Products Window

The Products window lists all of the products known to your KeyServer. A Product is what you purchase - or more precisely, you purchase a product licensing right. A product can consist of a single program, or it can be a suite, consisting of a group of programs – it may also include cloud only components (based on URLs). A licensing right to use a proprietary font family is similar to a software entitlement, so the concept of "Product" has been extended to include Font products. Like Standard products, Font products are discovered when a computer is audited, but font "usage" is never tracked. See Packages for more details on font tracking.

Assuming your KeyServer is on a network that can make external connections, Product definitions are checked nightly with the Sassafras Product Recognition Service (PRS), and when logging in to KeyConfigure an Admin with proper rights will be presented with the update wizard. You can also trigger these actions manually by using Config -> General Settings -> PRS -> Contact Now, and Tasks -> Check Product Definitions. Note that the former location has all the settings for your automated PRS checks.

See also our Short Burst Training Video on this topic.

Purpose

One of the main features of KeyServer has always been to report and analyze software usage - and optionally to either allow or deny program launches based on available entitlements for allocation to specific computers or users. Often a software purchase entitles a complex product that includes many components. In order to recognize the installed product (based on an audit of installed programs), or to track usage of the product (as opposed to usage of a specific component), the Product definition is consulted. Once Product definitions have been imported from PRS or created manually, management Policies and various Audit, Usage, and Purchase reports can focus on Products rather than the simpler but less meaningful focus on individual programs.

In addition to product types "Standard", "Web", and "Font", the Product window and the New Product wizard expose another type: "Family" – an aggregate of related products. Unlike a standard suite product (e.g. Microsoft Office 2016) which groups together several application programs (e.g Excel, Word, Powerpoint .. - all members of the 2016 Office edition), a "Family" is an aggregate of products that are themselves usually made up of several programs. A typical Family Product consists of several product "editions" (e.g. Office 2010, Office 2013, Office 2016 ...) without regard to each edition's Product version. This facilitates easy management of a subscription license since a subscription usually entitles all editions throughout the subscription term.

Right Hand Side

The right hand side shows a list of products with several of the essential properties displayed. You can customize columns to see all the single valued fields. Double-clicking a Product record will bring up its Product Details window where the list of programs that define the product can be seen as well as individual panes displaying Purchase and Policy records that reference the product.

KeyServer does not rely on any particular format for most of the product record fields. For example, unlike the version of a program, the Version field in a product record does not need to be formatted as a decimal number. Instead it can be whatever a software publisher uses to identify their product version – it could be a year (e.g. 2010), or it could be a string which is not even comprised of numbers (e.g. XP). Setting a value in the platform field is optional. It is just for convenience, for display in the Version column, and for filtering.

However, a correct reference entered in the "Upgrade From:" field can be very useful when entering an upgrade purchase or when configuring a Policy to support "backward coverage" for an old software version. In a similar vein, when a purchase includes a "forward coverage" clause – for new product versions released before a certain date – correctly entering the "Release Date:" in the product record for each new version can be very helpful when reconciling purchased entitlements against management policies.

Tip: If you customize columns in the Product window (right click the column header) and add Installs, you will see how many Computers a given product has been detected on. Sorting by this column gives you a quick list of what you have in your environment vs products that haven't actually been seen (they are simply related). Further, the Status column will show a policy icon if the Product is part of a Policy. This lets you see things installed on machines that you are not tracking, and therefore may want to make a policy for.

Left Hand Side

As in other main windows, the left hand side allows the items displayed on the right to be filtered in different ways*. Each product is assigned a status: either Discovered, Related, or Ignored. As audit data for software installed on client computers is uploaded to the KeyServer, Product records will accumulate in the Products window. Some ubiquitous products like system utilities, web browsers, etc. will by default arrive with status "Ignored" in order to avoid clutter in various product Audit reports.

*Versions of KeyConfigure prior to 7.5.0.5 used a different Product "status" classification: Referenced / Unreferenced / Ignored. The change to the new classification, Discovered / Related / Ignored, gives more immediate insight into which products are "interesting". The legacy classification can be reproduced using a Product Filter. For example, Referenced is just the combination of Referenced by a Purchase or a Policy, so the filter search string combing these two clauses is: "(Refs&4)|| (Refs&2)".

The Discovered list shows products installed on at least one computer that has completed and uploaded its audit information. Also included in Discovered are Family Products managed by a Policy, or who have at least one Edition that is Discovered. You can drag a product in or out of the Ignored status in order to override a default status and to explicitly configure whether an item will be excluded from product Audit reports. Looking at the Status column in the right pane will show a Policy Icon if the Family Product is in a Policy (including Editions of such Family), or is a Products explicitly in a Policy. In other words, you can have a Product that shows as Related and in Policy because it's not installed anywhere but is an Edition of a Family that is being Observed.

The Discovered products list will also include any URL products, but a URL is never actually Discovered by an Audit. These you must explicitly create using the New Product Wizard and create a Policy to support usage reports. Computers that make use of a URL Observed or managed by a Policy (e.g. in order to track a specific cloud service) will appear in both Audit and Usage reports.

The Related list includes products that may be interesting as suggestions in various optimization reports, but these have not (yet) been discovered on any of your client computers. For example, after installing the Adobe Creative Cloud product on various computers, the daily update from the Sassafras Product Recognition Service (PRS) will bring down the appropriate product definition and the Product will then appear in the Discovered list. But PRS will also bring down the "related" product, Adobe Photoshop, and this will be listed as "Related". An optimization report might notice usage patterns for Adobe Creative Suite and suggest that the related product, Adobe Photoshop, would satisfy the usage demand on many computers in place of the more expensive full suite.

Product Folders can be created as a convenience in restricting the products window view or report results, but many obvious categorizations (such as platform) may be best left to Filters. Each Product can belong to a single folder but the same product can be found by several Filters, each defined independently to match various attributes, so filters are more general. One useful filter is the Family filter which will show only Family Products. Another useful example would be making a filter that is (flag&8) which will show all Hidden Products on the Software List in KeyReporter. Note we have an Admin Script for Changing Map Visibility that may be useful pursuant to that topic.

Tags are arbitrary strings that are assigned to products allowing a many to many relationship similar to filters. The Tags panel will initially be empty until you have added some tags, after which you can drag and drop Products into Tags. For more information, read the Tags documentation.

Context Menu Actions

Right-clicking a Product in the Products Window allows you to perform actions on that product, access information related to the product, or run reports on just that product.

Right-clicking empty space in the Products Window (not on a Product) allows you to perform general actions.

Right-clicking anywhere in the filters section allows you to create a New Filter....

Right-clicking anywhere in the folders section allows you to create a New Folder....

Drag and Drop Actions

Products in the Products Window can be Dragged and Dropped to the following locations, among others:

If you can not find a product you are looking for, you may need to add it using the Add a Product Wizard. This can be used for adding Font and Web Products for tracking use of commercial fonts and specific web sites you may want to monitor in Policies.