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Application normalization

The primary function of the Data Intelligence Service (DIS) is to perform data analysis based on inventoried data from customer environments, and to create rules for recognition of commercially available software applications.

How we get the data

Raw data files are sent to DIS from inventoried customer devices via, for example, the Snow Inventory Agents and the Snow Integration Manager. The received data is sourced from operating systems like Windows, Linux, UNIX, and Mac OS X.

How we create recognition

The inventoried data files are analyzed and normalized to correspond to recognized commercial software applications. For example, the file word.exe would be normalized as the application Microsoft Office Word.

In DIS, we base the recognition of a software application on an application container with assigned recognition rules. The rules enable mapping of the inventoried data to the correct application container. The container holds metadata such as product name, manufacturer, lifecycle information, version, edition, website URL, UNSPSC type, and metric. To make sure that no data is missed, we tailor the rules to be as inclusive yet specific as possible. A recognized application and its’ metadata are then displayed in Snow services and applications like SAM Core, Containers, and SaaS on Snow Atlas, and in Snow License Manager and Risk Monitor.

When there is no data available in the DIS database for an application, DIS can still create recognition in the form of an empty application container, allowing for licenses to be assigned to the application.

For recognition of Cloud services (SaaS) we rely on .HAR files from customers with information on post login URLs.

For Windows operating systems, there are mainly two different types of data that we base recognition on: executables and registry data.


The main executable is the component responsible for initiating or running an application on a Windows device. If we can identify the main executable of an application, a rule can be created for that application which will subsequently capture these data rows when inventoried.

If recognition rules are created in DIS based on executables, customers have the possibility to also enable metering of the applications and track the usage of them in SAM Core on Snow Atlas or in Snow License Manager. With information on application usage at hand, customers can make informed business decisions and minimize the number of unused licenses in their estate.

When a rule is based on an executable, we gather information like product name, manufacturer, version, and the main executable or the file path to the main executable.

Registry data

Registry keys are specific to Windows operating systems. When users install or download Windows applications on their computers, entries and values are created in the Windows registry.

The registry keys provide verification that the application exists on the user’s computer, typically as part of an installation. However, when the recognition relies solely on registry keys, metering of application usage is not possible.

When a rule is based on registry data, we gather information on product name, manufacturer, and version.