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Methods for gathering software inventory

Inventory Solution

You can gather inventory about the software applications that are installed in your environment. For example, you can gather information about the application version, build number, and manufacturer.

If a manufacturer does not provide the version of the software, a version is not populated for the relevant software component.

When you perform a software inventory, you can use different methods to gather different types of data.

Table: Methods for gathering software inventory

Method

Description

Basic software application file inventory

This software inventory method scans the file system on managed computers and reports software inventory based on the software application .EXE files that are found. For example, it reports file name, size, path, and so on.

To gather basic software application file inventory on managed Windows and UNIX, Linux, and Mac computers, you create, configure, and turn on the inventory policy with the File Properties - manufacturer, version, size, internal name, etc. box checked.

See Creating and configuring inventory policies and tasks

See How software inventory rules work

To gather basic standalone inventory on unmanaged Windows computers, you create, configure, and run the stand-alone inventory package with the File Properties - manufacturer, version, size, internal name, etc. box checked.

See Creating, editing, or cloning stand-alone inventory packages

See Running stand-alone inventory packages on target computers

Inventory of Windows Add or Remove Programs list and UNIX/Linux/Mac software packages

This software inventory method uses the Software Discovery task to collect the information about the installed software applications.

On Windows computers, you can gather information about the applications that are in the Add or Remove Programs list of managed computers (MSI cache). Note that when Inventory Solution is installed, it turns off any schedules for the Software Discovery task. Instead, it uses the schedules of the Inventory policies that use it.

On UNIX, Linux, and Mac computers, you can gather information about the software packages on managed computers.

To use this method on managed Windows, UNIX, Linux, and Mac computers, you create, configure, and turn on the inventory policy with the Software - Windows Add/Remove Programs and UNIX/Linux/Mac software packages box checked. This box is checked by default.

See Creating and configuring inventory policies and tasks

To use this method on unmanaged Windows computers, you create, configure, and run the stand-alone inventory package with the Software - Windows Add/Remove Programs box checked.

See Creating, editing, or cloning stand-alone inventory packages

See Running stand-alone inventory packages on target computers

Targeted software inventory on Windows computers

Software inventory using the filescan.rule file on UNIX, Linux, and Mac computers

On managed Windows computers, this software inventory method lets you use rules to identify specific software applications.

To use this method, you run the Targeted Software Inventory policy.

See Running a targeted software inventory

On managed UNIX, Linux, and Mac computers, this method lets you collect information about the installed software applications using the filescan.rule file. The software inventory agent compares a list of applications in the filescan.rule file with the actual file system data to determine which applications are installed.

See Running software inventory on UNIX, Linux and Mac computers using the filescan.rule file

Gathering software information and validating it using the Software Catalog Data Provider

(Windows only)

The Software Catalog Data Provider is a component of Inventory Solution that can be used to import software inventory data into the Software Catalog. The Software Catalog Data Provider is installed with Inventory Solution.

The Software Catalog Data Provider provides a list of known software applications and predefined software products that is imported in the Configuration Management Database (CMDB). When you perform software inventory, the gathered data about software applications can be compared to the list of known applications and predefined software products. If the application data matches, it helps ensure that your software inventory data is accurate and lets you manage installed software at the product level.

See About using Inventory Solution with the Software Catalog Data Provider