The relatively unknown Assetmetrix, which Microsoft acquired for an undisclosed sum, provides an inventory tool that can discover and catalog a large library of different applications and map those to known servers.
The small company, which has a database of some 300,000 known applications, delivers its tool as a service. The PC asset management software maps both software and hardware that an enterprise has against its database.
With it, "you get a rich report on whether you meet compliance and service level agreements," said Kirill Tatarinov, Microsofts corporate vice president of the Windows and enterprise management division.
The Web service includes a "rich categorization scheme to deduce what [applications are in use]," said Bill Anderson, lead program manager at Microsoft, who demonstrated the software during Tatarinovs keynote presentation on April 26 at the Microsoft Management Summit.
Over 100,000 of the applications in its database are categorized by type.
Its ease of reporting on license compliance is a key feature. "In one compliance report you know exactly where you stand. You can see how many users and licenses you have," said Anderson.
The tool also allows users to drill down to see more details of machines, owners and users.
Microsoft plans to make it available with SMSs inventory function within the next six to nine months, according to Tatarinov.
The broad discovery and categorization capability in the license management product is unique in the industry, Tatarinov said.
"You would think it would be more popular, but not many [in the market] did this groundwork to create [such a comprehensive] database. It took quite an effort," he said.
The acquisition deal closed on April 26.