10/10/2018 175 views
I have associated some files through the 'Software' section but they do not appear in the Software Catalogue. From my understanding the catalogue is supposed to be a more in depth and extensive version of the 'Software' section. Is this incorrect? What is the difference?

Which one is better to use for software deployment (Manage Installs) ?
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Allow me!

Software and Software Catalog are two entirely separate modules.  In fact, the Software Catalog is run out of a completely separate database.

The simple answer is:
Software reads out of Add-Remove Programs/Programs and Features/Apps, reports its findings under Installed Programs in the device inventory, and is updated by the process KInventory.exe.
Software Catalog is a more thorough scan against programs and their executable files, and checks them against a database of known software, reports them in Discovered Software, and uses the process Inventory.exe to gather that information.

The more in depth answer is, Software is the original software module in KACE.  What we know as the Software Catalog was previously a separate product, called eSmart, by a company called ASAP.  Dell bought them, discontinued eSmart, and integrated its scanning engine and database into KACE as the Software Catalog.  I've always heard that the two are supposed to be merged someday, or that Software is going away and there will only be Software Catalog, but I don't know where that stands on Quest's list of feature improvements, if anywhere.

So as of now, they are separate.  You can upload software to one or the other, but that is not shared between them.  As to which is better, it's sort of a matter of preference.

Things to consider:
The two run on separate schedules found in Settings › Provisioning › Communication Settings.
Agent Inventory is for Software, and is usually done more frequently.
Catalog Inventory is for Software Catalog, and runs less frequently.
That said, Managed Installs, regardless of where the software is uploaded, will always run at regular inventory times (set under Agent Inventory).  Why is this important, then?  Because if your MI fails, it will get to try more frequently if uploaded to Software.
(ex.  The MI gets through its process correctly and reports success to the Device Inventory, but something actually went wrong.  If it's a Software upload, the next time it runs an inventory, it will see the software is not there, and try again, but if it's a Software Catalog upload, and the Software Catalog inventory has already run for that day, KACE won't know the software isn't there, and the MI won't run again until the next Software Catalog inventory, as defined in the Catalog Inventory dropdown.)

Also, in my experience, different pieces of software can sometimes be reported differently between the two.  One example is Pipe-Flo.  This used to not show up in the Software Catalog.  I submitted the entry from the Uncataloged tab, and eventually it was added to the database.  Another entry is Bluebeam ReVu.  In Software Catalog, it shows up as "ReVu 2018" or "ReVu 2018 Standard/CAD/eXtreme" depending on the version.  In Software, I have 
Bluebeam Revu Standard x64 2018
Bluebeam Revu Standard x64 2018.1
Bluebeam Revu Standard x64 2018.2
depending on the service pack level.  So there may be a NEED to choose one or the other.  That depends on the software.

Going off of that, another thing is that you have to choose the exact version of software to upload to in Software, and Software will interpret that exactly as it shows up.  Here's another example:  I have a Managed Installation for VMWare Workstation 14.0.1.  It installs on computers fine.  VMWare updates the software to 14.1.2.  Now these computers no longer have 14.0.1 on them, and the MI tries to run again.  (This also has to do with your Smart Labels.)
With Software Catalog, while you should still upload software to the right version, 14.0.1 and 14.1.2, etc. all fall under "VMWare Workstation 14.x."  So if the MI installs 14.0.1 and they update to 14.1.2 on their own, the MI (again, and labels) won't try to run it again, if their Software Catalog still shows VMWare Workstation 14.x

In my environment, I use both, but I'm leaning more towards Software Catalog partially because of minor versions being wrapped up under one heading, and partially because supposedly Software Catalog is the future.

Sorry this was so long, but I hope it helps, and if you have any other questions, let me know.
Answered 10/10/2018 by: ondrar
Second Degree Brown Belt