Almost all data that you see in the TEM Console or the TEM Web Reports can be exported and used outside of TEM. Data available from either method includes:
- Information about computers and their properties.
- Information about Fixlets and which computers are relevant.
- Information about actions.
- Information about TEM users.
There are two general mechanisms to query BigFix: Querying the Database and Querying the SOAP API.
Querying the BigFix Database
You can query the BigFix database using SQL using applications such as Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.
BigFix exposes database Views to make querying easier. More information about the views includes:
Notes about querying the BigFix database:
- The BigFix database is highly optimized for speed of insertion and it is not optimized for queries.
- BigFix only recommends querying the database Views The underlying database tables are subject to change, but the Views are designed to stay static even if the underlying table structure changes.
- Since the database tables are very simple and optimized for insertions, there are no foreign key constraints and no ERD diagrams for the BigFix database.
- Some of the data in the database is stored in XML and you will need to use stored procedures such as fn_ExtractField to access the data within the XML. You should consider using the SOAP API instead of database queries to avoid this problem.
- Querying the BigFix database can result in table locking and can slow the whole BigFix system down! You should consider using the REST API or the SOAP API instead of database queries to avoid this problem.
BigFix recommends that you consider using the REST API or the SOAP API instead of database queries to allow easier-to-user queries that are faster and do not affect database performance.
Querying the SOAP API
The BigFix SOAP API allows querying using "Session Relevance" to extract data from the in-memory web reports database. This is typically faster and easier than querying the database (database queries can affect performance).
To get started using the SOAP API or crafting session relevance queries, see the tools and information available at: TEM SOAP API. In particular the Excel Connector is an easy way see the power of the SOAP API and to help you create session relevance queries with an easy-to-use GUI and the BFExtractToCSV command-line tool is a simple way to create CSV files using data retrieved through the SOAP API.