This glossary provides terms and definitions for the BigFix Inventory software and products.

The following cross-references are used in this glossary:
  • See refers you from a nonpreferred term to the preferred term or from an abbreviation to the spelled-out form.
  • See also refers you to a related or contrasting term.



activated processor core
A processor core that is managed or used by a product, regardless of whether the capacity of the processor core can be limited through virtualization technologies.
administration server
The database and web interface that software asset managers use for maintaining information about license entitlements and instances of installed products.
A process that performs an action on behalf of a user or other program without user intervention or on a regular schedule, and reports the results back to the user or program.
See application programming interface.
application programming interface (API)
An interface that allows an application program that is written in a high-level language to use specific data or functions of the operating system or another program.
In ITIL, the act of confirming compliance with a standard or set of guidelines, or comparing actual measurements to targets, or verifying the accuracy of recorded information.
In computer security, a process that ensures that the identities of both the sender and the receiver of a network transaction are true.


To package a collection of individually orderable components or products into a single offering, often for promotional purposes. Software manufacturers typically offer a single license to cover all components of a bundled offering.
A process during which the user assigns a component to a product.


See certificate authority.
In computer security, a digital document that binds a public key to the identity of the certificate owner, thereby enabling the certificate owner to be authenticated. A certificate is issued by a certificate authority and is digitally signed by that authority. See also certificate authority, certificate signing request.
certificate authority (CA)
A trusted third-party organization or company that issues the digital certificates. The certificate authority typically verifies the identity of the individuals who are granted the unique certificate. See also certificate.
certificate signing request (CSR)
An electronic message that an organization sends to a certificate authority (CA) to obtain a certificate. The request includes a public key and is signed with a private key; the CA returns the certificate after signing with its own private key. See also certificate, keystore.
A software program or computer that requests services from a server. See also host.
A set of independent systems or logical partitions (called nodes) that are organized into a network for the purpose of sharing resources and communicating with each other.
A state of being in accordance with established software and security specifications on target computers, or the process of becoming so.
A software item that is part of a software product, and might be separately identified, but is not individually licensed.
Computer group
An organized list of computers through which users can get dedicated reporting or perform common operations in bulk. This feature simplifies the maintenance of customer environments, and it can be used to represent, for instance, a department or region.
confirmed instance
An instance of an installed software product that has been explicitly assigned to one or more bundles.
constant special item ID list (CSIDL)
In Windows environments, a list that identifies frequently used special folders whose location might vary on different systems.
A set of information about a software license for a product or products, its cost and entitlement period. When a contract is assigned to a computer group, it indicates which computers are entitled to the licenses described by that contract.
A single chip that houses a central processing unit (CPU) and is a component in the larger circuit design of a computer. A single chip can only contain one CPU, but a processor can contain multiple cores. See also dual-core, multi-core, processor value unit.
See constant special item ID list.
See certificate signing request.
A command line tool for retrieving and posting files using URL syntax.


data source
The source of data itself, such as a database or XML file, and the connection information necessary for accessing the data.
To identify resources within a network environment.
See domain name server.
domain name server (DNS)
A server program that supplies name-to-address conversion by mapping domain names to IP addresses.
Referring to a system that integrates two processors into one virtual processor. See also core, multi-core.


A server, computer, machine or device that is monitored.
In software licensing, the maximum allowed allocation of capacity as determined by a license agreement.


A message that provides instructions to an agent to perform a management or reporting action.
Pertains to a software licensing scheme that bases charges on the capacity of the entire machine or cluster of machines that is available to the licensed program, rather than on just one or more partitions. See also processor value unit, subcapacity.


A computer that is connected to a network and that provides an access point to that network. The host can be a client, a server, or both a client and server simultaneously. See also client.
host name
In Internet communication, the name given to a computer. The host name might be a fully qualified domain name such as, or it might be a specific subname such as mycomputer.
See Hypertext Transfer Protocol.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
An Internet protocol that is used to transfer and display hypertext and XML documents on the web.
Software or a physical device that enables multiple instances of operating systems to run simultaneously on the same hardware.


A software product or component that is installed on a server or logical partition (LPAR).
IT infrastructure
All of the hardware, software, networks, and other facilities (but not people or processes) required to develop, test, deliver, monitor, control, or support IT services.


In security, a file or a hardware cryptographic card where identities and private keys are stored, for authentication and encryption purposes. Some keystores also contain trusted or public keys. See also certificate signing request.
knowledge base
See software knowledge base.


See Lightweight Directory Access Protocol.
A legal agreement that authorizes the use of proprietary information including, but not limited to, copyrighted or patented information.
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
An open protocol that uses TCP/IP to provide access to directories that support an X.500 model and that does not incur the resource requirements of the more complex X.500 Directory Access Protocol (DAP). For example, LDAP can be used to locate people, organizations, and other resources in an Internet or intranet directory.
A setting that identifies language or geography and determines formatting conventions such as collation, case conversion, character classification, the language of messages, date and time representation, and numeric representation.
logical partition (LP, LPAR)
One or more virtualized images of a hardware computing system that can include shared and dedicated resources assigned from the pool of resources available on a physical server. Each image appears to the operating system running within it to be a unique instance of a physical server. See also virtualization.
See logical partition.
See logical partition.


Referring to a system that integrates multiple processors into one virtual processor. See also core, dual-core.
A measurement unit that defines usage of software license, for example, installed seats, PVU


The element or integrated set of elements (hardware, software, services) designed to satisfy the wants and needs of current and/or prospective customers. A solution is the application of the offering in a specific customer environment.


A logical division of storage on a fixed disk. See also subcapacity, virtualization.
See product identifier.
pricing metric
A measurement that defines how capacity is counted and applied against the customer's entitlement. See also entitlement.
processor value unit (PVU)
A unit of measure that is assigned to each processor core for software licensing purposes. PVUs vary according to chip architecture. See also core, full-capacity, subcapacity.
product ID
See product identifier.
product identifier (PID, product ID)
A unique value that identifies an BigFix software product. Every mainframe and distributed BigFix software product has a PID.
Purchase order
A set of information about purchased software
See processor value unit.


raw data
Unprocessed data that contains information about software items and manufacturers, obtained through software scans.
Representational State Transfer (REST)
A software architectural style for distributed hypermedia systems like the World Wide Web. The term is also often used to describe any simple interface that uses XML (or YAML, JSON, plain text) over HTTP without an additional messaging layer such as SOAP.
resource value unit (RVU)
A unit of measure by which a program can be licensed that is based on the number of units of a specific resource used or managed by the program.
response file
A file that can be customized with the setup and configuration data that automates an installation. During an interactive installation, the setup and configuration data must be entered, but with a response file, the installation can proceed without any intervention.
See Representational State Transfer.
See resource value unit.


To systematically search a computer or a network for information about hardware, software, or configuration. See also software scan.
The set of unique information that identifies a software application, such as the name, version, and file size of an application.
silent mode
A method for installing or uninstalling a product component from the command line with no GUI display. When using silent mode, you specify the data required by the installation or uninstallation program directly on the command line or in a file (called an option file or response file).
A subdivision of an organization that can track inventory and other data separately from other sites.
software catalog
A portable representation of the contents of the software knowledge base that serves IT management applications including asset management, license management, and software provisioning. Catalog format and content might vary, depending on the target application. See also software knowledge base.
Software contract
A set of information about a software license for a product or products, its type, cost, amount of purchased license metrics, and the entitlement period. When a contract is assigned to a computer group, it indicates which computers the license is distributed to
software hierarchy
The combination of software product, version, release, and variation that represents a software item in the software knowledge base. The product is the root of the hierarchy. See also software knowledge base.
software knowledge base
A collection of information about distributed software products and components, dependencies between them, the means to discover them, and their basic licensing properties. The knowledge base is used to generate software catalogs that asset management tools can use for software inventory identification, license compliance, and software provisioning. See also software catalog, software hierarchy.
Software license
A legal instrument governing the use or redistribution of software
software product
A software item that is licensed independently of other software items. For licensing purposes, software products are sometimes bundled into a single sales offering.
software scan
An automated process that discovers instances of software installed on the computers in a network. The software scan results include details about discovered software, such as version numbers. See also scan.
Pertains to a software licensing scheme that bases charges on the capacity of the partition where the licensed program is used, rather than on the total capacity in the server. See also full-capacity, partition, processor value unit, virtualization, virtualization.


See Transport Layer Security.
Transport Layer Security (TLS)
A set of encryption rules that uses verified certificates and encryption keys to secure communications over the Internet. TLS is an update to the SSL protocol.


The creation of a virtual computing resource such as an operating system, server, storage device, or network resources in a one-to-many or many-to-one association. For example, a single operating system might be divided into multiple partitions that operate as independent systems, or multiple disk devices might appear as a single logical drive. See also logical partition, partition, subcapacity.
virtual machine (VM)
An instance of a data-processing system that appears to be at the exclusive disposal of a single user, but whose functions are accomplished by sharing the resources of a physical data-processing system.
See virtual machine.

Computer Group – an organized list of computers through which users can get dedicated reporting or perform common operations in bulk. This feature simplifies the maintenance of customer environments, and it can be used to represent, for instance, a department or region.

Software License – a legal instrument governing the use or redistribution of software.

Metric – a measurement unit that defines usage of software license e.g. installed seats, PVU

Software Contract - A set of information about a software license for a product or products, its type, cost, amount of purchased license metrics, and the entitlement period. When a contract is assigned to a computer group, it indicates which computers the license is distributed to.

Purchase order – a set of information about purchased software.