ISO/IEC 19770-3 Vision:

International Standards for Software Asset Management (SAM) provide a model to follow in setting up and operating an asset management system specifically oriented to the management of software assets. The model incorporates the features on which experts in the field have reached a consensus as being the international state of the art. Through the use of the SAM family of standards, organizations can develop and implement a framework to manage their software assets and prepare for an internal or external assessment of their SAM processes.
ISO/IEC 19770-3 focuses on capturing and defining the information necessary to describe how software may be used, known as the entitlement. This standard will provide a framework and criterion of measurement for creating unambiguous definitions of entitlements. The -3 tags will assist in effective software licensing reconciliation, demonstration of compliance, software cost reduction, and proof of ownership. The following is a summary of the ISO/IEC 19770-3 Software Entitlement Tag, and how it fits into the SAM ecosystem.

A companion standard; ISO/IEC 19770-2, published in 2009, provides a standard for authoritative identification of software installations. The -2 tags assist in complete and positive identification of installed software. While entitlement tags, specified in 19770-3, are designed to work with 19770-2 software identification tags, the two standards are independent and do not require the presence of each other's tags to deliver value. ISO/IEC 19770-3 is intended to be sufficiently supported and implemented by software manufacturers, modifiers and users alike to ensure the viability of achieving and validating conformance.


Standardization of software entitlements provides uniform, measurable data for the license compliance processes of Software Asset Management ("SAM") practice, making it possible to demonstrate ownership of entitlements, reconcile and demonstrate compliance, and optimize licensing for cost reduction.


For highest value in the market, it is critical for software publishers to provide -2 and -3 tags directly as part of their process. However, both 19770-2 and 19770-3 tags are designed for full implementation by any member of the SAM ecosystem (end-users, tool providers, service providers, resellers, software publishers, etc.) without dependency on other ecosystem participants.

Ideally, software manufacturers will include 19770-2 identification tags with their software products and provide 19770-3 entitlement tags through their order fulfillment systems. These process enhancements will help every member of the SAM ecosystem to accurately identify and manage software usage and entitlement consumption.

The value of the 19770-2 or the 19770-3 standards does not depend upon software publisher adoption for SAM practitioners to experience the benefits of this work. Both the 19770-2 tags and the 19770-3 tags can be created/implemented by any member of the SAM ecosystem. If a software vendor is unable or unwilling to participate, the industry can still produce viable tags.

End users may build their own 19770-3 tags, both for legacy software and to conduct allocation of entitlements through creation of tags internally within their organization. This provision will make it possible: a) for SAM ecosystem adoption in absence of publisher adoption, and b) to optimize the usefulness of 19770-3 tags for SAM practitioners (end-users) to effectively reconcile, demonstrate entitlement ownership, and optimize licensing for cost reduction at any operational level within their organization.

For more information, or to join the 19770-3 development group, visit http://www.sassafras.com/iso/