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[How-To] Manage Software License Entitlements For Your Users And IT Assets

[How-To] Manage Software License Entitlements For Your Users And IT Assets


  1. What are software license entitlements?
  2. The benefits of software license entitlement
  3. Tabs in software license entitlements
  4. [How-to] manage software license entitlements
    4.1. Pre-requisites
    4.2. Step 1: Add users to software license
    4.3. Step 2: Take actions on added users
    4.4. Step 3: Reconcile Entitlements
    4.5. Step 4: Reduce seats from software license
  5. Additional considerations
  6. Mass Member entitlements
    6.1. User-based entitlements
    6.2. User-Machine-based entitlements
  7. Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are software license entitlements?

Software license entitlements enable IT Administrators to entitle, authorize, or give user rights of the licensed software to specific users or machines. This means that as an IT Admin, you can allocate a software license for use on authorized devices and by authorized employees.

Let’s say, you purchased Adobe Photoshop’s software license for a total of 50 seats. You can entitle 50 employees or IT assets within your organization to use this software. If you later run the AssetSonar Discovery Agent and it detects Photoshop installation on 100 IT assets instead of the 50 you entitled, something’s wrong!

The software is being used on 50 other machines you did not initially entitle. Your employees may be using unlicensed versions of the software and you must proactively control the situation before your company encounters legal fine or true-up costs.

You can then check if these employees are using personally purchased versions of the software. If not, you’ll likely have to ask them to remove the software from their devices.

2. The benefits of software license entitlement

With software license entitlement, you can monitor your software utilization patterns and take corrective actions as needed.

  • If your software installation and use exceed the entitlement limit, you can ensure compliance by uninstalling the software from unauthorized IT assets or purchasing a license for more seats.
  • On the contrary, if your license entitlement is not being utilized to its full capacity, you can order fewer seats per license in the future.

3. Tabs in software license entitlements

AssetSonar’s software license entitlement feature has three primary tabs. These are as follows:

  1. Entitlements: The Entitlements tab lists all the users you’ve added to a software license with the intention of giving them entitled rights to the software.
  2. Assigned installations: The Assigned Installations tab lists all the users that have particular software installed on IT assets checked out to them, and are entitled by the IT Admin to use the software.
  3. Unassigned installations: The Unassigned Installations tab lists all the users that have certain software applications installed in the machines checked out to them but are not given entitlement rights by the IT Admin to use these applications. It also includes devices that are not checked out to any user but have software applications installed on them.

4. [How-to] manage software license entitlements

This article details a step-by-step method to manage software license entitlements in your AssetSonar account. Let’s get started!

4.1. Pre-requisites

Before you entitle users, you need to meet either of the following criteria for successful entitlement:

  1. User-based: You can add a user to the ‘Entitlements’ tab for a specific software license, irrespective of whether the user has an IT Asset checked out to them or not.
  2. Machine-based: The software application to be entitled must be installed on an IT Asset (machine), irrespective of whether the latter is checked out to a user or not.
  3. User and Machine based: The user added to the ‘Entitlements’ tab must have an IT Asset (machine) checked out to them and the software to be entitled must be installed on that machine.

Once entitled, a tag would appear on the assets details page describing the entitlement criteria for the license.


In this article, we use the License for Calendar Storage application as an example. This license has a total number of 10 seats that you can entitle.

4.2. Step 1: Add users to software license

Let’s begin by adding employees to the software license.

In your AssetSonar account, open the Software License Details page from Software → Software Licenses → License Name. Now, go to the Entitlements tab and click on the ‘Add or remove users’ button as shown.

Add users to software license 1

This opens up an overlay. You can either add individual users to the license or you can just add people by Groups. Through this filter, you can choose users based on their role, department, team, user listings, or custom fields.

Select the users you want to add to the license and click on ‘Update Entitlements’.

Add users to software license 2

Things to note:

  • All the employees that have IT assets checked out to them will show up in the Available Users list.
  • If a user is added or entitled to an existing license of a software application, they will not appear in the Available Users list of a new license of the same software.
  • The users that are not entitled to an existing license of software will be removed from the list of Available Users.

Once updated, the added users will show up in your Entitlements tab.

Add users to software license 3

Note that all the IT assets checked out to the user Edward Sean appear in the tab. You can choose whether you want to entitle the use of Calendar Storage application on one or both of Edward’s devices.

Note further that employees Edward Sean and Amy Santiago also display in the Unassigned Installations tab.

Add users to software license 4

This is because the Calendar Storage application is installed in the IT assets checked out to Amy and Edward but these employees are not yet entitled to use the application.

You can also take mass action on the Unassigned Installations tab to be able to entitle all these devices for the software.

Add users to software license 5

The Entitlements tab also keeps a count of the number of user-machine combinations you’ve added to a license against its total number of seats and doesn’t allow you to exceed the total available seats.

 Add users to software license 6

4.2.1. Member Details page

Alternatively, you can also view all the software licenses a particular user is added to by going to the Member Details page → Software License Entitlements tab.

Member details page

4.3. Step 2: Take actions on added users

If you want to add users, click on Add or Remove Users, select the relevant user(s) and then click on Update Entitlements.

Take actions on added users 1

This action shall show the status of the user to ‘Entitled’ (in yellow).

Take actions on added users 2

It means that the user has now been assigned a seat from the software license. He/she is authorized by the system to use the software application.

You can follow the same steps to un-entitle an employee from using the software and the user will be removed from the list.

4.4. Step 3: Reconcile Entitlements

Now that you’ve assigned entitlements, let’s run the AssetSonar Agent sync to check who’s using licensed software on their IT assets.

On your Software License Details page, hit the ‘Reconcile’ button.

Reconcile Entitlements 1

The Agent sync will detect which IT assets have the Calendar application installed on them.

After the reconciliation, Amy’s status changes to ‘Entitled’ (in green).

Reconcile Entitlements 2

This indicates a successful license entitlement. Amy meets the criteria we specified in section 4.1.

You’ll also notice changes in the Assigned and Unassigned Installation tabs.

4.4.1. Assigned Installation

Amy Santiago’s device appears in the Assigned Installations tab because the device in her custody has the software installed and she is ‘Entitled’ to use the software.

Assigned Installation

Note: If a software license shows up in the Assigned Installations tab, it can no longer be revoked.

4.4.2. Unassigned Installation

On the contrary, Edward’s device displays in the Unassigned Installations tab because he is ‘Unentitled’ to use the software.

Unassigned Installation

A user-machine combination shows in the Unassigned Installations tab when the user is not added or entitled to the software or the machine containing the software is not checked out to the user.

Note: You cannot assign the license directly from the Unassigned Installations tab. You must do so from the Entitlements tab.

You can also filter the entitlements by clicking the option illustrated.

Unassigned Installation 2

4.5 Reduce seats from software license

If some of your employees have left the organization or if you are downsizing your teams, then you would require fewer software licenses. To reduce the number of seats from a software license, open the software details page. Click on ‘More’ and then hit ‘Remove seats’ from the dropdown.

Reduce seats from software license 1

A dialog box will open up. Enter the number of seats you want to reduce along with the price per seat. Click on ‘Remove seats’ once you are done.

Reduce seats from software license 2

5. Additional considerations

Below, we have listed a couple of important things you must consider:

  • If more IT assets are checked out to the user(s) added to a software license, the additional IT assets will appear in the Entitlements tab by default.
  • When an entitled user checks in an IT asset or when the user is deleted or deactivated, their entitlement is removed and the license seat is made available again.
  • You can replicate the same steps of software license entitlements for custom On-Premise software.

6. Mass Member entitlements

AssetSonar also gives you the ability to assign multiple software license seats to a member en masse so you can accelerate the employee onboarding and offboarding processes in cases of mass recruitment or mass transfers in your organization.

You can assign mass entitlements to a Member in two ways i.e. using the:

  • User-based entitlements
  • User-machine based entitlements

6.1. User-based entitlements

Go to the relevant Member’s Details page and click on Software License Entitlements → Add Entitlements → Add User-based entitlements.

User-based entitlements 1

This pops open a dialog box that lists all the licenses with User-based entitlements. You can select from the preferred Available Licenses and update entitlements once done.

User-based entitlements 2

The User Entitlements show on the Details page as follows:

User-based entitlements 2

6.2. User-Machine-based Entitlements

For mass allotting User-Machine-based Entitlements to a Member, go to Software License Entitlements → Add Entitlements → User-Machine-based Entitlements.

Here, you’ll see the Available Licenses that have been created for User-Machine based Entitlements and the machines that have been checked out to the Member, Ray Adin. While assigning the entitlement, you can select which machine you want to entitle for each of the Available Licenses as shown.

After you reconcile the entitlements, AssetSonar will display in green the software that has been correctly entitled to the Member and is installed in the machine checked out to them.

The ‘Entitled’ status in yellow indicates that the allotted software is not installed in the machine you selected while updating entitlements. You can then manually install the software in the relevant machines as needed. Our Mass Member entitlements feature helps uncover gaps in the employee onboarding process and enable prompt resolution.

7. Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if I have ‘expired’ software licenses in my AssetSonar account? How can I assign entitlements for those?

A: You cannot assign entitlements to a software license until it is in the Active state. If you have expired licenses in your AssetSonar account, take an inventory of them and decide which software licenses you need to renew based on your requirements. Create new licenses (in Active state) for the software applications you need and then assign entitlements to them accordingly. Delete any past expired licenses after you’ve created new licenses for the software.

Read more: 5 Ways AssetSonar’s Software License Management Tool Can Benefit Your Enterprise

About AssetSonar

AssetSonar is a powerful software license management tool used by IT-intensive organizations and businesses all over the globe.

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