One option to see and compare the properties of users or devices is to create appropriate investigations and display as many of their properties as desired, visually comparing the values in the list of results.
A more compact way to see the complete list of properties of a single user or device is to open the Properties tab of either the user or the device views in the Finder. To that end, open the user view or device view of a particular user or device and click the Properties button. On a single page, the Properties tab presents all the relevant attributes of a user or device conveniently grouped.
Model, SN, CPU, RAM, and graphics information.
NIC, domain or workgroup, and Active Directory information.
Last boot and logon and their average duration.
Version, updates, and lists of device users by privilege levels and groups.
List of hard disks on the device.
Antivirus, antispyware, and firewall settings.
Keywords assigned to the device for each user category.
Active Directory information about the user.
Last user activity
Last time that the user was seen on each accessed device.
Keywords assigned to the user for each user category.
Comparing the properties of devices on an Engine
The Properties tab lets you compare some of the properties of a device with the properties of other devices. The comparison is limited to devices on the same Engine (no Cross-Engine comparisons) that share the same platform, as the properties of a device depend on its platform.
To know if a property is comparable, look for the small bars icon to the left of the property name. Clicking the name of a comparable property opens a bar chart in which the heading of each bar is one (or a range) of the possible values for that property and the length of the bar indicates the number of total devices that share that same value. The actual number of devices that share the value is also shown as a figure to the right of the bar. The bar whose value matches the value of the property of the currently selected device in the device view is highlighted in the chart.
To show a list of the or devices that contribute to the length a bar in the bar chart, double-click the bar or right-click on it and select Drill-down. The drill-down is equivalent to launching an investigation on devices with that property value.
The chart shows thus the distribution of certain properties among the devices in your network. This is very useful to assess particular problems of a device. For instance, if a user complains of a laptop that takes too long to boot, click the property Average boot duration in the properties page. Compare the boot duration of the complaining user's laptop with the average boot duration of all other devices and find out whether the user has a good reason to complain or not. If so, check the hardware properties of the laptop and consider a possible hardware upgrade to reduce its boot duration.
By default, clicking a small bars icon compares a property of a device with the same property of all other devices on the same Engine. To limit the group of devices that take part in the comparison, use the Compare with tool. This tool is found in the top right corner of the Properties tab in the device view. If the Cross-Engine features are enabled, the name of the tool is Compare with devices on Engine to emphasized that the comparison is on the Engine where the device is located. The name of the Engine shows up to the right of the tool name.
To select a group of devices for comparison with the current device, the Compare with devices on Engine tool makes use of entities or categories. Thus, build up comparison groups with all devices that share the same category or entity keyword.
For example, to limit the group of devices used in a comparison:
In the Compare with devices on Engine tool, select devices with category from the list instead of the default all devices. A selection box appears to the right holding the list of all device categories. Another selection box appears below with the text and same keyword. To the right of this last box, find the value of the keyword for the selected category and for the current user within parentheses.
Select a category from the list.
Select the category keyword that defines the group.
If you want to compare with the group of devices that share the same keyword as the current user, leave the default value and same keyword and you are done.
If you want to compare with another set of devices, choose the option and keyword instead of the default and same keyword in the selection box. Another selection box appears to the right, holding the list of all available keywords for the selected category.
Select the keyword that defines the comparison group of devices from this last box.
Limiting the comparison group by entity is very similar:
In the Compare with devices on Engine tool, select either the option devices with same entity or devices with entity.
If you choose devices with same entity, the comparison group is formed by those devices that share the same entity as the current device. The name of the entity is displayed within parentheses to the right of the selection box.
If you choose devices with entity, another selection box appears to the right, holding the list of all available entities.
Select an entity from the list to define the group of devices for comparison.
Remember that, in any case, the Finder compares the properties of a device with devices that share the same platform only.
Comparing the properties of users on an Engine
If Cross-Engine features are disabled, it is possible to compare the properties of users on the same Engine in a similar way that you compare the properties of devices. The Compare with tool in the user view is unavailable when Cross-Engine features are turned on.
In the case of users, only the category keywords are subject to comparison: