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Systems Management
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 Software Categories
Software Categories

AIS uses eight major categories and 40 minor categories to organize software inventories. This allows administrators to understand the different types of software used in the enterprise, to optimize software licensing, and to plan the deployment of new versions of software and software updates.

You can see how your software is categorized in the Category column of the Computers workspace. You can also create software reports and sort the results by category.

The eight major categories are as follows:

Platform and management

Platform and management software includes desktop and network infrastructure and management software that allows users to control the computer operating environment, hardware components and peripherals, and infrastructure services and security.

  • Operating System and Components
    The operating system software infrastructure, including updates, themes, screensavers, and fonts.
  • Frameworks and Support
    Frameworks and runtime environments such as Microsoft .NET and Sun Microsystems Java.
  • System Utilities
    Utilities to manage the operating system, such as file compression, CD or DVD recorders, and desktop tools.
  • Device Drivers, Configuration, and Utilities
    Device drivers, configuration programs (for example, mouse or keyboard configuration utilities), and manufacturer-supplied utilities for third-party devices.
  • OEM
    Applications from a computer or peripheral manufacturer, such as a laptop configuration application, or a game from a printer manufacturer; typically branded by the hardware manufacturer.
  • Virtualization and Virtual Environment Software
    Clustering software, virtual user interface software, or virtual computer software.
  • System and Network Management
    Applications for network management; including license management and internal help desk utilities.
  • Networking Software
    Networking connectivity for devices, client computers, and servers; desktop and server remote-control software.
  • Storage, Archive, Backup, and Retrieval
    Applications to protect and recover data, including storage area network (SAN) software.
  • Application and Collaboration Servers
    E-mail, collaboration, Web servers, middleware, and unified messaging.
  • Security
    Applications that protect desktop or network security, including firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware programs, pop-up blockers, parental controls, and digital media signatures.
  • Security Threat
    Applications that threaten desktop and network security, including adult content dialers, keyloggers, browser hijackers, and malicious software.

Education and reference

Education and reference includes educational software that does not contain resources, such as training or help files for a specific application.

  • Education
    Exam preparation, language learning, and other programs that can, but do not necessarily, support an academic subject or program.
  • Reference
    Dictionaries, encyclopedias, phone books, or maps, in either text or multimedia formats.
  • Data
    Computer-readable information for a specific application type, such as geographic information system (GIS) data, or music samples, that can be either in a proprietary format or based on open-source code.

Home and entertainment

Applications designed primarily for use in or for the home, or for entertainment.

  • Personal
    Applications that focus on individual self-improvement, lifestyle, and health, such as exercise routine planning, smoking cessation, or, diabetes monitoring.
  • Home and Home Improvement
    Applications intended for home use; can be used by the resident or by contractors.
  • Game or Entertainment
    An application intended purely for amusement or recreational value.

Content and communications

Content and communications applications include common applications for productivity, content creation, and communications. These typically include office productivity suites, multimedia players, file viewers, Web browsers, and collaboration tools.

  • Office Suites and Productivity
    Applications in common use for producing general business documents, such as word processors, spreadsheets, and desktop databases packaged with office productivity suites.
  • Multimedia and File Viewers
    Desktop and client computing applications for accessing multimedia files, such as audio or video players, electronic photo albums, and music or video collection organizers with limited editing capabilities.
  • Browsers
    Internet browsers and plug-ins; RSS feeders, news and podcast readers, and aggregators.
  • Document Publishing and Authoring
    Applications to create and edit text-based documents, including layout and formatting applications, such as those used for screenwriting.
  • Multimedia Publishing and Authoring
    Applications to create and edit images, sounds, music, or video.
  • Web Design and Development
    Applications to design, develop, and build Web pages and sites; including Web site copiers.
  • Content Management
    Storage, retrieval, and organization of documents or other digital works; rights management.
  • Translation and Globalization
    Applications that automate or assist in language translation and other globalization tasks.
  • E-mail and Collaboration
    Client e-mail and collaboration applications and add-ons; personal information and contact managers.
  • Instant Messaging and Conferencing
    Instant messaging and video- or voice-conferencing applications.
  • Team Collaborative Applications
    Applications that provide shared virtual workspaces.
  • Telephony Applications
    Applications that use or replace telephony, such as fax or VOIP software.
  • Internet Utilities and Applications
    Internet-based communications, such as FTP, telnet, and P2P applications.
  • Internet Services
    ISP connection software, ISP-specific applications, and Internet and mobile services.

Operations and Professional

Used for specific job titles, contains applications designed for business use such as enterprise resource management, customer relations management, supply chain and manufacturing, application development, information management and access, and both business and technical equipment.

  • Management
    Applications used by project or line managers, including project management and business process analysis.
  • Finance and Accounting
    Financial applications, including accounting, tax preparation, and asset management.
  • Legal
    Legal and contracts software.
  • Human Resources and Administration
    Human resources software, including recruiting and workforce management applications, and administrative applications such as for postal and light shipping work.
  • Purchasing
    Procurement and order management software.
  • Facilities and Security
    Building and grounds facilities, maintenance, and security software.
  • Records Management
    Software that manages employee or other related business records and files.
  • Sales and Marketing
    Sales and marketing, account and lead management, advertising, and marketing research applications.
  • Customer Service
    Customer service applications, including contact center applications.
  • Supply Chain Management
    Applications that support business processes for bringing a product to market, including logistics, production planning, and inventory management.
  • Services and Manufacturing Management
    Applications that support business processes for managing services delivery and manufacturing.
  • Information and Data Management
    Databases, database design and management tools; data center applications.
  • Information Access and Delivery
    Query and reporting tools, and database analysis tools.
  • Development Tools
    Development environments, code and text editors, compilers, debuggers, configuration management, and quality analysis applications.
  • Development Resources
    Resources for the developer, such as software development kits (SDKs) and libraries.
  • Technical and Science Software
    Computer-aided design and engineering (CAD or CAE) applications, GIS management, mathematical and statistical analysis, laboratory equipment control and analysis applications.
  • Technical Equipment
    Applications that manage scientific and engineering equipment, such as microscopes and laboratory equipment.
  • Business Equipment
    Label makers, postage meters, bar-code readers, and other business-related equipment.

Product manufacturing and service delivery

Product manufacturing and service delivery applications help users create products or deliver services in specific industries. Categories in this section are used by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) (

  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
  • Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
  • Utilities
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale Trade
  • Retail Trade
  • Transportation and Warehousing
  • Information
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises
  • Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
  • Educational Services
  • Health Care and Social Assistance
  • Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
  • Accommodation and Food Services
  • Public Administration
  • Other Services (except Public Administration)

Line of business

  • Line of Business
    Internal and proprietary line-of-business applications.
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