What does Sitekeeper consist of?
Sitekeeper is a new software product that allows you to easily and automatically keep your software and licensing completely current. Sitekeeper contains a sophisticated tracking system that automatically logs and monitors installed software on networked computers across your entire site. Best of all, Sitekeeper offers a reliable, easy to use remote installation feature to "push" new software or updates over the network. Rapid installation of software on any number of machines occurs with two clicks of a mouse.
Sitekeeper's key features are:
- License Tracker: Tracks licenses in order to stay legally compliant. Easy, up-to-date, effortless record keeping.
- Inventory Tracker: Automatically tracks and keeps updated records on software installed on your site.
- PushInstall ™: PushInstall allows administrators to easily install or uninstall software, updates, upgrades and patches which are logo-compliant for Windows 2000 and XP or Microsoft-Installer-compliant, on selected machines throughout a site from a central location. (A Microsoft® Windows® installer (.msi) file is a storage file containing the instructions and data required to install an application, and most software developed for Windows NT, 2000 and XP systems includes this file.)
What type of hardware/operating Systems does Sitekeeper require?
Sitekeeper can be installed on, and run from:
- Any server or workstation running Windows NT (4.0) (Server or Workstation version)
- Any server or workstation running Windows 2000 (Server or Workstation version)
- Any workstation running Windows XP Professional version.
Target computers being inventoried and having software installed or uninstalled by Sitekeeper must also be running one of these operating systems. Sitekeeper does not support any version of Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows ME.
Is there any additional software required for Sitekeeper?
Microsoft SQL 7 or SQL 2000 database software is required for Sitekeeper to inventory and track software on your system. A later version will provide support for a wide variety of databases
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or greater will enhance the user experience.
What privileges are required to run the product?
Administrator privileges are required to install and operate Sitekeeper. The Sitekeeper processes will require Administrative Privileges on target machines.
What is Inventory Tracker? How does it work?
Inventory Tracker is launched after Sitekeeper is installed. It contains a setup wizard which allows the administrator to determine what domains and machines in the network will be tracked and how often.
Once Inventory Tracker is set up, a Windows Service called Executive Software Inventory Service is launched. It does not install agents on target computers, but simply scans all designated computers for software inventory at the intervals the administrator has designated. The data is then stored in Sitekeeper's database.
The data is obtained from each target computer's Windows Registry -- the same information utilized by the "Add/Remove Programs" feature in the Windows Control Panel. The data includes all information provided by each software publisher, such as software name, version (major and minor), build number or patch level, and name of publisher. The number of copies of each type of software installed are totaled.
Very little system overhead is utilized by Inventory Tracker, and it's fast. On an average network, Inventory Tracker scans and reports on 5 to 10 computers a second.
Once the data has been gathered, an Inventory Report is generated. This is a browser-based report which can be viewed two different ways: inventory by machine, or inventory by software product. A later version of the product will allow multiple ways to view the report, such as isolating one particular product, a particular version number, software installed after a certain date, etc.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This data is reported strictly to the server or workstation from which you are running Sitekeeper. The information is not transmitted outside of your organization.
At this time, Sitekeeper can only be used to track software, not hardware products. A later update to Sitekeeper will contain functionality to inventory hardware, as well.
What is License Tracker? How does it work?
Once the inventory has been run, Sitekeeper's License Tracker can be invoked.
First, a License Report is launched. This is a browser-based report which displays the inventory of all the machines per product. Space is provided for the administrator to enter in the number of licenses owned by your organization for each software product, which must be done to complete the report. Since different numbers of licenses could have been purchased at different times, License Report will total each product type and version, so a complete total of each product is shown. As an additional benefit, License Tracker catches incidents of users installing and running software locally without administrator approval.
The report then informs the administrator of license compliance: licenses that need to be purchased, excess licenses, or the correct number of licenses, whichever is applicable in each case.
The License Tracker is then implemented as a Windows Service, and monitors and reports licensing compliance from there on out.
Should there be an inadequate number of licenses for one or more products, a pop-up message alerts the system administrator of this. The system administrator can then purchase the appropriate licenses or, if need be, can uninstall copies of products to ensure software licensing compliance.
Again, this information is reported only to you, and is not transmitted outside of your organization.
What is PushInstall™? How does it work?
PushInstall allows administrators to easily install or uninstall software, updates, upgrades and patches which are logo-compliant for Windows 2000 and XP or Microsoft-Installer-compliant, on selected machines throughout a site from a central location. (A Microsoft® Windows® installer (.msi) file is a storage file containing the instructions and data required to install an application, and most software developed for Windows NT, 2000 and XP systems includes this file.) A later version will install or uninstall software which falls beyond these perimeters.
From the PushInstall GUI, the administrator selects the software to be installed. The target machines for these installations are then selected. An entire domain containing thousands of machines can be selected with one mouse-click. The software selected for installation must reside on a shared drive or drives accessible to all machines on which the software is to be installed.
To lessen the possible impact on system resources, two different installation speed selections are provided:
- Slow Install, which minimizes resources on the machine on which Sitekeeper resides and on the network, but extends the total install time.
- Fast Install, which maximizes resources and network load but minimizes install time.
Once installation speed is selected, the software is automatically installed on target machines, and the success or failure of each installation is reported back to the administrator.
What is the difference between PushInstall and Microsoft SMS?
Microsoft SMS is a more complex product than PushInstall, as it is designed to be. Because of its complexity, it has a much higher learning curve than a component such as PushInstall. Due to its resource requirements, SMS also requires a server, preferably dedicated.
Sitekeeper's PushInstall feature can be learned in minutes. It installs and runs from any Windows NT or 2000 workstation or server, or Windows XP Professional workstation. The bottom line is, Sitekeeper's PushInstall feature is simpler and more streamlined.
At this time, Sitekeeper and SMS cannot share information.