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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