Central concepts

Understanding concepts related to compliance, applications, and licenses, as well as how settings made in Snow License Manager or SAM Core on Snow Atlas affect the compliance calculation is crucial for a consistent and reliable result. This section describes the central concepts you must have knowledge of.

Compliance indicates that an organization is legally and correctly licensed, meaning that the organization has the number of licenses that are required to cover its usage of applications. In case of an excess of licenses, there is a misuse of financial resources but the organization is still compliant.

License requirement states the number of licenses that are required to ensure compliance for an application with the selected metric. For example, for applications with the default metric Installations, the license requirement is the number of installations of the application that require a license.

The license requirement states the number of required stand-alone licenses. Applications installed as part of a bundle are not included, since they require a suite license.

Coverage is the number of instances covered by available licenses.

An organization easily ends up with thousands of program files, making it a demanding exercise to keep the information up to date. Data Intelligence Service (DIS) is a service developed by Snow Software, which automatically identifies all commercial applications in an IT environment.

An entitlement corresponds to the right to use a software application, whereas a license is something you purchase contributing to the right to use a software application. Suppliers of software can issue licenses in many different variants, resulting in use rights with varying degrees of entitlement.

The default metric describes the general licensing conditions for an application, whereas the metric specifies details for how a license may be applied. One part of the input to the compliance calculation is information about the usage of the applications. The usage information depends on the metric associated with the application.

Use rights

This section describes examples of use rights applied by the calculation service.

The licensing conditions for some applications permit you to install and run several versions of the application at the same time. A subset of these rights is that also multiple versions/editions are allowed. This means that one license is enough to cover installations of more than one version/edition of the application.

An application bundle contains multiple applications that are covered by one license, normally a program suite, for example, Microsoft Office.

Some software suppliers offer licensing features for “Home PC – Work PC” or “Desktop – Laptop”, also referred to as Secondary use rights. With this type of feature, one single license covers two installations of the same application on two separate computers, for instance, one desktop and one laptop.

Upgrade and downgrade rights refer to the extended right to use a license not only for the application it was purchased for, but also for one or several of the preceding and/or subsequent versions.

License agreement

A license may be part of an agreement. Snow License Manager and SAM Core on Snow Atlas support six agreement types out of the box, with the ability to add any number of custom agreements.

Some licenses allow the use of the latest version of the application during the agreement period. In Snow License Manager and SAM Core on Snow Atlas, this is reflected by the use of upgrade rights. When calculating compliance, upgrade rights and the release date are taken into account.

License allocation

An organization structure enables analysis of software and hardware assets based on cost center or department. All computers, devices, and users in Snow License Manager and SAM Core on Snow Atlas are attached to a node in the organization hierarchy.

Snow License Manager and SAM Core on Snow Atlas differentiates between a legal organization and a non-legal organization. When a license purchase is registered, you specify the legal organization owning the license. You have also the option to enable automatic allocation or to manually allocate the licenses to any organization node in the system.

The transaction of upgrading or downgrading a license is called a transfer. The term also refers to the re-allocation of a license from one organization node to another.