Managing software licenses in your organization using normalization
The Normalization Engine provides the Version Rollup Normalization and Suite Rollup Normalization features for software license management.
The Product Catalog, which specifies the normalized attributes for a Configuration Item (CI), also helps you manage your software licensing tasks. For more information about how the Product Catalog contributes to normalization, see Normalization and the Product Catalog.
Version Rollup Normalization
BMC CMDB versions 7.6.03 and later include the
MarketVersion attribute in the
BMC_BaseElement class. You can use this attribute to set a common market version with which licenses are associated. The
VersionNumber attribute stores a full version number, such as 18.104.22.168, which can change frequently with maintenance releases. To manage licenses more accurately, the
MarketVersion attribute stores a simpler string version, such as 5.0 or 2007. You can then associate a license with the market version rather than with individual, full version numbers.
For example, Calbro Services has multiple service packs and versions for Microsoft Excel: 11.0.5614.0, 11.0.6355.0, 11.0.7969.0, and 11.0.8173.0. However, Calbro Services tracks all of these products with a
MarketVersion of 2003. To do this, the Version Rollup tab of the Normalization Features can include the following rule:
(ManufacturerName LIKE "Microsoft%") AND ((Model LIKE "%Excel%") AND (VersionNumber LIKE 11.0.%))
Version Normalization is enabled for all data sets and cannot be disabled.
For procedures about configuring this feature, see Creating a Version Rollup rule.
Suite Rollup Normalization
Many software products, such as Microsoft Office, are licensed as a suite. To track software licenses by product suite, you can use the Suite Rollup feature. This feature allows the Normalization Engine to combine several software products into a single suite based on suite definition rules. When a discovery tool finds the individual components of a suite, the Suite Rollup feature — according to the defined rules — combines them into a suite, creates the suite CI, and marks each component as belonging to that suite.
For example, Calbro Services must manage its licenses for a suite of graphic and web tools called Cre8ive Design, which includes the following products:
- Cre8 HTML
- Cre8 Studio
- Cre8 Photo
- Anim8 Studio
The Configuration Manager first creates the Product Catalog entries for these products; it then creates a company entry for Cre8ive Solutions in the Product Catalog, and finally creates a new suite definition in the Suite Rollup tab:
- Suite Name: Cre8ive Design
- Manufacturer: Cre8ive Solutions
- Market Version: 2010
- Tier 1: Software
- Product List: Cre8 HTML, Cre8 Studio, Cre8 Photo (all required)
- Precedence: 50
- Active: Yes
When the data sets are normalized with the Suite Rollup feature enabled, installations of the Cre8ive Design suite are identified, and Calbro Services can accurately track their software licenses. The rule is not applied if any one of the products defined for the Cre8ive Design suite does not exist.
For procedures about configuring this feature, see .
Using the Suite Rollup feature to identify suites that are uninstalled or upgraded
If you upgrade a suite to a different version or edition, or uninstall a required suite component on a system, the Suite Rollup feature identifies the change and sets the appropriate values for the
Identifying suites that are uninstalled on a system
If you uninstall a product from a system, the discovery tool sets the value of the
MarkAsDeleted attribute of that product to Yes. If the product that you uninstalled is defined as a required component of a suite, the Suite Rollup feature sets the
ProductType attribute of that suite and the other products that are part of the suite to Standard Product.
For example, Calbro Services creates a Suite Rollup rule in which the following products are defined as required components of the Cre8ive Design suite:
- Cre8 HTML
- Cre8 Studio
- Cre8 Photo
If you uninstall Cre8 HTML on a system, the discovery tool sets the
MarkAsDeleted attribute for that Cre8 HTML product CI instance to Yes. When the discovered data is loaded into BMC CMDB the Suite Rollup feature sets the
ProductType attribute of the Cre8ive Design suite CI instance, and the Cre8 Studio and Cre8 Photo product CI instances to Standard Product.
Identifying suites that are upgraded on a system
If you upgrade a suite on a system to a different version or edition, you must perform the following actions:
- Create a new suite rule for the upgraded version or edition of the suite
- Set the precedence of the suite rule for the upgraded version or edition as higher than the precedence of the suite rule for the original version or edition
When the discovery tool loads the system with the upgraded suite components into BMC CMDB, the Suite Rollup feature initially applies the suite rules that have a higher precedence. The Normalization Engine creates a new suite CI for the upgraded version or edition and marks the component products as part of the upgraded suite. When the suite rule for the original version is applied, the value of the
ProductType attribute of that suite CI is set to Standard Product.
For example, Calbro Services upgrades Microsoft Office 2007 Standard Edition on the systems in the production environment to Microsoft Office 2007 Professional Edition. The Configuration Manager creates a new suite rule for Microsoft Office 2007 Professional Edition and adds the Microsoft Outlook product as a required component along with the Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint products. The Configuration Manager also sets the precedence for the Microsoft Office 2007 Professional Edition as higher than the Microsoft Office 2007 Standard Edition.
When the system CIs on which the upgraded Microsoft Office 2007 Professional suite is installed are loaded into BMC CMDB, the new suite rule marks Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint as components of the Microsoft Office 2007 Professional Edition, and creates a new Microsoft Office 2007 Professional Edition suite CI. The Normalization Engine also sets the value of the
ProductType attribute of the Microsoft Office 2007 Standard Edition suite CI to Standard Product.
Using Normalization for version and suite rollups
To use the Normalization Engine for Version and Suite Rollups, you must complete the following steps.
- Define the rules for rolling up versions to the specified Market Version, as needed. (See Creating a Version Rollup rule.)
- Create suites and the rules for identifying CIs as suites or components. (See Creating a Suite Rollup rule.)
- For each data set, enable the Suite Rollup feature. (See Configuring normalization settings for datasets.)