Best Practices and Purchasing

If you want to analyze and report on your licenses via License Analytics (LA), you may want to modify how you manage Purchasing data.

Does This Apply to You?

This applies to you if you enter, view, and analyze Purchasing data and purchase Microsoft software using volume purchase agreements (such as Enterprise, Select, or other agreements).
License Analytics only reports on Microsoft licenses. For information on other licenses, such as Oracle, see Purchasing.

Understanding Contracts

In Purchasing, a contract ties together several related concepts:

  • Product use rights
  • Software maintenance and software upgrades
  • License purchasing channel
  • Contract group affinity
When purchasing Microsoft software using volume purchase agreements, LA will provide more accurate results if you replace the use of software maintenance and software upgrade line items with software contracts.
If you want Reporting to reflect software upgrade purchases, you can continue to enter software upgrade line items, but they will not be used by LA. 
You will also need to reconcile any software purchased with the Cherwell Software Identification Database (CSID) to associate what you purchased with what is discovered by the software inventory process.

License channel and group affinity is used to tie contract-based use rights with actual installations. The inventory and virtual environment discovery processes now discover the license channel under which the installed copy was purchased; machine groups are used to associate sets of machines with the contracts that apply to them.

Next: Using Contracts and Line Items in Purchasing