AutoCAD License Manager – It’s OK, But You Need More

Users of AutoCAD are found in a diversity of industries from consumer products like golf clubs to oil and gas plant and piping design and drilling platforms. This useful and versatile software does not come cheap, with individual licenses starting at $1575. While there are small businesses who rely on AutoCAD and only need one or two licenses, larger companies need many licenses for their large drawing offices and multiple projects. In such cases, it is impossible to manage license management effectively using manual procedures and spreadsheets. Most AutoDesk implementations come with  license manager Flexera, the most widely used solution in this arena. It is designed to control allocation of licenses, monitor license compliance, which is useful for any company that does not want to fall foul of a license audit, but even more useful for AutoDesk, who needs to keep a watchful eye on how their licenses are being used, especially where a concurrent license agreement has been chosen with the Token-Flex agreement.

Managing Multiple Users on a Network

A network license is a concurrent license that can be used by any user with access rights, and is an efficient way of minimizing the number of licenses in the inventory while catering for a large group of users. Some companies achieve a ratio of three users per license or even better. For this licensing option the license management software is loaded on to one or more network license servers and can be used by the license administrator to grant, manage and remove access rights to the company’s users.  The AutoDesk license manager also gathers statistics on usage for billing purposes and does help to a certain extent with managing productive license usage. However, if something more advanced than a “License Manager 101” is required, it is advisable to invest in additional license manager software that was written for the customer, rather than the vendor. This is where OpenLM comes into play: it is written specifically to make license management and administration easier and more productive from the customer’s perspective and provide valuable insight to license usage in the organization.

Why OpenLM is a Really Good Investment

OpenLM is a license management tool designed specifically for the engineering sector, but is also used in manufacturing and construction, and any other environment where engineering software is part of the user toolset. It operates in real-time and can be used to monitor many of the most widely used engineering software products on a per-minute or even a per-second basis.  Some of the capabilities of OpenLM include:-

  • The ability to detect idle licenses and “harvest” them (disconnect the user’s access and free the license back into the license pool for another user to access).
  • A feature that enables the license administrator to maintain the FlexLM Options file directly from OpenLM without having to access AutoDesk’s license manager, for functions such as the granting or revoking of access rights.
  • Flexible and in-depth reporting, notably the usage of AutoDesk tokens and where they are costing more because of the AutoDesk time-slot management and pricing model.
  • Special extensions that offer even more value-add, such as a newly introduced reporting add-on that allows you to create custom reports using any of the data that OpenLM can extract.

A Cost-Effective and Easy-to-Use Solution

OpenLM can be installed for a free evaluation by anyone interested in an effective license management solution. During the trial evaluation period, most customers are impressed with its easy to use interface, and find they do not need much assistance in getting up and running. The ability to manage, not just AutoCAD, but other engineering licenses, such as Catia, Solidworks and ArcGIS, through a single product cannot be overemphasized. No longer does the license administrator need to remember the quirks of every license manager software supplied by their vendor (such as Sentinel RMS or IBM LUM).  And, it’s competitive pricing adds a sizeable weight to the ROI.

For an organization that is heavily invested in AutoCAD, all the facts needed to maximize productivity are at your fingertips, simultaneously minimizing licensing costs while maximizing availability for your concurrent users. Get more detail about AutoDesk and OpenLM.