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Free Tool for Generating ISO/IEC 19770-2 Software ID Tags

Free Tool for Generating ISO/IEC 19770-2 TagsITAM tool vendor MagniComp has created a utility for generating ISO/IEC 19770-2 conformant software tag files.

‘Software Tag Maker’ is a free web-based application and is specifically aimed at ISV’s (Software Publishers) and IT organizations that wish to create tags.

‘Software Tag Maker’ and further details can be found here.

Some quick questions with Mike Cooper – President and CTO at MagniComp:

Q. Why would an end user company want to create an ISO Tag?

An end-user might want to create tags because:

  1. They want existing commercial or open source software that does not have a tag to be recognized by ISO/IEC 19770-2 conformant ITAM/SAM discovery tools.
  2. They have in-house built software that they want to be recognized by ISO/IEC 19770-2 conformant ITAM/SAM discovery tools.

Q. How can we make use of tags once they are created?

The tag needs to be installed in two places.  The first place is at the top of the product’s directory tree.  The second is in the “standard” location specified in the ISO 19772-2 standard.  The later is where most conformant discovery tools will look.  Software Tag Maker will tell you what that location is on the last step when you download your tag file.

Q. What are the benefits of an ISV of creating tags?

ISV’s get several benefits.  First, many large RFP’s specify ISO 19772-2 as required.  This is especially true with US government bids and those of progressive large corporations.  Second, it allows the ISV’s to have a better means of identifying what’s on a system for audits and technical support.  I heard a comment at IATAM Nashville that Adobe has a hard time telling what version+edition of products are installed on an end-user’s system.  They see tags as a way to fix this.

Q. How do tags differ from traditional software recognition?
Tags provide a definitive and canonical definition of an installed product. Most existing methods of recognition don’t provide the full definition of what product is installed.  For instance, on Windows you can look at the registry to find out that Adobe Acrobat is installed.  That registry entry might tell you the version of the product, but the version is embedded in the title of the product.  Discovery tools have to know how to extract the version from the registry title.  Most do this by look for N.N where “N” is a digit.  Well, guess what?  Adobe Reader X is out now and last time I checked “X” is not a number.  Hence, many discovery tools will not be able to tell you the version of Adobe Reader that’s installed.  With a tag file, this would never be a problem.

‘Software Tag Maker’ and further details can be found here.

About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals. The ITAM Review is best known for its weekly newsletter of all the latest industry updates, LISA training platform, Excellence Awards and conferences in UK, USA and Australia.

Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

He is also the author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.

Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).

When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.

One Comment

  1. Matt Fisher says:

    Interesting move and news. We are seeing a slow pick up on software tags and this may help. In the meantime (and I suspect for some time yet!) the challenge of software recognition will continue to plague many SAM and license management projects. And as we know, not all discovery tools and services are created equal! But I think this move should be applauded overall.

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