What Is License Analytics?

License Analytics provides information about the licensing of Microsoft products installed and used in your organization.

It does this by evaluating data from a number of sources within Cherwell Asset Management:

  • Inventory data provides evidence of installed software and the licensing channel through which it was obtained on physical and virtual PCs and servers.
  • Virtual environment discovery data provides a topology of your virtual machine environment, as well as information on what operating systems are running on each host and guest, what versions of SQL Server are installed on each host and guest, and certain hardware characteristics of your virtual hosts.
  • Machine group provides information about what machines certain contracts apply to.
  • Purchasing data provides information about your contracts, software purchases, and license assignments.
  • Cherwell Software Identification Database (CSID) provides knowledge of licensing and product use rights rules used in the analysis.

License Analytics displays data in several forms:

  • Sets of charts that identify purchases, entitlements, installation counts, and surpluses and deficits based on the analysis. Charts are provided to view this information based on contract, channel, and product edition/version.
  • A worksheet for each LA title that details the numbers behind the charts.
  • An exceptions report that provides information about data issues encountered during the analysis.
  • For Windows Server and SQL Server, a computer data report that shows the analysis of each individual machine consuming a Windows Server or SQL Server license, including the impact of that server’s hardware and virtual guests, if any.
  • For SQL Server, reports list any machines that are marked as SQL passive servers or where the SQL Server licensing type is not known.
  • A report of your licensing position for any MSDN subscriptions you may have in your environment.

In order to achieve accurate, meaningful results, it's important to understand the terms and concepts used in designing this product, as listed below.


The most important terms and concepts are listed below; select each hyperlink for a definition and context of each term.

Additional terms are covered in the Terminology topic.


To better understand how the license analytics process works, see Examples.  

Cherwell Asset Management is designed to assist customers in evaluating their compliance with software licensing requirements across various software manufacturers. Determining software license compliance is very complex and dependent on many factors including:
  • Software manufacturers’ licensing rules
  • Completeness of data collected within your environment
  • Accuracy and completeness of your purchasing data
  • Other factors

As a result of these factors, Cherwell Software does not warrant your software license analysis or compliance and recommends you work with software manufacturers to fully verify compliance.