OpenLM Broker v21.11, Reporting Hub v21.11, and Server v5.6.10 released – What’s New?

This week we have 3 new important product releases which fix some high-priority bugs and integrate a set of features and capabilities.

On the 18th of November, 2021, OpenLM Broker v21.11 was released featuring bug fixes and improvements. Development novelties:

  • The main feature of the latest OpenLM Broker is the brand new Browser-based configuration interface. This means the users are now able to configure the Broker remotely with an Internet browser. There are several aspects we would like to point out:
  • The default Broker UI port is 5090. Open http://localhost:5090 to access the UI and enjoy the freedom:

  • There is a newly supported License Manager: Siemens SIMATIC. Simatic is a Siemens brand for automation software.
  • One of the newest  License Manager integration is Juniper VPN. Juniper is a hardware device with licensing. And now OpenLM is capable to monitor the active VPN connections on it.

Full log of bug fixes and enhancements.

Download OpenLM Broker from here.

 

On the 17th of November 2021, OpenLM Reporting Hub v21.11 was released. This is an important release as it comes to addressing mostly database-related bugs that were reported by customers. It is recommended that this release be used in conjunction with Server v21.

Furthermore, at this point in time, the Reporting Hub’s versioning pattern has been aligned with all the other components.

Full log of bug fixes and enhancements.

Download OpenLM Reporting Hub from here.

 

Also, on the 19th of November, 2021, the OpenLM Server v 5.6.10 maintenance release was published. This release features a series of bug fixes our customers have reported. Despite the improvements, we recommend upgrading to the v21 of the OpenLM Server.

Contact our Support team for you to receive assistance in the process.

 

Stay tuned!

Featured image: Freepik.com

Where Google fails, OpenLM support provides answers

They say “Google is your friend,” but if a search of the 1.7 billion websites (the number is an estimate) does not produce the answer you’re looking for, then it is worth considering other options. One that truly works is the old-fashioned way: ask for help from professionals who have experience and knowledge of the matter in question. They will always know where to look for the specific information you need. Here is a short story – involving IBM Maximo and FLEXlm – about how OpenLM support goes the extra mile to share their knowledge and deliver answers to those who reach out with a question.

On a bright sunny day, our customer support representative was contacted via Web chat with a specific question: can OpenLM monitor IBM Maximo? OpenLM can monitor more than 60 license managers, so after performing an internet search with ambiguous Web pages, the support member asked back a question: Is Maximo using FLEXlm or IBM LUT for license manager?

The person reaching out to us couldn’t answer.

At this point, it appeared the question would remain unsolved, because it was beyond the technical knowledge of both the person reaching out to us and the support member. However, as support is there to help customers and prospects, he asked for an email address to which he could send the information after consulting with the head of support and people at OpenLM knowledgeable in the matter.

The answer came back quickly, and the email was sent minutes afterwards: IBM Maximo is a Rational License Key server product delivered by IBM built with FLEXlm. And, yes, OpenLM can monitor IBM Maximo.

As the above story shows, when we say that OpenLM is customer-centric, we truly mean it. Our enthusiastic and knowledgeable team at customer support is at the service of our customers or prospects 24/7, by chat, mail, or phone, to answer your technical questions and solve issues related to OpenLM’s solution.

Image source: Freepik

Take back control of your Autodesk software spending with OpenLM

How can an organization take back control over its software spending and save hundreds of thousands of dollars? Well, the answer is pretty simple: take control over the usage data and match it against the vendors’ report. As an independent engineering software monitoring solution OpenLM supports tracking both annual tokens, which expire after 365 days if not used, and contract-based tokens, which last for the term of the contract (which could be three years or the like).

With massive development efforts behind it, OpenLM has a solution specifically tailored for Flex customers. At first launch, the OpenLM wizard maps all the features (in this case, applications) that have token support and automatically assigns it to the default product family. With OpenLM on board, SAM managers have access to three standard reports: Token-Flex usage, Double Token Consumption, and Released Idle Licenses.

Eliminate idle engineering software sessions

In this article we’ll focus on just one report showing how organizations can make use of OpenLM’s superior engineering application monitoring and license-optimization features. With the OpenLM Agent installed on the end-user’s workstation, organizations have a powerful tool in their hands that gives them two major benefits:

  •  It helps them cut down on software costs.
  • It delivers accurate reports on actual software usage.

So, what does OpenLM do exactly? Well, let’s take the following scenario: the engineer’s workday has ended, and he leaves the workstation on with the app running in the background. Since OpenLM is monitoring the applications it was instructed to keep an eye on, it will immediately spot that the Autodesk application is idling. OpenLM applies the threshold the license administrator has set during the setup process and automatically saves the engineer’s work, and then releases the idle license to avoid unnecessary token spending.

Optimize usage, save and close Autodesk apps automatically 

How simple is that? OpenLM communicates with Autodesk applications with the process name acad.exe, automatically saves the engineer’s work, and then closes the software. The autosave location is configurable, so the saved session can avoid overwriting the current project. Next time when the engineer launches the Autodesk application, he/she will find the saved document in the configured place on his/her workstation.

OpenLM’s unique “Save & Close” feature brings with two major benefits:

  • Optimizes engineering software license consumption and 
  • Eliminates double token consumption by releasing the license back to the pool before the user starts another session, which starts at 00:01, based on the license manager’s time zone. 

This neat feature of the OpenLM solution will play an important role in optimizing the Autodesk software license consumption and in the report on software usage. To plan a budget for the contracted period, SAM managers need hard and accurate data at hand on actual license consumption. The OpenLM reports will provide that data, which organizations can then match to that of Autodesk and regain control over the contract terms, because they have the right data on actual usage without the software idle time or double consumption of licenses.

Want to test OpenLM in your Autodesk Flex environment? Do it now for 30 days for free!

Directory Synchronization v21.10 on-prem&Cloud – What is new?

Last week we have released the Directory Synchronization both for on-premise and Cloud (European environment).

Both the Cloud and on-premise contains the same set of adjustments, but we are thrilled to introduce a special new tool for the customers who use or are going to adhere to our DSS Cloud platform:

Directory Synchronization for software vendors in Cloud(European environment)

This new tool is designed to allow vendors to fetch changes from their customers’ directories. 

To start using the new feature, you need to:

  1. Register or migrate to OpenLM Cloud.
  2. Request access from the support team to Directory Synchronization in the Cloud, and specify the need to read the data externally.
  3. Download the DSA, and install it in the customer’s environment, then approve it in the Cloud account of the  DSS. 
  4. Download a  sample of the client application from https://gitlab.com/cristian.ionas/directorysynchronization,  and follow the attached description to consume directory changes.

Besides the new tool, we have also fixed some things:

  • Minor UI improvements;
  • Database issues fixes;

I invite you to read our release notes page.

Download the DSS&DSA from here.

Navigate in the Cloud here.

Stay tuned for more!

 

Unique to OpenLM: CATIA Save & Close functionality

OpenLM is deeply committed to delivering solutions that monitor the demand for licenses within the organizations’ network and taking action to better utilize their valuable engineering software licenses. Our customers using the Active Agent extension already experience the benefits of a high-quality license monitoring and management solution that automatically identifies idle open sessions and safely releases licenses to more effectively utilize AutoCAD, Matlab, Solidworks, and ArcGIS licenses. We are happy to announce that, starting today, OpenLM customers can improve their organization’s productivity by automatically saving the work of an engineer and closing idling sessions in the popular engineering software Dassault Systèmes’ CATIA.

Automatically release CATIA licenses when software is idling

The CATIA Save & Close functionality is unique to OpenLM and once again reinforces OpenLM’s commitment to network licensing optimization in the engineering market. We are aware of how hard it is to effectively manage a lean engineering licensing environment; therefore, we strive to deliver solutions that remove the manual work and automate license optimization tasks. The CATIA Save & Close functionality enriches the series of functionalities offered out of the box through the latest version of OpenLM Agent, such as releasing licenses based on a threshold set by the system administrator using the EasyAdmin centralized dashboard.

Why the CATIA Save & Close functionality is so special

Contrary to the other engineering software that already supports the automatic Save & Close functionality, the Dassault Systèmes application opens up a completely new chapter at OpenLM. While ESRI, Matlab, Solidworks, and Autodesk have an API that has allowed our developers to trigger the safe closure of the software, the CATIA software doesn’t have such a programming interface. As a result, the CATIA Save & Close functionality demonstrates our development efforts in overcoming the main challenge, which was how to deliver the Save & Close functionality loved by our customers in an application that doesn’t have an API for implementing such remote actions orchestrated through the OpenLM Agent. With the feature now available to all our customers, we can now share the secret: we have pushed the Agent’s capabilities beyond its limitations, while keeping your privacy and security in mind.

How it works

To stretch CATIA network licenses to their limits and adapt their usage to demand from engineers, system admins will need to download the latest version of the OpenLM agent and perform the same steps as they did with Autodesk, Solidworks, ESRI, and Matlab applications.

OpenLM will automatically release an idling CATIA license based on the parameters set by the system administrator, which takes into account two factors:

– usage percentage

– idle time release threshold.

These are based on the system resource threshold parameters through which admins inform the OpenLM server what they need to consider to step in via the Agent and harvest an unused CATIA license. The configurable system resource parameters are:

– processor time

– I/O data operations.

Where does the Agent save the engineer’s work?

When the OpenLM agent harvests a CATIA license, it does so by saving the engineer’s work and closing the idling application. OpenLM provides two ways to safely optimize license usage:

1) If the engineer has started working with the CATIA software but didn’t save his or her work before leaving the workstation (e.g. he or she was called into a meeting which took longer than expected), the OpenLM Agent will save the work in the user’s Documents folder with the name OpenLM extension + date stamp.

2) If the engineer has already saved his or her work before leaving his desk, the OpenLM Agent will overwrite the existing file, saving the changes made by the user before closing the CATIA software.

Enjoy!

Try out OpenLM Cloud for free!

OpenLM Server v5.6.9 – What is new?

On October 21st, 2021, the OpenLM Server v5.6.9 has been released. This version includes a set of bug fixes:

  • License Usage Report Failed: for the License Usage Report, when “ExcludeUnconsumed Reservations” was checked, a blank page was appearing instead of showing the graphical report.
  • ServiceNow ETL Synchronization was failing despite the sync succeeded.
  • CodeMeter: Feature lines were not read correctly.

Although we keep providing support for Server v5.6, we strongly recommend upgrading to the v21 and benefit from all the latest state-of-art technologies in monitoring the licenses.

Check out the full list of bug fixes or download it from our website: https://www.openlm.com/download/

Stay tuned for more!

Bringing license usage transparency to the next level: Personal Dashboard

In a dynamic environment with hundreds (or thousands) of engineers at their workstations pulling and releasing software licenses, software monitoring is the key to obtaining a clear picture of what is happening within the organization’s network regarding software assets. OpenLM is already pioneering engineering software license monitoring, taking the burden off the shoulders of system administrators and providing them with the necessary data in an easy-to-use interface, EasyAdmin. Now we are taking software asset transparency to the next level with Personal Dashboard, the graphical user interface of End-User Services.

Raising awareness among engineers of how software is used

We believe that sharing information within an organization network benefits the whole company, especially when it comes to engineering software licenses. Up until now, only system admins could have an overview of the organization’s software assets, but now, with Personal Dashboard, we are providing that information to the end user as well: the engineer.

Built on data collected by the OpenLM Agents deployed on the company’s workstations, the OpenLM Personal Dashboard brings three major benefits to the end user:

  • It gives the engineer an overview of the organization’s license repository.
  • It provides a better understanding of how engineering software licenses are used.
  • It provides detailed information about who is using which license.

Full transparency on license usage

With the OpenLM Agent installed on the end-user workstation, OpenLM basically creates a network of agents that send license consumption data to a central database for license managers to analyze and make optimization decisions. However, this data has previously been visible only to one person responsible for license management. We believe that license usage transparency generates a much better work environment, so we are giving the power of information to engineers by sharing the information with the end user to use this data and take action based on it.

To do that, Personal Dashboard (which basically is the graphical user interface of the End-User Service of OpenLM) shares the information collected by the network of Agents deployed on the company network seen in real-time and shares it with the engineer in a Web-based, easy-to-understand user interface.

Let the engineer take action based on available software licenses and project needs

The engineer can use the data presented in his or her Personal Dashboard in many ways to take action. We will just list three:

1) License repository and actual license usage: Engineers have access to a Web-based interface that shows the license repository of the company and the actual license usage. They can decide which software to pull to start working by checking the available resources.

2) Connecting the people: When an engineer queries a software license from the license manager, the result may sometimes be a denial. In this case, the Personal Dashboard will give the engineer the information he needs – who is using the software license he or she needs – and by clicking on the username, the engineer gets the contact details of the user and decides on the communication channel to reach out to that specific user to release the license.

3) Recently Closed shows which software license was pulled from them automatically because of an idle session. As you may already know, OpenLM automatically harvests idle licenses based on criteria set by the license manager. This automation is absolutely stunning, as OpenLM Agent will automatically close (ArcGIS, AutoCAD, SolidWorks, MATLAB) software and save the document the engineer has been working on. Alternatively, it can suspend the application, depending on the license manager service in use. With the Resume button, we now empower the engineer to continue work where he or she left off.

We are just getting started as more exciting features will be added in time.

The Personal Dashboard (and End-User Services) is available on the Cloud. You can also have it on-premise with OpenLM v21 and Agent v21. 

Configure it now and get the best of it!

OpenLM Server&Identity Service v21.9 – What is new?

On October 11th we released OpenLM Server&Identity Service  v21.9. Here are some of the feature highlights:

The version delivers a list of enhancements such as: 

  • The ability to monitor Autodesk Cloud and Office 365 behind a Proxy Server
  • A new  “License Files Window” with the possibility to View & Download
  • The ability to export as CSV” for Feature Usage Per User and Feature Usage Per Group reports
  • Newly added column – “Additional Key” to License Procurement Report
  • Support for OKTA IDP

I also invite you to check the release notes section.

Download and check the versions yourself here.

Stay tuned for more!

Vulnerability within the LightTPD component

Dear Valued Customer,

a vulnerability was identified within the LightTPD component version 1.4.49 of the OpenLM Server on version 5.6 and below. You can find more details about the vulnerability on the Tenable portal:
https://www.tenable.com/plugins/nessus/119607

The immediate resolution to this vulnerability is to upgrade to OpenLM Server version 21, which is built on a different platform (Kestrel), does not contain the above mentioned issue, and overall improves the security of OpenLM products. You can find more details about the upgrade on OpenLM Website:
https://www.openlm.com/knowledge-base/upgrade-openlm-to-version-21-and-identity-service-configuration-kb1001/

The alternative to the above for OpenLM version 5.6 and below is to utilize the option of using Microsoft’s IIS instead of the LightTPD built-in within OpenLM Server. You can find more details about using OpenLM with IIS on OpenLM Website:
https://www.openlm.com/knowledge-base/configuring-openlm-easyadmin-use-microsoft-iis-10-kb800/

The OpenLM Team takes security very seriously. In case you have any further questions, please kindly approach our Support department at support@openlm.com.

Thank you,

Branislav Potoček,
VP Support & Services

Monitoring engineering licenses mission impossible with executable files

SAM tools automate many of the tasks required to maintain compliance with engineering software licenses, thereby controlling software spending. At the core of compliance and cost optimization is license usage, which, in theory, can be tracked just by monitoring the executable file of the engineering software (the most basic method). But don’t fall for this theoretical trap, because in the engineering world the executable file shows only a fraction of the data you need to get the full picture on license usage. Read on to understand why.

While tracking the executable files provides a certain stream of data and may seem enough in the case of named or node-locked licenses, things get very complicated with the network licenses prevalent among organizations working with engineering applications. Therefore, claiming that simply monitoring the executable file on the end-user workstation SAM tools can give you all the needed information is invalid. The reality is that this method misses out on key data layers, because these tools are limited to just a certain level of data stream and are unable to see the complete picture. There are many reasons why, but we will list only three.

A SAM tool tracking the executable file doesn’t know

  • which license level and/or feature the end user has pulled on their workstation;
  • which license manager has provided the end-user workstation with an engineering application license;
  • which license pool provided the engineer with the license in a multiple-pool environment.

As you can see, the executable file is blind to almost all the relevant data you need to monitor actual license usage; therefore, you are missing out on balancing cost, opportunities, and performance. Let us explain with real-life scenarios using engineering software at organizations.

By monitoring the .exe file, the SAM tool misses out on license consumption

Let’s take Esri’s ArcGIS Desktop engineering application, for example. ArcGIS Desktop is available in three license levels: Basic, Standard, and Advanced. The license levels share the same core applications and user interface, but each license level provides additional GIS functionality and comes at a different price. The problem is that the Esri business model is built around one executable file, argics.exe, regardless of the license level the end user consumes when starting the engineering application. In other words, by tracking the executable file, you can tell that the engineering software is running, but you are missing out on information about the license consumed. That means that without a monitoring solution such as OpenLM, the organization’s engineering license usage (and therefore the license cost) is out of control (in the case of floating licenses).

But there is more. Esri provides apps and extensions for its ArcGIS Desktop suite to streamline engineers’ work. Some of these extensions are free, but others require a license. To start working on the project he or she was assigned to, the engineer launches the ArcGIS software and pulls additional extensions, so in the end he or she consumed three licenses at the same time (the ArcGIS app, CityEngine, and UrbanSuite, for example). Yet again, the executable file sees that the engineering application is running, but it doesn’t know that extensions (and therefore licenses) were loaded into the app; hence, licenses were consumed. That’s alarming!

We have used ArcGIS as an example, but the same goes for MATLABS’s or Bentley’s engineering applications just to name a couple. Since it is built around one executable file, the SAM tool completely misses out on license consumption. The best engineering license monitoring solutions give you an accurate insight into what’s going on within your organization’s network at a glance in an easy-to-understand manner. You need to know exactly what’s going on and who is using what and where. That’s what the OpenLM solution provides.

Compliance concerns

In an engineering environment, it is rare to have just one license manager providing end-user workstations with concurrent software licenses. Add to that a team consisting of hundreds of engineers spread across the globe. So, when an engineer pulls a license, you need to know exactly which license server has provided the end user with that license; otherwise, you may run into compliance issues, which could cost the company tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in compliance fines.

So, you need to know whether it was taken from the license server of the headquarters – let’s say, London – or if it was from a server located in Beijing. This is highly important information you need immediately because of the engineering license agreements you have with the vendor: some licenses are limited to a specific location, such as the UK, China, or the US, so when an engineer from China pulls a license from the UK pool, you then have a compliance problem.

The .exe-tracking method doesn’t provide answers, because it doesn’t have information about the location of the license server. It checks only whether the engineering software is running, and that’s it. By comparison, the OpenLM solution gives you precise data about which license manager served who and allows admins to set rules based on the license agreement’s geographical locations (and many more options) in order to avoid compliance fines.

By tracking just the .exe file, you don’t know exactly what’s happening

In an engineering environment you need to understand what is happening and react accordingly in an instant. Take the denials issue, for example. As we mentioned above, in the majority of cases, the organization is using floating licenses to optimize their license costs and realize value from their software assets. To do that, organizations often turn to license models called multiple pools. For example, the Flexera network license management system employs license files to track client license inventory. The license file is an account of purchased licensed features, each with respective attributes such as the licensing model, the number of licenses, expiration date, etc. Licenses for equivalent features may be bought separately, thus forming separate “pools” in the license file, each pool determining specific attributes.

So, in some cases, when an engineer runs the software application ArcGIS, he or she might get a denial, meaning that he or she couldn’t get a license from the license pool. This raises questions, which the SAM tool must help you to answer the following questions:

  • Did the engineer get a denial because there were no licenses?
  • Did he or she get a denial because he or she tried to access a license from the wrong allocation pool?

If you track just the executable file, you will likely see the issue; however, a SAM tool won’t be able to provide you with an answer, because it doesn’t have access to this data layer. So, even though you are monitoring the engineering application, you are left without answers unless you turn to monitoring tools such as OpenLM. The OpenLM system can report license usage levels of multiple pool licenses very well; it locates features that appear in multiple pools and provides all the data you need in an easy-to-use dashboard. Want to learn more about the OpenLM solution? Head to our website or reach out to us via email.