Introduction to Collections

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Introduction to Collections

PDQ Inventory uses collections to make it easier to manage the computers on your network. A collection represents a set of computers with specific hardware, software, or Windows configuration data. Each collection represents a set of computers and each computer can belong to more than one collection at a time. Collections can be populated dynamically by scanning and filtering computers for configuration data (dynamic collections) or manually by adding/removing computers (static collections).

Collections can be nested below other collections in the tree. These subcollections can be independent of the filters in the parent collection or they can be dependent upon the parent collection by evaluating only the members of the parent collection by using the drill down from parent collection option. Collection nesting can be used for organizing (see Managing Collections) and filtering (see Drill Down Collections).  

Collections can also function as containers for other collections. These collections function similar to a folder as they do not have filters of their own and are just containers for collections nested underneath them.

Collections are created and edited in the Collection windows. The tools available to edit a collection will depend on the type of collection (Static or Dynamic). For detailed information about building collections, see Creating and Editing Collections. You can view more information about Collections in the following video.

VIDEO: Viewing and Creating Collections

Viewing and Creating Collections


To view PDQ Inventory collections, on the main console window tree, select any collection. The computers in the selected collection appear on the Collection page.

The main console window provides access to the following collections:



All Computers

List of all the computers in your inventory database.

Collection Library

Sets of up-to-date collections maintained by PDQ for many popular applications and runtimes (Enterprise mode required).

Active Directory Collections

Collections based on your Active Directory layout. PDQ Inventory creates these collections when you scan your computers or if Active Directory Sync (Enterprise mode required) is enabled.

Prebuilt and Custom Collections

Dynamic (prebuilt and custom) and static at the top level of the tree.

For details, see Main Console Window.

Collection Types

There are different types of PDQ Inventory collections with specific attributes.

The following table describes the four types of collections:

Collection Type



All Computers

An automatic collection that contains all the computers added to your local database through Active Directory, with Network Discovery, or by Name.







Collections containing computers that match a set of collection filters. Computers in these collections are dynamically updated as inventory or filters change.

Prebuilt Collections: Dynamic collections prebuilt into PDQ Inventory. For example:

Internet Explorer: Shows all computers with Internet Explorer installed and contains subcollections for several versions of Internet Explorer.

Memory: Shows the memory configuration of all computers and contains subcollections for ranges of installed memory (for example, 5 to 8 GB).

Drill Down Collections: Dynamic subcollections that evaluate only the computers contained in the parent collection.

Collection Library: Dynamic collections that filter computers based on popular applications and runtimes such as Java, Adobe Flash, and Google Chrome (Enterprise mode required). These collections are constantly updated and maintained by PDQ.


Collections that are populated manually by adding or removing computers.

Active Directory


Collections automatically created after at least one Active Directory computer is added. Based on your Active Directory preferences, members of this collection can be automatically added or removed by PDQ Inventory when changes are made in Active Directory. (Enterprise mode required for automatic syncing).

Active Directory Organizational Units (OUs): Collections populated by members of your AD OUs. Only OUs that contain computer objects (either directly or via child OUs) will display in PDQ Inventory.

Active Directory Security Groups: Collections populated by members of your AD Security Groups (Enterprise Mode required). Only Security Groups that contain computer objects (either directly or via inheritance) will be displayed in PDQ Inventory.

Drill Down Collections

When dynamic collections are physically nested inside other collections, they only reside below the collection. However, they can be treated as drill down collections (Select the Drill down from parent collection option in the Dynamic Collection window). A drill down collection filters only on the computers in its parent collection, so the child collection narrows down the list of computers further. For example, consider a collection containing all workstations, with a drill down collection filtering for Mozilla Firefox. In this example, the drill down collection only includes "workstations" with Firefox, even though there may also be servers in the database with Firefox. You can view more information in the following video.

IMPORTANT: If the Drill down from parent collection is checked and the child is moved away from its original parent collection, the child will only filter from the members of its new parent collection providing for different results. If the collection is moved so it has no parent collection, the All Computers collection becomes the default parent.

Video: Using Drill Downs in PDQ Inventory

Drill Downs






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