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ALTIRIS

APPLICATION METERING
SOLUTION 6.0
PRODUCT GUIDE

Notice
Copyright 2001-2004 Altiris Inc. All rights reserved.
Product Version: 6.0
Document Date: March 29, 2004
Bootworks U.S. Patent No. 5,764,593.
RapiDeploy U.S. Patent No. 6,144,992.
Due to the inherently complex nature of computer software, Altiris does not warrant that the Altiris
software is error-free, will operate without interruption, is compatible with all equipment and
software configurations, or will otherwise meet your needs.
The content of this documentation is furnished for informational use only, is subject to change
without notice, and should not be construed as a commitment by Altiris. Altiris Inc. assumes no
responsibility or liability for any errors or inaccuracies that may appear in this documentation. For
the latest documentation, visit our Web site at www.altiris.com.
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and RapidInstall are registered trademarks of Altiris, Inc. in the United States.
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Asset Control Solution, Asset Management Suite, Client Management Suite, Compliance Toolkit,
Conflict Analysis Solution, Contract Management Solution, Deployment Server, Deployment
Solution, Education Management Suite, Helpdesk, Helpdesk Solution,
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Altiris Application Metering Solution Product Guide

Contents
Application
Altiris
Product
Guide
Metering Solution 6.0

Notice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Chapter 1: Introducing Application Metering Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Terminology

...................................................................... 5

Application Metering Solution Background

............................................... 5

Chapter 2: Getting Started with Application Metering Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6


Chapter 3: Application Metering Solution Usage Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Chapter 4: Application Metering Solution Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Discovering Applications

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Integrating Application Metering Solution with Inventory Solution

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Application Summary Data


..........................................................
Application Summary Data Fields
.................................................
Configuring the Uploading of Application Summary Data
...............................
Forwarding Application Summary Data
.............................................
Application Metering Solution Configuration Page

11
12
13
13

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Chapter 5: Application Metering Agent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16


Deploying the Application Metering Agent

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Upgrading the Application Metering Agent

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Uninstalling the Application Metering Agent

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Chapter 6: Application Monitoring. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19


Applications that Can Be Monitored
Start and Stop Events

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Monitoring an Application

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Preventing the Use of an Application


Denied Application Use Options

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Application Monitor Configuration Page

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Altiris Application Metering Solution Product Guide

Chapter 1:

Introducing Application Metering Solution


Use Application Metering Solution to control software usage and licensing. When used in
conjunction with Inventory Solution, Application Metering Solution displays where applications are
physically installed on the network and correlates which of these applications are actually being used
and how often. Using this data, you can reclaim software licenses that are not being used.

Application Metering Features

Web
Administration

Discover Applications
Monitor Frequency of
Application Usage
Report Starting and
Stopping of Applications

SMS
Integration

License Harvesting

Notification
Server

Managed
Computers

Web-based
Reports

Specifically, this solution allows you to do the following:

Discover Applications that Are Run Application Metering Solution records the first time an
application is started. This makes it easy to identify exactly what software (including the version)
is being run on the computers of your network.

Monitor Frequency of Application Usage You can track the number of times a particular
application is run on a computer. This helps you determine whether applications are used
frequently or rarely and by whom applications are used.

Track Starting and Stopping of Applications You can track when an application is started,
stopped, or both and how long an application is used. You can also be alerted when an attempt
is made to start an unauthorized application or block the use of an application.

License Harvesting Application Metering Solution integrates with Altiris Inventory Solution to
identify the applications installed on computers (Inventory Solution) and which of these
applications are used. This helps you reclaim (harvest) unused software licenses and put them to
use elsewhere.

The many features of Application Metering Solution provide data for numerous predefined reports
that can help you to analyze your data. There are reports for analyzing application performance,
application usage, and unauthorized usage. There are cost analysis and inventory audit reports.
There are also history and trend, concurrent usage, and many other reports that provide powerful
analysis of your environment. If there is not a predefined report for your needs, you can leverage the
extensive data Application Metering Solution provides through custom reporting.

Altiris Application Metering Solution Product Guide

Chapter 1: Introducing Application Metering Solution

Terminology

Terminology
To understand this document, it is important that you understand the Application Metering Solutionspecific terminology used in this document. The following are terms with which you should be
familiar as you use this document:
application monitoring period
This period specifies how often Application Metering Solution summary data is uploaded from
the managed computer to the Notification Server. This period also specifies how long the use of
an application is counted before the counter is reset.
application summary data
Data collected about a monitored application during the application monitoring period, such as
product name, manufacturer, and last user.
license harvesting
The process of determining which applications installed on a computer are not used, removing
these applications from these computers, and making the software licenses for the removed
applications available for use elsewhere.
managed computer
A computer on the network that is running the Altiris Agent and managed by Notification Server.
monitored application
An application that is being monitored on managed computers by Application Metering Solution
using an application monitoring policy.
start event, stop event, denial event
An event sent to the Notification Server from the managed computer in response to the starting
or stopping of a monitored application. A denial event is a start event where the user was denied
the use of the application after attempting to start it.

Application Metering Solution Background


Many software metering products focus on real-time monitoring of the number of concurrent
licenses in use. This type of product usually incorporates an agent that constantly communicates
with a metering server. Significant resource overhead is generated by this type of monitoring; these
systems typically require a large number of metering servers and are expensive to monitor and
maintain.
Application Metering Solution working in conjunction with Notification Server takes a different
approach to the metering process. The Altiris Agent posts application summary data gathered by
Application Metering Solution on the Notification Server, but the Altiris Agent does not need to
communicate with the Notification Server every time an application starts. The overhead generated
on the managed computer is very low. On the managed computer, no polling of the local processes
is needed, because the Application Metering Agent uses an event-driven model. Application
Metering Solution also allows you to send start, stop, and denial event immediately to the
Notification Server, if you need to be alerted to this events as they occur.
When an application is started, the Application Metering Agent checks for an enabled policy
monitoring the application. If an enabled policy for the application is found, the Altiris Agent
records application summary data locally and, if specified, attempts to send the start event
information (consisting of a few KB of data) to the Notification Server. If the Altiris Agent is not
able to establish an IP level connection to the server (the network is down or the system is a laptop
not currently connected to the network), the Altiris Agent will queue the information locally and try
to re-transmit the information at a later time. Because the Altiris Agent and Notification Server can
queue data, a single server can handle the load for thousands of managed computers.

Altiris Application Metering Solution Product Guide

Chapter 2:

Getting Started with Application Metering Solution


The following describes step-by-step how to get started with Application Metering Solution. If you
do not require step-by-step instructions, we recommend that you see Application Metering Solution
Usage Overview on page 9.
During this procedure, you will do the following:
1

Deploy the Application Metering Agent on managed computers.

Monitor and prevent the use of an application using a predefined application monitoring policy

Monitor the use of an application by creating a new application monitoring policy

Create reports to help you analyze your data.

Important: This procedure assumes that Notification Server is already installed, the Altiris Agent is

installed on the computers with applications you want to monitor, and Application Metering
Solution is installed on the Notification Server. If any of these are not installed, install them before
proceeding.

Step 1: Deploying the Application Metering Agent


The first thing you need to do after Application Metering Solution has been installed is deploy the
Application Metering Agent on the managed computers. The agent allows you to discover which
applications are used (not installed), monitor application usage, and upload application summary
data.
To deploy the Application Metering Agent
1

In the Altiris Console, click the Configuration tab.

In the left pane, click Solution Settings > Application Metering Solution > Application Metering
Solution Agent Rollout > Win32 Application Metering Agent Install/Upgrade.

In the right pane, select the Enable check box.

This will deploy the Application Metering Agent to managed workstation (not server) computers the
next time the Altiris Agent checks for updated configuration information (by default, the Altiris
Agent checks for new configuration information every fifteen minutes) after the policy is enabled.
Important: If you are installing the agent on a managed computer running Windows NT, you must

restart the computer after installing the agent. Also, if you are installing the agent on a managed
computer that already has the agent installed on it (upgrading) and the computer is running Windows
9x/Me/NT, you must restart the computer after upgrading. No restart is necessary on computers
running Windows 2000/XP.
After the Application Metering Agent is installed, the application discovery feature automatically
discovers applications as they are run. The discovery feature keeps track of the applications run on
a managed computer and sends this information to the Notification Server.

Note: Application Metering Solution only discovers applications as they are used - not all installed

ones. To discover installed applications, use Altiris Inventory Solution.

Altiris Application Metering Solution Product Guide

Chapter 2: Getting Started with Application Metering Solution

Step 2: Monitoring and Preventing the Use of an

Step 2: Monitoring and Preventing the Use of an Application


with a Predefined Application Monitoring Policy
Application Metering Solution allows you to monitor the use of an application, including how many
times the application is started and when an application is started and stopped. You can be alerted
when an application starts or prohibit the use of an application.
Application Metering Solution includes predefined policies (application monitoring policies) for
monitoring many common applications, including the Microsoft Office applications and many
games. These predefined polices make it easy to monitor common applications.
To monitor and prohibit the use of Pinball 3D using the predefined application
monitoring policy
1

In the Altiris Console, click the Tasks tab.

In the left pane, click Tasks > Software Management > Application Metering Solution > Application
Monitors (Games) > Pinball 3D.

In the right pane, select the Enable check box if it is not already selected (selected by default).

Select the Deny users the ability to run this application check box.

Click the Apply button.


Application Metering Solution will start monitoring and deny the use of Pinball 3D after the next
time the managed computers request configuration information from the Notification Server.

To generate some data about the use of Pinball 3D, start Pinball 3D on a managed computer after
the application monitoring policy configuration information has been sent to the managed
computer.
To start Pinball 3D, click Start > Programs > Accessories > Games > Pinball on a managed
computer.
When you attempt to run the program, you will get a message indicating that you cannot run the
program. Data will also be recorded about the attempt to run the program.

Step 3: Monitoring an Application without a Predefined


Application Monitoring Policy
If there is no predefined application monitoring policy for the application you want to monitor, you
can create your own policy. The following describes how to create an application monitoring policy
for Microsoft HTML Help (the Windows online help facility).
To create an application monitoring policy to monitor Microsoft HTML Help
1
2

In the Altiris Console, click the Tasks tab.


In the left pane, right-click Application Monitors under Tasks > Software Management > Application
and select New > Application Monitor Policy.

Metering Solution
3

In the right pane Name field, enter Microsoft HTML Help.

Click the Applies to collections link.

Select the Clients with Application Metering Agent Installed check box under Collections >
Application Metering Solution > Application Metering Agent Rollout.

Click the OK button.

In the File Name field, type hh.exe.

Select the Enable check box.

Altiris Application Metering Solution Product Guide

Chapter 2: Getting Started with Application Metering Solution

Step 4: Create Reports

Click the Apply button.


Application Metering Solution will start monitoring the use of Microsoft HTML Help after the
next time the managed computers request configuration information from the Notification
Server.

10

To record some data about the use of Microsoft HTML Help, start Microsoft HTML Help on a
managed computer after the application monitoring policy configuration information has been
sent to the managed computer by clicking Start > Help

Step 4: Create Reports


Reports organize your information in a way that makes it easier to analyze, such as in a graph or
table. Application Metering Solution includes numerous predefined reports or you can define your
own reports. The following are some examples of using the predefined reports.
To create a report showing a a list of discovered applications
1

In the Altiris Console, click the Reports tab.

In the left pane, click Reports > Software Management > Application Metering Solution >
Discovered Applications > List discovered applications (machine count).

In the right pane, select the View report on latest data link, and then click the Submit button.
This will create a table report in the right pane.

To create a report showing application usage


1

In the Altiris Console, click the Reports tab.

In the left pane, click Reports > Software Management > Application Metering Solution > History
and Trend > Count application usage (date range).

In the right pane, select the View report on latest data link.
This will create a table report in the right pane.

Note: Certain Application Metering Solution reports require data from Inventory Solution. If you
are not correlating Inventory Solution data with Application Metering Solution data, these reports
will not work or will only display data collected by Application Metering Solution.

Whats Next?
After you complete the above steps, Application Metering Solution is monitoring the use of two
applications and uploading application summary data from the managed computer to the
Notification Server on a regular basis. For more information on the Application Metering Solution
features, see the documentation on the specific feature.

Altiris Application Metering Solution Product Guide

Chapter 3:

Application Metering Solution Usage Overview


Application Metering Solution makes it easy to monitor applications and generate reports on
application usage. Much of the work required to setup and use this solution has already been taken
care of through predefined policies and reports.
Note: For step-by-step instructions that walk you through getting started with Application Metering

Solution, see Getting Started with Application Metering Solution on page 6.

Start by doing the following after the solution is installed:


1

If you want to correlate Inventory Solution data with Application Metering Solution data, specify
how you will be using Inventory Solution with Application Metering Solution (see Application
Metering Solution Configuration on page 10).

Deploy the Application Metering Agent (see Application Metering Agent on page 16). This
agent provides the Application Metering Solution functionality on the managed computers.
After the Application Metering Agent is installed on managed computers, the agent will
automatically discover applications as they are used on the managed computers (see
Discovering Applications on page 10).

Specify the applications you want to monitor (see Application Monitoring on page 19).

Create reports to help you analyze your application usage.

Altiris Application Metering Solution Product Guide

Chapter 4:

Application Metering Solution Configuration


There are several aspects of Application Metering Solution that you can configure to fit the needs of
your environment. The following are the aspects of Application Metering Solution that can be
configured:

Application discovery (see Discovering Applications on page 10)


Inventory Solution integration (see Integrating Application Metering Solution with Inventory
Solution on page 11)
Application summary data (see Application Summary Data on page 11)

Application Metering Solution configuration is performed from the Application Metering


Configuration page (seeApplication Metering Solution Configuration Page on page 14).

Discovering Applications
Application Metering Solution can automatically discover the first time a version of an application
is run. After a new application is discovered on a managed computer by being run, data about the
application is added to a file on the managed computer (the application discovery file) and an event
with the application data is sent immediately to the Notification Server.
Note: Application Metering Solution only discovers applications as they are used - not all installed

ones. To discover installed applications, use Altiris Inventory Solution.

Note: The application discovery file is named AexAMDiscovery.txt and is located in the same folder

as the Altiris Agent (c:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent by default). You must not edit or change
this file; in fact, opening this file at the wrong time can cause errors in the discovery process. If you
have problems with application discovery, opening this file can help you to verify that the
Application Metering Agent was able to discover applications.
During the initial application discovery stage, many events are generated, because many
applications are discovered and the data is uploaded to the Notification Server. After the initial
discovery, far fewer applications are discovered and there is little system overhead. You can use
reports to identify which applications are new.

To discover applications, the Application Metering Agent must be deployed on the managed
computers. By default, application discovery is enabled and will automatically discover applications
on managed computers. For more information, see Deploying the Application Metering Agent on
page 16.
To enable or disable application discovery
1

In the Altiris Console, click the Configuration tab.

In the left pane, click Configuration > Solution Settings > Application Metering Solution >
Application Metering Solution Configuration.

If you want to disable application discovery, clear the Discover and report all new Win32
applications executed on client machines check box.
If you want to enable application discovery, select the Discover and report all new Win32
applications executed on client machines check box.

Altiris Application Metering Solution Product Guide

10

Chapter 4: Application Metering Solution ConfigurationIntegrating Application Metering Solution with Inventory Solution

Integrating Application Metering Solution with Inventory


Solution
Application Metering Solution allows you to correlate Inventory Solution and Application Metering
Solution data. Correlating data provides far more useful data than you can get with Application
Metering Solution or Inventory Solution data alone. For example, Inventory Solution determines
which applications are installed on a computer. Application Metering Solution determines which
applications are run on a computer. Correlating the data together, you can determine which
applications are installed on a computer but not used. This allows you to reclaim unused software
licenses and put them to use where they are needed. This is often referred to as license harvesting.
If you are not using Inventory Solution or do not want to correlate data, all of the Application
Metering Solution features are still available to you. There will just be a few predefined reports that
you will not be able to run.
Application Metering Solution uses a file named Auditpls.ini file to help normalize data, which
enables easier and more consistent reporting of your application summary data. For example, if you
access the file properties for various Microsoft files, under Manufacturer you might see Microsoft
listed as Microsoft, Microsoft Corporation, or Microsoft Corp. By using the Auditpls.ini file,
you can normalize this manufacturer data to be reported simply as Microsoft for any monitored
Microsoft files. As a result, a report listing applications by manufacturer becomes much more
consistent and usable, displaying a single entry for Microsoft instead of three separate entries
(Microsoft, Microsoft Corp, and Microsoft Corporation). Inventory Solution also uses an
AuditPls.ini file to normalize software installation data.
By default, the Application Metering Agent uses an Auditpls.ini file that is installed when the
Application Metering Agent is installed on a managed computer. If you want to correlate
Application Metering Solution data with Inventory Solution data, you should configure the
Application Metering Agent to use the Auditpls.ini file used by the Audit Agent, which is part of
Inventory Solution. By having Inventory Solution and Application Metering Solution use the same
Auditpls.ini file, it is easier to correlate application summary data with inventory data, because the
data is normalized to identical definitions.
Note: All data reported to the Notification Server will have the value overrides (defined in the

Auditpls.ini file) applied.

To integrate Application Metering Solution with Inventory Solution


1

In the Altiris Console, click the Configuration tab.

In the left pane, click Solution Settings


Solution Configuration.

In the right pane, specify the location of the Auditpls.ini file.

> Application Metering Solution > Application Metering

For a description of the options, see Application Metering Solution Configuration Page on
page 14.
4

Click the Apply button.

Application Summary Data


The application summary data tracks how many times each application has been started during the
application monitoring period.
The application monitoring period specifies how often application summary data is transferred to the
Notification Server. Data can be uploaded every 1, 2, 7, or 14 days. The default is 7 days. Uploading
data less often results in data that is not quite as current. Uploading data more frequently creates a
bit more network traffic.
For a description of the application summary fields, see Application Summary Data Fields on
page 12. To configure the uploading of application summary data, see Configuring the Uploading
of Application Summary Data on page 13.

Altiris Application Metering Solution Product Guide

11

Chapter 4: Application Metering Solution Configuration

Application Summary Data

Application Summary Data Fields


With each monitored application, the Application Metering Agent records application summary
data. Application summary data reflects the activities of a monitored application. This data is stored
locally on the managed computer and uploaded according to a user defined schedule to the
Notification Server. At the end of the application monitoring period, the application summary data
is also sent to the Notification Server. This data replaces any other data received during the
application monitoring period and is stored permanently to reflect application usage for that
particular period.
The following table lists and describes the data recorded for each monitored application. (The fields
are listed in the order in which the data is stored in the data file.)
Application summary data fields

Field

Description

Manufacturer

Manufacturer of the application. This information is found Microsoft


in the properties of the file.

Internal Name

Internal name of the application. This information is


found in the properties of the file.

explorer

File Version

Version of the application. This information is found in


the properties of the file.

5.00.3315.2846

File Name

Name of the file.

explorer.exe

Product Name

Name of the product. This information is found in the


properties of the file.

Microsoft(R)
Windows (R) 2000
Operating System
5.00.3315.2846

Known As

Name by which the application is known. This


information is found in the properties of the file.

Windows Explorer

User

User name of the person that last ran the application.

jsmith

Domain

Domain in which the application was last run.

ALTIRIS

Discovered

Date the application was discovered by Application


Metering Solution.

6/03/2002 11:39:53
AM

Last Start

Date the application was last started.

11/03/2002 8:38:18
AM

Month Year
(month we
tracked it in)

Month and year of the last application monitoring period March 2002
in which the application was monitored.

Run Count

Number of times the application has been started during 3


the last application monitoring period.

Denial Count

Number of times the application has been stopped from 0


running during the last application monitoring period.
Note: This is only applicable when you have configured a
monitoring policy to deny the use of an application.

Total Run Time Total amount of time during the last application
monitoring period that the application was used in
seconds. This value is determined by monitoring the
application process and is updated every 30 seconds.
Peak Memory

Sample Data

188714.032

7921664
Maximum amount of memory used by the application
during the application monitoring period in bytes. This
value is determined by monitoring the application process
and is updated every 30 seconds. This information is NOT
available from Windows 9x/Me managed computers.

Altiris Application Metering Solution Product Guide

12

Chapter 4: Application Metering Solution Configuration

Application Summary Data

Application summary data fields (Continued)

Field

Description

Sample Data

0.7652
Avg CPU Usage Average CPU usage by the application during the last
application monitoring period, where 100 equals 100
percent usage. This value is determined by monitoring the
application process and is updated every 30 seconds. This
information is NOT available from Windows 9x/Me
managed computers.
Month End
Summary

Specifies whether the current set of application summary 0


data is the final set of data for the month. If this value is
equal to 0, this is NOT the final data for the month.

Example Application Summary Data Entry for a Monitored Application


The following is an example of the application summary data collected for an application.
Microsoft explorer 5.00.3315.2846 explorer.exe
Microsoft(R) Windows (R) 2000 Operating System 5.00.3315.2846
Windows Explorer jsmith ALTIRIS
6/03/2002 11:39:53 AM 11/03/2002 8:38:18 AM
March 2002 3 0 188714.032 7921664 0.7652 0

Configuring the Uploading of Application


Summary Data
The upload frequency of application summary data can be changed. By default, Application
Metering Solution automatically deletes application summary data from the Notification Server
database that is more than 12 months old. You can change or disable this as wanted.
To configure the uploading of application summary data
1

In the Altiris Console, click the Configuration tab.

In the left pane, click Configuration > Solutions Settings > Application Metering Solution >
Application Metering Solution Configuration.

To enable the uploading of application summary data, select the Client should send summary data
every check box.
To disable the uploading of application summary data, clear the Client should send summary data
every check box.

To change the upload frequency of application summary data, select an upload interval using the
field associated with the Client should send summary data every check box.

To enable the automatic deletion of old application summary data, select the Purge summary data
older than check box.
To disable the automatic deletion of old application summary data, clear the Purge summary data
older than check box.

To change how long old application summary data is kept before it is deleted, enter a value in
the field associated with the Purge summary data older than check box.

To delete old application summary data immediately, click the Purge Data Now button.

Forwarding Application Summary Data


Application summary data can be forwarded from a Notification Server to another Notification
Server or Microsoft SMS, but event data, such as start and stop event data, cannot be forwarded. If
you are forwarding application summary data to Microsoft SMS, the data forwarding schedule is
based on the SMS integration/forwarding settings. For more information on forwarding data, see the
Altiris Notification Server Help.

Altiris Application Metering Solution Product Guide

13

Chapter 4: Application Metering Solution Configuration

Application Metering Solution Configuration Page

Application Metering Solution Configuration Page


The Application Metering Solution Configuration page is used to configure the features of
Application Metering Solution, including the purging of Application Metering Solution data,
Inventory Solution interaction, application discovery, and the sending of summary data.
To access this page
1

In the Altiris Console, click the Configuration tab.

In the left pane, click Configuration > Solutions Settings > Application Metering Solution >
Application Metering Solution Configuration.

Application Metering Solution Configuration Page Items

Item

Description

Purge events older than Select this checkbox to automatically delete old event data. If this
checkbox is selected, you can specify in the associated field the number of
days that data must be older than before it is deleted.
Click this Purge Events Now button to immediately delete events older than
the specified number of days; otherwise, old events will be deleted the
next time Notification Server performs clean-up procedures.
Purge reports older than Select this checkbox to automatically delete old reports. If this checkbox
is selected, you can specify in the associated field the number of days that
a report must be older than before it is deleted.
Click this Purge Reports Now button to immediately delete reports older
than the specified number of days; otherwise, old reports will be deleted
the next time Notification Server performs clean-up procedures.
Purge summary data
older than

Select this checkbox to automatically delete old summary data. If this


checkbox is selected, you can specify in the associated field the number of
months that summary data must be older than before it is deleted.
Click this Purge Data Now button to immediately delete summary data
older than the specified number of months; otherwise, old summary data
will be deleted the next time Notification Server performs clean-up
procedures.

Client should send


summary data every

Select this checkbox to specify how often summary data is sent to the
Notification Server. If this checkbox is selected, you can specify in the
associated field the how often the data is sent.
Data can be sent every 1, 2, 7, or 14 days. The default is 7 days. Uploading
data less often results in data that is not quite as current. Uploading data
more frequently creates a bit more network traffic. Data can also be
uploaded every 5 minutes, but this setting is intended for testing purposes
only.

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Chapter 4: Application Metering Solution Configuration

Application Metering Solution Configuration Page

Application Metering Solution Configuration Page Items (Continued)

Item

Description

Discover and report all Select this check box to enable automatic application discovery on
new Win32
computers with the Application Metering Agent installed. For more
applications run on
information, see Discovering Applications on page 10.
client computers
Audit Plus INI
Integration

The Audit Plus integration options allow you to specify how Application
Metering data is correlated with Inventory Solution data. The options are:
I dont use Inventory Solution - Select this option if you do not use
Inventory Solution or do not want to integrate Inventory Solution data
with Application Metering data.

Client based Inventory Solution - Select this option if you use Inventory

Standalone or non client-based Inventory Solution - Select this option if

Alternate auditpls.ini file location

Solution on computers that report data to the Notification Server.

you use Inventory Solution on computers that do NOT report data to


the Notification Server.

- Select this option if you want to


manually specify the location of the auditpls.ini file for Application
Metering Solution to use. For more information on this file, see
Integrating Application Metering Solution with Inventory Solution
on page 11
In general, if you can use one of the previous options, the location of
the auditpls.ini file will automatically be specified. Use this option
only if one of the other options will not work for your needs.

For more information on integrating Inventory Solution and Application


Metering Solution, see Integrating Application Metering Solution with
Inventory Solution on page 11.

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15

Chapter 5:

Application Metering Agent


Application Metering Solution includes an agent that must be installed on the computers on which
you want to use the Application Metering Solution features. The agent receives configuration
settings from the Notification Server, helps collect data, and transfers data to the Notification Server.
To deploy the agent, see Deploying the Application Metering Agent on page 16.

Deploying the Application Metering Agent


Important: If you have a large number of computers to which you want to deploy the agent, consider

deploying the agent during off-peak hours to minimize network traffic at peak times.
To deploy the Application Metering Agent

Important: Before installing the Application Metering Agent on a computer, the Altiris Agent must

already be installed on that computer.

In the Altiris Console, click the Configuration tab.

In the left pane, click Solution Settings > Application Metering Solution > Application Metering
Solution Agent Rollout > Win32 Application Metering Agent Install/Upgrade.

In the right pane, make any wanted changes.


By default, the agent will be deployed as soon as possible after the policy is enabled to computers
in the Clients Requiring Application Metering Install/Upgrade collection.

Select the Enable check box.

Click the Apply button.

If you are installing the agent on a computer running Windows NT, you must restart the
computer after the agent has been deployed on the computer. Following are instructions on how
to configure the agent installation to restart the computers automatically.
If you are upgrading the agent on a Windows 9x/Me/NT computer, you must restart the
computers after upgrading.
No restart is necessary when installing or upgrading the agent on computers running Windows
2000/XP.

To modify the agent package to automatically restart the computers after installing
or upgrading the Application Metering Agent
If you are installing the Application Metering Agent on a computer running Windows NT or
upgrading the agent on a computer running Windows 9x/Me/NT, you must restart the computer after
the agent has been installed or upgraded. If you want to have the agent installation policy
automatically restart the applicable managed computers after installing the Application Metering
Agent, you can do so by modifying the policy package program Command Line field.
1

In the Altiris Console, click the Configuration tab.

In the left pane, select Configuration > Solution Settings > Application Metering Solution >
Application Metering Agent Rollout > Win32 Application Metering Agent Package.

In the right pane, click the Programs tab.

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16

Chapter 5: Application Metering Agent

Upgrading the Application Metering Agent

Change the Command lIne field value from


AeXClientUpgrade.exe AltirisAppMetering.exe -s -a /s
to
AeXClientUpgrade.exe AltirisAppMetering.exe -s -a /s /oReboot
Note: The managed computer user will NOT receive a prompt before the computer restarts. If

you want to require a user acknowledgement before restarting, remove the /s from the value in
the field.

Click the Apply button.

Package Deployment Parameters


When deploying the Application Metering Agent, there are several parameters that you can use The
parameters are used on the agent package policy page in the Command Line field of the Programs tab.
To use these parameters, use this syntax ( [] indicates the enclosed optional):
AltirisAppMetering.exe [-s] [-a [/s] [/oRemove] [/oReboot]] [/NoAddRemove]
Where:
-s - Extract installer files silently.
-a - Pass these arguments to the installer.
/s - Silently run the installer. No prompt will occur before reboot.
/oRemove - Explicitly uninstall only (allows silent uninstall if used with /s).
/oReboot - Restarts the applicable computers after completion.
/NoAddRemove - Removes Application Metering from the Add/Remove Programs list.

Upgrading the Application Metering Agent


The same policy used by Application Metering Solution to install the Application Metering Agent
is used to upgrade the agent. If the agent installation and upgrade policy is enabled, Application
Metering Solution will automatically upgrade older versions of the Application Metering Agent on
managed computers when a newer agent is available from the Notification Server. For more
information on enabling the policy, see Deploying the Application Metering Agent on page 16.
Newer versions of the Application Metering Agent are bundled with Application Metering Solution.
When you install a newer version of the Application Metering Solution, you will get the latest
version of the Application Metering Agent available.

Uninstalling the Application Metering Agent


If there is an extended period of time over which you do not want to use the Application Metering
Solution features on a managed computer and you want to eliminate any overhead caused by the
agent, you can uninstall the Application Metering Agent. For example, in your organization, you
want to monitor application usage on a group of computers for a month, and then you want to
monitor application usage on another group of computers for a month, and so on. As you finish
monitoring an application usage on a group of computers, you can uninstall the agent from those
computers.
Note: After you use the Win32 Application Metering Agent Uninstall policy once to uninstall the agent
from a managed computer, you cannot use the same policy to uninstall the agent from that computer
using the Run this task 'As Soon As Possible' option. To use the policy again, schedule the running of
the policy.

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Chapter 5: Application Metering Agent

Uninstalling the Application Metering Agent

To uninstall the Application Metering Agent


1

In the Altiris Console, click the Configuration tab.

In the left pane, click Solution Settings > Application Metering Solution > Application Metering
Solution Agent Rollout > Win32 Application Metering Agent Install/Upgrade.

In the right pane, clear the Enable check box.

In the left pane, select Solution Settings > Application Metering Solution > Application Metering
> Win32 Application Metering Agent Uninstall.

Solution Agent Rollout


5

In the right pane, ensure that Clients with Application Metering Installed is selected in the Applies
to Collection(s) field.

Specify how the policy is run.

Select the Enable check box.

Restart the managed computer after the agent has been uninstalled.

The Application Metering Agent will be removed from the managed computers as soon as possible
after the policy is enabled. If at a later time you want to reinstall the Application Metering Agent,
make sure you disable this Win32 Application Metering Agent Uninstall policy.

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Chapter 6:

Application Monitoring
Application Metering Solution allows you to do the following for each monitored application:

Record application.summary data

Send application start, stop, and denial events to the Notification Server

Prevent the use of an application

Each time a monitored application starts, the Application Metering Agent records information about
the application and the application execution environment; this is the application summary data.
This data is sent to the Notification Server based on a schedule controlled on the configuration page
(see Configuring the Uploading of Application Summary Data on page 13).
The Application Metering Agent can also send an application start or stop event to the Notification
Server immediately after a monitored application starts or stops. The start and stop events allow the
Notification Server to know when an application is used. Start and stop events also allow you to
determine how long an application has been used. For more information on the start and stop events,
see Start and Stop Events on page 20.

Monitored Application Data Flow


Monitored
Application Starts

Monitored
Application Stops

Application summary data

App. Metering
Agent
Start event
data (sent
immediately)

App. Metering
Agent

App. Summary
Data File
Sent on a scheule

Altiris Agent

Notification
Server

Altiris Application Metering Solution Product Guide

Stop event
data (sent
immediately)

Notification
Server Database

19

Chapter 6: Application Monitoring

Applications that Can Be Monitored

Applications that Can Be Monitored


The Application Metering Agent allows you to monitor Win32 applications running on a Windows
NT/2000/XP managed computer. On a Window 9x/Me managed computer, you can monitor Win16
and Win32 applications. The following table summarizes the applications that can be monitored
(known as supported applications) by each operating system.
Application types that can be monitored on each operating system

Monitored Computer Operating System

Win32 Applications Win16 Applications

Windows NT/2000/XP

Yes

No

Windows 9x/Me

Yes

Yes

Application Metering Solution allows you to monitor an application based on any of the following
file properties:

File name
Internal name
File version
Company name
Product name
Product version

Note: To view these properties, right-click on the name of the file in My Computer or Windows

Explorer, select Properties, and then click the Version tab.

Note: When specifying an application to monitor, we recommend that you monitor an internal file

property (all of the properties in the previous list are internal except File name), such as the
internal name. Internal file properties are compiled into the file and cannot be changed by a user. If
you monitor the filename and the user renames the file, you will no longer be monitoring the use of
that application.

Start and Stop Events


Start and stop events are events that are generated when you start or stop a monitored application.
You have the option of sending the start or stop event to the Notification Server each time the
application starts and stops.
For every start event there is a stop event. If the managed computer terminates abnormally, the next
time the computer starts, the Application Metering Agent will reconcile applications (processes) that
are running with ones that were running before the agent stopped and generate the appropriate stop
events.
When a user attempts to start an application that is blocked, the application starts and then is stopped
by the Application Metering Agent. In this situation, a start event is generated with an indicator that
the application was denied; this type of event is called a denial event.
The start and stop event data that is transmitted is very small (a few thousand bytes). If the Altiris
Agent is not able to connect to the Notification Server (the network is down or the system is a laptop
not currently connected to the network), the managed computer will queue the information locally
and try to re-transmit the information at a later time.
Important: If you want to send start and stop events to the Notification Server, you will need to have

sufficient network and server resources to handle the traffic generated by these events. In general, a
single Notification Server can handle real-time reporting of start events for over 10,000 managed
computers. For more information on capacity planning, see the Altiris Scalability document.

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Chapter 6: Application Monitoring

Start and Stop Events

The following table lists and describes the data sent in a start or stop event. (The fields are listed in
the order in which the data is sent in the event.)
Application start and stop event data fields

Field

Description

Example

PID

Processor ID of the managed computer running the 804


application.

Policy Name

Name of the application monitoring policy

MS Word

Start Date

Date and time of the start event.

7/03/2002 9:51:18 AM

Internal Name

Internal name of the application. This information is WinWord


found in the properties of the file.

File Name

Name of the application file.

winword.exe

File Version

Version of the application file. The path to the


application file on the managed computer.

9.0.2717

Product Name

Name of the product. The path to the application file Microsoft Word*
on the managed computer.

Product Version

Application file version. The path to the application 9.0.2717


file on the managed computer.

Manufacturer

Application manufacturer. The path to the


application file on the managed computer.

File Path

Path to the application file on the managed computer. C:\Program


Files\Microsoft
Office\Office\WINWO
RD.EXE

Language

Language of the application.

User

User name of the person that last ran the application. jsmith

Domain

Domain in which the application was last run.

ALTIRIS

Known As

Name by which the application is known. This


information is found in the properties of the file.

Microsoft Word*

Policy Guid

GUID (a unique identifier) of the policy that caused {CC1355B1-3993the start or stop event to be generated.
4519-BB4C8C41735E3825}

Command Line

Command line parameters/switches used to start the /n


application.

Denied

0
Specifies whether this is a denial event. A denial
event is a start event followed by the closing of the
application because the running of the application is
prohibited. If the value is equal to 0, the event was
not a denial event. If the value is equal to 1, the
event was a denial event.

Microsoft

Language Neutral

Example Start Event for a Monitored Application


The following is an example of the start event data collected for an application.
804 MS Word 7/03/2002 9:51:18 AM WinWord winword.exe
Microsoft Word* 9.0.2717 Microsoft
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\WINWORD.EXE
Language Neutral
jsmith ALTIRIS Microsoft Word*
{CC1355B1-3993-4519-BB4C-8C41735E3825} /n 0

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9.0.2717

21

Chapter 6: Application Monitoring

Monitoring an Application

Monitoring an Application
To monitor an application with a predefined application monitoring policy, just enable the policy.
To monitor an application without a predefined application monitoring policy, just create and enable
a new application monitoring policy.
If the Application Metering Agent is monitoring an application that is not stored on a local drive, the
agent will cause the file to be downloaded to a local drive, where it checks the version information.
If many monitored files are not local to the monitoring computer, this can significantly increase
network traffic to download these files. If wanted, you can configure the Application Metering
Agent so not check the file version, which eliminates the need for non-local files to be downloaded.
However, doing this will also prevent any monitoring policies that are based on internal file
information, such as internal name, manufacturer, product name, and company name, from being
able to monitor non-local applications.
To stop the agent from checking for the file version, you need to add the following key to the
registry:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Altiris\Altiris Agent\NO_VERSION_OVER_NETWORK
To re-enable the checking of the file version, remove the registry key.:
Note: It is possible for multiple policies to monitor the same application. If you have more than one

policy monitoring the same application, you might get erroneous data in reports or trigger duplicated
notification policy actions.
To monitor an application using a predefined application monitoring policy

In the Altiris Console, click the Tasks tab.

In the left pane, click the predefined application monitoring policy you want to use under Tasks
> Software Management > Application Metering Solution > application monitor group name.

In the right pane, make any wanted changes.


The most common changes are to whether start and stop events are sent and the restrictions on
the use of the application. For information on the options, see Application Monitor
Configuration Page on page 24.

Select the Enable check box.


Note: Some of the predefined application monitoring policies are enabled by default.

To monitor an application using a new application monitoring policy


1

In the Altiris Console, click the Tasks tab.

In the left pane, right-click the Application Monitors group under Tasks > Software Management >
Application Metering Solution and select New > Application Monitor Policy.

In the right pane Name and Description fields, enter a name and description for the policy.

Click the Applies to collections link, and select the collections to which the policy applies.

Select an application to monitor.


There are two ways to select an application:

Click the Click here to select a discovered application link. Use the dialog to search the list of
discovered applications for the one you want to monitor.

Enter the properties of the application you want to monitor in the fields in the Details of
Application to Monitor section. For a description of the fields, see Application Monitor
Configuration Page on page 24.

The application monitored by the policy must meet the criteria of all of the specified fields in the
Details of Application to Monitor section. For example, if you specify the File Name and File version,
only applications that meet both of these criteria will be monitored. Unspecified fields are
ignored.
You can use wildcards in the details fields. Use a * to represent any number of characters and
a % for a single character.
6

Select the Enable check box.

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Chapter 6: Application Monitoring

Preventing the Use of an Application

Click the Apply button.

Preventing the Use of an Application


Application monitoring policies can be used to prevent users from using an application. When an
attempt is made to use an unauthorized application, the application is started and immediately
stopped. You also have the option of sending the user a message at this time.
Important: If you upgrade the Application Metering Agent on a Windows NT/2000/XP managed

computer, you must restart the computer before any messages denying the user access to an
application will appear on the managed computer.

You can prevent the use of an application at all times or only at specific times, such as during
business hours.
Note: When a user attempts to use an unauthorized application on a managed computer running
Windows NT/2000/XP, the starting of the application will be stopped immediately. When a user
attempts to use an unauthorized application on a managed computer running Windows 9x/Me, the
use of the application will be stopped within 30 seconds of the starting of the application. On
Windows 9x/Me managed computers, the Application Metering Agent checks every 30 seconds to
determine which applications are running and takes appropriate actions.

To prevent the use of an application


Before you can prevent the use of an application, you first must have an application monitor policy
for the application (see Monitoring an Application on page 22).
1

If you do not already have the desired application monitoring policy page loaded, load the page.
a

In the Altiris Console, click the Tasks tab.

In the left pane, click Tasks > Software Management > Application Metering Solution >
application monitor group name > application monitor policy.

Select the Deny users the ability to run this application check box.

Below the Deny users the ability to run this application check box, specify options.
For a description of the options, see Denied Application Use Options on page 23.

Click the Apply button.

Denied Application Use Options


When the option to deny users the ability to run an application is selected (see the Deny users the
ability to run this application option under Application Monitor Configuration Page on page 24),
several options are available along with this option. The following table describes these options.
For more information on denying the use of an application, see Preventing the Use of an
Application on page 23.

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Chapter 6: Application Monitoring

Application Monitor Configuration Page

Note: The following options are available only when the Deny users the ability to run this application

check box is selected.

Denied Application Use Options

Item

Description

Denial Message Options


No denial message - do not No notification is sent to the user when an attempt is made to use the
notify user of application
unauthorized application.
denial
Default Denial Message use the default notification
message

A default message is sent to the user when an attempt is made to use


the unauthorized application. The message is:
Your system administrator has blocked the running of application
filename on your machine. Please contact your system administrator
for more information.
This application was blocked by Altiris Application Metering Agent
based on denial policy 'policy name'.

Custom - use a custom


A custom message is sent to the user when an attempt is made to use
denial notification message the unauthorized application. The message is defined in the message
box that appears when this option is selected.
Denial Time Options
Denial to apply at all times Deny the use of the application at all times.
Denial to apply everyday
between specified times

Deny the use of the application between the times specified in the
associated From and To fields.

Denial to apply for different Deny the use of the application between the times and on the days of
periods on different days
the week specified in the associated days and times fields.
Denial times to be matched Specifies the use of absolute times, based on Greenwich Mean Time,
on Greenwich Mean Time during which the application is not available. If you want to specify
times relative to the local time zone, do not use this option.

Application Monitor Configuration Page


The Application Monitor Configuration page allows you to specify the application you want to
monitor.
The applications you want to monitor must meet the criteria of all of the Details of Application to
Monitor section fields. For example, if you specify the File Name and File version, only applications
that meet both of these criteria will be monitored. Unspecified fields are ignored.
For more information on monitoring an application, see Monitoring an Application on page 22.
To access this page
1

In the Altiris Console, click the Tasks tab.

In the left pane, click Tasks > Software Management > Application Metering Solution > application
monitor group name > application monitor policy.

Application Monitor Configuration Page Items

Item

Description

Enable

Check box used to enable and disable the policy.

Name

Name of the application monitoring policy.

Description

Description of the application monitoring policy.

Applies to collections

Link that opens a dialog for selecting the collections to which the policy
applies.

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Chapter 6: Application Monitoring

Application Monitor Configuration Page

Application Monitor Configuration Page Items (Continued)

Item

Description

Click here to select a


Link to a dialog that allows you to search for a discovered application to
discovered application monitor. The list comes from the application discovery process and
Inventory Solution (if it is installed).
File Name

Filename of the applications you want to monitor. This field supports


wildcards.

Internal Name

Internal name of the applications you want to monitor. This field supports
wildcards. This information is available from the properties of the file.

File Version

File version of the applications you want to monitor. This field supports
wildcards. This information is available from the properties of the file.

Company Name

Company name of the applications you want to monitor. This field


supports wildcards. This information is available from the properties of
the file.

Product Name

The product name of the applications you want to monitor. This field
supports wildcards. This information is available from the properties of
the file.

Product Version

Product version of the applications you want to monitor. This field


supports wildcards. This information is available from the properties of
the file.

Known As

Name in the Auditpls.ini file to list applications that it has discovered.

Command Line

Allows you to match parameters run with an application. Be sure to


include a wildcard character (asterisk) on each side of the command line
text. The wildcard helps resolve format issues, such as other parameters
also being included. For example, if you are monitoring Notepad and enter
*myfile.txt*" in this field, then only the loading of myfile.txt by Notepad
is tracked.

Send application start


events and denial
events.

Option to send application start and denial events from the managed
computer to the Notification Server.
Note: For maximum scalability, report application summary data only.

Send stop as well as


start events for this
application.

Option to send both start and stop events from the managed computer to
the Notification Server.

Deny users the ability Option to prevent the running of an application. When this option is
to run this application. selected, several additional options are available. For information on these
options, see Denied Application Use Options on page 23.
Note: In Details of Application to Monitor section, you can use a * to represent any number of

characters and a % for a single character. For example, if you had files named notepad.exe,
notepads.exe, and note.exe, specifying note*.exe would allow you to monitor all of the named files.
note%.exe would only allow you to monitor the notes.exe file.

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25

Index
A

agent 16
agent deployment 16
application
monitoring 22
preventing the use of 23
application discovery 6
Application Metering Agent 6, 16
uninstalling 17
upgrading 17
Application Monitor Configuration
page 24
application monitoring 7, 19
monitorable applications 20
application monitoring period 5
application summary data 5
upload schedule 14
application summary data deleting 14
application usage data
forwarding 13
Audit Plus INI file 15
Auditpls.ini 11
Avg CPU Usage field 13

data
forwarding 13
Denial Count field 12
denial event 5, 25
denied application options
application monitoring

deny use of application 25


deploying the agent 16
Discovered field 12
document
print date 2
Domain field 12

E
event 25
event deleting 14

K
Known As field 12

L
Last Start field 12
legal notice 2
license harvesting 4, 5
Manufacturer field 12
monitorable applications 20
monitored application 5
monitoring an application 19, 22
Month End Summary field 13
Month Year field 12

R
report
creating 8
report deleting 14
Run Count field 12

I
installation
agent 16
Inventory Solution 11
installation parameters 17
internal name 25
Internal Name field 12
inventory data
upload schedule 14

command line 25
company name 25
copyright 2
correlating data 11
creation date of document 2

denial options

file name 25
File Name field 12
file version 25
File Version field 12
forwarding data 13

program monitoring 22

S
scalability 20
start event 5, 20, 25
stop event 5, 20, 25
stop use of application 25
summary data deleting 14
switches 17

T
terminology 5
Total Run Time field 12
trademark 2

U
usage overview 9
User field 12

V
version 2

W
Win16 applications 20
Win32 command-line applications 20

N
normalizing data 11
notice 2

O
23

overview of usage 9

P
parameters 17
patent 2
Peak Memory field 12
prevent use of application 25
preventing the use of an application 23
product name 25
Product Name field 12
product version 2, 25

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