This product is a straightforward and competent auditing tool whose apparent simplicity and ease of use will appeal to many system administrators.

The concept is familiar in that agents are created and then run on the target machines in order to produce a report accordingly. These agents might be distributed in a number of ways, from manually walking around with portable media such as floppy or zip disks, to emailing direct to users, with the results collected into a shared network folder or, if machines are not on a network, simply collected on portable media.

The agents can also be run remotely over the network from a central location or, once distributed, incorporated into a log-in script in order to be run automatically upon start-up. Scheduled audits might be run by setting up scheduled tasks individually on the target machines.

Data is stored in either Microsoft Access or SQL Server format databases, and the iInventory Console should reside on a Microsoft client. However, the agents can be run on Windows, Mac or Linux-based computers and the data collected for analysis via the iInventory Console.

It is possible to configure a user questionnaire for inclusion with the agents. This gives an opportunity to collect specific information which might not be gathered automatically, such as details of other office equipment.

The console is simply presented, with different panes to show increasing drill-down detail as appropriate. Its minimalist design includes a simple drop-down selection box for popular queries, which ran very quickly in practice.

Simple tools are provided to compact the database and data can be exported in either Microsoft Access or text formats for analysis with other programs.

The seemingly minimalist software manages to quickly retrieve information about your computing environment.

Queries are sensibly chosen, and a simple query builder enables a custom approach to be taken, with the resultant query being run straight from the dialog. There is even an integral SQL builder, which produced competent output.

iInventory is a no-nonsense product with which to tackle the auditing task.

Product title
Product info
Name: iInventory (Auditing tools group test) Description: Price: $18.60 per node – reducing to $2 per node.
Simplicity of concept and execution.
Presentation is a little basic.
A useful addition to the administrator's toolkit.

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