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1. Asset Intelligence is an online software catalog maintained by Microsoft and available as an add-in to System Center Configuration Manager SCCM 2007 R1 & R2 (it was first available for SMS 2003 SP3).

To obtain it you need to have Software Assurance on SCCM. For details on how this works (& doesn’t work) check the links on this blog.

2. Asset Inventory Service v1.5 is an online Software Asset Management tool for inventory & license management. Typically you would not use this service if you’re already using SCCM & Asset Intelligence. To obtain AIS you need first to be licensed for Windows with SA, then you need to subscribe to MDOP, which includes AIS among its 6 tools. Version 2.0 is due to be available in September (2010).

A related online service, called Intune, does for desktops & laptops what AIS does for the software installed on them, things such as patch management, malware protection, health monitoring. A license for Windows 7 Enterprise will apparently be included in the shipping release (currently it’s in its second beta).

There are a couple of excellent blogs on the differences between these two confusingly named asset management tools.

  • This one hightlights the required steps to enable Asset Intelligence in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R1 & R2 (with Software Assurance)
  • This one spells out the technical & licensing differences in blunt (& unambiguous) terms

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