Skip to main content
Jamf Nation, hosted by Jamf, is the largest Apple IT management community in the world. Dialog with your fellow IT professionals, gain insight about Apple device deployments, share best practices and bounce ideas off each other. Join the conversation.

Licensed Software: Allow Wildcard or "Like" in Application Name

It would be monumentally useful to be able to use a wildcard character to match application names when defining a Licensed Software entry. My primary example is Adobe and its inconsistent Creative Cloud application naming convention.

Ideally, I would like to be able to gain insight into all installed versions of InDesign and Photoshop (to name but two examples). This is possible with other applications in the suite, because their application names are consistent across major versions. Acrobat DC and Illustrator follow this pattern:

/Applications/Adobe Acrobat DC/Adobe
/Applications/Adobe Illustrator CC 2019/Adobe

But InDesign and Photoshop do not:

/Applications/Adobe InDesign CC 2019/Adobe InDesign CC
/Applications/Adobe Photoshop CC 2019/Adobe Photoshop CC

Given the way that Licensed Software tracking is currently implemented, I'm required to create individual entries for each major version of InDesign and Photoshop. I tried adding each individual version of these applications within a single Licensed Software definition for the application as a whole, but it didn't work as expected: The combined number of returned results were significantly fewer than when adding the number returned from individual application version entries.

I'm defining my entries with the specific application name and the version number set to "Like" and the version field blank. This returns all versions that match the specific application name. What I'm looking for is the ability to create a Licensed Software entry with one of the two following options:

  1. Application Name: "Is" "Adobe InDesign*" Version "Like" ""

  2. Application Name: "Like" "InDesign" Version "Like" ""

For a bit of clarity, we aren't specifically tracking software license consumption. We're using the Licensed Software feature as another vector to get at application usage data, since the current implementation (either within each computer record's History tab, or via the API) leaves much to be desired. Now, I realize that this may not be how the Licensed Software mechanism was designed to be used, and so this Feature Request might end up being marked as "NOT PLANNED". And that's fine.

What this really is, is a plea for Jamf to implement a real, honest-to-goodness application usage reporting mechanism right inside the Jamf Pro application. As things stand now, we are effectively blind as to how much individual users are actually using any given application, and that makes it very challenging for us in IT to make a compelling argument to Sally Project-Manager's boss that, no, she really doesn't need a full suite license of Adobe CC, she really only ever uses Acrobat DC, so she should have a single-app license just for that application.

So, in lieu of asking Jamf to implement a full application usage reporting feature (which, again, would be the ideal scenario), I'm asking for a relatively simpler change to the Licensed Software mechanism to make the data we need easier to get at.