The Software Catalog is a centralized model of the software that is known in your organization, regardless of where the software is installed. The Software Catalog does not contain any software. Instead, it contains the data that describes the software. If a package is associated with the software, the Software Catalog also points to the source of the package file.
The Software Catalog provides a common way to describe software so that all software-related actions can identify it accurately.
In ITIL terms, the Software Catalog represents a portion of a Configuration Management Database (CMDB). A software resource that is defined in the Software Catalog is equivalent to a configuration item (CI).
We recommend that you define in the Software Catalog all the software that you need to manage. Typically, you need to manage the software that is approved for installation in your organization. You manage approved software to ensure that is installed properly and it remains in the correct state.
You might also decide to manage the software that is not approved for installation in your organization. You might not think that unsupported software needs to be managed. However, you might want to do so to ensure that it is never installed. For example, you can define game software or certain peer-to-peer applications in the Software Catalog. Then you can check the client computers for that software and uninstall it when it is found.
The Software Catalog eliminates the need to perform software-related tasks manually and lets you define the software resources and rules that can automate those tasks.