Sometimes publishers group a closely related set of different products together and sell them (and license them) as a unit. The common name for such a set of products is a suite. Well-known examples of suites include Microsoft Office (which groups Word, Excel, and many other applications) and Adobe Creative Suite (which groups Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and a variety of other products, depending on the edition of the suite).

From a licensing perspective, suites have many characteristics analogous with applications:
  • A set of executable programs for related tasks
  • Able to be purchased as a set
  • Licensed as a set
  • Recognizable by various kinds of installation evidence
  • Generally published in a series of releases (versions) over time
  • Often have special editions (such as Adobe Creative Suite Design Standard or Web Premium, and the like)
  • May have versions for different operating system platforms.
The only significant difference is number: an application is sold singly for a particular purpose, and a suite is sold as a set of several applications fulfilling related purposes.

Therefore IT Asset Management treats suites and applications alike, with only one difference. A suite can contain applications (and only applications — not other suites), and an application may not. Conversely, an application can be a member of a suite (or indeed, a member of several suites), and a suite may not.

Notice that suites are separate from "bundles" (which are represented as multi-product licenses within IT Asset Management), as represented in this table:
Aspect Suites Multi-product licenses
Feature of Application License
Description A set of closely-related applications, typically with UI similarities and some form(s) of data exchange, sold and licensed as a single unit by the publisher. A set of software with potentially unrelated UIs and diverse purposes, normally separately licensed, but also available packaged together by the publisher for joint operation, usually at a lower price than the cost of separate licenses for all member products.
Licensing Suite license associated only with the suite. Multi-product license issued by the software publisher, naming the individual products that may be licensed together (and possibly identifying one or more as "primary" and others as "supplementary").
Recognized by Either:
  • Separate installer evidence for suite
  • Presence of a defined minimum number of member applications, each recognized by its own installer evidence. (These are then called "application evidence".)
License definition, then with entitlements either allocated to multiple devices (where allowed), or the appropriate set of installed applications automatically recognized on a single device (this requires at least one primary application and at least two licensed applications in total).
Processed during Application recognition License reconciliation
Member applications Are hidden in lists of applications on devices where the suite is recognized; or remain individually visible where the suite is not recognized (and then may be individually licensed with normal, separate application licenses). Remain always visible in lists of installed applications for the device licensed under a multi-product license.

IT Asset Management (Cloud)