Product integration has always been the utopia for IT shops. Managing and monitoring an organizations infrastructure and applications requires a diverse set of tools to address operational needs. Occasionally there is overlap between the gathered data which various tools collect or one tool may contain information that would benefit another tool.
Enter the need for an application programming interfaces or API, a formal prearranged approached to interacting with or extracting information from an application. In today’s market, no self-respecting application would be released without an API integration and NNT Change Tracker Gen7 is not different!
The Change Tracker API
Change Tracker comes resplendent with a representational state transfer or REST API. There is no module to install or license to be enabled, if you have a Change Tracker Gen7, then you have the REST API and, should you know how, can immediately start integration work. NNT designed and built Change Tracker from the first instance with integrations in mind and the API is deeply intertwined with the product. So much so each button press within the Change Tracker console, each request for data that the console makes to its Mongo database, is actually a call through the API. Simply put, the API is the foundation of the Change Tracker product. A clue to this intimacy of the product and the API can be seen using the development tools of any browser.
Use of the API
Using APIs allows an organization to get the most out of a tool and generally speaking, there are no limits to what can be achieved. You will, however, need a starting point and for this, Change Tracker provides helpful information on each possible API operation. For security reasons the API help pages are disabled, so you will need to head over to your friendly Change Tracker support team for directions on how to enable. Once enabled, however, using the URL ‘https://<YOUR_GEN_7_HUB>/api/metadata’ will display all the available information.
So What Can the API do?
Well, the first step on any API project is, what do you want it to do? Over the course of NNT Change Tracker Gen7 life, NNT support has helped customers use the API in a number of ways. The below are a couple of examples and you can contact the support team with any questions you may have. Support will be happy to supply documentation and example scripts for you to work with.
Create Custom Parent-Child Groups - Change Tracker uses groups to make the management of devices easier and with Change Tracker’s role based access control, separate access based on job definition. Change Tracker has a number of out of the box groups but it is usual for a customer to want to extend the groups, such as adding geographical or application groups. Using the API we can build a comprehensive list of new groups and their structures and feed them to the API for creation.
Create Proxied Devices - If you’ve used Change Tracker then you will know that the product can monitor a broad range of devices and technologies. Systems such as network devices, switches, firewalls and routers are configured through the Change Tracker console on a device by device basis. Should you have a lot of devices to onboard, then the API, in conjunction with an Excel spreadsheet of the device list, can be used to add in bulk.
Service Management Integration
Lastly, we’ll talk about integrations into service management tools. Obvious bedfellows for Change Tracker are the multitude of service management products which are available in the marketplace. Tools such as ServiceNow and Sunview’s ChangeGear are used to help an organization plan and control change in their environment, while Change Tracker is used to detect and report change, hand in glove! NNT has run a number of integration projects with companies who are looking to join up the planning and detecting of change. Effectively answer the question, I know I planned the change for this date and time but did it actually happen?