SMS 2003 and Desktop Authority overlap in some functional areas, but actually have quite different areas of focus within an overall enterprise management system.
SMS 2003 has superior network management, inventory collection and reporting capabilities, but its desktop management functions are focused around application, hot fix and Service Pack deployment. Using SMS for desktop administration and configuration requires skilled and trained administrators to spend considerable time writing and testing scripts.
The strengths of Desktop Authority are its short learning curve, instant access to all common desktop administration functions, highly flexible Validation Logic, and extensive Remote Management capabilities.
Desktop Authority is extremely cost-effective, requires no formal training to use, and is suitable for companies of all sizes. Organizations that have a need for extensive network management, inventory reporting and enhanced software deployment capabilities which justify the higher purchase and setup costs of SMS, then it is an ideal partner for Desktop Authority.
The full story about the differences between Desktop Authority and SMS 2003