August 01, 2003
Sassafras Software, Inc.Product:
from $15 per desktop
- Ease of Use:
- Value for Money:
- Overall Rating:
Good interface and excellent support for external SQL databases.
Poor on-disk support documentation.
Handy tool as it combines software usage with auditing capabilities.
K2 builds upon KeyServer's success as a desktop management application to include auditing, in effect integrating software auditing and metering into one package. The client end can run on Windows, Macs and thin-clients, while the server can be hosted from any Windows-based PC as well as Macs, Novell Netware and Linux/ Unix.
Also included in the package are basic hardware inventory capabilities and modifiable fields for including asset tags.
Installation was relatively painless but there was scant documentation to hand. The vendors do promise to send a full manual to anyone who purchases the product from an internet download. Clicking on help calls up a web page, which connects to Sassafras's web site. We would have preferred a normal help page installed on the hard disk, even if that means it is not so up to date.
When up and running KeyServer watches the network to see what applications are running. This happens after KeyConfigure (the administration console) starts to discover machines on the network that run the client program and what is installed on them.
Again we thought it would be better to have some sort of remote installation techniques available to administrators instead having to manually installing the client on the machines.
The console itself is workmanlike in appearance and gives quite detailed information about the machines it has audited. It was easy to click on a machine name and find out what was installed; even a simple server with basic applications installed on it seems to make for an extensive list.
The console has four main parts to it: users, computers, programs and licenses. Each is easily accessible from the console and we were able to drill down for information fairly rapidly.
Reporting was fairly easy and well laid out. Data could be accessed directly from the console itself or another reporting tool. In our test network the reports could be streamed out to Crystal Reports or a Microsoft Access database as there were some reporting templates pre-installed on the application. Again this gave a clear and thorough indication of what was on the client machines.
The supplied ODBC driver meant that data could be manipulated directly from SQL queries as well as well as being pumped to an external SQL database such as SQL Server or Oracle.
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