This white paper article provides information on what Asset Management Solution can and cannot do to control user access to software.
What Asset Management software compliancy can and cannot do
Asset Management has no control over which users can install or use software. This may be implied by Asset Management's software compliancy, such as a software purchase's Software Purchase Owners field (which users "own" the software, which can be meant to be understood who controls access or is responsible financially) or a software license's Authorized Clients field (any computer not on the Authorized Client list is automatically unauthorized). These are not used to control software installations or usage, they are used to provide data for software compliancy. Asset Management cannot enforce software installation or usage; in fact, there is no Symantec Altiris product that can do this.
Software compliance monitors Asset Management software purchases/licenses and compares their numbers with Inventory Solution's software inventory list of installed products. For example:
For more information about how to use software compliancy, refer to the following article:
How to use Asset Management's Software Product License Compliance
How a software license Authorized Clients list works
Authorized Clients, a field in a software license, implies that it can control access to software. As previously mentioned, this is incorrect in that neither it nor Asset nor Altiris has the ability to enforce this. The Authorized Clients list is basically a "filter" for the software product/license as how it is applied to all Inventory Solution software inventory. Here are examples of how software compliancy works without and with an Authorized Client list:
Without Authorized Clients
With Authorized Clients
Where to see software compliancy data, including authorized client information
In the Resource Manager > Summaries > Software License Summary for a software license, detailed information on its compliancy is reported. When data exists, this can be clicked on to open up and drill into the respective software compliancy report.
Likewise, under Reports > Service and Asset Management > Contract Management > Software Licensing, many out-of-box reports are available to help the user track this. These include authorized and unauthorized reports, if the customer has set up an Authorized Client list in their software licenses.
Lastly, in the Software Catalog (Manage > Software or Manage > Software Catalog), managed computers can see their usage data represented graphically here. This can be useful to help see if too many licenses have been purchased, indicating that when their renewal is up, the customer purchase fewer licenses to save money. This can also be used for basic software compliance, based on the current active computers reporting in the software product (the number in the bubble above the graph).
Inventory Solution software reports and SQL scripts
It may be possible to use the out-of-box reports and maybe some SQL scripts to help understand who is using what software. Inventory Solution comes with several reports that can help, such as the Installed Software By Computer report. If there is only one user for the computers (a common situation), then that user would be therefore responsible for what they install onto their computer.
As Windows and the Symantec Management Agent report back on who the primary user is for computers, a SQL script could be used to show who this user is, what their telephone number and email address are, so that the Asset Management administrator in charge of software compliancy can contact them if there are any questions about what they have installed onto their computer. This article includes an example SQL script that demonstrates how this works.
There are a few ways to further augment what can be done for software control to restrict user access. These may not provide everything that the customer needs, however, but are provided workarounds to add this type of ability into Altiris.
Where can I find the available Software License count in Asset Management?
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