Application note 1013: OpenLM Alerts

Scope

OpenLM Alerts is designed to assure the stability and availability of your licensing system. The system allows the system manager to define conditions and what will happen when these conditions are met. The system is able to handle complex conditions on multiple license servers and features and is able to send alert by email or SMS.

This document presents the OpenLM Alerts software module. It elaborates the module’s installation process, and conveys basic information regarding the OpenLM Alert’s functionality and configuration options.

General

The implementation of OpenLM Alert system allows organizations to handle problems related to the licensing system even before the users experience the problems. The “OpenLM Alerts” tool provides the system administrator ability to closely monitor the licensing system through a set of predefined message rules.

These messages may be assigned different severity levels, i.e.: Alerts, Warnings and Notifications. The Alerts tool messages may be configured to be sent to the system administrator as an email, an SMS text message, as a notification in the EasyAdmin web application or redirected to an event log file.

OpenLM Alerts System Architecture

The Alerts system is implemented by a Windows service working in conjunction with the OpenLM Server.


The Alert Systems interface, OpenLM Alerts Editor allows the user to define a set of alerts that are written to an XML file. OpenLM Alerts service reads the alert and constantly checks the conditions against OpenLM Server.

When a condition is met, OpenLM Alerts checks the defined destinations and timelines, and sends the messages to the users using the SMTP and SMS gateway.

“OpenLM Alerts” is an optional component that requires additional licensing. It may be downloaded and installed for evaluation purposes for a period of up to 30 days. After that, a customer would have to contact sales@openlm.com for pricing.

Downloading and Installation

The Alerts tool can be installed on any Windows platform. It should be installed on the same machine as the OpenLM Server. The OpenLM Alerts installer requires .NET Framework 3.5.

The OpenLM System components are available for download on the OpenLM site. After filling in your name and email, you would be directed to the download section. Select the OpenLM Version 1.7 section:

Roll down to the bottom of the page, and click the “Download” button under the OpenLM Alerts label. Follow the standard Installation wizard commands to go through the installation process.

Note: The OpenLM Alerts component monitors your license servers (FLEXlm, IBM LUM, and Sentinel RMS) and it should not be installed on the same server as your license servers. Otherwise, the OpenLM alerting system will also stop running along with FLEXlm in case of any hardware or software failure.

At the end of the installation process, the Alerts Configuration Form will be displayed.

The Alerts Configuration Form

Open the Alerts Configuration from. Its image is shown below:

Fill in the required information to configure the Alerts module:

  • OpenLM server: Type in the OpenLM Server name or IP. In the example above, the Alerts module was installed on the same machine as the OpenLM server, hence OpenLM server was defined as localhost.

  • Alerts Port and UI Port: These are the OpenLM server ports that interface with the Alerts module. These should be the same ports as defined in the “OpenLM server configuration”  form under the “Port Settings” label, namely the “Alerts server checking port” and the “User interface http server port” respectively.

Click the “Check connectivity to OpenLM Server” buttons to ensure that the Alerts module interfaces the OpenLM server on both these ports.

  • Configure mail / sms services: The OpenLM Alerts may be sent email or SMS text message. In order to configure the alert to be send as an email:

  1. Click the Configure mail/sms services button. The Configuration widow opens on the Email tab.

      

  1. Type in the required information, and click the “Test account” button. A test message would be sent to the configured account.

  2. Click the “OK” button to finalize this configuration.

In order to set the Alerts module to send SMS text messages:

  1. select the SMS tab on the Configuration window.

  1. Contact OpenLM Sales (sales@openlm.com) in order to receive your SMS username and password.

  2. Type in the required data, and press the “Test account” button. An SMS text message would be sent to the configured account.

  3. Click the “OK” button to finalize this configuration.

The Alerts editor window

The OpenLM Alerts System features a visual and easy-to-use Alerts Editor. In order to access the editor: Click the Windows “Start” button, and navigate to “OpenLM” → “Alerts System Service” → “OpenLM Alerts Editor”. The Alerts Editor window opens.

To add a new alert, follow these steps:

  1. Click the “Add” button. The “Conditions Editor” window opens.


  1. Enter the “Query Name” text.
  2. Click the “Severity” drop down menu, and select the required severity level to be Alert, Warning or Notice.
  3. Select the condition type: OpenLM Alerts system uses conditions to help organizations locate failures or inefficient usage of licenses. The condition types are:
    1. Feature threshold – Checks the usage level of a feature.
    2. Check duplicate licenses – Checks whether a user uses the same features on multiple workstations.
    3. OpenLM server is down.
    4. Feature Expiration – Alert that a feature license expiration date is coming up.
    5. Monitored license manager that OpenLM fails to contact
    6. Users without default group
    7. Users without default project
  1. Configure one or more Alert destinations:
    1. Click the “Type” drop down menu, to select the Alert destination type. The optional types are:
      1. Email
      2. SMS text message
      3. EasyAdmin web application
      4. Event log
    2. Type in the Alert’s destination in the “Destination” text box.
    3. To customize the number of times an alert could be sent, click the “Limit Send Times” button. The “Select allowed sending times” window opens. Customize the alert’s sending times on this window.
  2. Click the “Add” button. A corresponding Alert line is added in the “Query Definition” frame (see below).


  1. Configure each alert line separately and click “OK”. A new alert is added to the Alerts List on the “Alerts Editor” window.
  2. In order to edit an alert, select a Query Name (e.g.: my_new_alert) on the “Alerts Editor” window, and click the “Edit” button. The “Conditions Editor” opens again, and the necessary changes may be applied.

Alerts Timing

There is a method for setting up the Alerts’ timing (e.g.: If the system administrator is reluctant to receive SMS messages at 3:00 AM). In order to do so, please configure the “Select allowed sending times” window.

This window is accessible through the “Conditions Editor” window’s “Limit send times” button. Configuration of timing may be done in two methods: via the “User Interface” or the “Custom Pattern”.

User interface configuration

The example below shows an email alert pattern configured to each working day of the week, between 08:00 and 20:00. Note the Regular expression for this pattern is “* 8-20 * * 1-5”

 

Custom Pattern configuration

The user may also set the alert according to the Regular expression pattern, in order to obtain more complex alert timing patterns. For example: setting the alert for each working day of the week on every whole hour would create the pattern 0 */1 * * 1-5. In order to combine the two patterns mentioned above, i.e: have an alert for each working day of the week on every whole hour AND between 08:00 and 20:00, we need to superimpose the patterns, i.e:
“* 8-20 * * 1-5” + “0 */1 * * 1-5” = “0 8-20/1 * * 1-5”

Implementation Tips

  • Every Alert query consumes resources from the OpenLM system, hence a good alerts’ system should contain the minimum number of checks that would assure a stable and effective licensing system. The frequency of queries can be configured on the “Select Frequency” dialog box (Click the “Frequency” button in the “Alerts Editor” window to access this dialog box).

  • The “Limit Send Time” button in the “Conditions Editor” window allows you to direct the alert to the desired destination. For example, an alert may be sent to an email during work hours and to SMS after work hours.

Revision Table

Revision Date Author Notes
0.1 – Preliminary Nov 10, 2011 Orik Preliminary
1.0 Mar 23, 2012 Orik Added Alerts’ timing