IBSMA 2008 Glossary of Software License and IT Asset Management Terms

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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 purchase.

1.) Systematized purchasing practices for buying software. 2.) One organization's acquiring of another's assets and configuration items.

Activation, Activation key
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 schedule)

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 software).

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 headquarters.

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
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
True-up 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
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
License metric

Software asset or bulk item, whether a required or optional component, that is a component of or depends on another asset. (see

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.

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
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
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 baseline.

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 Commerce)

Configuration item (CI) record
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

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 transfer.

Processor, microprocessor or sub-component of a processor, e.g., a server core.

Core-based license
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
Master agreement

Customized software
Product delivered with modifications and supplementations by the publisher to meet an individual customer's unique requirements.


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
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

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 activity.

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.

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


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
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

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)
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.

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 machinery.

Fixed asset record
Unique entry in a fixed asset repository containing identifying and financial information about a fixed asset.

Fixed asset 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 obligations.

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, customization.

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
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 provider)

Virtualizing software that renders a host invisible to a guest, thus permitting the installation of multiple guests on one host.


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 computers.

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 demands.

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)

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

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 scrubbing.

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

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)


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.

Software leasing

Legacy application
1.) Software inherited from an earlier platform, system or process. 2.) Version of software preceding the current version.

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 level)

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

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

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

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
License type

License noncompliance
Licensee or licensor failure to meet terms and conditions specified for product-use rights in a software license agreement. (see

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

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 use.

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
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 license)

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 license)

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

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
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
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.

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 computers.

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 license.

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
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 needed.

Open license
1.) A contract pricing a software product through a volume license program, typically intended for small to medium-sized 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 product-use 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.

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

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
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
Enterprise license agreement

Per-gigabyte-range license
A contract permitting product-use rights based on size of databases being served, measured by gigabyte. Product-use 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 upgrades.

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

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 life-cycle management and software license management.

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
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 trends.

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 license)

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
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
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 product.

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 pool)

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 software.

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
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
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.


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
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., help-desk 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 purpose.

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
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

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 committee.

Software asset management (SAM) practitioner
Role involved in software asset management. For example, a change manager.

Software asset management (SAM) 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
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 manager)

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

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

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 functions.

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 standard.

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 network(s).

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.

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 Platform)


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.

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 under-licensing, 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

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
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
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

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 maintenance.

Volume license key (VL key)
Single-license key used for multiple installations. Issued by the publisher to a volume license customer. (see
License key)

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.

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 19770-2)

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

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