I think the Difference between Software and Hardware Inventory in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager is leading many People the to wrong direction, when they want to achieve something that has to do with one of those inventories, because the Hardware Inventory should more be called WMI Inventory. In this Blog Post, I would like to Show, what you have to do, when the Inventoried Software node beyond Asset Intelligence is empty, like this:
This is, because in the Default Setting of the Hardware Inventory, the collection of the necessary classes is not activated. The class you need if you want to inventory installed application is named SMS_InstalledSoftware (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc144824.aspx), and for executables found SMS_InstalledExecutable (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc143058.aspx). You have two Options to get this data to SCCM, the first one is to define those classes through the client Setting, check the box beside the classes you need in the Client Setting you want to activate:
The second Option, to use the GUI, which will activate those classes in the “Default Client Settings” Policy, right Click on “Asset Intelligence”:
And check the classes you want to get:
When the Clients have refreshed their Computer Policy and have run a Hardware Inventory Cycle afterwards, the node will fill up with data.