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SAMUELVALAPARLA-3110 avatar image
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SAMUELVALAPARLA-3110 asked Garth answered

Software Metering - Possibilities

Hi All,

We're running MEM (SCCM) 2010

We had a request from an internal team saying that on some workshop conducted by a 3rd party they've been told that SCCM Software Metering has certain technical possibilities when it evaluates for Software usage.


That apart from only looking for names of .exe files when they're started, Software Metering can also interpret Hash values and this would allow us to separate for e.g. between Adobe Standard and Professional – all named acrobat.exe.

Secondly, in addition to measuring the time how long an application was used it can also interpret “How an application was used” like to create a document or only to read something. To illustrate with an example, we're using Software Metering for Visio and Project. And with the above possibility when used with Visio and Project the advantage is obvious: Both products are license-free if you read only documents and the license is only needed for document creation. So they're looking for a way to differentiate the usage of the application on these lines. The ultimate objective is to re-claim licenses from where they are not needed.

From what I know both the above use-cases are out of scope with Software Metering, but (before we close the lid on this) just wanted to get some opinions from the experts in this forum, if there are ways to work around the above requirements and if someone had infact dealt with such scenarios.

Thank You.

mem-cm-general
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GarthJones-9654 avatar image
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GarthJones-9654 answered

So, where to start with this post..

Software Metering (SWM) Can see usage of exe BUT only if you create rules for them. using *.exe is a bad idea and will NOT tell you as much useful details as you think.

NO SWM can't leverage hashes. However Asset Intelligence (AI) can see hashes. This would be an interesting test to see if this is possible but it will NOT be a simple thing to do.

There is NO way with any SW to see how it was used as you describe.

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SherryKissinger-ECM avatar image
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SherryKissinger-ECM answered

in addition to what Garth said... I just checked my environment. We have a lot of full Acrobat both standard and pro, for acrobat.exe

There is no difference in v_gs_ccm_recently_used_apps for softwarepropertieshash (all are the exact same one, for major version, no difference between std and pro)

Sure, there is a difference on FilePropertiesHash... but only because naturally the file for version 17.11.30202.451550 is different from 17.11.3024.454981; that difference isn't because of Std vs. Pro.

I do feel your pain regarding Adobe Acrobat, though. Unfortunately, according to their OWN documentation --> https://www.adobe.com/devnet-docs/acrobatetk/tools/AdminGuide/identify.html <--, the "only way to tell" is via the SWIDTAG file, the serial number as embedded in that swid file; and that information is not pulled into Asset Intelligence (even if you enable gathering swid info, which you can do via hardware inventory; that serialnumber field isn't a standard field that CM gathers).

So if you want that.. the only way I was ever able to gather that, was with a custom Script + Mof edit. https://tcsmug.org/blogs/sherry-kissinger/419-gather-some-adobe-serial-numbers-and-version-using-configmgr-compliance-settings-and-hardware-inventory

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SAMUELVALAPARLA-3110 avatar image
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SAMUELVALAPARLA-3110 answered

Hi Garth and Sherry,

Thank You very much for sharing your responses on this.

While we have Asset Intelligence (AI) enabled, we're only configured 2 AI reporting classes i.e. SMS_SystemConsoleUsage and SMS_SystemConsoleUser. Also we don't have the AI Sync Point role installed.

Pertaining to the Hash Values, from the v_GS_Recently_Used_Apps view I could see the Hash Values being captured and it looks like the File Hash is the same for Adobe Pro and Standard (if the file version is same) although the Software Hash differs and so does the Product Code. Trying to see if these differences can be leveraged to differentiate between Adobe Pro/Std.


143363-adobe.png




Also by enabling the other AI Reporting classes for Software, what kind of information can we expect with regards to our requirement which is to interpret “How an application was used” like to create a document or only to read something? Several products are license-free if you read only documents and the license is only needed for document creation and hence we're trying to explore ways to differentiate this specific usage aspect. Is there any other option within SCCM we can consider to pursue towards this distinction?

Thank You for your time and attention which has really been helpful.


adobe.png (18.7 KiB)
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Garth avatar image
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Garth answered

As i stated no application can interpret you how the app was used. You will need to ask the users what they are doing.

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