Overwriting vs. Appending Custom Attributes

When the Overwrite Existing Attributes option is selected, all existing custom (user defined) patterns are deleted from the system’s database and replaced with those in the upload file. When the Overwrite Exiting Attributes option is cleared, custom patterns already in the system are preserved and those with patterns matching patterns in the upload file are updated to the values in the latest upload. Clear the box when you want to add new or update existing patterns without deleting those patterns already in the database.
When a pattern having the same pattern as one already in the system is uploaded, the newly uploaded entry will replace the existing pattern in the database.

Append Overwrite

What affect do these options have?

IF the upload file contains . . . AND the Overwrite checkbox is . . . Custom attribute from upload file  . . . Notes
Unique Label:Value
Checked Is added to Asset Manager custom attributes Adds CIDR:Label:Value to Asset Manager
Unique Label:Value
Cleared Is added to Asset Manager custom attributes Can be used to label a single CIDR with multiple custom attributes.
Duplicate CIDR:Label:Value Checked Overwrites Asset Manager custom attribute with identical custom attribute (no net change) Has no affect on the attribute list
Duplicate CIDR:Label:Value Cleared Appends Asset Manager custom attribute with identical custom attribute, then drops the duplicate (no net change) Has no affect on the attribute list
Unique CIDR, Duplicate Label:Value Checked Overwrites current CIDR:Label:Value with newly uploaded CIDR:Label:Value Updates/replaces the CIDR associated with a Label:Value pair
Unique CIDR, Duplicate Label:Value Cleared Appends unique CIDR, duplicate Label:Value to Asset Manager's list of custom attributes Use to associate a Label:Value with multiple CIDRs

This page takes a closer look using sample custom attribute files that are attached to this page.

Append Custom Attributes

Here's how:

  1. Browse to Settings > Zones.
  2. In the Available Zones column, select a zone.
  3. Select the Custom Attributes tab. 
  4. Input or upload a list of attributes containing entries for the IP/CIDR address, Label, and Value. In the following example, we selected the filename containing location attributes called "location_attributes.txt."

  5. Click Upload.

  6. Browse to and then select a file of additional attributes you would like to upload such as "region_attributes.txt. "

  7. Clear the Overwrite checkbox. This toggles the functionality from "overwrite" to "append."

    Choose "Yes" to replace all existing patterns with those in your upload file. Choose "No" to preserve unique custom patterns already in the system while updating the values of patterns matching patterns in your upload. Uploaded patterns take precedence."

  8. Click Save Custom Attributes
    A warning will display. 

  9. Click OK.
    The resulting list of custom attributes contains all the entries from both attributes files, even those having the same CIDRS. Using this method, you can label a single CIDR with multiple custom attributes.

Overwriting Custom Attributes

What would happen if we used the Overwrite option when uploading an attribute file?

  1. Let's investigate using this "location_attributes_2.txt" file containing one additional "Newark" line item at the end.

  2. Upload the location_attributes_2.txt file, using the overwrite option.

  3. What happened?As you can see in the screencap, in every instance where the Label:Value pair in the upload file matched the Label:Value pair in the Custom Attributes list, the uploaded line item overwrote the existing line item. This updated the IP/CIDR value associated with those matching entries. However, because the CIDR values in both files were the same, there was no practical effect: The two line items stayed the same.

    The Newark line item had no Label:Value match in the Custom Attributes list, hence that line item was added in its entirety. The overwrite option ensures that every  line item in your custom attributes list is unique, and that your last upload becomes authoritative in that it supplants the attributes that came before it.

  4. Now overwrite with the location_attributes_3.txt upload.  This file contains a Label:Value pair that matches one already stored, but this one has a different CIDR address.

  5. Notice that the CIDR in the latest upload file overwrote the stored IP/CIDR having a matching Label:Value pair.  The 24, location,NJ attribute was updated to 4, location,NJ.

  6. Finally if you upload with overwrite both of the location_and_region_attributes.txt files containing two CIDRs for location and two CIDRs for region, you should have the following:

Other Considerations

  1. If you upload a /32, the /32 part of the CIDR notation will be dropped.
  2. If you upload a /32 but accidentally input it as a /16, the system will replace the entry with a /16 CIDR.  For example, a will import to
  3. Entries are case-sensitive and space-sensitive: Berries, berries, and Berrie s, will all be treated as different attributes.