BigFix offers an outstanding patch management solution that includes helpful software inventory capabilities, such as licensing, metering and cost analysis. The only real sticking point is the awkward installation process.
The adventure begins with a trip to the BigFix Web site to download the software and documentation. You will need to read the documentation; fortunately, the DSS SAM Quick Start Guide is a helpful document.
The first time I logged in to the DSS SAM Web site after installation, I was pleased to find an informative Overview page that walked me through configuring a data source.
Grouping computers by department or just about any other parameter helps you filter analyses and reports on installed software and software usage.
The Create Contract dialog allowed me to track licensing agreements for specific computer groups and contract parameters. Note here that there was a script error that required rebooting the server.
Clicking on the Computers tab and then the Raw Applications Usage Data tab tells me very quickly which applications are running on which workstations.