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Software discovery based on splash screen or application resources recognition

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000219715D
Publication Date: 2012-Jul-09
Document File: 2 page(s) / 24K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Software discovery based on splash screen or application resources recognition

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Software discovery based on splash screen or application resources recognition

Software discovery challanges

Currently software products are often very complicated. Moreover, the resources provided by them are subject to frequent changes (patched, fix packs, modification releases, ...). These factors make to reliable discovery of such applications very complex.

If the product is home grown, it is easy to cooperate with product team to introduce a reliable marking mechanism which will guarantee application discovery. However, if the product comes from an independent software vendor (ISV) this may be very difficult. For example to pick a file from product installation directory which would play a role of a product marker for software discovery, one must know that such file is not shared with other products and that the file attributes (name, size, version on Windows) will not change during patch or fix pack application. This makes creating software catalog a very difficult process.

There is no 100% reliable solution currently and most of the signatures are created based on subjective judgment of the experienced catalog engineer.

New approach

Many software applications provide splash screens which includes product name, version and licensing information. Such images do not change with applications do not change with software patches since they are not re-compiled. This makes them a good source of information for software discovery purposes which is not used by currently available solutions in the field.

This article presents a complete methodology of using new type of software signatures - namely image resources recognition such as splash screens. The typical splash screen contains information about:

Product name


1.

Product version


2.

Product vendor


3.

Licensing conditions


4.

This information from image can be processed by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) algorithms and used for software discovery.

Implementation specifics

The complete algorithm for such method would consist of the following steps:

Scanning for splash screen files would be simply an additional step in the


1.

usual file system scans that are always performed by software asset management tools (SAM). Scanner would process images found on disk fulfilling some predefined rules like name or extension matching some regular expression pattern.

Each picture found is processed by...