II. Quick Install & Tour

Software Auditsscheduled, centralized, data collection
28. Show the program Installs data for a selected computer
29. Show the Audit data for a selected program

Software Auditsscheduled, centralized, data collection

Since new computers are included in software audits by default, they will be audited for installed programs when first connecting to the KeyServer. After the initial audit, Audit information is then updated automatically so that information from each client computer will not become too out of date. The update interval is set to 4 weeks by default. Whenever a client computer that has not audited for longer than the configured interval contacts the KeyServer it will be instructed to perform an audit and upload the data ASAP. As part of the Audit upload, each program that has been launched since the last audit will report its new “Last Used” time stamp. The frequency of incremental audit updates for newly installed or deleted programs can be configured from the “General Settings” item in the Config Menu – auditing can also be turned off completely by changing the client computer settings.

At some sites, the automatic initial audit for new KeyServer clients may be the wrong default, perhaps for privacy reasons. To change the default discovery rule, double click the word “Discovered” in the Display column of the Computers window (Filters pane). In the window that comes up, press the disclosure triangle button so you can set audit to: “Don't Audit". Audit data is used by the Product Recognition Service, so if you do not audit any computers you may not discover as many Products automatically added to your Products window.

Note: usage of programs which are managed by policies will be tracked when necessary even on computers that are not audited for software installs. Summarizing program usage information, is after all, basic to efficient and intelligent software asset management. Some increase in user privacy can still be achieved, however, by configuring the relevant radio buttons in the General Settings dialog from the Config Menu.

By this point in the tour, KeyAccess has probably had enough time to complete its audit. Click “Refresh” at the bottom of the Computers window and then look in the “Last Audit” column – if there is a time stamp then an audit has completed and we can have a look. Note: there are many columns of information available for display in the Computers window – right-click in a column header to customize your view.

On a fresh install of KeyServer, the first few audits will also cause the Product Recognition Service (PRS) to run, so shortly after an audit completes you should see Products appear in the Products window. Usually PRS runs over night.

28. Show the program Installs data for a selected computer

Select a computer that has completed an audit and double click to open the Computer Details window. Click on the “Show” button in the audit pane to bring up the program Installs window for this computer.

The bottom of the Installs window shows the total number of distinct program variants/versions/files that have been found on the selected computer and are displayed in the window. You can click on the totals at the bottom of the window to toggle the display between just Applications and all program types. Most reports default to only show Application programs.

The line items (marked with an expansion icon) in the Installs window are program “variants” which aggregate distinct versions together based on the program family plus zero or more digits of version information. It is actually these same program variant items (collapsed view) that appear elsewhere (Programs Window, Program pane of Product, etc), but they appear elsewhere without the expansion triangles.

If an expansion icon is darkened for an Installs window line item, it means that the audit of this computer has found more than one version within the program variant – click to expand and see the versions. The column labeled “Copies” gives the total number of file copies that were found on this one computer for each specific version or each variant.

29. Show the Audit data for a selected program

With one of the program items selected in an audit window, use the right-click “Show Installs” menu item to bring up an Installs window showing all computers where this program has been found. A click on the “Last Used” column header will sort the time stamps so you can quickly get a sense of which programs are actually used at all. Note: the context menu item “Show Installs” is also available directly from a selected item in the Programs window or Computers window.

While “Show Installs” lets you examine detailed audit data directly, for a summarization of software installation and usage patterns you should use the various audit and usage reports from the Reports menu. An appropriate subset of these same reports is available from the context menu (right-click) when a line is selected in any window (including report windows themselves). Remember, of course, that KeyServer has no information about usage prior to the installation of its client software – and for each particular program, usage information is only collected after it has been added to a product that has policies.

When a program is first discovered, the corresponding line in the Programs window represents an entire program family that is aggregated together into a single variant. Usually once a product is defined, either manually or automatically, the program family is split into multiple distinct variants, based on the first digit (or occasionally even first few digits) of version information. For example, version “3.x” of a program is probably different from version “4.x” so they will need to be put in two different products. The New Product Wizard helps automate the version mask configuration, but version masks can always be adjusted from the Program Details window as well.

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