Express Software Manager 5.0 tracks upgrade needs

Express Software Manager 5.0 tracks upgrade needs

By John McCormick
Special to GCN

WRQ's Express Software Manager checks hardware and software to determine whether PCs need upgrades for Windows 2000.

For about $30 per seat, WRQ Inc.'s asset manager program can gauge how many enterprise clients need upgrades to run Microsoft Windows 2000 and other new software.

To make an upgrade decision, managers must first know whether specific up-grades are possible on all the target systems, which seldom have identical configurations. Pitfalls arise from too little memory, incorrect operating system versions, slow processors or too-small hard drives.

Snappy judgment

Express Software Manager 5.0 for Microsoft Windows collects existing configuration data from workstations and servers through the directory services of Novell NetWare or Microsoft Windows NT Server. It shows at a glance which machines cannot support upgraded software. The program generates more than 70 reports with Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle or another Open Database Connectivity-compliant database manager.

One report details unused software that could be deleted.

Another shows the programs used most often, which can pinpoint unauthorized programs such as games.

An 'Am I legal?' report monitors license compliance and recommends improvements.

Software usage tracking helps focus training plans and measures the user acceptance of various programs.

If a program is important to an organization but gets little use, its administrator could choose to upgrade, replace it with an easier program or give users more training.

The Express Manager suite includes several tools, many of them also available separately. Express Inventory finds hardware and software;

Express Meter monitors usage; Express Knowledgebase tracks compliance; Ex-press Reports aids in analysis of desktop PC assets; and Express Console provides central administration and real-time views of networked PC use.

Express Manager 5.0 also has year 2000 compliance test tools. A representative of WRQ of Seattle said earlier versions of the suite are in use at the Bureau of Land Management, Geological Survey, Energy Department and Air Force. Federal Data Corp. of Bethesda, Md., sells the software on General Services Administration In-formation Technology Schedule contract and on NASA's Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement II.

A 30-day free evaluation copy is downloadable from the company's Web site, at

Contact WRQ at 703-749-7555.

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