Exercise Overview:

Exploring Applications, Products and Installations

By now, the synchronization between AppClarity and Active Efficiency will have completed, and you will be able to see all the Applications we have identified in the AppClarity console. In AppClarity, an Application is a distinct combination (or partial combination) of Publisher, Product and Full Version that has been discovered either in the registry or metadata in an executable file header. This raw data is collected by ActiveEfficiency and loaded into the AppClarity database through the synchronization process covered in the previous lab. 

AppClarity processes each Application using a set of rules to determine if the Application is a likely match for a known Product. The rules and definitions of known Products are defined in the AppClarity Software Catalog. Known Products are a combination of Publisher, Product and Release. A Release is usually associated with a major version number (e.g. Adobe Reader 8 or Microsoft Office 2010) but in some cases, may be associated with a 'point release' (e.g. Symantec Backup Exec 12.5).
AppClarity needs to be able to determine at least the Publisher and Product properties from the Application to match it to a known Product in the catalog. If a likely match is found and it can also determine the Release from the Full Version of the Application, the Application will be linked to that specific Publisher, Product and Release. If a likely match is found but the Release cannot be determined, the Application will be linked with an Unidentified Release of the known Product. Known Products (with or without a Release defined) identified in this way are presented and managed through the Products page in the AppClarity Console.
Several Applications that may have slightly different Publisher, Product and Version details may be associated with a single Publisher, Product and Release. The rules take care of variations in Publisher (including when a Publisher changes through acquisition) and Product name and identify the Release from the Application's Full Version property.
If AppClarity is unable to match the Application to any known Publisher and Product combination in the catalog, the Application is classified as Available for Linking. Applications available for linking can be managed from the Data Capture page in the AppClarity console.
An Installation is an instance of a known Product on a specific computer.
In this lab, you will use the console to explore the association between Applications, Products and Installations.

Exploring Products

In this exercise, you will explore the Products page and see what information is available for each Product.

Viewing Products

In this task, you will learn how to view Products that have been identified by AppClarity from the data imported from ActiveEfficiency and identify the license compliance status of each Product.

1ETRNAP
  1. On 1ETRNAP, open the AppClarity console 
  2. Click on the Products icon  in the vertical toolbar on the left to view the Products page
  3. Note that Products are categorized by Publisher down the left-hand side of the console
  4. Selecting a Publisher in the left-hand pane displays the Products associated with that Publisher in the upper-right pane
  5. The list of Publishers can be filtered by clicking a letter on the alphabetic index down the right side of the list (The filter is a toggle – click the same letter to remove the filter)
  6. Select Adobe Systems Incorporated from the Publishers list. Note that the AcrobatReader (one of the most prolific application in any environment) is not listed in the Products list
  7. As AppClarity is about saving software license costs, the list of products is filtered to exclude software that does not require a purchased license by default. Adobe Reader is an example of such software, so is not shown by default. The current filter settings are displayed on the right-hand side of the grey header bar just above the column headings.
  8. Click the filter icon to the right of the Licensable column heading and select Non-licensable. Ensure that Unknown is also checked, so we have exposure to all the Applications in the console. You will now be able to view products that do not require a purchased license, including the Adobe Reader. You will also notice the list of Publishers displayed will increase, as a lot of non-licensable products are now in the view
  9. Note that each of the Licensable Products has a red cross in the License Managed column. This indicates that no licenses have been defined in AppClarity for that particular Product, therefore it is not yet license-managed. All Licensable Products will be in this state until we add or import some Product Licenses
  10. To the left of each Product name in the list is a grey dot with a question mark. This is actually an indicator that will show red, green or yellow to indicate when a Product is either in or out of compliance (green or red) or at risk (yellow). These indicators remain greyed-out until the Product is License Managed. Hover over the grey circle to get the Compliance summary of that product. All summaries will be the same currently
  11. To the left of each Publisher there is a similar indicator. This is used to show the overall compliance for license-managed Products by that particular Publisher. It will remain grey until any of that Publisher's Products become license-managed, at which point it will show red if any of that Publisher's license-managed Products are non-compliant, or green if all of that Publisher's license-managed Products are compliant, or yellow if any product is at risk
  12. The Install Count column indicates the number of Installations of the Product that AppClarity has identified from the data imported from ActiveEfficiency
  13. The License Requirement and License Entitlement columns will remain blank until licenses have been added
  14. The Summary tab in the lower half of the screen shows three charts (Depending on the monitor resolution, you may have to scroll down to see all three). The first chart shows the breakdown of Installations based on the Release (generally the major version). This is useful for identifying opportunities to rationalize releases in your production environment
  15. The second chart represents Usage of the product – i.e. the percentage of installations that are used, rarely used, unused or unreported
  16. The third chart shows the proportion of installations of the selected Product that are App-V (virtual) vs. not virtualized
  17. Each of the charts has a grey magnifier icon to the right – use this to view a larger version of the chart. The Installation Breakdown by Usage chart has another icon  that opens the Unused Software Identification report for the selected product.

Understanding Linked Applications

When the details of an Application have been positively identified as a Release of a particular Product using the 1E Catalog, that Application is referred to as a Linked Application. In this task, you will observe the Applications that are linked and learn how to change the link to a different Product Release if required.


1ETRNAP

  1. From the Products page in the AppClarity console, locate and select the Microsoft Corporation Visual Studio Prerequisites Language Pack Product

  1. Select the Linked Applications tab in the lower pane. This tab defines the specific Releases of the Visual Studio Prerequisites Language Pack Product and the Applications that are linked to each of those Releases. The Linked Applications tab shows each of the Releases found in the environment as a bold heading. Each Release has one or more Applications linked to it, the details of which are listed in the table below the Release heading. Note that there is an application linked to the Microsoft Corporation Visual Studio Prerequisites 2013 Application – the ENU Language Pack

Linking Applications

  1. Certain applications won't be linked appropriately by default, based on one or more linking rules missing, or the catalog not having enough data to link the application accordingly. In this task, you will find some common applications that haven't been linked automatically and link them manually
  2. Navigate to the Data Capture workspace in the console, and click on the Available for linking space
  3. Search for Visual Studio 2013 Prerequisites. Note that there is an application that has been discovered. We'll assume the Visual Studio 2013 Prerequisites – JPN Language Pack Application is part of Microsoft Corporation Visual Studio Prerequisites Language Pack 2013, so we can now link it to the correct Product and Release
  4. Right-click the Visual Studio 2013 Prerequisites – JPN Language Pack Product and click Link to Catalog

  5. Be sure to note the name and version of the product you are linking.
  6. In the Select or Create Product dialog box, select Visual Studio Prerequisites Language Pack in the Product field
  7. The Release field should have the appropriate version is selected, tab out of the field and click OK
  8. Navigate to the Products workspace in the console. Press F5 to refresh the display. Select the Visual Studio Prerequisites Language Pack product

  1. Note that product you just linked is now considered part of the Microsoft Corporation Visual Studio Prerequisites Language Pack 2013 Release

Creating a new product in the AppClarity catalog

Now we will link unidentified releases of AMD Catalyst Control Center to create a new product in the catalog.


  1. From the Data Capture space in the AppClarity console, select Available for linking, and enter AMD in the search field
  2. Right click on the AMD Catalyst Control Center product where AMD is the Publisher and select Link to Catalog
  3. Click on Click here to add a new product to AppClarity catalog
  4. A web page will open in Internet Explorer (or you default browser) with a GUI to add a new product. Confirm Vendor, Title and Version are populated. Click in the Version field and change the version from 1.00.0000 to 1 and then hit Save at the bottom right (You may have to scroll down in the page)
  5. Confirm that the product is created in the catalog, with a Creation Date of today. Close the browser window
  6. Return to the AppClarity console and cancel the Select or Create Product wizard, click on Site Defined Catalog and validate the newly created product is there by typing AMD in the search box
  7. Return to the Available for Linking space. In the bottom left pane, the new product which you just created will be present. Click on Link to Catalog. In the Select or Create Product page, select 1 as the Release. Click OK
  8. AppClarity will reformat the versioning to a standard used by AppClarty, so the version will change to 1.x.x.x. This is still the application you just created in the catalog
  9. Hit F5 to refresh the Available for linking page. Notice the product is no longer available for linking
  10. Return to the Products space. Select AMD as the Publisher. Notice the newly created application which was linked. AMD Catalyst Control Center 1.00.0000 is now in the Linked Applications tab below, linked to AMD AMD Catalyst Control Center 1

Identifying Installations

An Installation is an instance of a known Publisher, Product and Release that has been discovered on a specific device (i.e. it is the association of a Product and a Device). In this task, you will identify Installations from the Product page.

1ETRNAP

  1. From the Products page in the AppClarity console, navigate to Microsoft Corporation Publisher and enter Silv in the Search field and select the Silverlight product

  1. Select the Linked Installations tab in the lower half of the page. This tab shows up to 100 devices that have the selected Product installed, along with details of the Release, Install Date and Usage of each individual Installation. If available, it will also show the Primary User of the computer

If there are more than 100 computers with the Product installed, you can use the Report icon on the far right of the tab that links to the Product Installation report, with the Publisher and Product filters pre-populated from the selected Product. The Product Installation report will generate a CSV file with all the computers that have the Product installed.

Adding Product Tags and Notes

In some cases, you may want to store additional custom metadata with the Product. AppClarity allows you to define Tags and store Notes with each Product.

1ETRNAP
  1. Select the Visual Studio (Premium edition) Product in the Products page of the AppClarity console under the Microsoft Corporation Publisher, and click the Tags tab in the lower pane
  2. Click the Add button to open the Select Tags and Values dialog box and view the currently defined Tags and available values
  3. Click the ellipses (…) next to the Packaged Tag. This will display the list of predefined vales that the selected Tag can take, or you can add new values. Select Yes and click OK
  4. The Packaged Tag now has a check next to it, indicating the tag has been set
  5. We have identified the need to identify where in the product lifecycle status it happens to be. Since Lifecycle Status is not one of the default tags, we'll be adding a custom tag and create the available statuses that can be assigned.
  6. From the Select Tags and Values dialog box click the Add Tag  icon. This allows you to create your own Tags. Enter Lifecycle Status as the Tag Name
  7. In the Value Name field enter UAT and click Add
  8. Repeat the previous step to add values named Production and Retired
  9. Uncheck Production and UAT leaving just Retired checked and click OK

  1. Click OK to close the Select Tags and Values dialog box. The Lifecycle status and Packaged tags now appears in the Tags tab with check marks to the left, showing the selected value (Retired) and (Yes)

  1. Click the Notes tab. This provides a further opportunity to add any free-form text notes that you want to associate with the Product

Using Tags in the Product Installation Report

The only place Tags are currently used is in the Product Installation Report. In this task, you will run the report using the Lifecycle status tag as a filter to show only Installations where the Product is tagged as Retired.

1ETRNAP
  1. Click the Reporting icon in the vertical toolbar on the left side of the console
  2. In the Reporting page select the Product Installation report
  3. The report will default to Select Publisher/Product. Choose Select Tag/Value, refresh the view, then in the Tag dropdown select Lifecycle status and in the Value dropdown select Retired
  4. It takes a little time for the newly added tags to appear, so if they are not there right away, give them a minute, refresh and try again.
  5. Click Generate to have the report exported to a CSV file. The folder where the report is stored will open automatically once the file is generated. Double-click on the CSV file to open it in Apache OpenOffice Calc. Select comma as the delimiter and click OK
  6. The report should include only installations of Visual Studio Premium (i.e. the only Product that is tagged as Retired)
  7. Note that the CSV file will be saved in the logged-on user's Documents folder in: \1E\Reports\ProductInstallation\yyyymmddhhmmss. All Reports generated will be stored in subfolders of the \1E\Reports folder based on the report type that was run.


Lab Summary

In this lab, you have learned about the relationship between Applications that are discovered on computers and Products and Releases that are known to AppClarity. The initial association (link) between Applications and Products is made using the AppClarity Software Catalog, which combines pre-defined knowledge, rules and heuristics. Applications that AppClarity is unable to identify (Available for Linking Applications) can be managed from the Data Capture page in the console. 
You have learned how you can link Available Applications to an existing known release of a product in the catalog, or create completely new catalog entries and link the Available Application to these. You have also learned how to create new products in the catalog, which will then show up in the products page. 
You have seen how Installations (specific instances of a known Product installed on a Device) can be viewed in the Console and, by way of an introduction to the AppClarity Reports, through the Product Installation Report. You have seen how Tags can be used, as an alternative to Products, as a filter in the Product Installation Report to show installations of all Products that have a particular tag and value set.


Next Lab
Ex 7 - AppClarity 5.2 - Working with Management Groups