Configuring Software Inventory Rules

By default, the Software Inventory Client Agent inventories all .exe files on all SMS client hard disks, but you can also specify other file types or folder trees for software inventory.

To configure software inventory rules

  1. In the SMS Administrator console, click the Inventory Collection tab in the Software Inventory Client Agent Properties dialog box.

  2. Click the New icon, and then type the name of a file you want to inventory.

    You can type exact file names (such as Autoexec.bat), or you can use wildcards. For example, you can inventory all files of a certain extension, such as *.zip. Any valid use of wildcards for the DIR command is valid in this dialog box.

  3. By default, all hard disks on the SMS client are inventoried. If you want to inventory a folder or folder tree, click the Set button. In the Path Properties dialog box, click Variable or path name, and then specify a folder or folder tree.

    A variable is an environment variable, such as %Windir%. You can also specify whether subfolders should be searched by setting Search subdirectories. Wildcards can also be used in the last part of the path, for example, %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual*.


    • The Software Inventory Agent supports both system and user environment variables, but the user environment variables are for the security context the agent runs in, not the context of the currently logged on user.

    • Also, the value of the environment variable must not contain an environment variable. For example %temp% cannot be used if its value is "%Windir%\temp."

  1. Set Exclude encrypted and compressed files if you do not need to inventory them. By default, this option is enabled. This setting is particularly important if you are collecting product details during software inventory. Product details are contained within the files, so encrypted and compressed files must be decrypted and decompressed, which can use considerable computer resources on the SMS clients. If the local system account (or a group that contains the local system account) is not given administrative rights to the encrypted files, SMS cannot decrypt them.

  2. Repeat steps 2 through 4 for all the inventory rules you require. Additional rules impose additional workload on the clients and might create additional network traffic or workload on the SMS servers. You should carefully consider the need for each additional rule. There is a maximum limit of 64 rules.

  3. Set the level of reporting details you want to collect using software inventory by setting File details and Product details.

If you set Product details, the following properties are collected for each file:

  • Manufacturer name

  • Product name

  • Product version

  • Product language

If you set File details, the following properties are collected for each file:

  • File name

  • File path

  • File size

  • Modified date

If you set both File details and Product details, the following properties are also collected for each file:

  • File description

  • File version


  • File details are obtained by scanning folder entries. Product details are obtained by opening the files. File details are more efficient because fewer disk reads are required. Also, because the files do not need to be loaded into memory to obtain the product details, they do not have to be scanned by antivirus software that might be running on the clients. However, because it is much harder to hide files by changing the product name than by changing the file name, collecting product details can provide more accurate results if your users might try to hide programs by renaming them.

You cannot clear both the Product details and File details options. At least one of these sets of details must be collected.

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