License Activity: Actual Usage

License managers have long noticed that users tend to check out expensive network licenses but leave the applications idle, thus dropping the organization’s license utilization efficiency.

Whether deliberately hogging licenses or inadvertently keeping sessions open on their desktops, such license consumption inevitably leads to unnecessary expenditure.

OpenLM provides a new method for monitoring the actual usage of licensed applications, and pointing out the idle percentage of open sessions. This is the “Actual Usage” report.

A short overview of how Actual Usage is measured in the OpenLM application is shown below. Click the screen to view:

time well spent

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Application Note 2011: Quick Installation guide for the OpenLM license management system v1.8

The OpenLM Floating license monitoring and Usage optimization tool interfaces an ever growing variety of license managers, such as Flexera FlexLM (Flexnet publisher), Beta LM, IBM LUM, DSLS, Sentinel HASP, Sentinel RMS, Reprise RLM, MathLM, LM-X and Easycopy.

Step 1: Installation

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 1.8 section:


And start by downloading the server:

When downloading is complete, double click the downloaded *.msi file and follow the standard installation instructions.

Step 2: Configuring License Servers

When the installation is complete, click:

Windows’ Start → All Programs → OpenLM → Server → OpenLM Server Configuration

The OpenLM Server configuration window opens.

1. Add in your license servers:

  • Click the ‘Add’ button,

  • Type in the License server’s host name or IP (e.g. lm10) and Port number (e.g. 27000)

  • Select the new License server’s type (e.g. FlexLM)

  • Type in an informative name (e.g. “lm10 – ArcGis server”)

  • Select the license server’s time zone (e.g. UTC+1)

The image below demonstrates this configuration:

 

2. Select a license server and click the check button in order to ensure that OpenLM can retrieve information from that license server. This information is the input received from the License manager.

3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 for all license servers.

4. Click ‘Apply’, and “Restart now”.

Step 3: The OpenLM EasyAdmin Interface

The EasyAdmin web application is the main OpenLM Administrative and user interface.

You can find it on:

Windows’ Start → All Programs → OpenLM → OpenLM EasyAdmin2.

The OpenLM EasyAdmin opens. Click the EasyAdmin start button to explore this application’s features.

The image above is an example of an EasyAdmin workspace. It features Administrative tools, License data, License usage data, Graphic usage representation, Roles and permissions’ assignment, and Active Agent capabilities.

For more information on the OpenLM EasyAdmin web interface, please refer to this document.

Congratulations!

You now have an up and running OpenLM system.

For further information regarding the installation and preliminary configuration of the OpenLM system components, please refer to the “Application Note 2010: OpenLM license management system Complete Installation guide v1.8” document.

Revision table

Revision

Author

Date

Remarks

0.1

Orik

Apr 23,  2013

Preliminary

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Application Note 1030: OpenLM license usage monitoring according to projects – v1.8.

General

OpenLM is able to record information about the usage of various licenses and allocate them to different company projects. This ability facilitates license allocation according to organizational projects, and can also serve as a mean to effectively charge-back license usage expenses according to these projects.

This ability complements OpenLM’s license monitoring capabilities; integrating license usage optimization with Active directory synchronization, Project assignment, and monitoring a variety of  license managers such as FlexLM (Flexnet), Sentinel HASP, Sentinel RMS, RLM, DSLS, LM-X, IBM LUM, and MathLM.

Scope

The Project license usage recording capability is available for OpenLM from version 1.6 onwards. In the 1.8 version, some modifications have been made:

  • The configuration of Project monitoring was shifted from the OpenLM Server configuration tool to the EasyAdmin web application.

  • Administrative capabilities have been added, such as Enabling / Disabling a project, assigning it a priority and expected duration, and marking the project’s completeness percentage.

  • Projects can now be assigned to user groups (not just to individual users), and

  • Projects can be introduced by end-users via the OpenLM Agent module.

This Application Note describes the feature as implemented in the 1.8 version.

Project usage reporting

The Project usage reporting is available on the EasyAdmin web interface. Click OpenLM Start → Resports → Project usage in order to see the report. Set the filtering options on the left-hand side of the screen, and click the ‘Apply’ button in order to run the usage query. It is also possible to view the report in a chart format, or extract the information to a CSV file (green arrow icon at the bottom) and manipulate it on a spreadsheet software.

However, before having any information to report – it is necessary to set up the projects. Please follow the section below in order to do so.

Projects Settings

The “Projects Settings” screen defines the policy of the Project usage monitoring capability. In order to open it, click the OpenLM ‘Start’ button → ‘Administration’ → ‘Projects’ icon.

Notes:

1. Projects’ information logging requires the installation of the OpenLM Agent (Either Active Agent or Utilizer Agent) on the end-users’ workstations.

2. When the OpenLM server is configured to employ user permissions, access to this window requires administrative privileges.

The ‘Projects’ window appears:

Note:

The project configuration window was moved in OpenLM version 1.8 to EasyAdmin (under the Administration menu. Following is an account of its different configuration objects:

Log Projects Information

Check the Log projects information checkbox to start recording license usage information according to projects’ allocation.

Minimal Usage Duration for Project

This setting defines the shortest duration for logging purposes. Shorter periods would be merged together to form significant usage periods. For example, if the minimal duration is set to 5 minutes, and a user has opened the application for only 3 minutes, this usage period will not be accumulated to the current session, but rather merged with the following session.

Agent’s Behavior Settings

These settings define what the end-users will see on their workstations if they work on more than one project for their organization. If the workers are only allocated to one project in EasyAdmin then OpenLM will log their license usage without the need to take any action when the software is started. If the users work on more than one project then a dialog box will appear on their screen prompting them to select the current project.

Hide projects option from menu

Deny users the ability to determine the name of the project on which they’re working.

Projects window fades away after

OpenLM enables users to ignore the project dialog box by having it fade away after a predefined number of seconds. The Projects window fades away after setting defines the number of seconds after which it becomes invisible.

Allow creation of projects in Agent

This option has been introduced in the OpenLM 1.8 version.

The OpenLM project management module facilitates project creation via the OpenLM Agent. Check this box to enable this option, thus adding the “Create New Project” menu item in the OpenLM Agent interface (see image below).

When an end-user selects this option, the “Create new Project” window opens. The user then could create new projects and associate themselves to them.

Modification of these projects will be possible in EasyAdmin only. The origin of creation of the project will be apparent in the EasyAdmin Projects list window.

Show unassigned projects

By default, users can only see projects they are assigned to in the Agent → Set Active Project menu option. Checking this box will produce a list that contains all enabled projects in the system and the user will be able to select any project from this list. This option has been introduced in the OpenLM 1.8 version.

Support Environment Variable

The LM_PROJECT env. variable support is a backward-compatibility option, that supports this variable for registering projects. The variable is defined separately for each workstation, so there is no option of overriding its value between users.

The environment variable option is disabled by default. It is recommended to use the OpenLM supplied solution, unless backward support of the environment variable option is required.

The “Add unknown project” option presents an administrative filter for project names that are unknown to the OpenLM server:

  • Checked: The unknown project will be set and added to the list of projects.

  • Unchecked (default): The unknown project will not be set.

Selecting the active project

When logging of project information is enabled (see above), work hours need to be assigned to a specific project. When there is only one project – that project will automatically be assigned all the working hours. When there are more than one project – it is up to the end users to report on what project they are currently working.

1. One option for the end user to set the Active project is to right-click the Agent icon, and select the “Set Active Project” option.

2. Another option for setting the Active project is by a pop-up window. The appearance of this pop-up is configurable by options in the ‘Projects’ window, which was mentioned above.

Display at license retrieval

The default option is to prompt the worker to select the project when retrieving a license. This is a very useful way to ensure accurate logging of the project information, therefore the recommended setting is to leave the checkbox turned on.

Display periodically every

Users may start to work on one project, and then switch to a different one, without changing the Active Project setting. If this checkbox is ticked, a dialog box will pop up in a predefined time interval, according to the number of minutes set by the user.

Project creation in EasyAdmin

In the previous section, we have seen the mathod for creating project via the Agent. Projects can also be created via the EasyAdmin “Add project” window.  

In the “Project details” tab, the Administrator can set up the following characteristics:

  • Project name

  • Start and End time for the project

  • Number of working hours allocated to this project

  • The project’s priority, and

  • The project’s completeness percentage.

Users and user groups may be assigned to the project upon its creation, via the ‘Users’ and ‘Groups’ tabs. After configuring these items, click the ‘Save’ button.

Editing existing projects

The new project would be apparent in the Projects list window. In order to access this window, Click the EasyAdmin Start button → Users and Permissions → Project List.

This window presents options to create new projects, as well as to delete or edit existing ones. It is split to two panes:

  • The left pane serves as a filter for projects to be shown on the list on the right pane.

    • The Priority drop-down list presents Low / Medium / High priority levels.

    • “Created in” marks whether the project was created by the Agent or via the EasyAdmin window: Admin / Agent

  • The right pane consists of a list of the existing projects, and an action bar at the top.  Click the top bar icons to add a new project, delete a selected project, Edit a selected project’s properties, Enable or Disable a selected project.

Attaching users and user groups to the project

After creating a project, it is time to bind users or user groups to the different projects, according to organizational preferences. In order to do so, select the target project, and select the Users or Groups tab in the ‘Add project’ window. Then select the User or Group that would be attached to the project, and click the ‘Add’ button.

Appendix A: Projects information logging in v1.7

This application note relates to the OpenLM 1.8 version. As stated in the scope of this document, most Projects information logging capabilities are already existent in the 1.7 version. The main change of interface is due to the shift of the configuration from the OpenLM Server configuration tool to the EasyAdmin web application. Below is a screenshot of the 1.7 Projects setting tab on the OpenLM Server configuration tool for comparison.

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Application Note 1015a: The OpenLM EasyAdmin Mobile application

The OpenLM EasyAdmin Mobile application enables system administrators to keep track of the license management systems, while being out of office. This document describes the essentials of the OpenLM EasyAdmin for mobile application; installing the application, and running it on a Mobile set.

Background

The ever increasing obligation of system administrators to support their users’ issues in real time has produced the need to perform license management operations upon request. OpenLM has come up with a solution to this requirement: An “Out of the office”, slick, mobile application that extracts the bulk license management information, and enables system administrators to resolve user issues even when networking is inaccessible to them.

Supported Devices

The EasyAdmin Mobile application is developed according to web development standards, e.g.: HTML5 and CSS3. It is supported by most popular mobile operating systems like iOS, Google Android, and BlackBerry OS.

User experience

The user experience is of a sliding window menu, spanning over 4 separate pages. Navigating among these pages is easy and intuitive, and the information contained on them is adequate for system administrators to perform troubleshooting in the field.

Users can also test the application using a Google Chrome web browser. It is designed to have the same look and feel as the authentic mobile application. In fact, the screenshots contained in this article have been cropped using this browser.

Network considerations

Using the OpenLM Mobile application requires a network connection between the Mobile application and the Internet server that serves the application. It also requires connection to the OpenLM Server UI port. Observe the image below for clarification.

 

This image depicts two scenarios:

  1. Intranet: Mobile devices inside the company connect to the Local Area Network. Access to the web server serving OpenLM is direct. After loading the application to the mobile device, the requests for information are handled by the OpenLM Server.

  2. Internet: Mobile devices access the application from the Internet. The company needs to open ports for loading the application and for communicating with the OpenLM Server.

 

The image demonstrates a system with two servers. In many cases, the OpenLM Server and the web server (http server) run on the same machine.

 

Application Pages

Important note:

The EasyAdmin Touch Application is available for installation on all Mobile operating systems. However, as a PC browser application for debugging, this application currently supports Chrome browser v. 8.0 upwards only. This is at the time of writing this revision (Rev 1.0).

 

The information presented in the EasyAdmin mobile application is presented on four separate pages. These pages appear on the bottom panel, and are named: License Servers, Active Products, Alerts and Settings.

The “License Servers” and “Active products” Pages

List of license servers: The License servers page is the Mobile application’s landing page. It presents the license servers in rapport of which the OpenLM server works (image below). These License servers are named as they were in the configuration tool (Bottom image).

Server specific licensed features: Click on a license server name (or its blue circled arrow), e.g.: lm10. The Licenses list page for that license server appears.

 

This page depicts the current License usage for each licensed feature on the selected License server. Click on a used license, e.g.: Viewer. The Active Products page appears.

This page presents the user and workstation who is currently holding the license for the selected feature. In the case depicted below, the user name is Orik, he is using efrat-laptop Workstation, and the start time of his usage is also presented.

The Active Products page may also be directly accessed by clicking the “Active Products” star icon on the bottom task bar. In this case, the Feature and Server columns are added in order to avoid ambiguity. See the image below for clarification.

 

On either one of the “Active Products” windows, click on the User of interest. The user’s details (Full name, email, phone etc) appears.

The Alerts page

Click the ‘i’ icon on the bottom panel. The Alerts page appears.

This page presents predefined system alerts to the administrator. Please refer to the “Application note 1013: OpenLM Alerts” document for further clarification.

The Settings page

This page contains timezone and time format settings.

Installing the OpenLM Mobile EasyAdmin application

1. Install the application on the HTTP Server

There are two possible HTTP server configurations, requiring a slightly different process:

1a. Using the built-in HTTP server – LightTPD

  • Download and install the latest OpenLM server version from OpenLMs site. The Mobile application would be set in the directory: C:\Program Files\OpenLM\OpenLM Server\WebApps.

  • The default application name is “EasyAdmin_touch”. This name can be changed by altering the “EasyAdmin_touch” folder name.

1b. Using standard HTTP servers

Installing the OpenLM EasyAdmin mobile application on a standard HTTP server, like Apache or IIS, is a simple task for any system administrator. Changing the application name is done by applying a different name in the “Application Name” text box.

2. Open the EasyAdmin mobile application

Open the web browser on your mobile device and navigate your mobile device browser to the application URL:

http://<CompanyDomainName.com> / <MobileApplicationDirectory>/

where CompanyDomainName and MobileApplicationDirectory are the Company’s Internet domain name, and the Directory path of the Mobile application respectively, e.g.: http://localhost:7019/EasyAdmin_touch/

In order to view the EasyAdmin Mobile application on a PC it is best to run it using the Google Chrome browser.

Revision

1.0: Feb 05, 2012 Orik.

 

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