What is new in OpenLM version 1.8

OpenLM 1.8 is out !

The release of this milestone version is a big deal for us here in OpenLM, and we are sure you will feel the same when you start working with it.

Note for OpenLM veterans:

At this stage we recommend not to upgrade OpenLM 1.7 production systems to 1.8, but rather to install it at a sandbox, side by side with the 1.7 production server. This is in order to ensure that full functionality has been maintained in your environment, and to familiarize yourself with the new version.

This document goes over the main features that have been added or enhanced in this version, and the list is quite long:

  • OpenLM Server engine
  • EasyAdmin: Personalization, New reports, Enhanced report windows,
    Moving configuration options to EasyAdmin
  • Support of License management tools
  • Active Directory
  • Named Users support
  • Packages
  • Projects
  • Permissions
  • License Usage
  • License Procurement table
  • License Usage Efficiency report window
  • Licenses not in use report window
  • Recent Feature Denials report window
  • License Servers
  • Session Idle time measurement
  • Database manipulation
  • ArcGIS Borrowed Licenses issue
  • OpenLM Broker
  • OpenLM Agent
  • ArcGIS Set Licensing level tool
  • Installation Process
  • Logs uploader

OpenLM Server engine

The OpenLM server integrates information from various sources in order to create accurate and coherent license usage information. All processing algorithms were reviewed and rewritten as needed in order to improve accuracy and processing speed.

EasyAdmin

The EasyAdmin web application has undergone facelift surgery, is more user friendly, and generally looks nicer. Some graphic presentation windows have been added, and others have been improved in both clarity and robustness.

Personalization:

EasyAdmin windows’ configuration and user settings are now maintained by the OpenLM database, not on the browser’s cache memory (as was in version 1.7). This provides the ability to personalize the EasyAdmin appearance, and get the same user’s view on different computers.

New reports

The new reports are hereby listed. Elaboration on each of these windows is provided below:

  • The License denial widget.
  • Procurement table: Shows licenses’ procurement path, providing detailed expiration information.
  • License usage efficiency report: Histogram per single feature, showing how much of the time have N licenses been used.

Enhanced report windows

Report windows have also been enhanced. It is now possible to:

  • Export chart images or PDF documents and
  • Set report window refresh period


Moving more configuration options to EasyAdmin

Several configuration options were moved from the OpenLM server configuration tool to the EasyAdmin web application, making them accessible from anywhere. One such option is the usage logging according to projects, as depicted below:

Support of License management tools

The addition of license management tools to the expanding portfolio of OpenLM’s supported license managers is an on-going task. Version 1.8 now supports the following concurrent license servers: FlexLM / Flexnet, Sentinel RMS (Aspentech SLM), DSLS, IBM LUM, Sentinel HASP, LM-X (Altair), Reprise RLM, Beta-LM, Mathematica LM (MathLM), and Easycopy. In addition to that, support of some license management tools was enhanced. Here are some of these enhancements:

  • FlexLM: Asset Info information, which is unique per license pool is now monitored. Hence, it is now possible to follow user and group license check out per license pool.
  • FlexLM: Software packages are automatically recognized, and populated by the respective software products. Single features can be associated with different software packages.
  • IBM_LUM license manager monitoring has been added expiration date.
  • IBM_LUM Offline Licenses indications.
  • IBM_LUM HAL (High Availability Licensing) configuration support.
  • DSLS has been fully integrated into the OpenLM 1.8 system.
  • DSLS License borrowing is reported.
  • BetaLM has been introduced in the 1.8 version.
  • BetaLM Cluster configuration is supported.
  • RMS: License versions’ reporting was added.
  • Easycopy LM has been fully integrated into the OpenLM 1.8 system.
  • Matematica (MathLM) has been fully integrated into the OpenLM 1.8 system.

Active Directory

The OpenLM Server is capable of synchronizing users and groups with an organization’s LDAP (Active Directory) to combine license management with other company information. LDAP synchronization provides automatic maintenance of Users’ and Groups’ data.

In version 1.8, Active Directory synchronization has been profoundly improved, to support versatile and complex Active Directory environments. As a bonus, a preview of the impending synchronization scheme is now available. For more information please refer to these documents:

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

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

Version 1.8 now allows system managers to easily synchronize very complex structures of LDAP. In EasyAdmin the user can now control the execution of the synchronization, exclude groups and users from synchronizing and understand why each synchronized entity was generated.

EasyAdmin incorporates new administrative tools for LDAP synchronization. These provide a better view of the synchronization definitions and the relations between synchronized entities. Group and Users entities are interconnected by hyperlinks, to facilitate the browsing through LDAP synchronized data.

Named licenses support

FlexLM gets its licensing information from the license file, option file and other resources.

The License file contains the asset info information which is unique for every license pool.

The License file also contains asset info associated with groups. OpenLM Version 1.8 can be configured to read Flexnet publisher license files, and hence can report which user takes licenses from which pool.

License Suites and packages

OpenLM 1.8 is capable of integrating more information from FlexLM license files. One of the benefits of that is the capability of arranging licensed features within their respective license packages. The user does no longer need to configure packages’ members manually.

In addition to that, OpenLM 1.8 supports licensing schemes in which single features are associated with two different packages.

Projects

The Project license usage recording capability is available for OpenLM from version 1.6 onwards. In the 1.8 version, some major 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).
  • Projects can also be introduced by end-users via the OpenLM Agent module. Please see the ‘Agent’ section below for more information on that.

For more information on monitoring licenses according to projects in OpenLM 1.8 please refer to this document:

Application Note 2030: OpenLM license usage monitoring according to projects – v1.8.

Permissions

New users are automatically associated to the “Everyone” group. After being synchronized (or associated manually) to a different group – the new group becomes the default group.

License Usage

The central “License Usage” window’s graphic presentation was improved, and now employs a cleaner GUI, with a zoom-in option.

License Procurement table

Shows comprehensive license information, as appears in the license file: Licensed packages and their member features, issuing and expiration dates, Asset info etc.

License Efficiency report

A new window that provides a histogram of usage for a single feature, showing how much of the time have N licenses been used. The image below clearly demonstrates ineffective usage of the pool of licenses:

Licenses not in use report

Single out licenses that have not been used for a predefined period of time.

Recent Feature Denials report

A graphic presentation to show a comparative chart of the number of license denials over predefined periods of time: recent and long term.

License Servers

Reported license servers’ information has been enhanced to include:

  • License server timezone
  • Status of the OpenLM broker installed on the license server machine
  • Host availability indication


Session Idle time measurement

Graphical waveform presentation of the Active / Idle ratio for currently and historical sessions.

Database manipulation

Version 1.8 enhances the administrator’s capabilities to manipulate the OpenLM database. It is now possible to

  • Archive or delete old data.
  • Extract irrelevant users and
  • Delete unnecessary groups.

ArcGIS Borrowed Licenses issue

We previously reported an issue pertaining to the upgrade of ArcGIS to the newer FlexLM version. This issue manifested in erroneous reporting of license borrowing. OpenLM 1.8 bypasses this issue and shows the actual borrowing user.

OpenLM Broker

The OpenLM Broker has undergone important changes. These include:

  • Enhanced robustness
  • Enhanced compatibility with a wide array of license managers
  • Ability to read FlexLM license files and Audit logs, in addition to Option files.
  • Implementation of buffers for Broker messages, providing the ability to overcome limited network connectivity failure and continues usage reported even if the OpenLM Server machine crashes for long period of times.

OpenLM Agent

The OpenLM Agent has changed skin and looks much nicer now.

It also integrated the improvements for the following features:

  • Restoring of closed sessions
  • Searching and sorting of the license usage list
  • Selectively hiding or showing specific features
  • ArcGIS licensing level determination (see below).
  • As mentioned above, projects can be introduced by end-users via the OpenLM Agent. Just click the “Create New Project” menu item in the OpenLM Agent interface:

The “Create new Project” window opens. Users can then create new projects and associate their working hours to these projects.

For more information please refer to this document:

Application Note 2030: OpenLM license usage monitoring according to projects – v1.8.

ArcGIS Set Licensing level tool

ESRI implementation is unique in the sense that you can activate the ArcMap software in three different licensing levels:

  • Basic (Previously called viewer or ArcView)
  • Standard (Previously called ‘ArcEditor’)
  • Advanced (Previously called ‘ArcInfo’)

ArcGIS end users can set the licensing level before activating the software. If such a license is available, the software will start. OpenLM has provided this capability since version 1.6 of the software. In version 1.8 we have highly enhanced it:

  • It is now possible to set the licensing level according to available licenses, and
  • The user can choose whether to save the ArcGIS licensing level to the Registry, to do it on a user level, or on a system level (for all users – requires administrative permissions).

Installation Process

The OpenLM installation process has been standardized, and is more coherent on OpenLM version 1.8.

Logs uploader

The Logs uploader has been rewritten, and its robustness has been improved.

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Application Note 1032: Monitoring FlexLM license denials

General:

OpenLM monitors and optimizes the usage of various license managers (e.g.: FlexLM / Flexnet publisher, Sentinel RMS Reprise RLM, MathLM, DSLS, Sentinel HASP, LM-X, IBM-LUM etc).

As part of FlexLM license monitoring, OpenLM also produces license denial reports, i.e.: an account of instances where the vendor daemon has declined an application’s license request. License denial is a key parameter in license maintenance and in the planning of additional license procurement.

The Denials report window

License denial information is clearly presented in the OpenLM EasyAdmin web interface, in the Reports → Denials window. It includes the details of the denial event (Denied user, Denied workstation, Time, License Server, Denied Feature, and vendor) as well as the cause for denial (e.g.: limit of available licenses reached or User on Option file exclude list)

Set up OpenLM to monitor license denials

In order to produce denial reports for monitored licenses, please:
1. Set up the OpenLM Server to monitor the License server. In this case, the host is vmw_win2008_64, its type is FlexLM, the Server port is 27000, and the time zone is Central:

2. Install the OpenLM Broker on the License server machine:
Application Note 1004: OpenLM Broker quick start guide
Make sure that the License server name is exactly (case sensitive) the same as configured in the OpenLM server configuration tool (e.g.: vmw_win2008_64). The OpenLM server in this example resides in 102.101.100.135. The Broker communication port is (by default) 7016.

3. Set the OpenLM Broker to read the Denials’ information from the Monitored application’s debug log file: Type in the filename and click the ‘Enabled’ check box in the image below. Click ‘Apply’ and “Restart Broker” to finalize the configuration.

4. Make sure the Broker indication in the EasyAdmin “License Servers” window turns green. Note the green rectangle adjacent Server name vmw_win2008_64 in the image below. If it isn’t so – wait a while and refresh the “License servers” window. If it is still red – recheck your configuration, and check for alerts in the Easy Admin → Start → Management → Alerts window.

License number surpassed: Case study

In case the number of licenses has been surpassed – the vendor daemon would deny the license request, and a license denial notification will be produced. In the case of AutoCad: this is Network license error -96.

The debug log file shows this too as a string
Licensed number of users already reached. (-4,342)
Note the last denial report at 4:12:22 (Central time US):

It would also be apparent on the EasyAdmin Denial reports window at 11:12:22, according to the difference in time zones between the location of the OpenLM Server (Europe) and the AutoCad License server (Central time, US).

This same information can be presented as a column or pie chart, according to Users, Servers, Vendors, Features or time of occurrence.

Troubleshoot: Denials do not appear in the Flexnet debug log

Denial reports may not appear in the FlexLM debug log if the application’s option file contains a NOLOG line, with a DENIED flag. If this is the case, edit the option file to exclude this flag, and restart the license server. See this document for more information.

Document Revision Table

Version Author Date Changes
0.1 – Preliminary Orik Oct 25, 2012 Preliminary
1.0 Orik Dec 17, 2012 Added troubleshoot

 

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