A software license represents the purchase of a SKU. Each time you purchase that SKU you create a software license. You can therefore purchase five identical SKUs and track them separately from any previous purchases. Each purchase can be linked to different a cost center, organization or location. The licensing rules are defined at the SKU level and therefore all licenses associated with that SKU have the same rules applied.
The software license quantity refers to the purchase of one or more of the same SKUs. If a customer wanted 100 licenses of a product, and the SKU came in a 5-pack, then they would purchase 20 SKUs. Therefore, the SKU quantity multiplied by the license quantity equals the total number of licenses. This total is referred to throughout the IT Asset Management Pack as the “Total Licenses”.
Using the same example, if a customer purchased 100 licenses in October, and another 120 licenses in November, this would be represented as two licenses — license A with a quantity of 20, dated October, and license B with a quantity of 25, dated November. If the SKU (agreement) included 1 year of free maintenance, then the first 100 users assigned and installed under license A would continue to have support until next October. Those assigned under the second license would continue to have support until next November.
You link a software license to a SKU and a license agreement. This provides the software title, through the SKU, with its licensing information. The IT Asset Management Pack calculates your total entitlements for each software title and summarizes them in the Software Titles Tracked by Installation view, Licensing Status and Entitlements columns.
Because SKUs may carry different usage rights, individual software title entitlements may have different usage rights. To help align the user or hardware asset with its entitlement and usage rights, the IT Asset Management Pack allows you to assign both at the software title level and at the software license level. In fact, software assignments can be made through the software title to a software license and to one or more license keys.
Assigning at the license key level also allows you to track a specific user or hardware asset and a license key together when deploying and when recovering or re-assigning.
The best practice, however, is to assign a user or hardware asset to a software title. Assigning at the license or key level keeps that license with the user, regardless of whether the person needs the license or not. During the calculation of your licensing position, any assigned license or key always stays with that user or asset. If you assign at the software title, then the assignment may be satisfied by any combination of licenses. The best fit calculation is free to use whatever combination it requires to satisfy both the assignment and the installations that are out there. The best fit calculation does not have this freedom when you assign at the license or key level.
When your software licensing position is calculated, assignment is used as a means of identifying priority to users or assets with assignment. For more details see Assignment and licensing status.
See Also ▶
How to prepare for software asset management: Before you begin managing software assets