Shortcomings in Software Inventory Solutions


Software inventory solutions are an important part of the system management tools you choose for your system. These solutions normally work in one of two ways; they scan the executable files on the disk, or they scan or query the installed programs’ information maintained by the operating system. Problems can arise however, since current computers can have tens or hundreds of applications running at once. The amount of data generated by this is exorbitant and can make software inventory difficult.

            There are however several options available. Microsoft programs scan executables and then identify them by connecting them to the program they belong to, based on a cloud database of programs. Another option is to simply ask Windows what applications are currently installed.  This information is somewhat more consolidated and easier to understand than scanning individual executables. Despite these methods, some applications may not come back with information about what the executables are, or might have several different components installed.

            As new types of applications are created, there are more and more gaps in software inventory. For example, problems arise when web applications, user installed applications and virtual applications are involved as they complicate the system’s profile and are not easily recognizable by software inventory products. As systems become more complex and different and these newer types of applications appear, software inventory tools must struggle to catch up and be more effective with regard to these types of applications.