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How the intelligent software identification works

Inventory Solution

Software identification is only available on Windows computers.

You can track usage of a managed software product only if the software product has at least one software component that is associated to it. Also, at least one software component in the software product must have the association with one or more key program files.

When Inventory Solution runs the Software Inventory scan on managed computers it implements intelligent identification of software components and key program files. The identification process helps you automate configuration of the software-based usage tracking functionality. As a result of the identification process, the key program files that are installed with an MSI-based installer get automatically associated with the relevant software components. This method is the primary method to use for the majority of software products.

The software identification process has the following steps:

  • On managed computers, Inventory Solution uses Software Management Framework (SMF) Agent API to scan registry key entries and determine the software components that are installed with an MSI-based installer

    SMF Agent API interrogates the cached MSI that is discovered during the scan and creates the list of program files that are associated to the software component. These component-to-file associations are stored in NSE files and sent to the CMDB. The list of associated program files is displayed on the software resource page of the software component, on the File Inventory tab.

    To view the software resource page of the software component, in the Symantec Management Console, on the Manage menu, click Software, on the navigation panel, under Installed Products, double-click the software product that is associated with the software component, and then, in the Software Product dialog box, on the Identify inventory or Meter / track usage tab, click the software component.

  • Then Inventory Solution scans the .lnk (shortcut) files in the Start menu for the current user and all users of managed computers to determine the program files that are used to launch the software component of the software product.

    If the program files have component-to-file association (match in name, company name, and version the files from previously created list of the files that are associated to the software component), such files become the key program files for this component

    For example, winword.exe is the key program file for the software component Microsoft Office Word that belongs to the software product Microsoft Office.

The key program files that you meter get updated or patched regularly, and their names and versions can change. When you run software inventory, such files are reported as new key program files. Inventory Solution compares the new key program files with the key program files that are already associated with the software component of a metered software product. If there is a match, the new key program files get automatically associated with the software component, and then tracked together with the relevant metered software product.