Topic last updated—March 2008
Asset Intelligence reports are capable of providing large amounts of information about installed software titles and purchased software licenses in use. However, they should not be used as the sole source for determining purchased software license compliance.
The accuracy of installed software title quantities and license information displayed in Asset Intelligence reports can vary from the actual amounts currently in use because of the complex dependencies involved in inventorying software license information for software titles in use in enterprise environments.
The following are example dependencies involved in inventorying installed software and license usage in the enterprise using Asset Intelligence that might affect the accuracy of Asset Intelligence reports:
- Client hardware inventory dependencies
- Asset Intelligence installed software reports are based on data collected from SMS or Configuration Manager clients by extending hardware inventory to enable Asset Intelligence reporting. Because of this dependency on hardware inventory reporting, Asset Intelligence reports will reflect data only from SMS or Configuration Manager clients that successfully complete hardware inventory processes with the required Asset Intelligence WMI reporting classes enabled. In addition, because SMS or Configuration Manager clients perform hardware inventory processes on a schedule defined by the administrator, there might be a delay in data reporting that affects the accuracy of Asset Intelligence reports. For example, an inventoried, licensed software title might be uninstalled after the client completes a successful hardware inventory cycle, but the software title will still appear as installed in Asset Intelligence reports until the client’s next scheduled hardware inventory reporting cycle.
- Software packaging dependencies
- Because Asset Intelligence reports are based on installed software title data collected using standard SMS or Configuration Manager client hardware inventory processes, some software title data might not be properly collected. For example, software installations that do not conform to standard installation processes or software installations that have been modified prior to installation might result in inaccurate Asset Intelligence reporting results.
- Server role dependencies
- When utilizing CAL reporting, it is important to remember that these reports were designed to provide visibility into the usage of specific products in specific scenarios—for example, a server running a Windows Server operating system supporting a single server role. Licensed software title usage in different scenarios might produce inaccurate results—for example, the case of a server running a Windows Server operating system supporting multiple roles, such as Exchange mail server or SQL Server database server. When deciding to use Asset Intelligence to report license usage and information, keep in mind that it was designed only to provide visibility into license usage. For example, even if your license agreement allows you to use certain software in a lab or classroom environment without charge, Asset Intelligence will be able to detect only installed software in use and report it as such. In such a case, relying solely on Asset Intelligence might result in overpayment.
- Location and usage
- When deciding to use Asset Intelligence to report license usage and information, keep in mind that it was designed only to provide visibility into license usage. For example, even if your license agreement allows you to use certain software in a lab or classroom environment without charge, Asset Intelligence will be able to detect only installed software in use and report it as such. In such a case, relying solely on Asset Intelligence might result in overpayment.
The information displayed in Asset Intelligence reports are subject to many limitations and the information displayed in them does not constitute legal, accounting, or other professional advice. The information provided by Asset Intelligence reports is for informational purposes only and should not be used as the sole source of information for determining software license usage compliance.
The following are example limitations involved in inventorying installed software and license usage in the enterprise using Asset Intelligence that might affect the accuracy of Asset Intelligence reports:
- Microsoft license usage quantity limitations
- The quantity of purchased Microsoft software
licenses is based on information supplied by administrators and
should be closely reviewed to ensure that the correct number of
software licenses is provided.
- The Microsoft software license quantity
reported contains information only for Microsoft software licenses
acquired through volume licensing programs and does not reflect
information for software licenses acquired through retail, Original
Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), or other software license sales
- Software licenses acquired in the last 45
days might not be included in the Microsoft software license
quantities reported because of software reseller reporting
requirements and schedules.
- Software license transfers as a result of
company mergers or acquisitions might not be reflected in Microsoft
software license quantities.
- Nonstandard terms and conditions in a
Microsoft Volume Licensing (MVLS) agreement might affect the number
of software licenses reported and, consequently, might require
additional review by a Microsoft representative.
- The quantity of purchased Microsoft software licenses is based on information supplied by administrators and should be closely reviewed to ensure that the correct number of software licenses is provided.
- Installed software title quantity limitations
- The accuracy of installed software title quantities in Asset Intelligence reports relies on fully functioning SMS or Configuration Manager clients successfully completing hardware inventory reporting cycles and installation on appropriate computers. Additionally, there might be a delay between installation or uninstallation of a licensed software title after a successful hardware inventory reporting cycle that will not be reflected in Asset Intelligence reports run before the client reports its next scheduled hardware inventory.
- License reconciliation limitations
- The reconciliation of installed software title quantities to the quantity of purchased software licenses is calculated by using a comparison of the license quantity specified by the administrator and the installed software title quantities collected from SMS or Configuration Manager client hardware inventories based on the schedule set by the administrator. This comparison does not represent a final license position conclusion by Microsoft. The actual license position depends on the specific software title license and usage rights granted by the license terms.