(pending import)” and the dashes in the Variant column. The dashes indicate that the current variant mask for the programs may not agree with the variant mask that is part of the product definition. To show either the current value or the value necessary for this definition would be misleading. If you set this product to Unreferenced, or create a Purchase or Policy for the product, at that point the import will be completed, and KeyConfigure will alert you to any necessary mask changes if your existing policies will be affected by the mask changes.
The Ignored status for Products provides an easy way to filter the Products window, and to control which Products appear in Audit Products reports.