ArcGIS 10.0, Service Pack 3

General:

In their blog dating September 09 2011, ESRI has announced the upcoming release of ArcGIS’s Service Pack 3. This Service Pack is due in October 2011, and deals with a long list of enhancements and fixed issues.

Reference:

Please take a look at the ArcGIS blog space for the ArcGIS Service Pack 3 item:

http://blogs.esri.com/Dev/blogs/arcgis/archive/2011/09/09/ArcGIS-10.0-Service-Pack-3.aspx

And at the list of fixes and enhancements :

http://downloads.esri.com/support/documentation/ao_/10.0_SP3_Announcement.pdf


Items of interest in respect to OpenLM:

  • NIM066475: ArcGIS Desktop Administrator is unable to return borrowed licenses if DNS resolution is required to reach the license manager.

  • NIM065008: Running a geoprocessing tool using background geoprocessing causes license error in ArcEngine 10.0

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Updates to the ArcGIS 10 and ArcGIS 10.1 deprecation plan


General:

Well – The new ArcGIS 10.0 and 10.1 versions are already on deprecation schedule. ESRI has announced the deprecation of these versions, and blogged a plan to go with it.

The highlights are:

  • ArcGIS 10.0 is the last release with full Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) support. With ArcGIS 10.1 we will no longer support VBA development.

  • ArcGIS 10.0 is the last release that the ArcObjects SDK for Microsoft .NET will support Visual Studio 2008.

  • ArcGIS 10.0 is the last planned release of ArcInfo Workstation.


References:

You can read all about the updated deprecation plan on ArcGIS’s blog site:

http://blogs.esri.com/Dev/blogs/arcgis/archive/2011/09/30/Update-to-ArcGIS-10-and-10.1-Deprecation-Plan.aspx

Please make sure to keep up-to-date on the product and platform support plans. the latest version is apparently on:

http://downloads2.esri.com/support/TechArticles/ArcGIS10and101Deprecation_Plan.pdf

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OpenLM and ESRI Data Interoperabilty Version 10

During the last few month we received complains about ArcCatalog vesion 10 crashing when the ESRI Data Interoperabilty and OpenLM Active Agent are installed on the same machine. The problem was caused by an Esri BUG that received the number NIM067133.

ESRI solved this issue in Data Interoperability Extension for ArcGIS 10 Service Pack 2 published this week. Please install the patch on your earliest convenience.

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Tesera Systems cloud based licensing system supported by OpenLM

Tesera Systems OpenLM WhitePaper

Tesera Systems – a customer of OpenLM has implemented an advanced cloud based computing & licensing system. FLEXlm (FLEXnet) licensed software such an ESRI Desktop software (ArcInfo, ArcEditor & ArcView) and Safe FME software is used by cloud instances or end user workstations over the cloud. The licensing system is managed and enhanced by OpenLM software ensuring the high availability and effective usage of licenses.

Tesera Systems is an employee-owned company that provides a wide range of quality services related to resource planning, analysis, information systems and environmental management. Our innovative IT and collaboration and infrastructure allow us to effectively manage and operate high performing distributed teams (required to provide the best solution). Tesera has branch offices throughout western Canada, specifically: Victoria, Penticton, and Prince George (British Columbia) and Cochrane, and Calgary (Alberta). Tesera’s staff have access to virtual desktops and secure, redundant and centralized data storage allowing them to operate as though they were in the office regardless of where they work from.

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Generating custom reports using Excel spreadsheet

OpenLM system provides many built-in reports such as:
Group and Project usage
Usage level reports (report and chart)
License denial reports (supported for FLEXnet FLEXlm license manager)
Active users
And more…

Managers always require more reports and OpenLM provides an easy way to generate custom reports by using OpenLM EasyAdmin ability to export information in a CSV format and to process the information using a spreadsheet software.

The process starts by creating the query that will define which information will be exported out of OpenLM system. EasyAdmin provides a unique and easy to use tool that allows the user to define the exact information needed. The user can filter the query by: server name, vendor name, features, users, groups, projects, time and even working days.

After defining the query the information will be displayed in EasyAdmin, using the export button located below the grid the information can be exported to a CSV file that can be easily imported into the spreadsheet software.

The user can also save the filter created for future use by using the “Funnel” icon.

The reports generated this way are available for any of the supported license managers like: FLEXnet, FLEXlm, IBM LUM, Sentinel RMS, SafeNet HASP, RLM and more.

Generating a Unique Daily Users Report

The unique daily user report allow companies to know who is consuming the network licenses every day. In order to create this example we have used Autocad network licenses (from Autodesk).

The usage information is exported in CSV format from the EasyAdmin->License Activity TAB.

The action is demonstrated in OpenLM Version 1.7 and Microsoft Excel Version 2010.

1. Using  ‘Easy Admin’ interface: Click Start -> Reports -> License Activity.
The filter on the left can be used in order to create the query for the report. After creating the query and clicking the “Apply” button, click the “Export” button (The small icon with green arrow at the bottom of the grid).  Save the generated CSV file on the disk.

2. Open the CSV file using Microsoft Excel.

3. Make a copy of the “Start Time” column in order to remove the hour component from the field.

4. Select the new column, click on “Data-> Text To Columns”  on the menu of Microsoft Excel, a window will pop:

1. Select “Delimited”’ and click “Next”.

2. Choose the ‘Space’ box and click next

3. Select ‘Text’ and click Finish

5. Three new columns has been created as a result of the process we did (columns which detail the date, the time & the daily time zone – AM/PM ).

We only need the column with the date.

Delete the other two columns and change the name of the column (The dates column)  to ‘Date Usage’

 

6. Select the column ‘Date Usage’ and right click the mouse in order to select the ‘Format Cell’ option from the menu. A window will open –  select ‘Date’ from the ‘Category’ list and click ‘OK’

 

7. Select all columns (CTRL+A) , click on ‘Insert’ ( in  Microsoft Excel menu ) and  on PivotTable.

Select the ‘New Worksheet’ on the ‘Create PivotTable’ window that will pop up and click ‘OK’.

A new worksheet will be created.

 

8. On the right side of the screen you will see all your columns( under ‘PivotTable Field List’ )

Drag first the ‘Date Usage’ field  with the mouse to the ’Row Labels’ box and then drag the ‘User Name’ field  to the ‘Row Labels’ box.

 

The example report shows the unique users that consumed licenses for each day. In the example report some days lists one user, for example 03/04/2011. On the 14/03/2011 we had two unique users.

Generating a Group Usage Report for Projects

The following report lists the total number of license usage hours each group investing for each project. Such a report can be useful for billing purposes or in order to support managerial decisions.

OpenLM provides two built in reports: Project usage report and Group usage report. this custom reports integrates the two reports together.

1. Perform steps 1-7 (listed above in the previous report).

2. On the right side of the screen you will see all your columns’ names ( under ‘PivotTable Field List’ ). Drag the ‘Project’ field to the ’Row Labels’ box and then drag the  ‘Group’ field  to the same box as shown in the following image.

3. Drag the ‘Count Of Usage Time’ field into the ‘Values’ box. The result will be generated automatically:

We can see that the GISteam group used 31 hours of Autocad network licensed software for the “City Plan” project and the “GISSpecial” only used 1 hour for the “Environment” project.

 

Generating a Feature (licensed software) Usage Report for Projects

The following report lists the products (licensed software, features in FLEXlm) used on each project. Such a report can be useful for billing purposes or in order to support managerial decisions.

1.Perform steps 1-7 (listed above).

2. On the right side of the screen you will see all your columns’ names ( under the ‘PivotTable Field List’ ),drag  the ‘project’ field  to the ’Row Labels’ box and then drag the ‘Product’ field to the same box as shown in the following image.

In this example we have used information from an ESRI ArcGIS license manager. In the report we can see the list of features used for the “City Plan” project. We can se the use of base licenses such as ArcView and ArcInfo or extensions such as 3DAnalyst network license.

Generating a Feature Usage Chart

The following chart shows the total number of users that used specific license (feature).

1. Perform steps 1-6 (listed above).

2. Select all columns (CTRL+A) , click on ‘Insert’ (Microsoft Excel menu) and choose the ‘PivotChart’ option from the ‘PivotTable’ menu as shown in the following image.

3. Select ‘New Worksheet’ on the ‘Create PivotTable with PivotChart ’ window that will pop and click ‘OK’. A new work sheet will be created.

4.  On the right side of the screen you will see all your columns (under the ‘PivotTable Field List’). Drag the ‘Product’ field to the ‘Legend Fields’ box and then drag the ‘User Name’ field to the ‘Values’ box.
This  automatically will generate a chart of the number of users that used each license, As shown in the following image.

Summary

This article explains how to generate custom reports and charts by using OpenLM export functionality and a spreadsheet software. OpenLM system allows the user to generate a query and to export the information to a CSV file that can be further processed by the spreadsheet software.
The article demonstrated the creation of sevelral reports such as: Unique Daily Users Report, Group Usage Report for Projects, Feature (licensed software) Usage Report for Projects and Feature Usage Chart.

 

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Problem/Error with AutoCAD network license management: “A valid license could not be obtained by the network license manager”

Details:

You can face above problem frequently on AutoCAD 2007 based products when you are working in an organization where:

  • Concurrent licensing scheme is implemented through server/client networking mode.
  • Network bandwidth is low.
  • Network latency is high or connected through VPN.

All of the products based on AutoCAD 2007 contain licensing enhancements which tend to increase network latency and bandwidth utilization of the network. Therefore, you can face this problem while trying to claim the license of the program from the License Manager Server. Earlier versions of AutoCAD products i.e. older than 2007 release were not observing this problem. In this problem, first you are presented with a FLEXlm license finder dialogue box during license obtaining process followed by a message stating:

“A valid license could not be obtained by the network license manager.

Error [1.5. -15]”

In some other products you can receive a bit different message as given below:

“A valid license could not be obtained by the network license manager.

Error [1.5. -18]”

Reasons for Error:

A network throughput or data rate of the link is the main reason for this error especially in case of heavy applications like AutoCAD 2007. Reasons can be summarized as below:

  • Low Bandwidth of the connection i.e. Dial-up connection or low speed ISDN/DSL connection.
  • High Network Latency i.e. VPN
  • Response waiting time of the application/program

One or more of the above reasons can be the root cause of this problem. This problem has recommended solutions which given below.

Solutions:

  • Recommended solution for this problem is either increase in the bandwidth of the connection or decrease in the network latency or enhancement in both parameters.
  • By modification of the response waiting time counter/value which is used as the last resort for the solution of this problem. This is a stepwise procedure to modify the response waiting time counter. Here is the stepwise procedure for the same:
  1. Right click My Computer and choose properties.
  2. On system property dialogue box choose advanced tab.
  3. Click on the environment Variables
  4. On environment variable dialogue box choose system variables field and hit the new button
  5. A new system variable dialogue box with two fields appears; put “FLEXLM_TIMEOUT” in variable name and put 1000000 in variable value field.
  6. Click OK on all three dialogue boxes to close them
  7. Launch the AutoCAD application

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the problem persists, increase the variable value in multiples of 1000000 micro seconds and reach to the value which gives you satisfactory communication results.

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ArcGIS Software Bug/Problem: “The ArcGIS Desktop Administrator does not connect to ArcGIS License Manager 9.3 while it is connected through VPN or network speeds are slow”

Details:

You must not panic when you see above mentioned issue during the process of ArcGIS license-claiming from ArcGIS License Manager 9.3. This is a software bug mostly observed in all level of ArcGIS software ver9.3; earlier releases of this software did not observe this problem but following mentioned all levels observed this issue.

  • ArcGISArcEditor 9.3
  • ArcGIS – ArcInfo 9.3
  • ArcGIS – ArcView 9.3 & 9.3.1
  • ArcInfo Workstation 9.3

All of the above software modules observe this problem while operating on following Windows Operating systems.

  • Windows 2000
  • Windows XP
  • Windows 2003 Server
  • Vista

This bug is identified by the ID ‘NIM037135’ and FlexNet licensing error ID “-15,570” which is shown in the error report/message returned against licensing request to the server. Following error message is returned with related details:



The name of the server and license path may vary as per network configuration. The error numbering scheme will be -15 and followed by 570 after comma; this is ArcGIS error reporting format.

Reasons for error:

This happens mostly in following two conditions when network/concurrent licensing scheme for ArcGIS is implemented.

  • The connection between server and license requesting machine is through VPN.
  • The connection is either Dial-up or a slow ISDN/DSL one.

Solution:

There is a stepwise process to resolve this issue of the software through modification of the environment variables in the Windows operating systems. The network or server client messages take certain time to process and reach at their destinations. Therefore, the waiting time of the program for communication response to reach is set a bit larger to resolve this issue on the windows OS. Stepwise procedure is given below:

  • Right click My Computer and choose properties.
  • On system property dialogue box choose advanced tab.
  • Click on the environment Variables
  • On environment variable dialogue box choose system variables field and hit the new button
  • A new system variable dialogue box with two fields appears; put “FLEXLM_TIMEOUT” in variable name and put 1000000 in variable value field
  • .Click OK on all three dialogue boxes to close them
  • Launch the ArcGIS 9.3 program

If the problem still persists then, repeat above mentioned procedure with an increase the variable value in the multiples of 1000000 micro seconds and reach to the value which gives you satisfactory communication results.

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ESRI Announcement – ArcGIS 10 Service Pack 2 Now Available for Download

ESRI announced the availability of ArcGIS 10 Service Pack 2 for download.

This service pack contains some changes to the ESRI ArcGIS License Manager (FLEXlm/FLEXnet based):

  • NIM064547 – The offline authorization of concurrent use licenses might result in a loss of licenses.
  • NIM064730 – Borrowing fails if a license manager has expired licenses even if a valid licenses exist on the license manager.
  • NIM064966 – The offline authorization for the License Manager needs to be modified so that it’s only a one step process.
  • NIM065544 – The Software Authorization Wizard fails to refresh license counts on authorization requests even after correction

OpenLM has tested the service pack and found that the current release of OpenLM Active agent (1.6) is compatible with ArcGIS 10 Service Pack 2. ESRI ArcGIS 10 Service Pack 2 can be installed on-top of the existing ArcGIS version and OpenLM Active Agent functionality is fully preserved.

 

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ESRI ArcGIS setup on Windows 7 64 bit Operating System – Error 1303

ESRI ArcGIS (ArcInfo, ArcEditor and ArcView) is supported on both 32 and 64 operating systems. We setup the system using a FLEXlm floating license manager.

Inserting the disk and starting the installation. It takes some time and the we have received error 1303 The installation has insufficient privileges to access the directory: C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\ArcGIS\Bin. ESRI provides this assistance.

This time we installed the software as administrator. Browse the install disk and execute the setup.exe under D:\Desktop.

Using “Run As Administrator” solved the problem.

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OpenLM Active Agent’s “Set ArcGIS License Level” Tool

OpenLM for ESRI ArcGIS provides users with a wide range of tools that make it possible to enhance the usability of Desktop ArcGIS licenses.

With these tools, users can:

  1. Query license availability
  2. Check who is using licenses at any given time
  3. Get full details on license users
  4. Receive license-availability notifications when licenses become available
  5. Reopen closed projects
  6. Set the ArcGIS license level

This post focuses on the sixth item in the previous list: Setting the ArcGIS license level.

First of all, it is important to note that ESRI Desktop ArcGIS comes in three levels:

Viewer – While Viewer is a very powerful software package, it is entry-level software as far as ESRI ArcGIS Desktop is concerned. Also known as ArcView, Viewer allows users to view, edit, and analyze GIS data stored in files or SDE. The capabilities of this license level can be enhanced by using different extensions from ESRI or third-party developers.

Please note that Viewer, or ArcView, is called VIEWER in FLEXlm.

Editor – Editor provides users with the capabilities of Viewer as well as tools designed for editing spatial data. The tools of this level make the creation of map and spatial data in GIS easy; they can edit:

  • Geodatabase files and data
  • Multi-user geodatabases
  • Versioning
  • Raster data and vectorization
  • Advanced vector data
  • Coverages
  • Coordinate geometry (COGO)
  • Geometric networks

Please note that Editor is called EDITOR in FLEXlm.

Professional – Professional is the most powerful Desktop-GIS package from ESRI. The professional license provides users with all capabilities of the previous levels in addition to other features, including:

  • Advanced spatial data analysis
  • Geoprocessing
  • Data management

Please note that Professional is called ARCINFO in FLEXlm.

ESRI Desktop ArcGIS software allows users to switch between the different license levels by using ArcGIS Administrator software.

The tool pictured above allows users to switch between “Concurrent Use” and “Single Use” licenses. It also allows users to access the license-borrowing capability that was released with version 10 of Desktop ArcGIS.

To make changes in this form, users set values in the workstation registry. For example, entering HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\ESRI\License10.0\SOFTWARE_CLASS = Viewer into a workstation’s registry will set that system’s license level to Viewer (ArcView).

Set ArcGIS License Level
OpenLM Active Agent’s “Set ArcGIS License Level” tool provides users with a quick, easy-to-use method for setting their workstation’s license level; it uses an environment variable (ESRI_SOFTWARE_CLASS). When enabled, this tool allows users to quickly change their software levels without having to use the ArcGIS Administrator tool.

The possible values of the environment variable are:

  • Viewer – To use the ArcView license level
  • Editor – To use the ArcEditor license level
  • Professional – To use the ArcInfo license level

Using the environment-variables method provided by OpenLM Active Agent offers numerous benefits:

  • It is quick and easy (It only requires 2 mouse clicks)
  • It is a great alternative to granting users complete access to the ArcGIS Administrator tool
  • It provides the system administrator with an easy way to control users’ access to licenses

There is, however, one drawback to using the OpenLM Agent tool:

  • It may cause problems since it takes priority over the ArcGIS Administrator tool.

Disabling the OpenLM Agent Tool
If any problems do occur while using the OpenLM Agent tool, it can be disabled in two easy steps. First, navigate to the software folder, which is typically located in C:\Program Files\OpenLM\OpenLM Agent. Then, once in the folder, delete “plugin.xml.”

The next version of OpenLM Agent will provide built-in support for enabling and disabling extensions.

Summary
This post focuses primarily on OpenLM Active Agent’s “Set ArcGIS License Level” tool, but it also briefly covers the three levels of ESRI Desktop ArcGIS and ArcGIS Administrator’s method of changing license levels. The benefits of using “Set ArcGIS License Level” to change users’ license levels are discussed, and the methods used to do so are explained. Additionally, for system administrators who would prefer to disable the OpenLM Active Agent method of changing users’ license levels, there is a quick guide that can be followed to do so.

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