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Configuring Software Metering Rules

How you configure software metering rules affects metering results. The number of rules that you create can affect site system performance. The following sections describe some best practices when creating software metering rules.

Performance

Do not create an excessive number of rules for one SMS site, and avoid creating duplicate rules. Use the software metering maintenance tasks to summarize the data.

Accurate rule matching

Input only the original file name, and not the file name, in the software metering rule. This ensures that the program's usage is still monitored by SMS, even if the executable program file name has been modified on the client computer. If one of the software metering rules that is stored on the client specifies an original file name, SMS examines the header files of every program that is run on the client.

It is possible that some program header files do not contain an original file name, depending on the manufacturer. Or, the header file might have a different file name than is expected. It is good to test for these possibilities when you create software metering rules. The SMS administrator might use or devise tools to read a program header file and determine the true original file name. Otherwise, this information can be viewed manually by looking at the Version tab of the file properties. For more information about obtaining the original file name for a program, see your Windows documentation.

Program version issues

Executable programs contain a header file that stores the version number in two fields. One field stores the program version as a text string. The other stores the version number as a numeric value (double word or DWORD). SMS software inventory and software metering both use the text string value to obtain the file version of a program. They do not use the numeric value from the header file. Remember this when manually configuring the Version property in a software metering rule.

Also, when determining a program's version, be aware that the file version that is displayed in Windows Explorer (when you right-click a file in Windows Explorer and then click Properties) might not be the text version of the file. Depending on the operating system, this might be true when the program's numeric version is different from its text version.

For example, in Microsoft Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0, the file version that is displayed in Windows Explorer is the text version. The numeric version is discarded. In Windows 2000, if the text version is not equal to the numeric version for the executable program, the file version that is displayed in Windows Explorer is the numeric version. If the file's numeric version is null or blank, the file version that is displayed in Windows Explorer is 0.0.0.0.

The same thing occurs in Windows XP and the Windows Server 2003 family when the text version does not equal the numeric version. However, by clicking File Version in Other version information on the Version tab in Windows Explorer, the text value is displayed.

As a best practice, use the Browse button when specifying the file name in the Software Metering Rule Properties dialog box.

For more information about obtaining version information for executable programs, see your Windows documentation.

For More Information

Did you find this information useful? Please send your suggestions and comments about the documentation to smsdocs@microsoft.com.

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