An application is
  • Executable software that fulfills a particular purpose, such as word processing, or accounting. It comprises a collection of files, including executables, that may be installed and run on a computer.
  • Able to be purchased (or obtained) separately
  • Able to be recognizably linked to one or more specific licenses
  • With few exceptions, able to be recognized as installed on a computer by various kinds of evidence.

This is a widely accepted understanding of an application: software that is procurable, licensable, installable, and serves a particular purpose. Examples include Microsoft Word, WinZip, or Adobe Photoshop.

However, the concept of an application needs to be more specific in FlexNet Manager Suite than it is in general usage. Because FlexNet Manager Suite tracks licenses, and because the licensing of applications can change across various additional dimensions (such as the release or edition of an application), we must model applications in all those dimensions as well. The following additional distinctions are taken into account:

  • An application specifies a particular release number (by default, the major and first minor number, such as "3.2"). In FlexNet Manager Suite, the release number is commonly called the Version. For example, the licensing of WinZip 9 provides very different rights than the licensing of WinZip 11. In the terms used by FlexNet Manager Suite, WinZip 9 and WinZip 11 are distinct applications, two different instances of the same product.
  • An application specifies a particular edition (for example, Standard, Enterprise, Gold, and so on). Some licenses grant different terms for the more advanced editions of their products. Differences in terms must be modeled as distinct license objects in FlexNet Manager Suite, and each distinct license can then be linked to the correct edition.

In FlexNet Manager Suite, records of applications are downloaded in the Application Recognition Library (ARL). These records represent the software that can be installed on a computer, and are linked to separate records of the installation evidence (and, occasionally, file evidence) that can appear in software inventory. These links allow FlexNet Manager Suite to translate raw inventory evidence into lists of installed applications. You can then can build relationships between applications and license records to indicate which of the installed applications are covered by a license.

We don't always need such a level of detail. Related 'families' of applications (with the same name) are grouped together as products or software titles. So we can say that
  • A software publisher (such as Adobe)
  • Creates a product (such as Acrobat)
  • That is published in various editions (such as standard and Pro)
  • And updated to different versions over time.
The application is the end-point, specific to all of these dimensions.

Sometimes applications are grouped with other applications (of different names) to create either suites or product bundles.

All these terms are used with distinct meanings in FlexNet Manager Suite.

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2020 R2