Q. What are the major changes in Microsoft Asset Inventory Service (AIS) 2.0?

A. AIS 2.0 is an evolution of the AIS that's part of MDOP. It builds on the powerful software inventory capabilities available in AIS 1.5. New to AIS 2.0:

  • Aggregation of inventories software, giving more readable reports while still maintaining the ability to drill down to see all information. Aggregated results to a major.minor version format. For example, Adobe Reader 8.1.1 and Reader 8.1.3 would show as Reader 8.1. Also, it aggregates similar titles that might have been stored slightly differently, such as "Adobe Reader" and "Adobe Reader 8." The goal is to give useful information quickly that's easily understandable with granularity available when needed.
  • Drill down information shows if software is installed to a physical installation, a virtual installation, or if the software is virtualized (such as with for example App-V).
  • Hardware inventory, including detailed system properties (although software reporting is still the focus of AIS).
  • Easy viewing of deployed software and license entitlements to help organizations track license compliance. Customers provide agreement numbers and the entitlement report shows software entitlement details and the software deployed that relates to the entitlements.
  • Improved user interface.
  • Updates to the AIS agent are delivered using the AIS service, not Microsoft Update, and updates to the AIS agent must be deployed using AIS and not through deployment solutions (such as SCCM).
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