Discovery: What is the difference between a software instance and a software package?

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    BMC Discovery.


    BMC Discovery 11.3


    BMC Discovery


    What is the difference between a software instance and a software package?




    Legacy ID:KA380191


    With BMC Discovery, software is discovered in two ways: as a package or a software instance.

    A Software Instance (SI) node represents a "running" instance of an off-the-shelf software product or equivalent proprietary item of software. It can correspond to a single running process or a group of processes (possibly on multiple hosts).

    A Software Instance is created and maintained by software patterns which are provided on a monthly basis in the form of TKU updates. Every pattern has a trigger instance which finds the respective process running on the target server which is being scanned. Once the trigger process is found, the remaining pattern executes to create the SI for the particular product. Database servers (i.e. Oracle Database Server) are generally discovered as part of a software instance and not an installed package.

    Please note that if a particular process is not running at the time of a scan, the pattern will not trigger and the SI will not be created/updated.

    For more information on how a Software Instance Node is created, maintained, and destroyed, see

    The list of software products identified by TKU patterns is here:

    A report on Software Instances can be found in the Discovery UI at Explore > Reports > Software Inventory > Summary. 

    A Package Node represents an installed (though not necessarily running) software package in the environment, and is linked to any Host Node which contains it. Packages are typically discovered from registry entries (Windows) or the output of a command such as 'rpm' (UNIX). 

    No pattern file is required for package discovery. Instead, software packages are discovered by the platform scripts. In the case of Windows and UNIX, the relevant scripts are in getPackageList.

    For more information on how a Package Node is created, maintained, and destroyed, see


    • Though sometimes there is a one-one correspondence between a software instance and a package, this is often not the case. For example Microsoft Office Communicator and VMware Workstation may appear as both a software instance and a package.
    • By default, Software Instances are sync'd to CMDB, but Packages are not.


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