Application Note 1003_a: OpenLM Groups License Activity Report tool

The OpenLM Groups License Activity Report tool provides the ability to present an historical account of groups’ license usage sessions.

More details:

OpenLM provides an easy interface for monitoring software license usage. It does so for a constantly expanding variety of concurrent license manager types, e.g. FlexLM / Flexnet, Sentinel RMS Reprise RLM, MathLM, DSLS, Sentinel HASP, LM-X, IBM-LUM etc.

OpenLM is capable of reporting usage according to Users, User groups, Hosts, Host groups, Organizational Units and Projects. OpenLM’s web application – EasyAdmin – presents users’ accumulated data in a variety of real-time windows (e.g. “Active Products” and “Feature Usage Status” windows), and historical usage tables (e.g. “License usage” and “License activity” windows). See the OpenLM screenshots document for more information.

At the time of writing this revision, the current OpenLM version (1.8.1.17) is not yet capable of presenting an historical account of groups’ license usage sessions (i.e. the groups’ equivalent of single users’ “License activity” window).

The OpenLM Groups License Activity Report tool provides this ability.

OpenLM License Activity

The EasyAdmin “License activity” window provides an account for all ended sessions on license managers that are monitored by OpenLM. This window contains columns for the user name, Feature name and Session start & end times. (Some items on the image below have been deleted for privacy considerations)

The users who populate this list are members of groups in the OpenLM database. These groups may be introduced either manually, or by means of LDAP (Active Directory) synchronization.

Please refer to these Application notes:

Application Note 2029_a: LDAP (Active Directory) Synchronization. Basic guide v1.8

Application Note 2029_b: LDAP (Active Directory) Synchronization. Comprehensive guide v1.8

And this video:

Synchronize Active Directory, and add users manually

for more information on OpenLM Groups.

In the image above, the ‘Engineering’ group has been selected for the time period from 22/10/2012 until now. In order to provide information for the Groups reporting tool, the information needs to be exported to a CSV file, using the green arrow icon (marked by a red rectangle).

OpenLM Groups reporting tool

Once the License Activity information was exported to CSV, the OpenLM Groups reporting tool may be employed:

  • Open the OpenLM Groups reporting tool.

  • Type in the exported file path.

  • Select the Date time format (in the example above it is dd/MM/yyyy)

  • Click the Start button.

After the tool is run, a CSV format file should be created and its directory presented on the desktop. This file’s default name is OpenLMGroups.csv, and it contains an historical account of OpenLM groups’ license usage

The default location for the output CSV, as well as for Log files is

For post-Vista Windows’ version:

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\OpenLM\OpenLMGroupsReport_Log.txt

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\OpenLM\OpenLMGroups.csv

For pre-Vista Windows’ version: this would be at:

C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\OpenLM

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OpenLM and the trend of increase in license auditing

Background

As the economic condition continues to falter, the rate of software compliance auditing rises. This is caused by rising pressure in companies to use unlicensed software on one end, and equivalent pressure on the side of software vendors to keep their revenue. According to BSA (Business Software Alliance) officials,  the current economic climate “could have an impact on companies cutting corners and using unlicensed software to save perceived-costs”. This in turn leads the BSA step up license compliance enforcement and litigation against violators.

As a tool dedicated for the monitoring of licensed applications, OpenLM perfectly fits in the capacity of keeping BSA officials content, and CEOs of software using companies relaxed.

Ensuring license agreement compliance.

Software vendors use several methods in order to ensure license compliance.

  • Inside information: Violation reports are routinely submitted to the BSA by insiders. These are individuals with inside information, that report violation of license usage for various reasons. The BSA’s response to such referrals would normally be a letter to the suspected violator, indicating that an investigation is taking place and offering to give up litigation action if a compliance audit is conducted. If the compliance audit is conducted, the company must provide a list of all the software in question, as well as the purchase dates of the software licenses.

  • Piracy business intelligence may be collected by the software and gathered by the vendors in order to pinpoint license violations.

  • End-User License Agreements: Large vendors may have the ability to conduct software audits for their software for license compliance purposes according to their End User License Agreements.

Pressure builds up

When the time comes for an unexpected external audit, or when the expiration of a license is closing in, companies tend to rush IT personnel to take manual inventory of existing software. This process is inefficient for several reasons:

  • It is an error prone process, mainly in large companies that run hundreds of licensed applications. Moreover: employees don‘t necessarily act in compliance with license agreements.

  • It is also inefficient. It consumes system administrators’ time and concentration, and may raise tension within the organization.

Continuous monitoring is needed

In order to ensure full compliance and peace of mind, organization executives should enforce formal, ongoing software license management policies. This is where OpenLM comes in into the picture:

  • Having an organized license usage report reduces the risk of an external audit, and serves as an insurance policy against the consequences of liability actions by the BSA.

  • Organized reports may also improve a company’s position, and have benefits when negotiating with a vendor for license renewal.

  • En-route the organization of software inventory, license activity is made apparent, and software costs are reduced.

  • IT personnel are taken off the mundane, but error prone procedure of manual inventory taking, and their productivity is increased.

Further reading

Software License Audits: What Does It Mean to Be Non-Compliant?

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