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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Some customer testimonials:

“OpenLM is exactly the software we were looking for”
“Thank you OpenLM team for your incredible product.”
“Thumbs up for OpenLM !”
“(OpenLM’s) capabilities have made administering the licenses a snap …”
“Thanks to the OpenLM team for a great piece of software.”
“Congratulations on an excellent product”

 

Kory Krofft, CAD Administrator,

Trimble Navigation Ltd, USA

“Trimble Navigation Ltd. Is a Silicon Valley based technology company with a wide product range whose core technology leverages the many applications for Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Customer solutions range from controlling earthmoving equipment and precision agriculture to fleet management and surveying.

Trimble’s engineering staff includes roughly 95 CAD system users whose CAD tools are licensed through a FlexLM floating license manager. It has been a long term struggle to properly allocate the costs associated with the CAD system tools such as new licenses and maintenance fees for existing seats to the proper departments.

Initially, OpenLM was investigated as a tool to track license usage so that the costs can be allocated to the specific groups within Trimble based on actual usage of the licenses provided. OpenLm’s “Groups” feature and reporting tools make this task as simple as constructing the report description. The output clearly displays the hours that each department is responsible for, making the allocation of costs simple and equitable.

In addition to the reporting capabilities, Open LM’s license monitoring allows CAD administration to easily see the status of multiple license servers and to remotely release hung licenses.

These capabilities have made administering the licenses a snap.”

Jorge Cunha, IT department – license manager,

Faculty of Engineering,

University of Porto, Portugal

 Work day morning. IT department received a complaint about Matlab licenses not being available and was asked to explain what happened. Usual procedure would be scavenging flexlm logs, building reports by hand and filtering the data so it would make sense.

Openlm proved to be a precious tool! With few clicks we were able to create a report on what happened and illustrate it with graphics. Even more, if the users wanted to see who was using matlab, and what features were active, it provided an online web tool that could be queried on demand, by the inquiry user, enabling them to get data by the minute.

The work stress was lifted from our shoulders and the users got the information they were looking for, and more.

Thumbs up for OpenLM!

 

Philip Nelson, GIS Project Manager

Land Management, Bord na Móna, Ireland.

“I have been using OpenLM for over a year now managing our concurrent licences on Citrix between four offices and seven departments. As we only have a limited number of licences available it is critical that I can monitor the use on and hourly basis to make the most effective use of the available licences. It also helps me with the accounts department to show that we are making the most cost effective use of licences and to produce detailed statistics on a monthly/annual basis of licence use.

At the moment I am not using the full capability of OpenLM to shut down unused licences but as the use of ArcMap grows in the company I expect to implement this in the near future.

The most useful feature of this software is the ease of monitoring licence use so that users who do not have their own dedicated licence can still use ArcMap on quiet days when the full compliment is not being used. The technical support provided by OpenLM is fast and always efficient in solving any problems.”

 

Dirk Linnemüller, GIS Manager,

Landkreis Osnabrück, Germany

“As a GIS manager in a public administration I was again and again confronted with the same questions from groups with very different interests. The GIS-users asked for more GIS-licenses, the financial accounting urged me to save money in the GIS-business. With the installation of OpenLM software these questions are history. We use

our licenses much more effective and were confirmed in our guess, that some users opened GIS-software when they started working and keep the license the whole day, just to have it ready if they need. Now licenses are freed up after 20 minutes when a license usage of 80% is reached and everything works fine. The financial accounting I can apply with statistics from OpenLM about the usage of licenses to show the importance of GIS-software. OpenLM is exactly the software we were looking for. Thanks to the OpenLM team for a great piece of software.”

 

Craig Robson, JBA Consulting, UK

“As for our thoughts on OpenLM, I can honestly say we are extremely pleased with it. Before we used OpenLM there were always broadcast emails being sent around the company asking ‘can anyone free up an ArcGIS licence’ – these stopped almost immediately when we installed OpenLM. We always suspected that people were ‘hogging’ licences (i.e. loading ArcGIS when they first got into the office in the morning because they wanted to use it later and feared they wouldn’t be able to get a licence), so we widely publicised the fact that licences would now be freed up after 15 minutes of inactivity.

..As you can see, after several months of use we don’t have any real problems. OpenLM is very straightforward to administer and works very well in the background without interfering with the users’ way of working. All in all, we’re extremely glad we stumbled upon your website!! Congratulations on an excellent product.”


Daniel Avramov, GIS Team Lead,

Environment Canada

“OpenLM is the most important tool in the management of Environment Canada’s geospatial software assets. Over the past several years, Environment Canada has been working towards better coordination of the Department’s geospatial tool. OpenLM has given us the power to identify and optimize the Department’s investments and is instrumental in the decision making process for the purchase and maintenance of geospatial software. Now, instead of independently investing in duplicative and costly licenses, we have been able to consolidate and save time, resources and money. OpenLM staff are knowledgeable and friendly and most importantly know the value of client service. They went the extra mile to get their software configured on our infrastructure well before we ever committed to purchasing the software. The software is well designed, very easy to use and the summaries and statistics it provides far exceeds any other software management tool that we evaluated. OpenLM is extremely affordable and the cost saving it provided in licenses has made it pay for itself many time over. Thank you OpenLM team for your incredible product.”


Clara Alonso Fernández-Coppel,

GIS manager, Tragsatec, Spain

  “With more than 800 seats of potential users for ArcGIS, we were really worried about the  amount of licenses we will need to buy to cover our needs. People argue that they cannot finish their work when there’s not enough license available, so we received a lot of pressure to buy more licenses. We suspected that in most cases, licenses were captive but not being used. Until we bought OpenLM we couldn’t be sure that we were right.

   Now we have delayed our purchases of licenses until we get real data for the need of buying them.

   At the beginning, people get a bit annoyed when they loose their licenses, but they see the benefit of it pretty soon.

   We have received a great support from people at OpenLM: quick, effective and friendly. It has been a pleasure to work hand in hand with them. We got help right from the beginning when we were merely testing the software.”


Israel Tauber, Director, Forest Management,

Monitoring & GIS, Forest Management, Israel.

“For a long time we heard complaints from many of our GIS users in the organization about the low availability of ArcGIS licenses. We considered buying two more expensive licenses, as we regularly did almost every year. However at that time we happen to be introduced to the OpenLM application and were invited to participate in testing one of the first OpenLM versions. We asked for the price of the software, just in case we ended up deciding to purchase it. When we heard the price we realized that we have nothing to lose. If the application would actually work as expected, we should be saving much time and money by using it, so we really had nothing to lose. The results were beyond expectations, in fact amazing. No more complaints, high availability of licenses and when there is an urgent need for a license, you can always see who are the active users and ask one of them to release their license. I highly recommend OpenLM to every organization, large or small.”

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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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