By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2001-06-25 Print this article Print


WebCensus employs software and hardware recognition technology the company has developed over several years. Using a finely tuned combination of file characteristics, including size, name and date, WebCensus identified a wide range of software packages on the test systems. The product also did a good job of gathering configuration information, including IP address and user account information, along with system hardware data.

Nevertheless, it became clear during tests that Tally still has a long way to go before WebCensus can be considered a polished service offering. We encountered several interface problems during tests that IT managers should take into account before considering the product—especially at organizations where the staff has little IT training.

We had to click "yes" to two different screens to approve the download and operation of the WebCensus agent. After the agent did what it was supposed to do, the final screen concluded with an ambiguous message about "continuing" that left us waiting for the inventory process to continue before we realized it was done.

Both WebCensus and AssetMetrix made it difficult to use the right report. After opening a flurry of report windows from the Web site (it was common during tests to have as many as eight windows open at the same time), we had to hopscotch between panes to piece together the information we needed.

Furthermore, it was often difficult to tell—using either product—exactly what information went with which PC.

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant has been with the Labs since 1997, and before that paid his IT management dues at a software publishing firm working with several Fortune 100 companies. Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility, with a focus on Android in the enterprise. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his reviews and analysis are grounded in real-world concern. Cameron is a regular speaker at Ziff-Davis Enterprise online and face-to-face events. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at csturdevant@eweek.com.

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