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SAM Core on Snow Atlas lets you register licenses so that you can identify licenses that are not used correctly and make corrections. This will help you utilize existing licenses better and obtain maximum license usage.

A license is something you purchase to have the right to use a software application. Suppliers of software can issue licenses in many different variants, resulting in a large variety of licensing conditions. An application may also be offered with several different license options. The simplest form of license is one that permits one installation of a specified version of an application. More advanced licenses may permit several installations or multiple users, as well as the right to upgrade to a later version of the application.

Archived licenses

A license can be archived, for example, if it is not in use or if it is in a draft stage. It is kept in the database for future reference, in contrast to when a license is deleted and removed from the system completely. An archived license can be viewed but will not be included in compliance calculations. During the archiving procedure, you will have the option to archive connected licenses and agreements.

If you archive a base license without its upgraded licenses it will make the upgraded licenses become incomplete, since the base license is missing.

A license can be unarchived and will then be included in compliance calculations. During the unarchiving procedure, you will have the option to unarchive licenses that were archived at the same time as the selected license.

A license can be unarchived only together with its base licenses and upgraded licenses. A license will be reconnected to its previous agreement when it is unarchived.

Incomplete licenses

The Incomplete licenses functionality lets you import or register license purchases even though all required information is not available for the purchase to be used as a valid entitlement. You can for example import licenses from a file with incomplete data and then add the required information later.

License purchases with missing data are marked as incomplete and will not be included when compliance is calculated.

To activate the Incomplete licenses functionality, enable Allow users to save incomplete licenses  in SAM > Settings > SAM Core settings > License Management in Snow Atlas.


Fields that are indicated as Required in the license policy must be entered during license registration or the license cannot be saved, not even as incomplete. For more information, see License policy.

Invalid license assignments

A license assignment becomes invalid when a mismatch occurs between the type or quantities of the purchased license compared with the device or user the license is assigned to. For example, a previously valid license assignment can become invalid if:

  • The number of licenses assigned to a computer/datacenter exceeds the number required from a compliance perspective.

  • The application or application family covered by the license is no longer installed on the computer/datacenter that the license is assigned to.

  • The user that the license is assigned to has not used the application nor any application in the application family covered by the license within the specified metering period.

  • The processor count of the computer the license is assigned to exceeds the number covered by the license.

To prevent you from creating invalid licenses during an assignment, an error will flag when you attempt to assign more licenses to a computer, datacenter, or user than you have purchased. This precaution will help prevent some invalid assignments. However, changes in your environment will cause mismatches over time. To help you identify these mismatches, there are alert messages and reports that provide a complete overview of invalid license assignments.

To gain an overview of invalid license assignments in your system, use the Invalid license assignments report, or add the Invalid assignments column to the All licenses report.


Invalid license assignments can only occur for licenses that can be assigned to a Computer/datacenter or a User. Licenses that are assigned automatically to an Organization or Site do not become invalid.

When computers or users are deleted, licenses assigned to them are automatically unassigned, removing any invalid license assignments.

License allocation

When a license purchase is registered, you specify the legal organization owning the license. Also, you can either enable automatic allocation or manually allocate licenses to non-legal organizations. For optimal utilization of the license ownership, it is recommended to use the automatic allocation feature instead of manual allocation.

With the automatic allocation functionality enabled, purchased licenses are automatically distributed to nodes in the organization hierarchy, based on the licensing requirements for each node. Licenses that are purchased on a central level of the organization will then automatically be distributed to underlying organization units based on actual installations. All licenses with automatic allocation enabled will be re-allocated each time compliance is calculated.

Automatic allocation is especially important to take into account for licenses with downgrade rights enabled. When both automatic allocation and downgrade rights are activated, licenses are compared to installations of the same version and also the specified prior versions of an application, on all sub-levels of the legal organization owning the license.

If automatic allocation is deactivated and no manual allocation has been made, the licenses for the specific purchase will only be compared to installations on the same organization level as the purchase is registered at. If downgrade is activated, installations of prior versions on the same organization level will be taken into account.

It is also possible to manually specify how licenses should be allocated. Manually allocated licenses will not be included in the automated allocation. When compliance is calculated, manually allocated licenses will only be used to cover applications within the organization node that these licenses have been allocated to.

License policy

The license registration process can be managed and adjusted to ensure correct license registrations. You can make fields mandatory and add lists with pre-defined options. You can also add descriptions that clearly state the intended purpose of a specific field. For more information, see License policy.

Subscription licenses

Instead of purchasing a license, you can subscribe to the right to use an application. A subscription license is only valid for a specified period. Once the period has passed, the license will no longer be included in the compliance calculation. However, subscription licenses attached to a subscription agreement will have their period overridden by the agreement period.

Unassigned licenses

A license is regarded as unassigned when a license purchase has been registered with an assignment type and a quantity, but no assignments have been made, or assignments have only been made for a part of the license quantity.

Information on unassigned licenses can be found here:

  • On the details page of a specific license and on the Compliance tab, see information on the number of Unassigned licenses.

  • In the report All licenses, add the column Unassigned licenses from the Column selector.

  • In the report Unassigned licenses.

  • For the assignment type Computer/datacenter: on the details page of a specific license and on the Assignment tab, information is shown on the number of Total licenses, the number of Total assigned licenses, and the number of Total remaining licenses to be assigned.