Reviewed by: Howard Carson, send e-mail
Published by: Executive Software International, go to the web site
Requires: Windows NT 4.0 SP5 or greater with IE 5.5 or greater, Workstation or Server; Windows 2000 SP2 or greater with IE 5.5 or greater, Professional, Server and Advanced Server; Windows XP Professional
MSRP: US$562.50 (1-10 systems license, electronic download)

Want to know a secret? One of the biggest fears experienced by corporate executives is that an auditor will show up one day to do an actual count of the number of software installations compared to the actual number of licenses bought and paid for. Don't laugh - even in a small company, using 10 licenses of Microsoft Office on 30 workstations amounts to at least a US$10,000.00 copyright violation (if the auditor only demands that you immediately purchase the correct number of licenses). If you add inadequate licensing of MS Windows itself, WinFax Pro and a few other common programs, the bill can quickly reach $100,000 or more. In companies with 100's or 1000's of workstations the violation reaches into the millions of dollars. Don't even think about Business Software Alliance (BSA) fines which can run to $100,000 per disk and higher!

Software audits and site raids are not funny - not funny at all. And they're happening every month across North America, Western Europe, India, South Africa, Japan and so on, conducted by BSA, FBI, RCMP, Scotland Yard and other police forces. It's been too easy to buy a handful of software licenses, complain about the prices to salve your conscience, then blithely proceed to install those few licenses on dozens or hundreds of computers. Bad move.

Sitekeeper is designed to inventory all software on a site without having to physically send IS/IT staff to each and every computer on the entire network. Sitekeeper will also install software remotely over Windows NT, 2000 and XP operating systems using a simple, fast, two-stage operation that will free system administrators from having to invest days and weeks of IS labor to do the job manually.

We installed Sitekeeper on a PIII/500 network server with 396MB RAM running Windows 2000 SP2. We then installed the free copy of the Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE) which is supplied via an installer link from the Sitekeeper web site. If you already have a usable SQL 7 or SQL 2000 server running, you don't need MSDE. Once Sitekeeper is installed it can be used to scan all flavors of Windows NT4, 2000 and XP (but not Windows 95/98/Me yet). Sitekeeper runs in its own Internet Explorer window and displays report data in separate windows. When the program is first run, a guided system and database configuration routine appears which sets up the database and allows you to choose which computers to inventory.

Sitekeeper has three main sections:

Inventory Tracker figures out what software is installed on each computer on a network and maintains an updated record for all the software which includes details about versions, builds, updates, and patches. The function does its job by scanning the Registry on each computer on the network. Initial scanning can take anywhere from a split second to half a minute per computer, depending on how much software is installed on each one, network loading, individual computer loading and the priority of the service setting. For extreme high-speed scanning, do it after hours (if there is such a thing on your network). It's fast enough in any case and the report that's generated is accurate.

License Tracker provides a software license compliance report (i.e.: the number of machines per product) and lets the system administrator or inventory controller (or whomever) know how many licenses or updates may be needed with automatic, up-to-date record keeping. License Tracker can also ferret out individuals who have installed software without the administrator's permission. Gotcha! (not surprisingly I found a couple of 'violators' on my own network). This function is as much an anti -virus/ security review and standardized system reinforcement as it is license compliance tracking. Once License Tracker is set up, it runs automatically.

PushInstaller allows administrators to easily install or uninstall from a central location on selected computers throughout a site, any software, updates, upgrades and patches which are logo-compliant for Windows 2000 and Windows XP or Microsoft Installer compliant. PushInstaller can also be used to install Windows itself onto clean desktop machines. Microsoft's SMS does the same sort of thing, but it's a lot harder to learn and use than PushInstaller. It only took about 5 minutes to figure out and begin using PushInstaller.

Cons: The big (sick) joke in all of this may be that the offices of some people working on software licensing cases are also reputed to be software license offenders. Now let me see - count their computers, then count the number of WordPerfect licenses, then count the number of WordPerfect licenses on laptops which are taken home, etc., etc. Hmmm. Only SQL database is supported at this time, but broader database support is in development. No data exchange or conversion between Sitekeeper and SMS. No support for Win95/98/Me.

Pros: Sitekeeper requires Administrator privileges for any installation. It means that reliable inventories and license tracking are possible without problems caused by casual data input. Find out real fast how much money you need to spend on software licensing. Background services use very few CPU cycles - most computer users on the network won't notice when their machine is scanned. Reports can be printed, saved to a file or exported to Excel. Sitekeeper can help managers, owners and executives create rational software purchasing budgets, deploy new software, updates and patches. Pop-up messages alert you to license inadequacies, which means you don't have to manually search a database to find the problems. The smallest companies (5-10 workstations) to the largest organizations with tens of thousands of computers should consider Sitekeeper. The software works extremely well. Recommended.

Letters to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public. Send e-mail to:




© Copyright 2000-2006 All rights reserved. legal notice
home | previous reviews | forums | about us | search | store | subscribe


Forums Search Home Previous Reviews About Us Store Subscribe