Software License Compliance with Software Management Framework in Asset Management v7
Software license compliance in Asset Management version 7 is significantly different than in version 6. Version 7 of the Symantec Management Platform (SMP) now ships with a Software Management Framework (SMF). The SMF provides a great deal more detail about software packages such as releases, upgrades, conflicts, supersede details, and allows more sophisticated detection methods during inventory.
There is a whole section of in the Symantec Management Platform documentation to explain how the SMF and catalog works and the definitions of software components (also called software resources) and software products.
In the console it looks like the following: Manage > Software
Double-click on a software resource.
Software products are defined by just four fields; 1) Name of the software product (usually contains company, application and the version number), 2) Description, 3) Company name, and 4) a Category.
Software products are linked to one or more software resource (also called software component). The purpose and benefit of software product is not fully realized until Asset Management Suite is installed. The software product represents the licensable application where a software resource defines a variety of details about all or a portion of the application.
To see what software resources are associated to a software product you can use the Resource Manager. In the Manage > Software portal, drilldown to Software Catalog > Software Product and right-click on a software product.
Each software component name is a link to details about the component.
In version 6, software license compliance revolved around the software license contract record.
Software Compliance in Asset Management version 6.5
The challenges in version 6.5 were the search rules. Some called it more of an art form than a science. The problems with the purchase search rules were:
- Not following a standard naming convention strictly in the software purchase name would cause the purchased licenses to not be counted.
- Typographical errors in naming software purchases would cause the purchased licenses to not be counted.
- A software purchase name could match search rules in multiple software license contracts and therefore licenses are counted multiple times.
- Changing the search rule in the future could easily cause completely losing the former associations.
For the search rules for the Install counts there were also challenges. Detection methods were restricted to looking at one file at a time without the ability to use Boolean logic such as both of two files need to be present to consider the application installed. Similar to the software purchase search rules, a search pattern on more than one software license that overlapped could cause software installs to be counted multiple times. Another situation would be if the application was upgraded and the search rule no longer detected the install.
These shortcomings could cause the compliance report to be inaccurate. If the report showed a software license contract as lacking sufficient licenses, potentially money buying unneeded licenses was wasted. On the other hand the compliance may double count purchased licenses putting a company at risk of failing an audit by unknowingly being out of compliance. Now in version 7 the focal point is the software product.
Software Compliance in Asset Management version 7
The software license contract is linked to a software product in the SMF catalog. There are no longer search rules. The software purchases are linked to the software license.
Software License Contract Record
Data integrity is guarded because:
- A software purchase can only be linked to one software license contract.
- A software license contract can only be linked to one software product.
- A software product should have at least one, but can have multiple, software resources linked to it.
- The software resource’s detection rules determine the install counts.
The simplest compliance is determined by adding up the software licenses purchased and comparing that number to the software product installs detected as determined by the software resources detection rules.
So let’s start from the beginning and walk through tracking licenses for one application.
First allow your system to gather a full inventory of a majority of your system. The Inventory policy will be enabled when Inventory Solution is installed. To check it go to Manage > Policies > Discovery and Inventory > Inventory.
Next, check the SMF catalog to determine if there is a resource for the application you want to track. To see the detected software resources in your environment go to Manage > Software > Software Catalog > Installed Software. In this example we are going to use Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.0.
In order to report software compliance the software resource must be associated to a software product. Double-click on the software resource to open it in the editor.
Start typing the name of the application to see if there is already an appropriate software product in the database.
If one did not exist, you can click the New link to create one. Only three fields are needed; 1) the name for the software product (type something that makes sense to you), 2) the company name and 3) the category of software. Since Adobe Systems was already in the system, simply starting to type Adobe will bring it up for selection. Category is optional and you can create your own categories by using the New link.
- Save the changes and cancel out of the editor.
Now we are ready to record our software license information. We need a software license contract record and a software purchase record. If you are still under Manage > Software you will find a folder in the tree called Software Licensing. You can also get to it by going Home > Service and Asset Management > Software Licensing.
You only need to create one software license contract record for each software product you are going to track licenses for. You can if you want, have multiple software license records. It depends if some of the data is different between the software license contracts such as end date or license type.
In most cases you will only need one software license contract record and can record multiple software purchases attached to it over time. In fact you can create the software purchase record first and then the software license contract record.
We are going to start with the software purchase. Right-click on the tree node Software Purchase and select Create Software Purchase.
To assist in working with the fields in a software purchase you may choose to select a more intuitive view. You can customize your own views but that is a topic for another article.
Give your new software purchase a name up at the top and fill in the fields that apply.
- Save the changes and click Done.
- Now to create the software license contract record. Right-click on the node in the tree and select Create Software License.
Like with software purchase you may choose to change the edit page view to Software License (global).http://www.maginei.com/photos/symantec/vision2010/
Two very important fields that need to be filled out are the link to the software product and the link to software purchases.
- Save changes and click Done.
Now we are ready to view the compliance report; well almost.
What we find is that the purchases are not yet reflected in the compliance summary or report.
Software Product Licensing Summary in the Resource Manager
There is a background task that runs once a day to gather all the details and calculate the software product licensing compliance. The task is scheduled to run at 1 a.m. but that time can be changed. You can also run the task on demand; for one software product or for all of them.
To run the compliance calculation for one software product do the following:
Display a list of Software Products. You can do this from either:
Home > Service and Asset Management > Software Licensing and in the tree select Software Product.
- Manage > Software and in the tree select Software Catalog > Software Product
- Home > Service and Asset Management > Software Licensing and in the tree select Software Product.
Right-clicking on the software product and select Resource Manager.
- Pull down the Summaries Menu and select Software Product Licensing Summary.
In the right pane, click the Last Updated refresh icon (two green arrow forming a circle).
To run a refresh on all software products instead of refreshing one at a time:
- Go to Manage > Jobs and Task.
Drill-down to System Jobs and Tasks > Service and Asset Management > Contract Management > Software Product Licensing Recalculation Operation
- Click the New Schedule link on the right.
- Leave it selected on Now and click Schedule.
- Refresh the screen to see if it has completed. It typically only takes a few minutes.
You can see all the software product licensing compliance by going to Home > Service and Asset Management > Software Licensing. The compliance report is one of the four tabs on the right.
Now in the future you may want to record the purchase of additional licenses. We know there already is a software resource, software product, and software license record for the Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.0 product.
We only need to record another software purchase and link it to the software license.
- Right-click on the Software purchase node in the tree under Software Licensing.
- Select Create Software Purchase.
- Fill in the appropriate fields.
Save changes and Done
Note: The fields are blank because the new software purchase is not associated to a software license yet.
- Go to the list of software licenses and right-click on the appropriate software license for the new software purchase.
- Select Edit
- Go to the Software Purchase field
- Select the new Software Purchase that you just created.
TIP: There is a much easier way to link software purchase to software license. It requires a onetime modification to the Resource Setting for Resource Associations.
- Go to Setting > All Settings
- Drilldown to Service and Asset Management > Resource and Data Class Settings > Resource Associations > Contract Association Types
- Select Software Purchases
- Check the second box under Enable Editing From
- Change the pull-down for that line to Resource Association Picker for Asset.
- Click Apply
Now when you create a new software purchase, you will have a field to set the software license association. The name of the association will be a bit confusing because it will say "Software Purchase (Reverse)". You cannot change this because the association ships with the product. Also, be cautious to only select one software license though the field will allow multiple software licenses to be selected. Lastly, the Software Purchase (global) view will not by default show the new association on the edit screen. Use the Show all fields or modify the view.
Compliance must also take into account any non-inventoried installs. The software license contract gives the Asset Manager a place to record that number.
Another topic effecting compliance are downgrade rights. The software license has the ability for you to "borrow" later version licenses for an older version of the software. For example, our current compliance reports shows that we have one person still running an older version of Photoshop Elements and we do not have any record of licenses purchased for version 7.
- We have a software license contract for Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 and 7 licenses through software purchase records.
- We have a software license for Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 and no licenses.
- On the software license record for version 7 (the older version) we are going to use the section Software License Sharing to borrow licenses from version 8. In other words we are going to use downgrade rights of a version 8 license to cover the version 7 install.
Here is how we are going to do it:
- Edit the Adobe Photoshop Elements version 7 software license contract record.
- Find the Software License Sharing field.
- Click Add and select Adobe Photoshop Elements version 8, the new version of the software. This is the license we are going to borrow licenses from.
Enter 1 for the number of licenses being borrowed.
On the compliance report you will then see 1 license Shared or Donated from the latest version, Elements version 8 in our example. That license is subtracted from the total license count for version 8. On the older software, Elements version 7, you will see 1 license borrowed and added to the license count.
There is more to cover but I will stop the article here. In a follow-up article we will discuss the Renewal Software License and Upgrade Software License Wizards (hint: right-click on a software contract and drill-down on Contracts Functions.)