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Software no longer supported by a publisher or vendor. Unlicensed use of copyrighted abandonware typically
qualifies as piracy. (see Copyright)
The isolation of software from some underlying computing resource or computing platform. For example, in
application virtualization, the installed application is separated in a logical rather than physical compartment, from an
operating system platform. (see Virtualization)
Academic customer
A software purchaser or user primarily engaged in educational pursuits, such as schools, colleges and universities,
state departments of education and other entities.
Academic license
A contract between a publisher and a customer permitting product-use rights in an educational environment. It is
typically a volume-purchase agreement subject to specific qualifications, restrictions and discounts.
Academic reseller
Category of reseller of software and hardware with particular knowledge or expertise in the requirements of academic
or educational institutions such as public schools, colleges and universities. In some cases resellers may be certified
by a manufacturer as an academic reseller.
Acceptance term
A stipulation in a contract that must be met before the contract is approved by a licensee, e.g., requiring all purchase
orders to be secured by credit card.
Acceptance test
Customer-driven formal analysis to determine whether a system meets contractually approved criteria before
1.) Systematized purchasing practices for buying software. 2.) One organization's acquiring of another's assets and
configuration items.
Activation, Activation key
See License key, Product activation
Active metering
Control over the deployment and use of software that constrains access and use of software and enforces
compliance in accordance with product-use rights. (see License compliance mechanism, Metering, Passive metering)
Active window
1.) Foremost window open on a computer monitor, as opposed to any in the background. 2.) Method of measuring
software usage by the frequency that the foremost window is open. This is a valuable measurement for pay-per-use
licenses, although it does not consider if software is processing data. (see Pay-per-use license)
Text added to a contract; it may contain amended terms and conditions, specifications or provisions. (see Product
Legal entity related to, or under shared ownership with, another legal entity that does not strictly control it.
Auto-discovery software installed on a computer or computing platform (hardware asset) to retrieve attribute and
relationship data.
Agentless auto-discovery
Automated discovery of networked software and hardware assets that relies on periodic network scans, rather than
agents, from a central server, of a network's infrastructure for retrieval of basic attribute data.
See Contract, Service level agreement, Software license agreement
See Deployment
Amendment or waiver of the agreement
An addendum to a contract identifying a change, addition or relinquishment of a right or privilege specified in the
original contract.
Annual license
Subscription limiting software product-use rights to a period of one year.
Set of program files containing computer instructions to process data for a user (in contrast to operating system
Application open and close
Method of measuring software usage by frequency of application start and shutdown over a specified timeframe. This
is a valuable measurement for pay-per-use licenses.
Application service provider (ASP)
Publisher or vendor providing access to products via the Internet, typically from servers at the publisher's
Application virtualization
Packaging of applications into discrete units that are isolated from other applications and from host operating systems
and computers. Operating systems may also be virtualized. (see Operating system virtualization)
Approved purchase order (APO)
A purchase order that is approved for issuance to the vendor and the organization commits funds to pay.
Technique for dispute resolution that takes place outside of the courts and employs a third-party negotiator by whose
decision the involved parties may accept (non binding arbitration) or decisively agree to be bound to (binding
arbitration). Typically the parties agree to binding arbitration in advance of the negotiation.
Archive user
An identified person, program or device whose information is stored by an organization. Sometimes used as a metric
in a per-user license.
The measurement and judgment of an organization's software asset management (SAM) maturity, frequently
measured against established standards such as ISO/IEC 19770-1 or a best practices framework, such as the
Information Technology Infrastructure Library, ITIL. (see Maturity, Best practices)
Item of value owned by an individual or legal entity, especially that which could be converted to cash. (see Fixed
asset, Intellectual asset)
Asset base
The computing infrastructure subject to the processes of software asset management or information technology asset
management (ITAM).
Asset control
See Inventory management
Asset drift
See Configuration drift
Asset identification
See Discovery
Asset management
See Information technology asset management (ITAM), Software asset management (SAM)
Asset record
Unique entry in a repository containing identifying information about an asset or configuration item.
Descriptor of an asset or configuration item.
Review of an organization's software license compliance, featuring examination, verification and correction processes
that may be initiated and upheld by internal or external parties. Audits that uncover license shortages or instances of
noncompliance may result in penalties for copyright violation or the enforced purchase of further licenses. (see Trueup licenses)
Authorization number
Alphanumeric string required for authorized use of software.
Authorized use
Operation of a software product in accordance with product-use rights. (see Product use rights)
Automation of discovery process using electronic tools. Auto-discovery may use agents (software installed on the
computer to retrieve attribute and relationship data) or periodic network scans (agentless) to retrieve data. Also
known as automatic audit. (see Discovery)
Automatic installation
See Remote installation
Automatic uninstall
See Remote uninstall
Base license
Contract between a publisher and customer that specifies pricing, terms and conditions based on estimated numbers
and patterns of use, typically used as the basis for an enterprise license agreement.
1.) Measure of software asset management process effectiveness used to index further improvement or deterioration
via assessment. 2.) Snapshot of device, infrastructure or network configuration used for future discrepancy reporting
and gap analysis.
Consistently and predictably defined measure of device, infrastructure or network configuration variables for
comparison against another benchmark or a baseline. Baselines may be calculated for inventory (e.g., before
installation there were five instances of XYX software), performance (e.g., the process completed in two hours) or
other measures that can be consistently calculated or determined over time.
Best practices
Processes, techniques or methods proven consistently to be more valuable, effective or successful than other
processes, techniques or methods.
Standardized language within a contract.
Borrowed license
A contract permitting software to be checked out from a controlled central location for a specified time.
Boxed-copy license
A contract containing terms and conditions for software product use that can be read and accepted by the user only
after opening the product (similar to a Shrink-wrap license).
Unexpected problem with software or hardware. Many software license agreements stipulate acceptance testing
specifications for bugs and define bugs as unacceptable.
Bulk item
Configuration item (CI) related to a parent asset, but not a single asset itself.
Bulk license
Multiple licenses purchased for software product use. (see Volume license)
Business license
See Commercial-use license
Business process outsourcing
An organization's delegation of a business function to a third party, typically working from a set of predetermined
performance metrics. (see Outsourcing rights, Service-level management)
Business Software Alliance (BSA)
The international compliance agency representing commercial publishers and dedicated to the promotion and
enforcement of software license compliance and the development of anti-piracy programs worldwide.
1.) Transition from a subscription license to a perpetual license. 2.) Transition from a perpetual or subscription license
to copyright ownership. (see Contract and Copyright transfer)
Campus license
See Academic license, Site license
Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST)
Business Software Alliance (BSA) subsidiary representing publishers in the promotion and enforcement of software
license compliance and development of anti-piracy programs in Canada.
Capacity-based license
A contract that sets pricing for product-use rights based on hardware processing power or speed, e.g., hard-drive or
central processing unit (CPU) size or speed.
Software developed for philanthropic purposes.
Concentration of processes, practices and procedures into a single location, role and/or mechanism.
Certificate of authenticity (COA)
Document, card or sticker label included with software as proof of legal acquisition. COAs typically include a unique
certificate or serial number, product key and/or holographic seal for identification purposes. (see Proof of license)
1.) Document providing proof, identification or verification, e.g., a certificate of software authenticity. 2.) Proof of
conformance or compliance to a standard, best-practice framework or set of internal policies by an external assessor,
e.g., U.K. Accreditation Service, BSI Americas or a public accounting firm.
Change management
Control over alterations to assets and configuration items, configurations and associated processes; an activity
essential to preventing problems, incidents and confusion.
Channel partner
A publisher-authorized reseller of software or hardware products, e.g., a large account reseller or distributor.
Internal billing of a department for purchased products or services and other incurred costs.
Charging metric
See License metric
Software asset or bulk item, whether a required or optional component, that is a component of or depends on another
asset. (see Parent.)
Clean-room design
Method of software development that attempts to circumvent copyright by developing source code by examining a
product's features and functions. (see Reverse engineering)
Click-wrap license
Electronic version of a contract that permits a customer to evaluate a publisher's terms and conditions before
software installation. Terms and conditions in the license agreement are typically read and accepted electronically
during installation. Also known as click-thru agreement and click-to-accept license.
A computer or a user receiving service on a computer network. (see Network, Server, Service)
Client-access license (CAL)
A contract for use of software on a server, in which use rights are typically priced per individual server core,
networked client device, user or seat. Commonly associated with rights for Microsoft server software.
See Source code
Commencement date
See Effective date
Commercial, off-the-shelf software (COTS)
See Shrink-wrap software
Commercial-use license
1.) A contract permitting product-use rights for purposes of business support, advice or consulting. This type of
contract is typically suitable for accountants, consultants, real estate practitioners and other professionals providing
services to clients. 2.) A contract permitting product-use rights for profit-making activities, whether direct or indirect.
Company-wide license, company-wide option
See Enterprise license agreement
Compensatory damages
Settlement paid to a publisher for noncompliant or unauthorized product use.
Competitive upgrade license
A contract in which product-use rights are typically priced at a discount, based on the underlying license for another
publisher's product.
An organization's degree of alignment with internal standards regarding processes for software asset management,
software license management or software security. (see License compliance, Security compliance)
Compliance agency
An organization of software publishers involved in the promotion and enforcement of software license compliance and
the development of anti-piracy programs.
Compliance audit
See Audit, License compliance, Security compliance
Compliance reconciliation
See Reconciliation
1.) An integral part of a software asset, i.e., a single asset, configuration item or bulk item. 2.) Any element in a suite
of products. (see Child, Run-time component.)
Component-based license
See Per-component license
Computer-based license
See Per-device license
Concurrent-session license
See Peak-usage license
Concurrent-use license
A contract in which pricing of product-use rights is based on the maximum number of computers or users
simultaneously accessing the software. The enforcement of compliance with this type of license requires metering.
(see Active metering, Metering, Passive metering)
Confidentiality agreement
See Nondisclosure agreement (NDA)
Internal arrangement and interconnection of a software or hardware asset, or of an information technology service or
system consisting of software and hardware assets.
Configuration drift
Deviation in attributes or configuration for a set of configuration items or assets, from a predefined standard or
Configuration item (CI)
1.) File, document, asset or information technology service typically interconnecting with other components within an
infrastructure to form an information system. 2.) Any component that needs to be managed in order to deliver an IT
service. Information about each CI is recorded in a configuration item record within the CMDB and is maintained
throughout its life cycle. CIs typically include hardware, software, buildings, people and formal documentation such as
process documentation and service level agreements. (Courtesy of Glossaries/Acronyms© Crown Copyright Office of
Government Commerce. Reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Office of Government
Configuration item (CI) record
See Asset record
Configuration management
Recording, tracking and supervision of configuration items.
Configuration-management database (CMDB)
Repository of attribute and relational information for configuration items.
Configuration-management system (CMS)
A collection of tools and databases covering configuration-management processes, including the federation of
configuration-management databases (CMDBs). This system stands at the center of the third edition of ITIL.
(see Federation, Information Technology Infrastructure Library)
Configuration process
Preparation and deployment of an asset.
In software asset management, the degree of alignment (full or partial) with a standard, such as ISO/IEC 19770-1.
Contingency planning
Set of processes, policies and procedures for handling any type of IT disruption; it describes potential problems in
order to facilitate verification and correction.
Legal agreement between two or more parties, typically a vendor and a customer. In software asset management
and software license management, this term is often synonymous with software license agreement. (see Software
license agreement)
Contract management
Supervision that involves recording, tracking and reporting contractual details, including terms, conditions and rights.
(see Contract management system)
Contract management system (CMS)
Set of processes typically involving a database that stores contractual details and makes them searchable.
Contract repository
See Repository
Control environment
The ISO/IEC 19770-1 process set pertaining to the establishment and maintenance of the management system
within which software asset management processes are controlled. Subprocess areas are corporate governance;
roles and responsibilities; policies, processes and procedures; and establishing competence in SAM.
The legal authority for producers of original creative and intellectual property that protects its reproduction, duplication
and use for a specified period.
Copyright ownership
Possession of copyright for a software title, identifying the licensor(s).
Copyright transfer and agreement
Legal provision mandating that copyright remains with its owner unless the person or entity agrees in writing to its
Processor, microprocessor or sub-component of a processor, e.g., a server core.
Core-based license
See Per-processor license
Corporate governance
See Information technology governance
Corporate license agreement (CLA)
A contract that features pricing per-user and per-device license metrics, used by Novell.
Counterfeit software
Imitation product often distributed by unauthorized resellers and typically intended to deceive customers into
purchasing an inauthentic product.
Permission to migrate from one application to another by the same publisher.
In software license management, an organization's approach to compliance, including the processes, roles and skills
required to manage various circumstances, demands and objectives.
Customer agreement
See Master agreement
Customized software
Product delivered with modifications and supplementations by the publisher to meet an individual customer's unique
Data normalization
In inventory management, the reconciliation of conflicting, duplicate or redundant database information, particularly
for asset or configuration item attributes, e.g., reconciling software product titles or version numbers.
Data scrubbing
The review and analysis of data to ensure standardization and accuracy, particularly important during auto-discovery
and system migration processes. (see Data normalization)
Any computer repository of information organized to permit quick data access and retrieval.
The dispersal of processes, practices and procedures for a service into multiple locations, roles and/or mechanisms.
The process of deactivating a hardware or software asset, particularly through methods of uninstall and disposal.
Contract provision(s) specifying conditions for breach or failure to comply with the terms of the agreement, e.g., to
pay for products or services.
Definitive master version
See Master media
Definitive software library (DSL)
Area where master copies of software are stored, and from which release is controlled and managed. Includes the
physical library of software media as well as the logical storage of software releases and the index of where to locate
them. Also known as definitive media library. (see Master media)
Demo license
See Trial license
1.) Set of processes for delivering software and any associated licenses to a device, collection of devices, network or
entire infrastructure. 2.) Installation of a copy of software derived from master media.
Derivative work
Software product that incorporates other copyrighted software products into its source code. Unauthorized derivation
typically constitutes copyright infringement.
Nonportable computer with video display capability and intended for home or office use. (see Workstation)
Desktop management interface (DMI)
Standard devised for managing the inventory and life cycle of desktops.
Desktop virtualization
Installation of multiple guest operating systems onto one host desktop by keeping the guests isolated from one
another using logical partitions, as well as from the host operating system or computer.
Development license
A contract that restricts product-use rights to the creation or prototyping of software only.
Development tool
Product used to create software, e.g., a debugger or compiler.
In software asset management, a single instance of hardware, e.g., a router, computer, switch, personal digital
assistant, server or mainframe.
Device license
See Per-device license, Workstation license
Digital media
Electronic data storage, e.g., CD, DVD or hard drive. (see Media, Physical media)
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
U.S. law passed in 1998 that criminalizes the piracy, license noncompliance and unauthorized production of software,
and the distribution or replication of technological intellectual property.
Disaster recovery
Processes set in place to mitigate risk in the event of an interruption, disruption or corruption of information
technology operations or data.
The process of identifying an infrastructure's hardware devices and their installed applications, software components
and configuration items. Discovery includes, but is not limited to, identification of servers, workstations, routers,
switches, applications, executables, services and the relationships between them.
Discovery tool
Software application that automates discovery. Also know as auto-discovery tool.
The act of disbursing assets no longer in use.
Disposal management
Set of policies, processes and procedures for disbursement of assets no longer in use or falling below predefined
minimum acceptable standards for usage.
Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF)
Standards-development organization focused on hardware system standards for PCs and servers.
1.) The sale, resale or delivery of software products and/or licenses. 2.) Software deployment and allocation within an
organization. (see Deployment, Distributor, Reseller)
Distribution copy
Copy of master media used for software installation. (see Deployment)
A company selling, reselling or otherwise delivering another publisher's software products, typically across various
industries and territories.
Distribution of an organization's assets and configuration items by means of liquidation, sale or other deacquisition
Written material provided by a software publisher, reseller or vendor at the time a contract is signed, typically for
purposes of education, support or proof of license.
Dongle key
Hardware attachment permitting the use of software on a computer.
Downgrade license
A contract permitting a customer to run a version of software prior to and in place of the most current version.
Electronic transmission of software from one device to another.
See Configuration drift.
Dual licensing
1.) Refers to a product whose license contains two metrics. Typically, one allows for free distribution and the other for
revenue generation. 2.) A contract designed to accommodate two different market segments or use cases, e.g.,
software for home and business use.
Duration license
Also called Time-based license
See Training and support
Educational customer
Also called Academic customer
Effective date
Day on which an event or contract commences.
Effective full license
See Full-release license
Electronic software distribution (ESD)
See Distribution
Embedded licensing control
See License compliance mechanism
Embedded software
Component or control built into a device or other software.
Emergency release
See Release
End-of-term provision
License specification pertaining to its expiration, e.g., an extension option, purchase option cost specified in a
contract, reference to a previous agreement or maintenance terms and conditions.
End user
See User
End user license agreement (EULA)
Similar to a software license agreement, a EULA contains terms and conditions for software use, but because it often
lacks a license metric, it is typically insufficient as a proof of license.
Data processor contained within a mainframe.
Engine-based license
See Per-engine license
The process of registering or adding additional users and their Identity information to a contract, typically covering
license acquisition.
An organized business activity, typically commercial in nature that involves growth and profit. In the context of
software licensing, enterprise refers to an organization employing thousands to hundreds of thousands in a single
country or multinational in scope as well as having many divisions and business units.
Enterprise license agreement (ELA), enterprise agreement (EA)
Volume license type permitting product-use rights across all of a customer's computers and typically including
upgrade rights. The term “enterprise agreement” is a Microsoft-specific term for such a three-year contract.
Enterprise user
See Internal user
The portion of a software license agreement describing product-use rights and limitations. Entitlement elements help
determine license compliance when matched against actual states of installation and usage.
Entitlement tag
Set of attributes identifying product-use rights in the entitlement portion of a software license agreement.
An information system, asset base, infrastructure or its larger context. (see Infrastructure)
In software asset management, a legal arrangement whereby source code for acquired software is stored under the
trust of a neutral third party and released only when a contractual contingency or condition is met, such as publisher
or customer bankruptcy.
Escrow agent
A neutral third party paid to store software source code.
Evaluation license
See Trial license
Exception report
Documentation or log of changes to a configuration, configuration item or infrastructure state, as measured against
an original or predefined standard configuration, configuration item or infrastructure state.
A computer file derived from source code and responsible for software operation.
Export restrictions
Limitations on international trade of a license.
Expression of interest (EOI)
See Request for proposal (RFP)
External audit
Review of an organization's software license compliance initiated by a publisher or representative compliance
agency, including, possibly, a government agency. (compare to Voluntary audit, Self-audit)
External connector license
A contract that permits product-use rights to business users who are typically not considered employees of a
purchasing entity, such as its customers or partners.
External user
A person, software or device not employed or implemented directly by a customer but licensed to use a product or
service under terms and conditions specified in a software license agreement.
Fair use
Principle within U. S. copyright law that permits the limited and unlicensed use of registered intellectual property,
particularly for educational or creative purposes.
See Child, Parent, Suite
The linkage of a configuration management database (CMDB) to external databases, tools and systems, typically
forming a configuration management system (CMS).
Federation Against Software Theft (FAST)
U.K.-based compliance agency representing publishers in the promotion and enforcement of software license
compliance and development of anti-piracy programs.
Financial management
In software asset management, a set of processes and procedures for reporting costs associated with assets and
configuration items, including chargeback and cost recovery, invoice reconciliation and periodic billings.
A software update or repair to address a defect, typically caused by a bug.
Fixed asset
Item of value owned by an individual or legal entity that cannot be readily converted to cash, e.g., furniture or
Fixed asset record
Unique entry in a fixed asset repository containing identifying and financial information about a fixed asset.
Fixed asset repository
See Repository
Floating license
1.) A contract permitting software transfer at any time between users and/or computers, though typically requiring
deinstallation from an asset at the time of installation on another asset. 2.) Licenses are, under copyright law,
transferable from user to user and device to device unless expressly prohibited in a software license agreement. This
type of license is often associated with named-user licenses. (see Concurrent-use license)
Font license
Contract specifying use rights to a copyrighted typeface, typically constrained per individual device.
Force majeure
A common contractual clause that frees both parties from liability when an extraordinary event or circumstance
beyond the control of either party (e.g., war, natural disaster) prevents one or both from fulfilling contractual
Forced audit
Audit by a government agency to verify and enforce copyright compliance, conducted at the request of a compliance
agency or publisher who deems an organization to be intractably, illegally or inordinately noncompliant.
In software license management and software asset management, the ability to accurately predict software-licensing
needs, particularly in terms of number of licenses to purchase. (see Volume license)
Software made available without purchase, though typically still requiring licenses and subject to copyright law.
Frequency of use
Measurement of software usage by application use or last use, often used in pay-per-use licenses.
Full license
See Full-release license
Full packaged product (FPP)
See Shrink-wrap software
Full-release license
Contract covering all elements of a base product and any upgrades.
Full-time employee (FTE)
Contractual definition in a software license agreement of an employee typically representing an internal or qualified
user, e.g., there may be 40 employees but if not all work 40 hours a week, the number of FTEs could be lower.
Funded software
Software subsidized and made accessible to the public for free, such as advertising software.
Gap analysis
1.) In information technology, the study and comparison of two information systems, subsets or applications, typically
for the purpose of conveying one system to a new, improved state. 2.) In software asset management, an
assessment of internal processes against best practices as defined in a standard or framework. 3.) In software
license management, a license compliance review. (see Assessment, License compliance)
Gap report
Summary or statement describing the findings of a gap analysis.
General public license (GPL)
An open license as supported by the Free Software Foundation, permitting relative freedom of user access to source
code and software distribution.
Gigabyte-based license
See Per-gigabyte-range license.
Recursive acronym for “GNU's Not UNIX” pronounced “g-noo,” a prevalent Unix-like operating system distributed free
of charge, usually offered with a general public license (GPL).
See Information technology governance
Governing law
The body or authority that controls legal contracts in a particular jurisdiction.
Government, off-the-shelf software (GOTS)
Software typically developed by technical personnel for governmental purposes and requiring little, if any,
Graduated monthly license charge
Subscription license type specifically for IBM S/390 mainframes.
Grant of license
See License grant and restriction
Growth opportunity license charge
Subscription license type specifically for IBM S/390 mainframes geared towards smaller customers.
In virtualization, software assets running on virtualized software. (see Host)
Hand audit
License compliance review performed without the aid of a discovery tool.
Hard disk loading
Installation of software without required licenses, typically by unauthorized original equipment manufacturers,
resellers or counterfeit software distributors.
Process through which an unused software license on a workstation or server is removed for purposes of
redeployment to another workstation or server. (see License pool)
Help desk
Support point, entity or application providing users various kinds of troubleshooting services, training and support on
software and/or hardware.
Home-grown software
See In-house-developed software
Home-use license
A contract permitting product-use rights outside of a main site, e.g., at home.
Home-use right
See Secondary-use right
1.) Computer or operating system running an application or service to which other systems or clients connect. 2.) In
virtualization, a computer or an operating system on which virtualized software and guests are installed. (see Service
Virtualizing software that renders a host invisible to a guest, thus permitting the installation of multiple guests on one
1.) Operation of a software, hardware or information technology service or project. 2.) Application or enforcement by
automated means, such as a metering tool for concurrent-use license terms and conditions enforcement. 3.)
Application or enforcement of a contractual or corporate statement, policy or stipulation.
Any event that disrupts, denies or deteriorates an information technology service.
Incident management
The task of addressing disruptions, denials or deterioration of information technology services caused by incidents.
Financial protection, reimbursement or exemption against, respectively, losses, damages or liability.
Independent software vendor (ISV)
Specialty developer, publisher or distributor that makes software products, typically for niche markets, that can run on
one or more computer or operating system.
Business community or segment of the commercial world, e.g., the software asset management industry.
Information system (IS), information technology (IT)
The collective assets, configuration items, databases, repositories, documentation, policies, procedures, personnel as
well as manual and automated processes involved in an organization-wide approach to processing information.
Information technology (IT) involves the use of information systems for processing digital information using
Information technology (IT) governance
The processes, policies and procedures for overseeing information technology services in a transparent, accountable
manner, and responsive to larger organizational, business, corporate and/or customer requirements and demands.
Information technology asset management (ITAM)
Business discipline by which an organization aims to optimize investments in software and hardware by controlling,
managing and improving upon configuration management, life-cycle management, inventory and license compliance
processes. (see Software asset management)
Information technology asset management repository
See Repository.
Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
Multivolume best-practices framework developed in Great Britain in the early 1980s by the Office of Government
Commerce (OGC) for managing information technology services throughout an infrastructure. The collection contains
comprehensive checklists, tasks and procedures that can be tailored to nearly any organization, regardless of size or
sector. Version 3, published in 2007, places special emphasis on software asset management and software license
management. Volumes include: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and
Continual Service Improvement.
Information technology service management (ITSM)
Control over or approach to information technology as it impacts business objectives and customer requirements and
In information technology, the framework of an information system(s), collection of information technology assets or
configuration items. In software asset management, infrastructure refers to the software asset base or portfolio.
Infringement indemnity
Protection against violation of copyright, typically as a provision in a software license agreement.
In-house-developed software
Software internally sourced, created, published and distributed for internal purposes.
Install/move/add/change (IMAC) activity
Four events in the asset life cycle describing the actions an individual may take when deploying or redeploying an
asset throughout an infrastructure. (see Life-cycle management)
Process of loading software into a computer or infrastructure, or linking hardware into a network. (see Remote
Installation process
See Configuration process, Deployment
Installed base
In software license management, the collection of entitlements provided by a publisher and owned and/or loaded onto
workstations or servers prior to the signing of a volume license agreement.
Intellectual asset
1.) Unit of intellectual property. 2.) Intangible asset, such as service performance, expertise or brand image.
Intellectual property (IP)
An intangible asset that consists of human knowledge and ideas, e.g., creative works, patents, know-how,
trademarks or names, service marks, design rights, registered designs, copyrights, database rights or rights in
commercial or technical information.
Internal audit
See Self-audit
Internal software
See In-house-developed software
Internal user
Person, program or device employed or implemented directly or indirectly by a customer licensed to use a product or
service under terms and conditions specified in a software license agreement.
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
Standards body that works in conjunction with the International Organization for Standardization through a joint
technical committee to produce standards for information technology, including software asset management, through
working group 21. (see International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO/IEC 19770-1, ISO/IEC 19770-2)
International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
World's largest developer and publisher of international standards. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the
organization represents 157 countries in its committees, subcommittees and working groups. The joint technical
committee for information technology, formed between the ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission, is
JTC 1. The JTC1 subcommittee for software and systems engineering is SC7 and the JTC1 SC7 working group for
ISO/IEC 19770 SAM Standards is WG 21. (see International Electrotechnical Commission)
Internet service provider (ISP)
Entity hosting a connection or interface for access to the Internet. (see Service provider)
Internet user
Person, program or device licensed to use a software product or service by means of Web access only, or only one
Web application.
1.) Repository of information, typically in list form, of software and hardware assets and configuration items deployed
within an infrastructure, including their attributes. 2.) Report of information stored in this repository, typically in list
form. 3.) Combined discovery and data scrubbing processes undertaken to build a list of software and/or hardware
asset and/or configuration item deployments within an infrastructure. 4.) ISO/IEC 19770-1 process area pertaining to
the creation and maintenance of all repositories and records for software and related assets, and the provision of the
data management functionality ensuring the integrity of their control in the other process areas described by the
standard. Inventory processes for software asset management form the basis of configuration management.
Inventory processes for software asset management would be considered part of configuration management when
the scope of the program is information technology service management. Processes to consider include software
asset identification, software inventory management and software asset control. (see Configuration
management, Data scrubbing, Discovery)
Inventory management
In software asset management, control over discovered data and any and all repositories holding software and
hardware asset, configuration item or attribute information. Inventory management includes processes for data
Inventory processes for software asset management
An ISO/IEC 19770-1 process area pertaining to the creating and maintenance of stores and record for software and
related assets and; to provide data management functionality to ensure the integrity of control of software and related
assets in other software asset management processes. Subprocesses are software asset identification (identify data
requirements and a master register of inventories), software asset inventory management (policies, procedures,
inventories and measurement mechanisms) and software asset control (audit trail, version control and deployment).
Publisher-supplied list of software products and services purchased by the customer, with corresponding prices; can
function as proof of license.
Invoice reconciliation
In software license management, the comparison and analysis of invoices against corresponding software license
agreements and purchase orders.
ISO/IEC 19770-1
Software asset management standard released by the International Organization for Standardization in conjunction
with the International Electrotechnical Commission in May 2006. Adherence to the standard enables an organization
to prove software asset management practices sufficient to satisfy corporate governance requirements and to ensure
effective support for information technology service management overall. (see Assessment)
ISO/IEC 19770-2
Software asset management standard to be released by the International Organization for Standardization in
conjunction with the International Electrotechnical Commission. The standard, which aligns with ISO/IEC 19770-1,
will provide mandatory and optional specifications for creating, modifying and consuming software tags.
Scope of legal authority, e.g., territorial jurisdiction. (see Legal remedy, Litigation)
See License key
Large account reseller (LAR)
Company or organization authorized by a software publisher to sell licenses through various sales channels or by
vending the full packaged product. A term often associated with Microsoft.
See Software leasing
Legacy application
1.) Software inherited from an earlier platform, system or process. 2.) Version of software preceding the current
Legal remedy
1.) In software license management, the enforcement of copyright law in the form of a settlement, in or out of court,
between a consumer and the creator, vendor, reseller or publisher of software. 2.) Resolutions to contract or business
disputes available to the wronged party or parties when enforced or satisfied by a court of law.
1.) Stage or measure of organizational maturity in a process area for an information technology service. (see Price
Legal permission to use a software product, in contrast to copyright ownership. Terms and conditions for use are
specified in the software license agreement. (see Copyright ownership, Software license agreement)
License agreement
See Software license agreement
License allocation
See Deployment
License and software assurance (L&SA)
License type that takes into account a publisher's guarantee that a product meets terms and conditions set forth in
the license agreement. (see Software assurance)
License compliance
1.) Alignment of software product use and installation to product-use rights specified in the terms and conditions of
the software license agreement. 2.) Systematic approach to maintaining this alignment.
License compliance audit
See Audit
License compliance enforcement
Action taken by a copyright owner, licensor or representative (such as a compliance agency) when a violation of
intellectual property rights is suspected. (see Legal remedy)
License compliance management
See License management
License compliance mechanism
Feature built into a software product by which the entire product or a component can be disabled automatically in
cases of license noncompliance. Terms and conditions pertaining to such controls typically are stated in the software
license agreement.
License distribution
See Distribution
License grant and restriction
Part of license agreement specifying what the licensee may or may not do with the software product. Under copyright
law, all rights are reserved to the licensor except those specifically granted to the licensee.
License key
Alphanumeric string, code or other activation mechanism by which a software product can be unlocked for installation
and use. A license key can indicate proof of license. (see Volume license key)
License management
The active administration of enterprise-wide license acquisition, allocation, deployment and operation and the
maintenance of compliance with terms and conditions in software license agreements. This activity covers software
license compliance and is a sub-discipline of software asset management.
License metering
See Metering
License metric
Alphanumeric or statistical descriptor for measuring the product-use rights specified in the entitlement portion of a
software license agreement, particularly for determining licensing and product usage pricing.
License model
See License type
License noncompliance
Licensee or licensor failure to meet terms and conditions specified for product-use rights in a software license
agreement. (see Piracy)
License number
Alphanumeric string identifying a license and, in some instances, indicating proof of license. (see License key)
License pool
A collection of purchased licenses that identifies those not in use and therefore available for deployment. Depending
on a software license agreement's terms and conditions, installed software may not be considered in use. For
example, with a concurrent-use license, where pricing is based on the maximum number of users simultaneously
accessing the software, the software may be installed on more machines that will use it for a given time interval. In
this scenario, the number of installations may exceed that of licenses owned, while actual use may not.
License reassignation, license reclamation
See Harvesting
License reconciliation
See Reconciliation
License renewal
See Renewal
License scheme
See License type
License shortage
See Over-licensing
License surplus
See Under-licensing
License transfer
See Software transfer
License type
Categorization of license by its variables, including means of acquisition, packaging, intended purpose, license metric
or duration of license agreement.
Party (typically the customer) consenting to a software license agreement's terms and conditions for software product
Party (typically a copyright owner, publisher, vendor or reseller) setting a software license agreement's terms and
conditions for licensed software product use.
Life cycle
Sequence of stages describing the existence and use of an asset or configuration item. This term refers to
install/move/add/change activities, as well as procurement, requisition, disposal and other events.
Life-cycle management
Process of monitoring, tracking and controlling software, hardware and related assets, from acquisition through
decommission and disposal. This area covers management of install/move/add/change activities.
Life-cycle process interfaces for software asset management
The ISO/IEC 19770-1 process area pertaining to the alignment and specification of software asset management
requirements for life-cycle process interfaces in the contexts of ISO/IEC 12207 (software life-cycle processes) and
ISO/IEC 20000 (IT service management). Subprocesses are change management, acquisition, software
development, software release management, software deployment, incident management, problem management and
asset retirement.
Life-cycle tracking
See Install/move/add/change activity, Life-cycle management, Tracking
Limited license
A contract constraining product-use rights to a specified portion of the software product, typically for trial purposes.
(see Trial license)
Legal action to settle a dispute, question, controversy or concern. (see Legal remedy)
Loaner license
A contract specifying temporary product-use rights, often for trial licensing purposes. (see Subscription license, Trial
Descriptor confirming a software application running in a virtual state, e.g., a logical storage area network, a logical
unit or a logical partition. (see Virtualization)
Logical partition (LPAR)
Nonphysical division of hard drive space, commonly implemented in virtualization.
Logical server
Nonphysical server. (see Virtual machine)
Machine license
Also known as a per-device license.
Main site
Primary or central location where software will be used, as defined in a site license. (see Remote site, Site, Site
Computer used primarily by large organizations for processing bulk quantities of data.
Maintenance contract
An agreement, often for a specified duration, made after delivery, installation or acceptance and giving the customer
access to any product modifications that will improve performance or fix bugs. Some publishers offer upgrade
insurance as well.
Maintenance renewal and support
Contractual clause that specifies the termination of an agreed-upon maintenance contract and the cost of renewing
the contract.
Maintenance upgrade
Upgrade from a publisher to a software product licensed to a customer, as specified under a maintenance
agreement's terms and conditions.
Major release
A new version of a software product that features significant changes from the previous version. Major releases are
typically indicated by a whole number change (e.g., from version 2.1 to 3.0) and may require additional costs or
program modification to upgrade to the new version.
Developer or originator of software, typically for sale. (see Publisher)
Master agreement
A complete contract, including all addendums and attachments. May also be a contract relating two or more contracts
between the same parties and providing the terms and conditions that constitute the foundation upon which additional
contracts will be built. Also known as customer agreement.
Master copy
See Master media
Master license agreement
A type of volume license with deep product discounts for high-volume software purchasers.
Master media
Software serving as the primary source for all additional copies made for distribution and deployment. May be
physical media or downloaded from a remote source. Does not include software license agreements and is therefore
typically insufficient as proof of license.
1.) Development of organizational processes and procedures constituting an information technology service. 2.)
Measurement of information technology service development. (see Software asset management maturity)
1.) Original source of a software program provided by the manufacturer or software publisher, e.g., CD, DVD, video,
download, data tape and/or paper documentation. 2.) Tangible object for storing or saving digital, audio or video
content, such as a CD, DVD or computer. (see Digital media, Master media)
In software asset management, the joining of an organization's assets and configuration items with another's by
means of combination with another organization or company. Mergers may trigger contractually predetermined
obligations for the parties to undertake to continue to use the software legally.
Merger/acquisition/divestiture (M/A/D) activity
See Acquisition, Divestiture, Merger
Measurement, and often management, of the distribution and use of software, typically for the purposes of
maintaining compliance or optimizing contract negotiations. This is important for concurrent-use licensing. (see Active
metering, Concurrent-use license, Passive metering)
Statistical unit, descriptor or quantifier, typically used for measurement and analytics purposes. Also known as
performance metric. (see License metric)
Software serving as a mediator between two distinct applications for interoperability across a network.
Consolidating, upgrading or moving all users of a specific piece of software or hardware to another version, platform
or environment.
Million instructions per second (MIPS)
Performance metric for processor power of mainframes, sometimes used as a license metric.
Million service units (MSU)
Performance metric for processing work-per-hour for mainframes, sometimes used as a license metric.
Minor release
Software product version release with new features or changes, although typically not significant enough to warrant
the cost of upgrading on the part of the customer or a whole number change in a multi-digit version number on the
part of the publisher.
Mission-critical service
Set of processes and procedures supporting a service vital to the successful implementation of an information
technology or business project.
See License type
A contract accommodating two or more different market segments or use cases, e.g., software for home and
business use. (see Dual licensing)
Named-user license
A contract constraining product-use rights to predesignated individual users who access the product on multiple
Interconnection of computers for purposes of data exchange or a system of such interconnections.
Network license
A contract permitting software distribution and access over a network.
Network operating system
Software responsible for coordinating and managing network activities and resources for information exchange.
No Electronic Theft (NET) Act
U. S. law passed in 1997 strengthened trademark and copyright infringement penalties, adding up to five years'
incarceration and $250,000 in compensatory damages.
Networked device or the juncture of two or more data routes on a network.
Node-locked license
Contract, typically perpetual, constraining product-use rights to nodes. Also known as nodal license, node-based
Noncommercial-use license
A contract permitting product-use rights for personal or nonprofit use only. For example, many open-source licenses
are for noncommercial use. (see Commercial-use license)
See License noncompliance
Nondisclosure agreement (NDA)
A contract or clause between two parties specifying confidentiality for a set of information, and rules and limitations
for access to that information by outside parties.
Nonperpetual license
See Subscription license
Nonproduction license
A contract permitting product-use rights for software to be used on a system not actively running in support of daily
business needs, such as for development, analysis and testing systems.
Nonupgradeable license
A contract in which the customer does not possess product-use rights beyond the release of the software specified.
For example, if the customer needs to migrate to a new version, a new full-release license must be purchased.
See Permission and notice
1.) In software license management, the prearranged replacement of one contract between the publisher and
customer with another contract. 2.) Replacement of one or more parties to a contract with other parties.
On-demand license
A contract permitting product-use rights for a predetermined duration. Typically the software is made available via
electronic download with quick e-mail delivery of a license key, providing the customer with the software only when
Open license
1.) A contract pricing a software product through a volume license program, typically intended for small to mediumsized companies. 2.) Microsoft's volume license type for small volume purchasers. 3.) License for open source
software. (see Perpetual license)
Open license program (OLP)
See Volume license program (VLP)
Open source license
See Open license
Open source software
Software with publicly available programming and public rights to run, copy, study, change, improve and distribute it.
Open source software is licensed, however, typically to ensure credit to the creator of the intellectual property.
(see Open license)
Open value license
See Open license
Operating system virtualization
Packaging of operating systems into discrete units that are isolated from other operating systems and from host
operating systems and computers. Applications may also be virtualized. (See Application virtualization)
Operations management processes and interfaces
An ISO/IEC 19770-1 process area pertaining to the execution of operational management functions essential to
achieving overall software asset management objectives and benefits. Subprocesses are relationship and contract
management, financial management, service-level management and security management.
1.) Company or corporation. 2.) Business structure of a company or corporation, such as a unit or department.
Original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
Source manufacturer of a piece of hardware, which may be resold by external parties. This type of manufacturer is
frequently authorized to resell software loaded onto its equipment through channel partnerships.
Original equipment manufacturer copy
Software distributed through an original equipment manufacturer, reseller or channel partner.
Original equipment manufacturer license
A contract between a publisher and an organization that builds computers for resale, the former permitting the latter
the right to package software with the computers for resale and to transfer specified terms and conditions for productuse rights to the user.
1.) Third party with permission to use licenses it did not directly purchase. 2.) Outside supplier providing goods or
services to a business or organization under contract, e.g., an IT outsourcer provides desktop computer
management, accounting or payroll services.
See Business process outsourcing
Outsourcing right
Permission granted by a publisher to a customer to allow an outsourcer to use the customer's licensed software.
Situation in which the number of licenses required to run a software product exceeds the number used.
See Copyright ownership
Software components assembled for purposes of distribution.
Asset with required or optional dependent software components, which can be assets or bulk items and are known as
children. (see Child)
See Channel partner, Large account reseller (LAR)
In software license management, the entity or role with responsibilities or stakes in a software license agreement,
typically the customer, vendor and any others involved in distribution, escrow, consultancy, resale or other legal,
marketing or contractual services.
Passive metering
Measurement of and report on software usage, without active or automated control overuse. (see Active
metering, License compliance mechanism, Metering)
Minor software improvement or fix.
Patch management
Systematic approach to deployment of software patches or fixes for software throughout an infrastructure.
Exclusive right to the benefits of a creative work as granted by the U.S. Patent Office. A patent indicates the
ownership and control of intellectual property rights.
Pay-per-use license
A contract permitting product-use rights based on actual instances of software execution.
Peak usage
1.) Highest level of concurrent access or device or user interoperation with a software or hardware product, asset or
configuration item, at a point in time. 2.) Highest level of concurrent access to a software product allowed under terms
and conditions specified in a concurrent-use license.
Peak-usage license
A contract pricing product-use rights by peak usage, e.g., the customer pays $100 per user for 1 to 200 licenses and
$50 per additional user for the 201st or more users (the peak usage point).
Degree to which a tool or practice is used in relevant situations. For example, using a discovery tool 50 percent of the
time that it would be applicable to do so represents 50 percent penetration.
Per-asset license
See Per-device license
Per-client license
Contract permitting product-use rights to individual client devices, typically workstations. Also known as per-client
endpoint license.
Per-component license
A contract pricing product-use rights for a component of the product, rather than the entire product itself.
(see Component, Run-time component)
Per-concurrent-access license.
See Concurrent-use license, Peak-usage license
Per-concurrent-session license.
See Peak usage license
Per-core license
See Per-processor license
Per-country license
A contract permitting access to a product based on the user's or device's country of residence. (see Main site, Site)
Per-department license
A contract permitting product-use rights to a specific organizational division.
Per-device license
A contract permitting product-use rights to individual devices, including, but not limited to, processors, servers and
workstations. Any number of users may access and use the software on the allowed devices.
Per-engine license
A contract permitting product-use rights per engine contained on mainframe devices.
Per-enterprise license
See Enterprise license agreement
Per-gigabyte-range license
A contract permitting product-use rights based on size of databases being served, measured by gigabyte. Productuse rights can be priced under other data ranges as well, such as megabytes or terabytes.
Per-instance license
See Pay-per-use license
Permission and notice
Legal term referring to information on proceedings for all documents filed, e.g., a decision, request, motion, petition or
upcoming date. (see Legal remedy)
Per-node license
See Node-locked license
Perpetual license
A contract pricing product-use rights for an unlimited duration, though it may not accommodate maintenance
Per-port license
A contract pricing product-use rights for software based on port capabilities, often for storage devices.
Per-processor license
A contract pricing server software access by individual processors within the servers.
Per-project license
A contract permitting product-use rights for a predetermined duration, typically defined by the project start and end
dates. (see Time-based license)
Per-seat license
A contract permitting a customer product-use rights to software running on any server across a network. User or
device may change as long as the number of seats does not exceed the number of licenses.
Per-server license
A contract pricing product-use rights by individual servers or by concurrent client-side access to server software.
(see Client access license, Concurrent-use license)
Personal computer (PC)
Computer intended for direct user operation, typically a client workstation with a graphical user interface.
(see Workstation)
Personal digital assistant (PDA)
Small, portable device for personal or business use, providing computing and information storage and retrieval
services, such as management of e-mail or calendar information.
Per-user license
A contract permitting product-use rights to individual users. (see User)
Per-workstation license
See Workstation license
Physical media
Tangible object for storing or saving digital, audio or video content, such as a CD, DVD or computer. (see Digital
media, Media)
The illegal act of copying or distributing software for personal or business use without permission of the copyright
holder, permission that typically is granted in the form of a software license agreement. The act of piracy includes
overuse, whether intentional or unintentional. (see License compliance, License noncompliance, Over-licensing)
Planning and implementation
The ISO/IEC 19770-1 process area pertaining to the effective and efficient accomplishment of software asset
management objectives. Subprocesses are planning for, implementation and monitoring and review and continuous
improvement of software asset management.
Computer or operating system onto which other software, such as an application, is designed to run, e.g., Windows
or UNIX operating system; PC or server computer.
Policies and procedures
A defined and regulated set of actions to control operations within an enterprise.
In software asset management, an organization's formalized rules and regulations for organization-wide software lifecycle management and software license management.
See License pool
Portability Exchange
See Software transfer
Portable license
See Home-use license, Secondary-use right
Portable-use right
See Secondary-use right
Port-based license
See Per-port license
Portfolio asset management
Tracking and managing financial and contractual aspects of software and hardware assets considering the
organization's collective infrastructure or asset base, e.g., purchasing, leasing and maintenance contracts.
(see Contract management)
Preinstalled software
Software loaded onto a computer prior to sale or distribution.
Price level
The scale of different price discounts offered by a publisher. Method for determining the divisions will vary, including
volume purchased, license metrics and performance metrics, such as processor power or number of users.
Price list
Itemization of products and associated costs in a contract.
Pricing metric
See License metric
Root cause of one or more incidents.
Problem management
Identification, examination and control over the root causes of incidents, including analysis of incident reports and
See Policies and procedures
Systematic series of mechanisms, decisions, tasks or work steps directed towards a purpose, event or objective.
Process area
1.) Set of processes and subprocesses constituting a service, or critical function of a service. 2.) One of six groupings
of 27 processes in software asset management standard ISO/IEC 19770-1. The six grouping are control
environment, planning and implementation, inventory, verification and compliance, operations management
processes and interfaces and life-cycle process interfaces.
Process outsourcing
See Business process outsourcing
Central processing unit (CPU) of a computer that receives and acts upon all instructions from software, other
hardware and ultimately, a user. Servers may be licensed per-processor or per-processor core. (see Per-processor
Processor-based license
See Per-processor license
Set of policies and procedures involved in the acquisition of software or hardware assets or configuration items. This
activity covers requisition, approval, purchasing, invoice processing, delivery and receipt.
See Software product
Product activation
Antipiracy measure by the publisher that restricts software use until it is verified as authentic, e.g., a license key or
electronic registration number. (see Counterfeit software, License key)
Product derivation
See Derivative work
Product key
See License key
Product list
Catalog of products encompassed in a software license agreement.
Product renewal
See Renewal
Product schedule
Attachment to a software license agreement listing purchasing and pricing information.
Product transfer
See Software transfer
Product-use right (PUR)
Terms and conditions in a license agreement specifying how users can operate a product, and under what limitations,
without breach of intellectual property, and thus of copyright law.
Production license
Contract permitting product-use rights for software to be used on a system running in real-time to support the daily
business needs of an organization.
Productive use license
See Production license
Professional services agreement (PSA)
In software license management, an addendum or complementary contract added to a base software license
agreement, e.g., an agreement specifying acceptance criteria for software customizations.
See Source code
Proof of license
Original evidence qualifying as legal acquisition of a software license typically associated to software installed or in
use to allow the publisher or authorized reseller to determine license compliance. This can take the form of a
certificate of authenticity, invoice payment, license key or other license documentation. Proof varies by publisher and
Descriptor of private ownership over information, intellectual property or control or use right over an asset, typically to
the exclusion of other parties.
Public domain software
Software that is not copyrighted and is intended to be shared without restrictions. Note that most open source
software is copyrighted but licensed using an open license, and thus is not public domain software.
Publicity restriction
Provision within a contract denying the publisher the right to use or print the customer name or logo on
documentation or Web sites, typically for marketing purposes.
Publicity reference account
Request from a publisher to the customer to provide endorsement for the software.
Individual or organization creating and producing software, typically for mass marketing, distribution and sales
consumption. Publishing entities may develop their own software, contract for outside development or obtain software
that has already been developed.
Purchase history data
Report of software and related assets bought or obtained from a software reseller or publisher, typically capturing
publisher name, product description, product version, number purchased, invoice number and invoice date, among
other attributes.
Purchase order (PO)
In software asset management, a written request for assets from a publisher, reseller, distributor or vendor.
(see Approved purchase order)
Qualified desktop
Class of devices used by enterprise customers, including affiliates, covered by product-use rights in a software
license agreement and qualified by the publisher or authorized reseller as eligible or equipped for running the
licensed software. Qualified desktops do not include computers designated as servers or any system dedicated to
running line-of-business software only.
Qualified user
Class of persons, software or devices at an enterprise, including affiliates, covered by product-use rights in a software
license agreement and qualified by the publisher or authorized reseller as certified as eligible or equipped for running
the licensed software.
Queue management
Metering capacity to place potential users of a concurrent-use licensed product in a waiting list if a license is
unavailable at the time they attempt to access the licensed application.
1.) Comparison and analysis of software licenses owned and purchased to software installed or in use. 2.)
Establishment of license ownership through comparison and analysis of publisher or reseller purchasing records
against those of the customer. (see License compliance)
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
Organization representing music recording industry's collective intellectual property rights.
Process of reassigning an unused software license to another user, workstation or server, often when hardware is
retired or upgraded, or an employee using the software leaves the company. (see Deployment, Harvesting, License
Restoration to active condition of a contract that had expired.
New, updated or upgraded software version made available for customers, typically in one of three levels: major,
minor and emergency.
Release management
Control over processes for software development, packaging, distribution and other functions related to releasing
See Legal remedy
Remote installation or uninstall
Automated deployment or removal of software to or from a target device, network or infrastructure. Also referred to as
automatic installation or automatic uninstall.
Remote site
Location separate from the main site for which software is licensed, e.g., a subsidiary site. (see Main site, Site)
Resumption of a software license or maintenance agreement at the expiration of a previous contract, typically
involving renegotiation and modification of the previous agreement and an upgrade of the product.
Renewal and support
See Maintenance renewal and support
Renewal date
Day when previous contract expires and renewal begins.
Renewal license
A contract purchased to replace an expired one. It may include a product upgrade. (see Upgrade license)
Rental license
See Subscription license
Replacement license
A contract that substitutes for a previous one, typically a contract associated to software products hard-coded to
hardware to be decommissioned.
1.) Centralized network location or database for the collection and storage of information related to the management
of information technology, software assets and configuration items, including contracts and proofs of license. 2.)
Software licensed for use but stored in a license pool for future deployment.
Request for information (RFI)
Business practice in which a potential customer for a product or service requests attribute descriptions and availability
information from competing vendors. The request is typically made of multiple publishers for comparison and does
not involve a price quote.
Request for proposal (RFP)
Business practice in which a potential customer for a product or service requests attribute descriptions and
specifications personalized to their organization's information technology infrastructure and culture. Request is
typically made of multiple, competitor publishers.
Request for quotation (RFQ)
Business practice in which a potential customer for a product or service solicits an official, itemized price quote and
terms and conditions for possible license purchase.
Individual or entity authorized to purchase goods or services from a publisher for vending purposes.
Residual value
Fair market, projected or predetermined value of a leased asset at the end of a lease period.
Array of specific functions charged to an individual for fulfilling a process or subprocess. (see Role, Stakeholder)
Retail software
See Shrink-wrap software
Retail version
Version of software packaged for use by an individual user, typically taking the form of shrink-wrap software, with
more or fewer features than versions sold to enterprises. (see Shrink-wrap software)
See Decommission, Uninstall
Return material authorization (RMA)
Approval by a publisher for a customer to send back a product proven to be defective or otherwise nonconforming
with a software license agreement. Also known as return merchandise authorization.
Return on investment (ROI)
Ratio of money gained or lost on an investment relative to the amount of money invested, typically in relation to total
cost of investment.
Revenue recognition
Accounting rules governing the point in time a company can post sales and other revenue on its books or profit/loss
account. Typically, revenue is recognized upon delivery and acceptance of the product by the customer or completion
of the service. For software license agreements, acceptance or evaluation periods may delay revenue recognition.
Reverse engineering (RE)
Deriving unpublished software source code by examining the software product's features and functions, often in an
attempt to circumvent a copyright.
Right granted
1.) In software license management, the claim or justification of action based on copyright law, typically covering
allowances for software duplication, derivation and public execution and display. (see Product use right (PUR))
Defined set of duties and responsibilities charged to an individual or set of individuals. For example, a software asset
manager's role could include contract management, information technology asset management, or an entire business
function, such as purchasing or systems administration. (see Responsibility, Stakeholder)
Run-time component
1.) Software component intended to be integrated into and distributed as an integral part of an application. 2.)
Component able to be executed, or automatically executed, when product is in use. Some publishers implement
different license metrics to price different run-time components constituting a single product, e.g., different license
metrics for reporting than for database function.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
U.S. law mandating corporate accounting standards and controls and corporate governance. It is enforceable by
external audit.
Satellite site
See Remote site, Site
School license
See Academic license
Parameters set around areas of interest for a given activity in an effort to maintain focus on a desired outcome. For
example, a software asset management assessment could have a scope that includes purchases made by the
central office for desktop applications used in main and remote sites.
Scope of license
Software products and services applicable under a software license agreement.
See Source code
Placeholder for a license in which users or devices may change, as long as the number of combined instances of
installation or use does not exceed the number of licenses purchased.
Seat-based license
See Per-seat license
Secondary-use right
Permission granted in a software license agreement or end user license agreement to install a second copy of a
licensed software product on a second device, typically a portable computer and for the exclusive use of the licensee.
Also known as home-use right, portable-use right.
Security compliance
Internal alignment to an organization's published statements pertaining to processes for software security
management, e.g., a set of policies surrounding maintenance of patch levels, firewall uptime, anti-virus definitions or
configuration vulnerability throughout an infrastructure.
Select license
Volume license offered by Microsoft for organizations with 250 or more workstations. It runs for three years and is
based on ability of a customer to accurately predict future software licensing needs.
See Assessment
1.) Internal, systematic license compliance review, frequently bolstered by the participation of a third party, such as a
manufacturer, software asset management tool vendor or an outside consultancy. 2.) Compliance review for a
service-level agreement. (see Audit, Service level objective)
Computer or software dedicated to providing services to users or workstations, known as clients, through a network.
Server license
See Per-server license
Server virtualization
Use of virtualizing software to allow for installation of multiple logical servers on one physical server. (see Hypervisor)
1.) Work undertaken by individuals, applications or systems for the achievement of business objectives, e.g., helpdesk service, e-mail service, payroll processing service. 2.) In the client-server model, work undertaken by a server
for the benefit of clients.
Service level
The number, target or minimum requirement of service that a service provider should or must provide to a customer
as indicated in the terms and conditions of their agreement.
Service-level agreement (SLA)
A contract describing the scope and measurements of work expected from a service provider to a customer
throughout the term of the contract.
Service-level management
Set of processes and procedures determining the capacity for a service provider to meet service-level objectives, or
requirements in a service-level agreement.
Service-level objective (SLO)
Target service level for a service provider, typically indicated by a performance metric or set of performance metrics.
Does not indicate a minimum requirement, as specified in a service-level agreement. (see Service level agreement)
Service management
See Information technology service management
Service provider
Entity hosting or otherwise making available technology services.
Service provider licensing agreement (SPLA)
License type developed by a publisher specifically for service providers.
Clause in a contract stating that if parts of it are deemed by a court to be illegal or otherwise unenforceable, the
remainder of the contract is still valid. Without this clause, an entire contract can be considered invalid if one part is
found lacking.
Shared license
Contract permitting product distribution to two or more separate devices, typically involving secondary use rights.
Software category for products made free for download for trial purposes, with prospective customers keeping the
software and typically purchasing a license after trial.
Shareware license
Contract between a shareware publisher and customer, sometimes with no specification of price for a temporary trial
Shrink-wrap license
Contract between a publisher and customer for shrink-wrap software, typically contained in an unopened box.
Opening the box constitutes acceptance of the software license agreement.
Shrink-wrap software
Plastic-wrapped software typically contained in an unopened box and purchased over-the-counter or off-the-shelf by
individual customers. Also known as retail software or commercial, off-the-shelf software (COTS).
Single location license
See Site license
Single-user license
See Named-user license, Per-user license
In software license management, the location covered by a software license agreement, typically detailed or
described in a contract definition and often included in an addendum.
Site license
Contract constraining product-use rights to a physical or logical location(s).
Six sigma
Structured program for improving business processes, bringing methods and analytic tools of engineers to the
corporate world.
Software allocation
See Deployment
Software and Industry Information Association (SIIA)
U.S. compliance agency representing many publishers in the promotion and enforcement of software license
compliance and development of anti-piracy and consulting programs.
Software as a service (SaaS)
Software applications hosted and provided by a publisher as a service to customers via the Internet, typically
precluding download and installation of software, and maintenance of associated licenses. (see Service provider)
Software asset
See Asset
Software asset base
See Asset base
Software asset inventory
See Inventory
Software asset life cycle
See Life cycle
Software asset management (SAM)
Business discipline by which an organization aims to optimize investments in software by controlling, managing and
improving upon configuration management, life-cycle management, inventory management and license compliance
processes. (see Information technology asset management)
Software asset management (SAM) maturity
Framework within software asset management used to assess and identify areas where improvements are most
likely to produce cost-effective results. The levels are: 1. Chaotic, 2. Progressive, 3. Business Integration, 4.
Optimizing, and 5. Transformation.
Software asset management (SAM) owner
Role responsible for software asset management, e.g., a software asset management manager or steering
Software asset management (SAM) practitioner
Role involved in software asset management. For example, a change manager.
Software asset management (SAM) repository
See Repository
Software assurance (SA)
1.) A publisher's guarantee that a product meets terms and conditions specified in a software license agreement,
including those for acceptance testing and software security. 2.) Maintenance for Microsoft products.
(see Maintenance contract)
Software category
Classification of similar software assets or products, e.g., infrastructure software, middleware, desktop applications or
server software. (see License type)
Software component
See Component
Software configuration item (SCI)
See Configuration item (CI)
Software customization
See Customized software
Software delivery
See Deployment
Software derivation
See Derivative work
Software discovery
See Discovery
Software distribution
See Distribution
Software entitlement
See Entitlement
Software leasing
License type pricing product-use rights on a subscription basis and permitting temporary, renewable use.
(see Subscription license)
Software library
See Definitive software library (DSL)
Software license agreement (SLA)
A contract describing terms and conditions for rights to use a software product that is copyrighted intellectual property
owned by the publisher.
Software license compliance
See License compliance
Software license management
See License management
Software license manager
Individual, device or software responsible for the administration of enterprise-wide software deployment and
maintenance of associated contractual obligations as specified in software license agreements. (see Software asset
Software life cycle
See Life cycle
Software manufacturer
See Manufacturer, Publisher
Software metering
See Metering
Software migration
See Migration
Software package
See Package
Software platform
See Platform
Software policy
See Policy
Software product
1.) Good or service produced by a vendor, publisher or manufacturer, typically for sale to a customer, requiring a
license and accompanied by media and documentation, including a software license agreement and proof of license.
For example, an application or suite of applications, purchased from an authorized reseller or a retail outlet. 2.) In a
software license agreement, any and all applications or software components included in the purchased package as
defined in the contract, possibly including maintenance, training and support and upgrade.
Software publisher
See Publisher
Software reconciliation
See Reconciliation
Software release
See Release
Software renewal
See Renewal
Software repository
See Repository
Software strategic data
Information directly or indirectly facilitating decision-making, planning, forecasting, mission-critical services and
business objectives. (see Strategic asset management)
Software tag
Set of attributes identifying a software asset or configuration item.
Software title
See Title
Software tracking
See Tracking
Software transfer
Permission granted by a publisher (licensor) to transfer a copy of software to a different device, owned either by the
customer or a third party, with the contractual stipulation that the software be removed entirely from the former
device. If transferred to a third party such as an outsourcer or, in the case of an acquisition, the acquiring company,
typically no copies may be retained by the customer (licensee). The transfer will typically include all of the original
purchased product, such as any media, components or documentation, with the new user agreeing to the terms and
conditions in the software license agreement or end-user license agreement. Also known as product transfer or
license transfer. (see Copyright transfer and agreement)
Software usage
Measurement of actual utilization of software at any given time.
Solution provider
Entity providing application, resale or consulting services. (see Service provider, Reseller)
Source code
Programmatic statements created in a structured language by developers, permitting software to execute intended
1.) Information required for software development, execution or use. 2.) In software license management, any and all
terms, conditions, limitations and product-use rights.
In software license management and software asset management, an individual, entity or role with an interest in
software asset management and license management processes and outcomes, including practitioners such as an IT
manager, procurement or contract negotiation specialist or chief information officer. (see Responsibility, Role)
Standalone license
A contract constraining product-use rights to a single computer or device. (see Per-device license)
Accepted set of norms, guidelines or best practices for processes or products, against which organizations can be
certified for partial or full conformance. For example, ISO/IEC 19770 is the international software asset management
Step-up license
1.) Contract between a publisher and customer moving the latter to a new license type, typically from a per-device,
per-user or shrink-wrap type to a volume license. 2.) Contract pricing a software upgrade at less than the purchase
price of a full license.
Stock keeping unit (SKU)
In software asset management, an identifier unique to a hardware or software asset that facilitates discovery and
inventory management processes.
Storage virtualization
Abstraction of physical storage disks and their attributes for recombination as one or multiple logical storage area
Strategic asset management (SAM)
Management of all software and hardware assets throughout the software life cycle so as to optimize IT investments.
(see Software asset management)
Strategic data
See Software strategic data
On-demand, bit-by-bit software delivery from a remote location through a network.
Sub-capacity license
A contract in which pricing for product-use rights is based on a measure of hardware processing power or speed. For
example, license and performance metrics include processing power for mainframe partitions. (see Capacity-based
license, Million instructions per second, Million service units)
Sublicensed software
Additional component of licensed software purchased by a licensee where the component may belong to a third party
licensor, e.g., publisher A licenses products B and C to customer D. Product C is owned by publisher E and the
license for product C is a sublicense. Customer D licenses the software from publisher A. Databases and utilities sold
by some software publishers to support their programs are often licensed from third parties and, in turn, sublicensed
to the customer.
Sub licensor
Licensee of a software product who, in turn, is entitled under the contract terms to license the software product to
another end user, typically with the same rights as under the original contract, except the right to sublicense.
Subscription license
Time-limited, nonperpetual contract constraining and pricing product-use rights by a specified termination or renewal
date, at which point the license must be renewed or the software removed. Typically, software priced by subscription
involves only the current version.
Group of related products vended by the same publisher.
Suite license
A contract permitting product-use rights across a group of related applications or other software products offered by
the same publisher.
Sun Community Source Licensing
Sun Microsystems license type with terms and conditions specifying product-use rights for Java software.
See Training and support
Support agreement
Contract for technical assistance for a product that describes terms and conditions as well as service level.
Survival of obligations
Identification of provisions that continue to have effect even after an agreement is terminated or deemed void, either
in whole or in part. (see Severability)
System building
1.) Creation of computers from raw materials. 2.) Mass development, enhancement and coordination of infrastructure,
such as to a set of configuration items.
System software
1.) Software or source code dictating platform processes and execution. 2.) Software used to develop platforms. (see
See Entitlement tag, Software tag
Task-based license
See Pay-per-use license
Technical data
Facts and figures pertaining to software or hardware operation, essential information for inventory management and
often contained in a software tag, e.g., an asset attribute. (see Software strategic data)
Technical support
Set of services provided by the licensor to the licensee for product or service assistance and troubleshooting.
(see Training and support)
Term license
See Subscription license, Time-based license.
Term of license
Duration of licensed product-use rights, as specified in a software license agreement.
Terms and conditions (Ts & Cs)
Publisher-determined requirements, limitations and dependencies for customer software use and other services, as
formalized in a software license agreement. (see License grant and restriction, Product-use right)
Third party
Nonprincipal participant with responsibilities in a project, contract or some other agreement or event.
Third-party software
1.) Software developed externally from an organization, in contrast to in-house-developed software. 2.) Add-on
software product or module, not offered or developed by the publisher of the base product
Time-based license
A contract setting product-use rights to expire after a specified amount of time, typically based on days of use.
(see Subscription license)
Name identifying a software asset or product, typically determined by the software developer, whether an external
publisher or internal developer.
Title 17 of the U.S. Code
Section of federal law enacted to protect intellectual property rights to creative work.
Internal, customer tagging of software with an identifier in order to address inconsistencies in publisher naming
conventions. (see Software tag)
Transactional license program (TLP)
A contract pricing product-use rights by discount levels that vary in relation to the volume of licenses purchased on a
single order. Typically, the greater the number of licenses in a given order, the deeper the discount. TLP is commonly
associated with Adobe products.
In information technology, an application designed to accomplish a task, typically automating what are otherwise
manual processes, e.g., a discovery tool.
Total cost of ownership (TCO)
Financial measure representing money spent on a software application or asset throughout its life cycle. This figure
should include (where applicable) the purchase price of the original license, implementation cost, maintenance fees,
and the costs of upgrades, deployment, support, training, decommission and any other associated costs. (see Return
on investment)
1.) Ability to follow the activity of an asset throughout the software life cycle or any stage of it. 2.) Term describing
software capable of monitoring hardware and software assets and associated attributes and licenses, typically for
discovery or inventory management purposes.
Training and support
Assistance or provision of troubleshooting and education services for users of computers and digital media. Services
may be provided by software and/or services companies by contract arrangement or via in-house personnel. Services
are often provided by the vendor as part of the sale of software.
See Copyright transfer and agreement, Software transfer
Trial license
A contract permitting temporary product-use rights to test software to see if it meets a customer's requirements, such
as those specified in an acceptance test. Production use of the software is not allowed typically.
True up
Payment made by a customer to a publisher for usage exceeding the product-use rights specified in the entitlement.
True-up is often specified in a software license agreement, and may include accounting for any over- or underlicensing, that is revealed, whether intentional or not. The time interval between true-up payments is typically one
year, as predefined in a product schedule within the license agreement.
True-up license
License purchased to reach compliance with a software license agreement through payment to compensate for
product usage exceeding product-use rights.
Situation in which the number of licenses required to run a software product is short of the number used. (see Piracy)
Underlying license
Original contract between a publisher and customer upon which additional upgrades are based. This typically suffices
as proof of license.
See Over-licensing
Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)
A set of U. S. business-related laws relating to the sale of goods, their delivery, financing, payments and other
aspects. The code also pertains to intangibles such as intellectual property.
Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA)
Proposed law based on the Uniform Commercial Code and pertaining to fair use, reverse engineering, warranties and
transferability of software licenses.
Partial or complete removal of software from a computer, or a hardware device from a network.
University license
See Academic license
Unlimited license
A contract permitting product-use rights to the entire organization. (see Enterprise license agreement, Site
license, Volume license)
Deployment of a patch, additional or substituted data, or enhanced functionality added to a software product.
Migration to a newer version of an installed application, typically a major version release.
Upgrade advantage
Microsoft upgrade-license type.
Upgrade insurance (UI)
Publisher's guarantee of free upgrade on a software product. (see Maintenance contract)
Upgrade license
A contract permitting upgrade to a more current version of a software product, typically with favorable pricing because
the customer owns a full-release license.
Upgrade protection
See Upgrade insurance
See Software usage
Usage-based license
See Pay-per-use license
See Software usage
Person, software or device causing software to execute. (see External user, Internal user, Qualified user)
User-based license
See Per-user license
Utility license
See Pay-per-use license
Value-added reseller (VAR)
1.) Reseller who purchases a volume of software from a publisher at a discount, repackages and distributes it with
enhancements or supplementation, typically at a higher price. 2.) An authorized or large account reseller offering
additional services, consulting or support.
Entity selling software. (see Publisher)
Vendor management
Active and ongoing evaluation of the business relationship between a customer and all publishers, resellers, vendors
and distributors detailed in a contract management repository.
Vendor-managed use (VMU)
Software license management by a publisher on behalf of a customer.
Verification and compliance
ISO/IEC 19770-1 process area pertaining to the detection and management of all exceptions to software asset
management policies, processes and procedures. These processes are performed regularly to verify the proper
functioning of software asset management and for any dependent information technology service management
(ITAM) processes. Subprocesses are asset verification, license compliance, security compliance and conformance
verification for software asset management.
Number or date applied by a manufacturer to a product to identify a change, substitution or improvement. Version
numbers and dates increase incrementally over time, e.g., version 1.0 released in 2007, version 1.5 in mid 2007 and
version 2.0 released in 2008 (see Major release, Minor release, Release)
Version control
In software manufacturing, the method of managing version release, particularly the time interval between current
and new versions.
Version identifier
Version number or version date.
Version Upgrade
See Upgrade license
See Exception report, Titling
Vicarious liability
Legal scenario in which one person is liable for the actions of another, even if not directly responsible for the violation
or injury. For example, an employer is liable for employee piracy.
Virtual machine
Virtual operating system running on a host server's hypervisor, abstracted from the physical host server itself.
Abstraction of a host's resources and attributes from a guest's software assets.
Volume activation
Product activation mechanism for volume-licensed software products.
Volume license
Contract pricing multiple licenses at a discount, determined primarily by volume purchased, and secondarily by
product type, license duration and other variables and license metrics. Typically, the licensor provides the licensee
with a volume activation key to be used multiple times, up to the volume ordered. The license may include
Volume license key (VL key)
Single-license key used for multiple installations. Issued by the publisher to a volume license customer. (see License
Volume license program (VLP)
Discounted pricing beyond a specific minimum number of licenses purchased.
Voluntary audit
License compliance review performed by a compliance agency or publisher, verifying adherence to copyright law and
enforcing it without the involvement of governmental parties. (see External audit, Self-audit)
Manufacturer's guarantee or assurance of product quality, typically specifying substitution or repair services in case of
failure to meet quality specifications.
See Compliance agency
Wide open license (WOL)
See Open license
Working Group 21 (WG 21)
The ISO/IEC JTC1 SC7 working group responsible for developing international standards for software asset
management processes. (see International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO/IEC 19770-1, ISO/IEC
Computer containing a graphical user interface and intended for home, office and/or client-side use.
Workstation license
Contract between a publisher and customer permitting product-use rights to individual workstations, typically clients.
(see Client)