Software usage classifications explained

Applixure provides information on how frequently individual software products are used. The usage information is provided on an overview level in the Software dashboard and on detailed level on specific software product or device pages.

The following usage classifications are used:

Daily used  The software is actively used by a user at least once per day.
Weekly used  The software is actively used by a user at least once every week.
Monthly used The software is actively used by a user at least once per month.
Occasionally used

The software is actively used by a user less frequently than once per month.

The software has been used at least once during Applixure's monitoring period.

Never used Applixure has never detected the software being used at all. This may be, for example, a middleware software component that is required in the computer but has no stand-alone executable as such. Applixure can also monitor software usage based on processes it sees running on the computer.

Note that this classification may therefore mean that the software is still used for some legitimate purposes on your computers, but it could be that there are no direct end-user executable applications for it.
User background usage

A software that most likely has no user interface, running in the system tray during a user session or otherwise in the background for the user.

Note that for the Applixure Agent to detect the presence of a user interface for applications in the Windows OS, a context process must be running in each user session (started automatically during user logon). This is due to security restrictions for service-level processes that Agent otherwise uses for the operation.

For a freshly deployed Applixure environment, usage categorizations may initially be User Background usage for the most software products that have been detected. This is because the users may not have logged in to the computer since the Agent install. This will change over time.

System background usage A software that has been seen running as a service process outside the any user session.


How usage level is calculated for each software product?

Since software shown in Applixure represents the installed or deployed product (e.g. "Microsoft Office 2013") instead of an individual application (e.g. "Microsoft Excel 2013") belonging to that product, the usage information also reflects the total usage of all of applications that are part of that product.

Example: for the aforementioned Microsoft Office suite, there are a number of different individual applications that the user may run (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.) and usage information from all of these is attributed to the "parent" product (Microsoft Office) shown in the UI. In other cases, one specific application may be all that there is for one installed product. This is usually the case for Windows Universal Applications deployed through Windows Store, for example.

Further, Applixure also aggregates different versions of the same software product into one single product entity listed as software in the Software dashboard and in the listings. This is a design choice to make the software estate as easy to understand as possible. The aggregation happens as long as the name and the vendor information matches for all different versions. If any of these changes, the software product will shown as separate entry in the listing. You can see individual versions of the products detected in the software detail view.

Presently Applixure does not show usage level categorization for any individual application or version-specific product. All usage level classification applies to the aggregated software product version level.


How usage level is calculated across all devices

If a specific software product is installed on only one device, the usage level classification shown here is the same as the usage level detected for that single deployment.

However, if the software product is deployed to multiple devices, the overall usage level classification for that software is calculated so that it represents a weighted majority of the usage cases from all individual devices. This way, the usage level represents the true usage across the entire organisation, not just the active minority of users.

Example: a software is installed on 100 devices and it has been actively (daily) used on only some of those (for example, 20 devices) while the rest of the devices have not seen any or only infrequent use. In this case the usage level might be occasional, or at best monthly, since 80% of the deployments are not used daily  – or even weekly – if the usage is averaged across from all the devices. 

Understanding this can explain why most of the software products tend to cluster to the more infrequent end of the usage spectrum when looking at the overall software estate's situation, and why most of the daily and weekly used software tend to be software that has only one or few deployments overall.

Checking overall software usage from the Software dashboard

From the Software dashboard, you can see an overview on the usage frequency for all software products monitored by Applixure. A green or red arrow indicates a rising or declining trend in the amount of software products belonging to that usage level category.


Click on any usage category to filter only those software products to the grid. Click on any grid item to see the software details or click Show products as list to export them to a CSV file, for example.

You can also click on the general area of usage level statistics to reveal expanded graphs related to the usage levels, including the exact amount of software product currently classified into each level.



Checking software-specific usage

To view detailed usage information for a specific software product, select it from the Software dashboard grid or use the search field in the software product list.

On the top, you see an overall breakdown of the software usage level for individual devices running that software. This allows a quick visual inspection of the overall usage among all computers.

Next to the breakdown graph, you can also see software's usage trend for the previous month. The maximum total and maximum concurrent software instances usage information in the graph represents usage that is active – that is, any usage excluding user background and system background. These are not currently accounted for in the graphs.

This allows you to see e.g. on which days of the week the usage is mostly concentrated on, or if the usage is low overall related to number of deployments. Depending on each software product's specific licensing model, using this information may allow you to optimize the needed licensing (by using floating licensing etc.) for the software.



Scroll down the software details page to see the software product usage on specific devices:


These usage classifications allow you to see on device-specific level the actual usage of the software. This allows finding devices that may be good candidates for removal of the software as the software product is not needed that much or at all (however, keep in mind that the Never used category might still include software products that are in fact required or that are not yet used after Applixure Agent installation - see the classification at the beginning of this article).

Checking device-specific software usage

To view detailed software usage information on an individual device, select a device from the Devices dashboard grid or from the devices list.

Scroll down to see a list of all software products installed on this device. The software is categorized according to the usage classification.



What can I use usage classifications for?

You can use the software usage information to identify which software products are being actively used in your organization. Identifying unused software products and removing them from the devices can help you reduce licensing costs or improve your IT security by removing unnecessary installations. 

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