Table of Contents

Inventory Model Management: General Overview

Mitchell Paul-Soumis Updated by Mitchell Paul-Soumis

Read Time: 8 mins

This article deals with adding new inventory models and adding newly received inventory items into Sonar. For adding new Manufacturers, Categories, or for viewing a list of all inventory devices, head over to our Getting Started with Inventory Table of Contents.

Unlike the Inventory Items List view (covered in another article), the Inventory Model Management view provides a tiled list of models, with the count or information on specific inventory items nowhere to be seen on this page. Instead, this portion of the inventory section of Sonar deals uniquely with creating and managing the Inventory Models in your instance. In this article, we'll be looking at navigating around this page, how to create a new Inventory Model, how to manage and modify an existing Inventory Model, and how to add new items to each model.

The inventory Model Management view is accessible by:

  1. Click on Inventory to open the module
  2. Click on Manage Items
Returning to the List view requires clicking on the “Inventory” button in the main navigation pane.

The Inventory Model Management View

The Inventory Model view displays a series of tiled images for all models added to the instance. If no custom image is supplied, a non-specific default image will be used, but the model's given name, manufacturer, and type will still be displayed underneath the generic image. We'll start by exploring the process behind adding a new Inventory Model.

Adding a New Model

Adding a new Inventory Model to your instance is a multistep process that begins by clicking on the “Add Model” button, available in the upper-right corner of the Model Management view, and pictured below:

Once you click on the “Add Model” button, you'll be sent to the Create Inventory Model window. This window allows you to provide information that will create your new inventory model.

  1. The Enabled toggle allows you to set whether the Inventory Model you're adding will be available to add or assign items to
  2. The Generic toggle allows you to set an item as generic, which has no distinct fields and is designed to allow you to track consumable items
  3. The Icon Selector allows easy identification of the inventory, and contains a large selection of available icons
  4. The Manufacturer selection, which allows you to select from the list of Inventory Manufacturers you've added to your Sonar instance
  5. The Category of the device, with available selections determined by what Device Categories you've configured in your instance
  6. The Model Name, which is an optional field that allows you to set a unique, more descriptive name for the device while allowing the Display Name to be simpler
  7. The Display Name, which is shown when viewing, modifying, or assigning devices to or from this Inventory Model
  8. The Preferred Vendor field, which lets you set an optional vendor for use with Purchase Orders and inventory replenishment.
  9. The Protocol, which is used with the Port to facilitate remote communication to individual devices of this model
  10. The Port, used with the communication protocol, to facilitate remote communication to individual devices of this model
  11. The Device Type, which allows you to set the type of device you're adding, between “Cable Modem” or “Other”. This is strictly for integrating cable devices into Incognito, and any non-incognito integrated devices are labeled as “Other”. No additional Device Types can be added.
  12. The Files section, which allows you to upload a single image to serve as the display image for your new Inventory Model
  13. The Description allows you to add details to the file you're uploading for the Model image

Once you enter the information and click on Create, you'll be presented with an additional form which will prompt you to Add Items, add Deployment Types, Modify Device fields, Manage the LTE provisioning, and Add additional Purchase Order Vendors. Below, we'll cover these sections in the ideal order.

1. Modify Fields

Field Modification allows you to create new data entry fields for your hardware devices, which can be filled out for searching, reporting, and provisioning purposes:

  1. The Name of the field, which allows for custom text entry
  2. The Type of the field being added, from a preset list of options:
    1. Decimal
    2. IMSI
    3. Integer
    4. LTE Auth Key
    5. MAC address
    6. OP/OPc
    7. Regular Expression (PCRE)
    8. Text
  3. The Secondary Type field allows you to specify if a device is a Cable Modem when MAC Address is selected as the “Type”.
  4. The Required selector enforces whether this field must be filled out to add an item to inventory
  5. The Primary selector determines whether this field is the primary field, used for searching, reporting, and identification
  6. The Unique dropdown, which allows you to enforce a unique value:
    1. Globally, which means all models across your instance
    2. Locally, which means local to only this Inventory model
    3. None, which doesn't enforce a unique value of any kind
  7. The REGEXP column allows you to define the format of the Regular Expression being entered. This column can only be filled out if the field type is set to Regular Expression.
    1. You might use REGEXP to force a non-FQDN host name to conform to some internal standard. For example, a host name with the requirements of a letter followed by any combination of letters, dashes, and numbers but must be at least 3 characters long would be defined as ^[a-z][-0-9a-z]{2,}
  8. The “Apply” button saves the field date for the current row
  9. The “Add Row” button allows you to add additional row to the Model, each one can contain its field data
2. Deployment Types

Deployment Types are text fields which allow you to add additional precision when assigning a device to a location or user.

Deployment Types allow you to specify different Monitoring Templates within the same Inventory Model. For example, an Ubiquiti Rocket AC might be deployed as a backhaul, an access point on a network site, or even a CPE on a customer account. In all three examples, you would want entirely different monitoring applied to the same inventory model, depending on its deployment. For more information on setting up a Monitoring Template, take a look at the Building a Monitoring Template article.
3. Provisioning (optional)

The Provisioning option allows you to select the type of LTE SIM in use by this device. This option is used exclusively for Inventory Models which deliver LTE-based service.

4. Adding Items

Once you've set the model fields, you can begin adding new inventory items to the model. This is done using the “Add Items” button, and will bring you to the Create Item window.

  1. Directly below the Assignee header, there's the primary assignee selector. The options which can be selected as an assignee are:
    1. Address
    2. Generic Inventory Assignee
    3. Inventory Location
    4. Network Site
    5. User
    6. Vehicle
  2. Below the main assignee, you have the specifier for that assignee. For example, an address assignee will have you select the serviceable address, while an Inventory Location will have you select the warehouse.
  3. If you select an inventory location, you'll be prompted to select the internal location after that. The Internal location field will be empty unless internal locations have been created in SettingsInventoryInventory Locations.
  4. The top of each column displays two things, the first of which is the name of the field that is being filled out. Certain fields will vary depending on how the inventory model was configured, but two will appear on every item:
    1. Status, which is a field used to monitor the device's physical health.
    2. Purchase Price, which is the price of the item, written in the lowest currency denomination (cents for North America, centavos in Mexico, pence in the UK, etc.)
  5. The second is an icon, indicating the field can receive a scanned input value from a barcode. Simply place your cursor within the entry field and scan. Anytime this icon is shown, you can scan a barcode and extract the value.
    Most generic barcode scanners are compatible with the inventory scanning feature available in Sonar, such as the NADAMOO Wireless Barcode Scanner
  6. The "Save Items as CSV" button allows you to export a file which contains the required formatting to import devices in bulk, which will include all items currently added in the modal.
  7. The "Load Items from CSV" button allows you to add multiple items at the same time by using a filled in template which was previously exported. Each item will be added as a new line to the modal.

Modifying a model

Once you've created a model, you have the option of waiting until later to complete the various additional steps. You can do that by going to the model and expanding the dropdown, as pictured below:

The Model allows you to:

  • Add new inventory items
  • Modify Deployment Types
  • Modify Inventory Model fields (such as adding new ones or removing existing ones)
  • Modify the Provisioning method
  • Edit the details of the Model
  • Add Vendors that supply this model, for Purchase Orders
  • Set a Global Minimum or Maximum item amount, for Purchase Orders
  • Set a Minimum or Maximum amount of inventory for specific Inventory Locations
  • Updated the attached display image
  • Delete the model entirely

Using Minimum and Maximums

Setting minimum and maximums allows your Sonar instance to manage Purchase Orders more efficiently, whether for use with reorder reports or simple monitoring. Min/Max values are set on a per-model basis, then on a per-location basis. When defining your values, the modal will change to reflect whether you're setting Global values, which apply uniquely to Purchase Orders, or Inventory Location values.

Global Min/Max
Inventory location Min/Max
Inventory Min/Max values can be monitored through the Inventory Reorder report.

Searching and filtering

Unlike the Inventory List view, the searching and filtering within the model management view doesn't give you a series of filters. The filtering of Inventory Models is limited to a series of check boxes, allowing you to narrow down the visible results to various manufacturers, and various categories of the model:

How did we do?

Inventory List View: Overview

Tracking and Using Consumable Inventory