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Sharing in PDQ Inventory Has Been Superseded By The New Central Server Feature

This documentation covers the beta installation of the Central Server. While the instructions and other information provided in this article should be accurate, the images may differ slightly from what you see in the product. Documentation will be updated periodically to reflect changes made to images and features.

Purpose:
With the introduction of the Central Server feature in PDQ Inventory 13, the Sharing feature (Options > Preferences > Sharing) has been deprecated and will be removed in a future version of PDQ Inventory. 

Resolution:
Current users of the PDQ Inventory Sharing feature should migrate to the Central Server feature as soon as is reasonable. In order to migrate from the Sharing feature to Central Server, a basic understanding of Central Server is necessary. This change is covered in the following sections: 

Feature Overview
Important Menu Changes
Background Service and Credentials
Configuring Server and Client Modes
 

Feature Overview:
Central Server addresses the need to share collections, tools (see important note below), scan profiles, and reports between PDQ Inventory consoles by creating a server/client relationship. In this model, the PDQ Inventory consoles in Client Mode access the collections, reports, scan profiles and tools on the PDQ Inventory console running in Server Mode, using the Server’s database and background service. The PDQ Inventory console in Server Mode may also initiate scans and perform other tasks; however, they are initiated in the same way a standalone, locally-installed PDQ Inventory console would.

In the Server/Client relationship, only one server is possible, but there may be multiple client PDQ Inventory consoles. There may be multiple server/client relationships, meaning an organization may have multiple servers, each with their own respective (and discrete) client consoles (see notes at the end of this article for more information and limitations).

NOTES:

  • If you are migrating an existing Local Mode (standalone) console of PDQ Inventory to Client Mode, be aware that custom collections, tools, scan profiles, and reports will not be migrated over to the server automatically. In order to move those custom items, please see the instructions in the Central Server: Migrating Existing Installations with Custom Collections, Tools, Scan Profiles, and Reports article.
  • While the PDQ Inventory console in Server Mode performs the majority of tasks initiated from the PDQ Inventory Client Mode consoles, certain limitations apply, such as running Tools, which are run from the local PDQ Inventory client console. For example, initiating the Remote Desktop tool must be performed on the client console. It would not make sense to have the RDP session open on the server console.
  • It is possible to have multiple PDQ Inventory consoles operating in Server Mode, but it is not possible for a PDQ Inventory console running in Client Mode to connect to more than one server console.
  • Connections from a Client to the Server are limited by the number of concurrent client sessions as defined by the quantity enumerated in your Enterprise license. Note: if a server console is open, that counts as a session. It is not necessary to have the server console open in order to complete PDQ Inventory tasks from a client (but the background service on the server console must be running).


Important Menu Changes:
Significant changes were made to the PDQ Inventory menu bar to include the Options menu item, which now includes the following:

  • Scan Profiles (Previously under File > Preferences > Scan Profiles)
  • Custom Fields (Previously under File > Preferences > Custom Fields)
  • Credentials (previously under File > Preferences > Credentials)
  • Variables (previously under File > Preferences > Variables)
  • Console Users (previously under File > Preferences > Background Service)
  • Central Server (new item with PDQ Inventory 13)
  • Background Service (previously under File > Preferences > Background Service)
  • Collection Page (previously under File > Preferences > Collection Page)
  • Preferences (previously under the File menu item)

01.png

Additionally, license information was moved from File > Preferences > License to the Help menu item (Help > License).
02.png

These changes were made to follow industry standards and separate items that need to be saved/applied versus those that do not need to be saved in order to be applied. For example, the Options > Preferences window now contains the Save toolbar item:
03.png


Background Service and Credentials:
PDQ Inventory consoles in Client Mode do not run the background service and therefore do not need access to this option. Instead, the PDQ Inventory clients use the background service running from the Server console. More information about the background service in different modes can be found in the Configure Central Server article.

 

Configuring Server and Client Modes:
1. Before beginning the server setup, turn off Sharing. Sharing and operating a PDQ Inventory console in Server or Client Mode are not compatible.
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2. On the PDQ consoles chosen to operate in Server or Client Mode, go to Options > Central Server and click on the Server or Client Mode button.

02.png

NOTES:

  • In existing PDQ installations, PDQ Inventory consoles configured in Server Mode will retain all collections, tools, custom scan profiles, and reports. On the other hand, PDQ Inventory consoles configured in Client Mode will not retain any collections, tools, custom scan profiles, or reports. For information on how to migrate those to the PDQ Inventory server, see the Central Server: Migrating Existing Installations that use Custom Collections, Tools, Scan Profiles, and Reports article.
  • In the case of tools, ensure if any file is required for the tools (for example, Dameware, PsExec), those files must exist on the PDQ Inventory client console computer since tools are executed from the client.

3. In the next window, make any changes to the parameters and put in the credentials for the Background Service user (Server Mode only). For more information on these different parameters, please see Configuring Central Server. 

4. Application of the settings, by clicking Finish, will require a restart of the PDQ Inventory application.

5. Once the application restarts, the PDQ Inventory console is configured in Server Mode or Client Mode, as selected. Changes to the server/client settings can be made by going to Options > Central Server and selecting Change Settings. PDQ Inventory functional modes can also be changed in this window by clicking Switch to Local Mode or Switch to [Client|Server] Mode.

See Also:
Central Server: Migrating Existing Installations With Custom Collections, Tools, Scan Profiles, And Reports
Configuring Central Server
Windows Firewall Ports and Exceptions

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