Retrieval of computer systems

You use the GET operation on the api/sam/computer_systems element to request information about computer systems in your infrastructure.

Important: This REST API is planned to be entirely substituted with api/sam/v2/computers REST API. If you have custom tools or internal processes that are based on api/sam/computer_systems REST API, it is best to adjust the tools to use the new version of the API. For information, see: Mapping columns between computer_systems and v2/computers REST API.

This API retrieves information about physical and virtual computer systems. Apart from computers that have an BigFix client installed, it also includes host systems on which the client is not deployed because some virtualization types do not allow for software to be installed on the host level (VMware ESXi, IBM PowerVM, and so on). Data related to such host computer systems must however be retrieved to build a proper hierarchy between the server and its virtual machines and to correctly report the PVU and RVU utilization.

The type property determines whether a computer system is a host computer or a virtual one. A host can be, for example, a virtualization server, ESX hypervisor, or a laptop with agent installed. A virtual machine refers only to virtual machines that can be deployed on a host. Because of this, you should not compare the outcome of the REST API with single reports, especially with the Computers, and Hardware Inventory reports.

To retrieve information about your computer systems, use the following URL:
  • To use this API, you must be assigned to the All Computers group and have the View Hardware Inventory permission.
  • Each API request must be authenticated with the token parameter. You can retrieve it by using REST API for retrieving authentication token. You can also log in to BigFix Inventory, hover over the User icon User icon, and click Profile. Then, click Show token.
  • By default, the retrieved data is sorted by id.
Table 1. Operation descriptions
Operation details Description
Operation GET /api/sam/computer_systems
Purpose Returns a list of computer systems.
HTTP method GET
Resource URI https://server_host_name:port_number/api/sam/computer_systems
URL link relation n/a
URI query parameters For a list of applicable query parameters, see: Query parameters.
Request headers
Accept-Language (optional)
en-US (only English is supported)

Used to negotiate the language of the response. If this header is not specified, the content is returned in the server language.

Request payload n/a
Request Content-Type
  • application/json
Response headers

Specifies the content type of the response.

en-US, …

Specifies the language of the response content. If this header is not specified, the content is returned in the server language.

none, idle, running, pending

Specifies the data import status.

A percentage value, for example 59.

Specifies the percentage progress of a data import.

successful, failed

Specifies the status of the last data import.

Date, for example 2014-06-18T04:00:29Z.

Specifies the time of the last successful data import.

Response payload Computer Systems element
Response Content-Type
  • application/json
Normal HTTP response codes
  • 200 - OK
Error HTTP response codes
  • 500 – "Bad Request" if a query parameter contains errors or is missing

Message body includes an error message with details.

Query parameters

You can use query parameters to narrow down the results of your search. The following table presents query parameters that you can use for the api/sam/computer_systems element.
Table 2. Query parameters for retrieving software products
Parameter Description Required Value
columns[] Specify which columns to retrieve. If you do not specify this parameter, a set of default columns is retrieved. For available columns, see Response body. Example:
Retrieve the name and version columns:
No String
order Specify how to sort the returned data. The default direction for sorting columns is ascending. If you want to specify a descending sort, append desc to the column name. Example:
Order by type descending:
URL?order[]=type desc
No String
limit Specify the number of rows to retrieve. If you omit this parameter, all rows are retrieved. No Numeric
offset Specify the number of rows to skip for retrieving results. You can use it together with the limit parameter to paginate results. Example:
Retrieve 50 records starting after record 150:
No Numeric
token A unique user authentication identifier. You can view your token in the Profile preferences of BigFix Inventory. Yes Alphanumeric
criteria Retrieve records which match specific conditions. The parameter should have the following structure, written on one line:
<criteria> ::= <left-brace> <boolean-operator><colon> <left-bracket> 
<criterion> [{ <comma> <criterion> }...] <right-bracket> <right-brace>
<boolean-operator> ::= "and" | "or"
<criterion> ::= <criteria> | <left-bracket> <column> <comma> <operator> <comma> <value> <right-bracket>
<column> ::= <json-string>
<operator> ::= <json-string>
<value> ::= <json-array> | <json-string> | <json-numver> | <json-null>

For more information about operators, see Common connectors and operators.

Example: Retrieve computer systems whose operating system contains "AIX" OR the last seen date within a specific date range:
URL?criteria={ "or": [ ["os", "contains", "aix"], 
{ "and": [ ["last_seen", ">", "1970-01-01T00:00:00+00:00Z"], 
["last_seen", "<", "1970-01-02T00:00:00+00:00Z"] ] } ] }
For columns that use the date and time values, such as Last Seen, you can retrieve data also for a period instead of a specific date. To do so, use last or next as <operator>, and then specify the time value in the following convention: PxD/PxW/PxM/PxY, where x is a number in the 1-999 range, and D, W, M, or Y is a designator that represents days, weeks, months, or years respectively. For example, to retrieve computer systems that reported within last 7 days, use the following API request:

Example HTTP conversation

GET api/sam/computer_systems
Host: localhost:9081 
Accept: application/json 
Accept-Language: en-US
Response header
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: application/json
Content-Language: en-US
The above response header may be followed by different entries, depending on the current status of the data import which is represented by Import-Mode. To understand the returned values, see the following definitions:
  • none - a data import has never been initiated
  • idle - no data imports are currently running
  • running - a data import is in progress
  • pending - an action performed in the user interface requires a data import to be started for the change to take effect
If a data import has never been initiated:
Import-Mode: none
If a data import is in progress:
Import-Mode: running
Import-Progress: 41
If a data import is not running:
Import-Mode: idle/pending
Import-Last-Status: successful
Import-Last-Success-Time: Mon, 23 Jun 2014 12:18:29 GMT
Response body (JSON)
If a particular entry is hidden by default, it is not retrieved by using the general URL. To retrieve such data, you must use query parameters to specify the name of the hidden column. For example, you can retrieve the server_id and datasource_id columns by using the columns[] parameter:
 "id": 25,
 "parent_id"=9,                        //ID of a host for a VM 
 "computer_id": 2,                     //hidden by default
 "computer_remote_id": 123,            //hidden by default
 "server_id": 24,                      //hidden by default
 "datasource_name"="Data source",      //hidden by default
 "datasource_id"=1,                    //hidden by default
 "type"="virtual",                     //type: virtual or host
 "os": "Linux Red Hat Enterprise Server 6.2)",
 "host_name": "NC040221",
 "dns_name": "",
 "ip_address": [
    "" ],
 "last_seen": "2014-04-08T14:33:41Z",
 "hardware_manufacturer": "IBM",
 "hardware_model": "System x3550 M2 -[794662G]-", 
 "hardware_serial_number": "99B7166",
 "hardware_type": "7946",              //hidden by default
 "hardware_name": "IBM Corp. 7946",    //hidden by default
 "processor_brand_string": "Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E7-3400 @ 2.40GHz",
 "processor_type": "Multi-core",
 "processor_brand": "Xeon(R)",
 "processor_vendor": "Intel(R)",
 "processor_model": "3400-3699 or 5500-5699",
 "partition_cores" : 1,                //null for host serves
 "server_processors": 1,
 "server_cores": 8,
 "pvu_per_core": 70,                   //hidden by default
 "uuid":"50305bd3-1f09-7294-7033-b903767d4605" //hidden by default
 "cluster_id":"1"                      // hidden by default 
}		//ID of the cluster to which the computer system
 		belongs. Available only for type: host.