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The xAssets Enterprise Platform

Behind all our solutions is one configurable enterprise application platform designed to meet any requirement through configuration.

Using this platform you can:

  • Create the exact processes users need
  • Build concise end user experiences
  • Automate ITAM, SAM, discovery, barcode and fixed asset processes
  • Centralize asset and service data into a holistic store

The platform is scalable, secure, web based and deeply configurable, enabling the best possible outcomes for customers and end users.

Benefits

  • Cloud or on-premise
  • No installation needed, use any browser or mobile device
  • Quickly configured to customer needs
  • Unusual and complex requirements can be met
  • Users only see functions and data relevant to them
  • Integrate to any data source, web service or API quickly
  • Scalable to millions of assets
  • Secure, with DoD security clearance
  • A fast and configurable discovery engine with no impact on endpoints
  • API access to all functionality
  • Fully normalized database with one database per customer

Often customers are concerned that configurability breaks upgradeability, but this is not true with xAssets. Customers can upgrade quickly and all configuration work is retained.

Platform Architecture

The platform provides a configuration layer, and all functionality is built in that configuration layer.

Six fundamental application building blocks are provided to the configuration layer:

  • Forms and Dashboards encapsulate all on-screen rendering
  • Queries, Charts and Reports including business intelligence functions
  • Transformations (imports, exports, integrations, data federation, data crunching, recognition, cleansing)
  • Menus
  • Database access
  • Endpoint operations (discovery and endpoint management)

From these building blocks all functionality can be created, often in surprisingly short timescales.

The configuration layer itself is stored in the database, with your data. This means that when your database is moved to another server, no other files need to be moved, all your customizations come across with the database.

Performance and Scalability

The platform stores data in Microsoft Sql Server, we also use Postgresql in the cloud which delivers similar performance.

Our testing covers up to 1,000,000 discovered nodes and 10,000,000 fixed asset records in the same database. In larger configurations up to this size the response times to the user are sub-second, inevitably some reports will take longer where large volumes of data are processed but overall the user experience is similar with 1,000 records as with 1,000,000 records.

Read more about platform scalability here

Discovery Performance

This technology was designed to be fast, scalable, have no impact on the endpoint or on the network. The software is written in a low level programming language which performs at many times the speed of modern C# applications.

The software is used to discover millions of assets for MS software agreement annual true-up audits and we have been running this service since 2009. This means the software is secure, stable and robust to run error free on thousands of networks worldwide.

The system scales to around 1,000,000 discovered assets per application server.

Security

xAssets products have undergone rigorous testing and are certified for use by the US Air Force, and covers SIPRNET and NIPRNET meaning that the products can be used in highly sensitive environments. Since we started hosting in 2003 we have served solutions to military forces and suppliers thereto in the USA and the UK, and in that time we have never had a service outage of any kind.

This means that the products are safe to use in web environments and best practises have been deployed. xAssets goes beyond these standards, so for example we never allow cookies, so data is never left behind when a browser session is end-tasked by a hacker, and the product requires high encryption SSL to function thus disallowing low security communication protocols. Despite this there is no compromise on the end user.

xAssets Applications are secured using a combination of Sql Server, IIS and NTFS security options. Windows Authentication and Database Authentication are supported at the IIS and Sql Server level. This enables full access to an entire domain for self service or granular access based on the Active Directory Grouping of a User.

Programmability

Development within the xAssets Enterprise Platform can be highly productive, entirely new functional areas including forms, reports and queries can be created in short timescales. We have our own Visual Basic based client scripting language which runs in browsers.

Mobile support is inherent in all development. When your developers create a form, only a few rules have to be added to ensure the form presents well on any mobile device.

All visualizations are developed using d3 javascript, a well known and popular javascript platform. New modules can be plugged in to provide new visualizations without reprogramming.

Screenshot of assets shown on a map

The platform incorporates the following languages, providing great flexibility for customization:

  • XCS - A visual basic client scripting language. This is interpreted by browsers and has native API access
  • AMSX - Asset Management Scripting Executive - functions related to integration, data manipulation, recognition and has full API access
  • XDSL - xAssets Discovery Scripting Language provides commands and functions related to discovering and managing network endpoints
  • XDL - xAssets Depreciation Language - a language supporting advanced depreciation calculations
  • Remote API - a helper language to enable complex API tasks to be encapsulated in a simple scripting language
  • XQL - a commonly used search language

The key point with these languages is that customers don't need to learn them. Only tiny scripts are needed to achieve significant workflow and integration objectives, and the xAssets team are always available to help where needed, usually we cover this kind of help under your existing support subscription.

API - Application Programming Interface

All our solutions are written using this API, thus the API exposes every possible function. This opens up possibilities not only to both push data into xAssets and to extract data to other systems, but also to push notifications and event signalling to processes and robots as needed.

Often, there is no need to use the API to achieve integrations in either direction, since our transformation services provide that functionality by design. This true even where complex operations such as data cleansing and remapping are required - these data manipulations are fundamentally handled by the transformation engine, so use of the API for these purposes is rare. This translates directly to huge savings for customers as almost all integration and server workflow operations can be built without programming.

The API natively supports CSV, JSON and XML data formats, and examples can be provided in C#, VB, XCS, AMSX or javascript.

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