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KACE Product Support Question


"Software" Inventory vs "Software Catalog" Inventory

03/24/2017 5386 views
Yet another basic question. (You'd think I could comprehend the Admin Guide, but it just doesn't communicate in the way I think, I guess; and Google is less than helpful; and I guess everyone else on ITNinja is smarter than me, not needing to ask such basic questions. Sorry.)

Can anyone give me a brief sentence or two with a more simplified explanation of what the difference is between the "Software" inventory and the "Software Catalog" inventory? Why two inventories? Why not just one? What does one do that the other doesn't? Why would I want to use one for this occasion and the other for that occasion? Or do these questions not even make sense once one understands what these two inventories are?

Thanks!

--
Kent

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I know how the Win side behaves more than Mac, but this is my understanding: "Software" is drawn from the regular/default install locations/behaviors (e.g. Windows registry entries). "Software Catalog" reports absolutely EVERYTHING that is an executable program on the device. This is why regular software inventory can happen quickly at check-in, but software catalog inventory happens less frequently and takes much longer (check your settings in Settings > Provisioning > Communication Settings for details).

For example, say you have a computer with Chrome installed and a version of "Firefox portable" standalone exe in some user's "My Documents" folder. Software Inventory will detect and report Chrome under "Installed Programs" (i.e. Software). Firefox Portable, however, will be listed in '"Discovered Software" (i.e. Software Catalog).

I rarely consult Software Catalog, but it has proved useful for tracking down obscure programs and enhancing some SQL queries.
Answered 03/24/2017 by: JasonEgg
Red Belt

  • That's a pretty good explanation.

    Seems like it's almost useless, though, in a Mac or Linux environment.

    Let me see if I can rephrase:

    Software: finds apps that are "officially" installed on a device (via such routes as looking in the Windows Registry for items in the Add/Remove Programs area), whether or not the Software Catalog has ever heard of it before.

    Software Catalog: is a big database containing software executables that KACE knows about, whether it's installed on any device in your organization or not.

    When the inventory agent scours a device and finds an executable, if that executable is "officially" installed on the device, it gets listed in the Software section, (and if not already in the Software Catalog section, it gets added as a new app?) under "Installed Programs". If that executable is not "officially" installed on the device, but is found in the Software Catalog, it gets listed in the Software section as "Discovered Software".

    What happens in the case of an executable being found that is not "officially" installed, and is not in the Software Catalog?
    • I don't know the inner workings of the system, so I can't address your 5th paragraph. To your last question: If Software Catalog encounters a software not in its inventory, it adds it.

      EDIT: I deleted a sentence I realized was incorrect
      • From the ver 7 Admin Guide:

        =======
        Cataloged applications are executables that are in the official Software Catalog database. This includes both applications that appear in K1000 inventory (Discovered applications) and applications that do not appear in K1000 inventory (Not Discovered applications).

        About the Software Catalog
        The Software Catalog is a database that contains standardized information about more than 60,000 Windows and Mac applications and software suites. Information in the catalog includes the name, version, publisher, and category of each application or suite, as well as the operating system on which the application or suite runs.
        =======

        So it seems to me that there's an official Software Catalog, which would imply to me that nothing gets added to it by anything I do, otherwise it's not really official any longer.

        I think I'm just going to have to resign myself to having to learn the system by trial-and-error, as the documentation just doesn't seem to address my questions sufficiently.

        Thanks anyway!
      • It's probably comparing checksums to known programs. I don't remember how many entries the box had originally, but after about 5 years we have 2.7 MILLION entries (in the db table, not through the web ui). This is why support sometimes encourages cleaning out old catalog data.
      • Here is a KB article with more info: https://support.quest.com/kace-systems-management-appliance/kb/143715

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