A Collection is a component for building a Machine Queue that describes a scope of Machines to be processed by any operation in Remote Installer. It consists of Machines and/or Queries that define a set of Machines to be retrieved dynamically.
Each Query in a Collection defines a condition to fetch Machines from a single Group. It is possible to check the Machine name and the Active Directory Container the Machine is from for satisfying any condition. The querying source defines if the Machines from a specific Group should be fetched from those available in the program database, or a network scan of the Group should be performed to fetch the Machines that match the specified condition.
The main advantage of using Queries in Collections instead of a set of static Machines is that such Collections can reflect the changes made to the network environment automatically. For instance, if you use a Collection to group Machines from a specific Organization Unit, you'll have to modify this Collection every time you add Machines to or remove Machines from this Organization Unit, whereas if Machines from that unit are fetched by a Query in the Collection, no changes to that Collection are required to reflect the changes in Active Directory.
Remote Installer allows you to set a Machines Filter on each Collection, which enables you to filter Machines by their data, e.g. the operating system, the platform, the installed software, etc. The Machine Filter is applied to both static Machines and those fetched via Machine Queries.
You can create Collections within a program scope or separately for a specific operation. The Collections defined within a program scope are displayed under the Collections node in the Network view and can be reused in multiple operations. Collections that are defined for specific operations are called embedded Collections and are available only in a specific Machine Queue. The advantage of using Collections defined within in a program scope is obvious. You can include them to the Machine Queues of different tasks and then only change the Collection itself, if required. The task's Machine Queue will reflect the changes to the Collection automatically, so you do not need to reconfigure multiple tasks that should operate the same scope of Machines when the scope changes. You can also easily create new tasks for operating this scope of Machines.
When you start any operation with only standalone Machines and/or Queries selected, an embedded Collection is automatically created in the Machine Queue to group those Machines and/or Queries, so that you can combine those Machines with the Machines provided by other Collections.
For details on creating and editing Collections, refer to the Collections Management section of this document, and detailed information on possible Machines filters is available in the Machines Filter section.