OpenLM beta version 1.8 is publicised

General

In the past couple of years, OpenLM v1.7 has been the selected tool for application usage metering and license usage optimization for an expanding circle of customers. OpenLM has steadily widened the variety of supported network license managers, and enhanced its monitoring capabilities per each license management tool.

OpenLM beta Version 1.8 incorporates many bug fixes, performance improvements and new features that were required by our cooperative and trusted customers. These changes have increased OpenLM’s robustness and made it less prone to errors.

This version also integrates some fundamental architectural changes that have expanded OpenLM’s ability to further develop license usage control and monitoring. Here are some of the main highlights of this new version.

Important note:

As of today the released version is still a beta, and as such it is not yet error free.
DO NOT upgrade production installations of OpenLM 1.7 to 1.8 beta.
The use of version 1.8 beta is recommended for:

  • New evaluating customers, who wish to explore the 1.8 beta version functionality, or
  • Active OpenLM 1.7 users, installing version 1.8 beta separately and parallel to the 1.7 production installation.

Please read this document prior to installing OpenLM 1.8 beta parallel to production 1.7 installations.

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.
  • Also on 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, Offline Licenses indications, and support for HAL (High Availability Licensing) configuration support.
  • DSLS has been fully integrated into the OpenLM 1.8 system. License borrowing is reported.
  • RMS: License versions’ reporting was added

EasyAdmin

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

Personalization:

License usage status windows’ configuration can now be saved between workstations and browsers.

New reports

Some of the new reports are:

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

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
  • The “License Usage” graphic presentation was improved.

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.

License Servers

Reported license servers’ information has been enhanced to include:

  • License server timezone indication
  • Host availability indication
  • License not in use indication.

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, LDAP 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.

Projects

The Project license usage recording capability is available for OpenLM from version 1.6 onward.  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), and

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

OpenLM Broker

The OpenLM Broker has overgone important changes, enhancing its robustness and compatibility with a wide array of license managers. One of these changes is the implementation of buffers for Broker messages, providing the ability to overcome network connectivity failure.

Finally

we would like to thank our loyal customers for collaborating as beta sites for this new version. Your ever welcomed feedback has enabled us to publicize this product, and is constantly driving us toward improving our releases.

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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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