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Introduction to Extension Attributes

Watch this JNUC session in its entirety.

When looking to be empowered, look no further than Extension Attributes. In today’s session, Mac expert, Andrew Seago, provided an introduction to Extension Attributes, including how they allow you to accomplish anything you need to do on a Mac.

To kick it off, Seago explained that Extension Attributes are custom fields that you can create to collect almost any type of data. Cool, right? But there’s more than one type.

To summarize, Seago said, “Extension attributes can be a vague term, but what it boils down to – it’s a wildcard that you can create to collect data about your computers, users or mobile devices.”

He continued by explaining the differences between Computer Extension Attributes, Mobile Device Extension Attributes and User Extension Attributes and showing examples of each one.

So how do they differ? Seago said the main distinctions come from how data is collected and how data is shown. The input types, data types and attribute options are different for each type of Extension Attributes.

Next Seago answered the coveted question, “But how do you create them?” by showing a series of slides that outlined the process.

Seago noted that “extension attributed are created within the JSS by simply defining your terms, but you can also choose from pre-build templates in the JSS.”

Of course, once created, it’s important to understand how the Extension Attributes can be used. Seago shared that some of the most common uses are:

  • To report anything that Terminal can
  • To create a policy that’s scoped to a Smart Group
  • To create MDM profile variables

“Anytime you want to do something outside of the norm, you are running an extension attribute," Seago explained as he underscored how powerful extension attributes can be for an organization. He wrapped up with a demo by creating a mobile extension attribute and reminding the crowd to check out Jamf Nation for more extension attributes, which have already been created by the community.