< Blog

Total Usage for All Metered Software Programs Query Matches the Executable Name

By Garth Jones

I noticed something interesting in one of the built-in reports, Total usage for all metered software programs, found in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (CM12), so I thought that I would share it with all of you.

Sometime before I ran this report, a software metering rule for Microsoft® Windows® Operating System – cmd.exe – 6.1. (1033) was created by CM12 in a disabled state.

When I finally ran Total usage for all metered software programs it showed me that 15 total users had used this software. Why did this happen with the disabled rule?

Total Usage for All Metered Software Programs

In case you don’t believe me when I say that I disabled this rule, below is the screenshot showing the rule disabled:

Total Usage for All Metered Software Programs-Disabled Rule

After some troubleshooting, I found out that the query used for Total usage for all metered software programs is written to match the executable name NOT the rule ID. It doesn’t matter if the software metering rule is enabled or not as long as the exe name matches. In this case it is CMD.exe, and you end up with what I call a false positive result.

Looking at the CM12 console screenshot above, you can see that the enabled rule is for all versions (*) of CMD.exe, whereas the disabled rule is only for Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 (6.1.*). This is why there is a difference in the results between the enabled rule results and the disabled rule results.

In case you’re curious, below is what is displayed for my CMD SWM rule, which includes all versions of cmd.exe.

Total Usage for All Metered Software Programs-CMD SWM Rule

The question that is likely on your mind is, “Now what do I do? That is a problem.” That was my first reaction too, but now that I have thought about this a bit more, it is not actually a problem at all. In fact it is a good thing. Why? Stay tuned for the answer next week.