Collecting project information for usage using OpenLM Software

Preface

OpenLM Software allows organizations to collect usage data for billing and management purposes. OpenLM supports different policies, by groups or by project. Collecting information by groups is most common, the organization is using OpenLM in order to collect information according to any sub-division: subsidiaries, divisions, departments, etc.. The information is then used in order to implement the billing policy selected by the organization: charge by the hour, distribute maintenance costs between cost centers, or other.

Billing usage time by the active project is mainly used by project oriented companies. It helps such companies to calculate a more accurate cost of the project by collecting the usage time for each project.

Supported Software Systems

The process of collecting project information for software usage is supported for software systems that are using license managers such as FLEXlm (FLEXnet), SafeNet RMS, SafeNet HASP, IBM LUM, LMX and more.

These types of license managers are used by high-end software systems such us: ESRI ArcGIS, AutoDesk Autocad, Pro Engineer, PTC, Catia, Matlab and more.

Setting project support settings

OpenLM interfaces that allow the system administrator to perform the following actions:

  • Create new projects.
  • Set project state (Active, Not Active).
  • Assign users to projects (or remove).

Version 1.5 of OpenLM provides these interface by using OpenLM Users Management Module. From version 1.6 and on, we integrated these interfaces into OpenLM EasyAdmin.

The project collecting capability needs to be activated from OpenLM Server Configuration form. This can be done by navigating to the Projects tab. The following options are available:

Activating projects capability (“Log Project Information”).
Minimal Usage Duration – User can set a short period of usage that won’t be considered as actual usage.
Agent’s Behavior – Allows the system administrator to select one of two policies, by using OpenLM Agent functionality or by Environment Variables. The use of OpenLM Agent functionality is more user friendly and provides a more accurate results.

Environment Variables – The use of an environment variable is simple, set the name of the environment variable and OpenLM will automatically collect the information based on the environment variable settings. Using these option may also require the use of “Add unknown projects”, OpenLM server will automatically create unknown project names reported by users.

OpenLM Agent functionality – OpenLM actively collects project information for usage sessions. OpenLM Agent provides the following functionality:

  • Active Project prompt popps up automatically from OpenLM Agent when the user is activating the licensed software.
  • Active project prompt to pop-up every few minutes, in case the user switched to another project.
  • Active project prompt can be set to disappear automatically when the user ignores it.
  • The user can also activate the active project prompt from OpenLM Agent icon at any time.

Generating Reports

OpenLM EasyAdmin->Reports Tab provides reports based on active project. The user can generate usage reports at any time and limit the query by almost any argument.

Individual sessions can be reported by using OpenLM EasyAdmin->License activity tab.

Synchronization with external systems and sharing information

OpenLM allows organization to synchronize project assignment information automatically with external systems like the organization project management system.

OpenLM supports the update of the project list and and assignment of users to project through OpenLM API.

External systems can also access the project information and totals by using OpenLM API.

Summary

OpenLM System provides a complete infrastructure that allows organizations to implement a billing policy for licensed software usage. The system supports billing policy based on groups or users, projects or both together.

OpenLM Supports automatic synchronization of project information with external system like project management systems.

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