Handheld devices fill the needs of an increasingly mobile workforce. As a
result, the challenges that IT organizations face are similar to the challenges
they faced before PC desktop management software was available. The key
difference today, however, is that an effective management architecture is
available and already implemented on many networks–the Novell ZENworks family
of products. By adding ZENworks for Handhelds, IT organizations now have the
tools the need to manage and support handheld devices.
Managing limited connect-time devices
As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest challenges in supporting a handheld
device is the lack of opportunity to manage it. A well-used handheld device
usually spends extended time in a briefcase or pocket and little time connected
to the network. Therefore, anytime the device is connected to the network,
ZENworks for Handhelds exchanges data and updates inventories using the device's
native synchronization software (for example, Win CE's ActiveSync or Palm's
HotSync Manager) and the ZENworks for Handhelds client.
Although handheld devices are more mobile and more specialized than standard
PC desktops, these devices have the same basic management requirements as their
Software Distribution. As the network administrator, you need to be able to
install applications and new patches on a device with minimal or no information
required from the device's user.
Software Inventory. You need to determine which applications are installed on
a particular device. This feature is a necessary component for proper licensing
and enforcement of corporate standards.
Hardware Inventory. You need to determine a handheld device's CPU, memory,
disk capacity and other hardware-related items. A hardware inventory is
necessary to ensure compliance with corporate standards. In addition, a hardware
inventory allows you to distribute software only to handheld devices that can
support that software.
Reporting and Scheduling. You need to create printable reports of the
handheld devices that connect to or synchronize with workstations on the
network. You also need the ability to schedule software distributions to run in
Because ZENworks for Handhelds supports all these functions, it is a complete
management system for handheld devices including Palm, Windows CE and Pocket PC
If you have ever installed an application on a handheld device, you will
probably agree that the process can be tricky. Normally, the process requires
you to run an installer (such as ActiveSync or HotSync Intaller) to stage the
application for installation. The installer connects to the device and installs
The software distribution feature of ZENworks for Handhelds allows you to
automate this process, enabling you to remotely distribute applications to
handheld devices as the user connects the device to the network. Much like
ZENworks for Desktops, ZENworks for Handhelds allows you to create a software
package that you can deploy to handheld devices.
Although applications are important, after applications are installed, they
do not have to be updated daily. On the other hand, users may need to change or
update the data on their handheld device every day. For example, a mortgage
broker may need to update current mortgage rates on his handheld device daily.
Using the software distribution feature of ZENworks for Handhelds, you can
transparently deliver data and files.
Targeted Distributions ZENworks for Handhelds also allows you to distribute
software based on the type of handheld device as well as the type of task the
device performs. You can group devices according to the needs of users. For
example, you could deliver up-to-date customer lists to all sales people who
have Palm OS-compatible devices.
You can also group handheld devices according to hardware. Because
applications are device-specific, you can target installations to specific
handheld devices. For example, you can configure ZENworks for Handhelds to
deploy a Windows CE application only to Windows CE devices.
The ZENwors for Handhelds software inventory feature allows you to better
control your company's network and ensure that you are meeting software
licensing requirements. The software inventory feature allows you to see which
applications are in use (perhaps, for widespread distributions or upgrades) as
well as how many clients actively use those applications.
For Windows CE and Pocket PC devices, the software inventory feature
identifies the following:
Application name, version and company name
The location where the files are installed (machine name, installation path)
The number of copies installed
For Palm OS-compatible handheld devices, the software inventory feature
identifies the following information:
The application, version and creator (vendor) ID
The size of the application and whether or not that application is ROM based
To properly deploy software, you need to know what kind of hardware you are
working with. You cannot deploy an application that needs 2MB of RAM on a device
that has only 1 MB available. Ideally, you should be able to identify the
handheld devices that cannot support a particular application that is targeted
With ZENworks for Handhelds, you can identify hardware components that are
critical in determining the capability of devices. Specifically,t he hardware
inventory feature identifies the following key hardware components:
Device type, card name and manufacturer, OS version and serial number
Amount of RAM and the amount of available RAM
Battery type, voltage and status
You can configure the hardware inventory to accurately target outdated
devices, devices that do not fit you corporate standard or devices that lack the
capability to install ad run a critical application.
Reporting and scheduling
ZENworks for Handhelds provides the infrastructure necessary for managing your
company's handheld devices. In addition to the features already mentioned,
ZENworks for Handhelds provides several other benefits.
For example, one of your mantras as a network administrator is ‘document
the system.’ ZENworks for Handhelds provides several reporting capabilities
that enable you to accurately document the handheld devices deployed on your
company's network. You can query and report on any information stored in the
ZENworks for Handhelds database.
After you create reports, you can export them to formats such as HTML, tab or
comma-delimited format, or Microsoft Excel. You can then easily share report
data or integrate that data with other applications.
You can use the ZENworks for Handhelds scheduling feature to set up specific
actions such as software distribution. A set of actions is called a job. Using a
calendar-based utility, you can define the jobs you want to run, the clients the
jobs should run on and the day (or days) and time when the tasks should run. The
monitoring and alerting feature of ZENworks for Handhelds enables you to view
the status of clients and jobs offline. Information about failed jobs, missed
jobs, job output and overall client statuss is available from a single point.