The Ins and Outs of Autodesk Global Travel Rights

Autodesk grants global travel rights to organizations who either have a subscription agreement or a maintenance plan. These rights can be very beneficial to companies who undertake projects outside the country or region in which they are based, and can result in savings costs under the right circumstances. There is one very important condition that we must mention first, because it is not explicitly stated in most of the Autodesk literature about global travel rights; there is a time limit. Where the travel rights rule applies, users are only allowed to use the software for a maximum of 90 days outside their “home country”. So, for a long-term project it will be necessary to obtain another license once the 90 days has passed.

What Constitutes a Home Country?

The home country is the country in which the license was purchased. Where the contract was entered into for a named user, the home country applies to his or her residency. Where the contract is with an organization, as would be the case of a maintenance agreement, the home country is that where the company is incorporated. For organizations within the European Union (EU) or who have signed the European Free Trade Association Agreement (EFTA), home country is any country that falls under the EU or EFTA classification. For companies subject to Brexit, they must re-examine their policies regarding user travel rights, as their freedom to use Autodesk software across the EU will be curtailed.

Which License Agreements Provide Global Travel Rights?

There are three major categories of licenses that benefit from travel rights:-

  • perpetual agreements which are covered by a maintenance agreement
  • Traditional subscription licenses
  • Cloud subscription licenses.

There are differences in which users are entitled to use software while travelling based on which license agreement has been implemented. It is also important to note that support services for the products are available during the operating hours that apply to the home country, not the company where the user is working under the global agreement.

Which Users are Entitled to Global Travel Rights?

Where an organization has a perpetual license with a maintenance agreement, all employees qualify, as well as on-site contractors. The on-site contractor must be contracted directly by the organization. Where the organization has agreements with affiliate companies to carry out the work, the employees of the affiliates and any contractors employed by the affiliate are NOT entitled to global travel rights.

Where an organization has subscription licenses in place, the same rules apply, in that only employees and direct on-site contractors qualify. The subscription users must be named users, generic users and user groups do not qualify, although it is possible to negotiate terms with Autodesk for specific circumstances. The named user should be identified as such in the license agreement and cannot share his license with any other user. If the user has his own individual license which recognizes him as the named user, he can use his license globally.

Cloud licenses have a different set of rules, which give access to a wider set of users, but this must be confirmed with Autodesk by the organization. The cloud subscription travel rights can extend to employees and contractors of companies affiliated to the parent organization, which is definitely not the case for perpetual and traditional subscription licenses.

What to Watch out for from a Compliance Aspect

Where a company has purchased licenses in their home country, use of travel rights are quite straightforward. However, the license administrator needs to guard against the following circumstances:-

  • the licenses were purchased outside the home country, for example where a project is to be executed in a foreign company. Those licenses can only be used in that country, regardless of whether the employees using them are permanent employees or contractors.
  • the travel rights apply only to the entity that purchased the license. They cannot be extended to a parent or sister company or the employees or direct contractors of those entities.
  • The usage period extending past 90 days.

For our OpenLM customers, it may be advisable to build a customized report that monitors compliance for licenses that are being used under the Global Travel Rights terms and conditions. Early warning of usage periods getting close to expiry, as well as a list of users who are operating under the travel rights agreement will avoid non-compliant usage.

Another method of managing compliance would be to tailor license allocations to include and exclude users according to their qualifying or exclusion from the global travel terms and conditions. OpenLM has recently launched a new product for managing license allocations that is available to all Autodesk customers, whether they use the OpenLM core product or not. This parameterized application allows the license administrator to tailor allocations by time, region, user or user group as well as software used down to feature level within that software product. Users can be granted access or blocked depending on the organizational policy and the license agreements in force. Please contact us for more information.

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A Day in the Life of OpenLM Support

Here at OpenLM we take pride in how easy to use and intuitive our software can be, to the point where most companies just install the application and get up and running without calling on us. This does not mean that our support team sits idle though, we are called on for all kinds of assistance for a variety of situations. Take last Thursday for example, we were really kept busy, and here are only a few of the problems we were called on to solve.

Implementing Access by Group

One of our customers wanted to be able to control access to their licenses by department. They were using Microsoft’s Active Directory. We have many customers who already have a similar setup. Firstly we set up an LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) connection to set up groups according to our customer’s requirements. We then used the OpenLM Options file feature to set up the required permissions for the group members. Once this was done, the Group members in the Options file were synchronized with the Active Directory on a daily basis via the LDAP. The customer was now able to manage his users by group. Reporting by group also provided the financial figures necessary to apply chargebacks to each department.

Sorting out an AutoCAD License Problem

Another customer phoned in with a tricky licensing problem. He did not actually know how many AutoCAD licenses the company owned, because the Autodesk license file referred to an invalid or unknown package and the number of licenses according to the server did not match the licensing agreement.

To solve this problem, we installed the OpenLM Broker at the customer’s site and set the OpenLM server to read the license files with the assistance of the OpenLM Broker. This enabled OpenLM to identify exactly how many licenses were in the concurrent license pool. In addition he was now able to monitor denials using the data from the debug log.

Some Help in the New Job

One of our customers had recently appointed a license administrator. Unfortunately his predecessor had already left, and he had not used OpenLM before, so was not sure where to start and eventually he contacted our Support Team. We took him on a guided tour of how OpenLM worked and how to use it. While we were linked in to the website, we observed that one of the license servers was not providing feedback and had been this way for a while, so we fixed the situation.

The List Goes On

These are just a few of the requests for help we receive in a normal day. Most queries can be managed over the phone, some take a little longer. Some requests can be seen as a worthwhile change or addition to apply when the next release of OpenLM is launched. If you have anything you have be meaning to ask us, why not do it today? You can email us with your challenges, at support@openlm.com and we will be delighted to assist you.  

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How a Company Got 20/20 Vision into their Engineering Software Licenses

Engineering software is generally very expensive, and most organizations enter perpetual license agreements that are based on the number of concurrent users, rather than buying a license per user. This can achieve considerable cost savings, but there are many companies that do not realise that there are even more savings to be had.

One of our customers, a US company that specializes in transportation and mobility solutions for the 21st century, were frustrated by the lack of visibility into how their engineering tools, which included ArcGIS and AutoCAD, were being used. The license management software provided by the vendors did not enable the license administrator to know whether licenses were booked out were actually being used. While it was important to know this at any time, it became especially important when other users were trying to check out licenses and were getting denied. What the system administrator needed was license management software that gave him real-time insights into what was happening, as well as comprehensive reporting which could be presented to management of how efficiently licenses were being managed.

After investigation and evaluation of software applications in the market that could offer a better solution than the vendor products, the company selected OpenLM. OpenLM’s core product contained all the features that were needed for effective license management. Once the product was implemented, the company was able to accomplish considerable time and cost savings. Idle licenses could be identified and harvested back into the license pool to prevent denials. This has resulted in an excellent ratio of three users per software license. Planning for license renewals is much easier, with detailed reporting available that analyses the current usage and indicates whether more licenses are needed or whether the pool can even be reduced. Another benefit is that only one license management tool is needed to manage the different software engineering products, instead of having to open a license manager for each product.

The case study can be downloaded here Transportation Experts Case Study 

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Autodesk network to subscription licenses, plan your way

Autodesk is determined to move all its customers from using the network licensing model to a subscription or named user model. It is important that a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis is done before deciding what action to take, even if top management is pressurizing for a resolution to the situation.

While the network model is generally better for most organizations, there is  no one-size-fits-all answer to the dilemma, some companies might even benefit from switching to the named user model.

What would be a good methodology to consider the switch? We could apply a two-stage process.

Stage One, Identify your Baseline.

  1. Know your current maintenance costs.
  2. Count the number of unique users that you currently have
  3. Multiply the subscription cost by the number of users to understand what your annual cost will be.

Compare the price per year. If the subscription cost is higher than the current perpetual cost, refuse to upgrade. The difference you see now is the MINIMAL amount of money you can save!

If the subscription cost is equal to or lower than the current perpetual cost, move to the next stage that is checking if you currently utilize your license correctly and that you have not been missing out on potential savings.

Based on our experience, depending on the efforts one is willing to invest it is possible to get 100% more usage from the existing license pool, sometimes more. This would mean that you could decrease your licensing costs by 50% or more. In order to achieve this, you will need to have a software tool that will help you to optimize your license usage. The better the software you employ, the higher savings you will achieve.

Stage Two: Identify Where You can Optimize Usage
There are two main areas that require attention:-

  • your license server configuration
  • how both dedicated and network licenses are being utilized

License servers – the more license servers you have, the less optimized your configuration. License server consolidation is one of the most efficient ways to improve access to license pools. In the case of multi-nationals, it is not always possible to consolidate all the servers into a single centralized pool, because the licensing agreements were entered into with regional subsidiaries or partners of Autodesk and they are treated as separate entities. Even so, there will be at least a few consolidations possible, which has additional benefits in that the number of license servers is reduced and the complexity of managing the licenses is reduced as well.

Current License Utilization – Dedicated Licenses

A comprehensive audit of which licenses are being used and by whom is the next step. In the previous step we paid attention to the concurrent license pools. There is a good possibility that there are quite a few dedicated licenses on site. Sometimes granting a user a dedicated license makes sense, where that user spends most of their time using AutoCAD or Revit, for example. What often happens is that a dedicated or named user license was obtained for a short-term need, like a special project, and the user no longer uses it to the extent that a dedicated license is necessary. Going forward, such users can access licenses from the concurrent pool. As you are still evaluating whether subscription licenses will work for you, you should leave these licenses as is for now, bearing in mind the cost savings of dispensing with them.

Current License Utilization – Network Licenses

Once the license pools have been reconfigured, it is time to check what the actual utilization looks like. Data must be gathered on:-

  • Who is consuming the license?
  • On which workstation is it being used?
  • Where there are several software versions, which license is being used?
  • What time of day is the license being used, which aids in understanding usage peaks and troughs?
  • How long is the license session between access and release of the license?

If you are relying on Autodesk’s license manager software, you may find that this information is not readily available to you. This is where a dedicated license management software tool becomes useful. When you want to take the next step and start optimizing usage, the tool will quickly become worth its weight in gold.

However, just by using the basic information you have gathered, you will have identified areas for further investigation, such as:-

  • Should a user have access and why are they using the software? Maybe they just need a viewer to see a drawing, they are not actually drafting or designing
  • Why is the server underutilized?
  • Why are you getting denials when the server is not being heavily utilized?
  • Are users who book out a license for the whole day actually using the tool all day, or is it idle most of the time?
  • Are there users who do not release the software when they are finished, they keep it booked out overnight.

Autodesk’s license manager will definitely not give you all this information. You need a tool like OpenLM’s License Parser to understand what is really happening. Below is an example of reporting on license utilization from one of OpenLM’s customers.

AutoCAD license utilization

 

AutoCAD license utilization at an OpenLM customer

This chart shows how the licenses are utilized realtime. You can see from this graph that, although 70 licenses have been purchased, this could be reduced to 30 licenses without any significant change in quality of service.

First Conclusions

By this stage, you will already have a clearer view on whether subscription licenses are cost-effective for your organization. You might already find that the costs outweigh the benefits. This is even before you have started on your license optimization. You might even have identified that the pros and cons are pretty evenly balanced at this stage. It is premature to decide at this stage. We recommend that you implement some changes that will optimize utilization of your license pool(s) further. Once you have done this, you will get a clear view of your Autodesk license future.

Some Changes that will Reduce License Waste

The changes described below require targeted reporting to implement them. You will not be able to extract this data from your Autodesk license manager. The cost savings that you will achieve will more than pay for good license management software that is written to satisfy the customer’s needs rather than the vendor’s requirements.

Introduce Chargebacks

If you do not charge licensing costs back to the respective business units that use the licenses, even your best managers are pretty relaxed about usage. Start charging back to cost centers and see how things change. The license costs will affect the bottom line for most managers, and they will start monitoring usage and cutting down on unnecessary use. You will be able to make this easier for them by providing reporting on idle licenses within their cost centre, which is part of the next change.

Actively Manage Idle Licenses

If you have not been able to manage idle licenses before, you will find that most users are very lax about checking a license back when they are not using it. You need reporting that will alert you to idle licenses. You can either “harvest” these licenses manually, or automate harvesting to occur after a certain elapsed number of idle minutes. Below are several reports available in OpenLM on idle licensing, from selected customer sites.

 idle licenses

List of idle licenses and elapsed time

It is easy to see from the display above which licenses need to be reclaimed. You also have the option to close the application or just remove the license. It may occur that you have a peak period and licenses are in short supply. You may decide to close the licenses for a low priority group to free them for another group who have top priority. However, this is not necessary in this case; here are 10 licenses you can harvest right away:-

 

license idle for over an hour

Licenses that have been idle for over an hour

You can even interrogate usage on a per license basis. Here is an example below.

interrogate license usage
The effect of harvesting is that your actual licensing utilization will drop quite dramatically. You will now be getting a far more accurate picture of your Autodesk license requirements. By now you should have discovered that you have more network licenses than you need for the actual current usage, like our customers who had 70 licenses but only needed 30. You might even have discovered “shelf” licenses, licenses that are completely unused, but you are still renewing the license and maintenance agreements for them. You will also have identified serial offenders who “hog” licenses and can apply some change management.

You are now ready to make an evaluation of whether you should move to Autodesk subscription licenses or not.

Will Subscription Licenses Work for Us? Some Assumptions

  1. There is huge industry pushback on the move to subscription licenses. We are not alone.
  2. The different features and products that are available in the subscription do not affect the decision-making process, we are deciding at vendor level.
  3. We would like to keep the same service level we have now.
  4. This was a preliminary exercise. We can optimize even further.
  5. There might be a case for a few subscription licenses (e.g. full-time draughtsmen)

With the data we have collected from our investigation, we can make an informed and objective decision on whether adopting subscription licenses and retiring concurrent licenses will work for us or not.

 network licenses compared to subscription

Graphical analysis of network licenses compared to subscription

  • In the graph above, the blue line is the named license requirement, where each user needs a subscription. This is a one-to-one relationship and creates a 45% angle.
  • The red line is the best case for concurrent license utilization. Some customers have even achieved a ratio of 1:5 licenses/users, but the average is probably 1:1.5
  • The orange line is a more realistic adjusted network license utilization.
  • Both the red and orange lines will be unique to your organization.
  • The saving exists in the area between the blue and the orange lines and is represented by the green arrow.

What are Autodesk offering?

The subscription option is not cheap- the solution is a package with multiple products, which you may not need and is almost €4000 per user. Even the discounted cost per user for 5 years is almost €15 000.

Subscription multi user – This is a subscription option where the user does not log in using his login credentials (user name and password), but logs in via the network and the license manager authenticates him,which is more flexible than the named user alternative.

Keeping your network licenses – Autodesk is increasing your maintenance costs over the next few years, which will erode the value of your concurrent pool – if you decide to continue paying maintenance costs. The original license purchase is a sunk cost and does not affect the calculation.

Market Forecast

Another factor that is vital in your considerations is your projections on your organization’s growth over the next few years.

Optimistic Scenario

The company will continue to perform well, new projects will come in regularly and we will need more licenses to support our growth. We have the following options:-
Subscription – we will need to buy subscription per user. – no other options
Network – squeeze more usage out of the existing license server (possible!!) OR buy some additional subscriptions.

Pessimistic Scenario

Economy is depressed -the company has lost projects, needs to scale back and needs less licenses –
Subscription – In the first three years, giving up any license will cause a loss of the discount benefit on subscriptions. After the first three years, giving up subscriptions has no effect.
Network – can reduce the usability and keep for better times and consider stopping maintenance in the short-term.

Other Considerations

You need some additional modules that are included in the latest industry package or the “one” Autodesk, but not in your current agreement. In this case consider buying a few subscriptions, without changing tour network pool.

What Most Customers have Told us

We stayed with our network agreement and purchased few subscriptions by swapping a few concurrent licenses to take advantage of the discount. We now have the benefit of having a hybrid license environment. We allocated the named licenses to a handful of power users and let the majority of users rely on the network licenses – we still have the benefit of the concurrent pool which costs less because of the licenses we converted to subscription licenses.

Even with a clear view of your actual current usage, this is not an easy decision to make, which is why most customers have hedged their bets by opting for a hybrid model.

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Managing Autodesk Licenses Effectively

Optimizing license usage is often overlooked at engineering companies, even when trying to contain costs in the IT budget. When times are tough, this is a quick and easy way to reduce costs. Even when the orders are rolling in, there is no need to spend money on licenses that are surplus to your requirements. Many of OpenLM’s customers have used our license management software to trim down their license portfolio of excess licenses, especially licenses from the Autodesk family.

The recent changes made by Autodesk to their licensing policy going forward have made it even more critical for customers to keep a tight control over their Autodesk license usage.

While Autodesk provide the Flexera license manager to customers, which does provide some information of how licenses are being used within the company, it has been designed from the vendor’s viewpoint of ensuring compliance. To get the transparency and control that every license administrator needs, a customer-centric software product is needed. OpenLM was originally designed by license managers who worked at a site that made extensive use of ArcGIS , and had the same challenges. Their success in building software that helped companies manage ESRI licenses next expanded to helping Autodesk customers with their AutoCAD, Revit and other software.

The  License Administrator’s Wishlist

The license manager needs deep insights into how any vendor’s licenses are utilized. This is needed on a daily basis for optimizing usage, periodically for management reporting and annually or on demand to plan and forecast license requirements for the next year or for an anticipated project. This is rarely available to the extent needed using a vendor’s license management tool, and it is recommended that license management software that is vendor-agnostic is investigated. The features that a good license management package should provide include:-

  • Visibility into license usage on at least a minute-by-minute basis
  • Minimising license denials to users
  • Easy identification of idle licenses
  • The ability to “harvest” idle licenses, either automatically or manually
  • Messaging options to inform users of license availability where they were denied
  • The ability to see a consolidated view of licenses where there are multiple pools and named users
  • Comprehensive reporting that can be used for management reporting to management
  • Financial reporting on usage across the organization  that supports chargebacks to cost centers and projects, based on their usage
  • Forecasting to indicate a need to purchase or dispense with licenses, both on a regular basis and for annual license renewals or new projects
  • A graphical interface that allows the license administrator to manage licenses for a product without having to log in to the vendor’s product to make changes.

To really understand and test for these features, the software should be evaluated on a trial basis. OpenLM is confident that they provide all these features for Autodesk  software products as well as thousands of other engineering software tools.

The Daily License Challenge

Most engineering software can be bought under a concurrent or network user model, which enables the company to buy the minimum of licenses needed to satisfy user demand. The license administrator has to perform a balancing act between keeping his users happy and productive by always having licenses available, while managing the license pool effectively and avoiding further purchases.

To do this, he needs to manage idle licenses. Users have a tendency to book out licenses at the start of day and not return them until the end of day, even when they are away attending meetings or on-site. Some users also will hang on to their licenses overnight, so that they do not need to book them out again when they come into work the next morning.

The license administrator needs to be able to take control over idle licenses and “harvest” them, releasing them back into the pool. The amount of time that a license is allowed to remain idle and whether the session is saved or not will depend on the individual requirements of the company and should have a defined policy and business rules.

He also needs an early warning system that licenses are being denied (although angry users phoning in will happen in any case). OpenLM, with their knowledge of what it is like to be in the driver’s seat, have built these features for Autodesk customers:-

  • License denial reporting
  • Real-time reporting on usage
  • Reporting on inactive, hanging or otherwise unavailable licenses
  • The ability to harvest idle and unused licenses and release them back into the pool
  • The option to suspend, save or terminate an idle session
  • The ability to automatically notify users who were denied that a license is now available for them
  • Distinguishing between “true” denials and denials where the software was available and booked out shortly after the denial
  • Extensions and other aids that allow the license administrator to build business rules, add alerts or otherwise customise OpenLM to fit the customer’s environment

The provision of all these features makes idle license management a breeze. For customers like Array Architects, they were able to confirm their suspicions that users were not releasing their software at and of day, and could now release all those licences, so that the entire pool was available at the start of the next business day.

Feedback and Reporting

OpenLM has fine-tuned the management of Autodesk software products to second-by-second visibility. Reports showing usage statistics, daily peaks and troughs of user demand and usage by group are all standard. There is also an extension that enables the license administrator to create custom reports.  Anything that needs to be known about AutoCAD licenses or any other Autodesk product can be reported on.

  • Consolidated views of multiple license servers, user groups is enabled
  • Heat maps and graphs on license usage come standard with the application
  • Forecasting for renewals is available
  • Financial reporting for chargebacks based on usage is a standard feature
  • Accurate reporting on usage, that can be compared against Autodesk’s calculations.

These reports can demonstrate to the executive how well license optimization is progressing, as well as quantifying cost savings and ROI. Many of our customers have achieved an ROI in under three months of use.  

Going Forward

The determination of Autodesk to discontinue all network licenses and offer only subscription licenses in the future is a headache for most customers who have a considerable investment in Autodesk products and use concurrent licensing to get the best value for their money.  Every organization will have to do an evaluation of what a conversion to subscription licenses will cost them and whether they should go ahead with the change while the discounted price is still available. OpenLM provides the intelligence to make a decision based on an accurate assessment of the situation.

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OpenLM New Pre-Release Version 2.0.0.1

OpenLM Pre-release version 2.0.0.1

OpenLM Pre-release version was released about two weeks ago and based on feedback from our users we are releasing this second pre-release version. It contains some bug fixes to problems found in previous versions and enhancements. We  recommend that users of previous 2.0 versions to whom these problems may be relevant to uninstall the 2.0.0.0 version and to install this version.

At this stage upgrade from version 2.0.0.0 is not supported. In order to install version 2.0.0.1 please follow these steps:

  1. Open the OpenLM Server configuration form->Advanced tab and export the system settings.

  2. Uninstall the existing OpenLM Server version.

  3. Fully remove the installation folder typically located in: C:\Program Files\OpenLM\OpenLM Server

  4. Install the new version of the software – 2.0.0.1

  5. Start the OpenLM Server configuration form->Advanced tab and import the file that contains your system settings.

What’s new in OpenLM Pri-release Server 2.0.0.1 (April 7, 2014)

– 0001735: [OpenLM Server] Standard XML ignores multiple pools of specific license – resolved.

– 0001726: [OpenLM Server] In EA process/features window –> license release policy affects idle time reporting.  – resolved.

– 0001720: [EasyAdmin] System settings in the administration screen wording change – resolved.

– 0001583: [OpenLM Server] RMS expiration time reported incorrectly – resolved.

– 0001723: [EasyAdmin] don’t show fields – resolved.

– 0000967: [General] Enable SSL communication between modules – resolved.

– 0001529: [OpenLM Server] LM log must always be in ‘ALL’ mode – resolved.

– 0001229: [EasyAdmin] EasyAdmin shows compliance warning but audit report shows correct results – resolved.

– 0001647: [EasyAdmin] Audit Report should be consistent with Compliance Warning in Easy Admin – resolved.

– 0001621: [EasyAdmin] Denials: tab name – resolved.

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What is new in OpenLM version 2.0

OpenLM 2.0 is out

OpenLM is coming out with its latest and greatest milestone version, 2.0.

This version integrates many improvements that have been made to the OpenLM infrastructure as well as a great number of fixes to issues that have been reported by our ever expanding ring of helpful and cooperative customers.

 

This document goes over the main contributions of this version to the OpenLM license monitoring and management tool.

Changes in Infrastructure

 

New and improved algorithms

We have redesigned and rewrote the data processing engine of OpenLM Server. It’s now faster, takes less resources and more accurate.

License Managers’ interface

OpenLM 2.0 employs a more modular approach to treating the growing variety of license server types. Supporting new license server types is now a quick, painless process.

SSL in OpenLM Server

The OpenLM 2.0 server employs secured connectivity to Internet servers and the Active Directory (LDAP) as well as to all other OpenLM modules.

Soap APIs

OpenLM supports standard SOAP API for developers, internal IT solutions and SAM (software assets management) systems.

Unmanaged licenses’ monitoring

Previous versions of OpenLM could only provide concurrent license usage information based on the querying of a central license management server. OpenLM 2.0 makes use of the OpenLM Agent module to extract usage information directly from the end users’ workstations. This feature provides the added value of

1. Monitoring “Dongle” or “Node locked” licenses.

2. Monitoring usage of unmanaged products (i.e. such that do not come equipped with a license management envelope)

3. Products that are in fact managed by license servers, but nevertheless leave no API for OpenLM to query the license usage.

 

This addition opens exciting new capabilities in OpenLM to expand the portfolio of supported license managers, and include managers that were inaccessible before, such as Bentley and Hasp version 3 which were popular requests made by OpenLM customers.

Additional license managers

Following requests made by our trusted customers, OpenLM 2.0 has integrated support of two additional license managers: Solidworks’ EPDM and Intergraph SPLM. Further license managers are on the way.

This adds to the support for the following license managers:FlexLM / Flexnet, Sentinel RMS (Aspentech SLM), DSLS, IBM LUM, Sentinel HASP, LM-X (Altair), Reprise RLM, Beta-LM, Mathematica LM (MathLM), and Easycopy.

LDAP  (Active Directory) synchronization

A reset mechanism that nullifies all entities which do not have a history of usage has been added to the LDAP synchronization module.

Alerts’ System

The OpenLM alerts system has been integrated into the OpenLM EasyAdmin web application. Additional alert types have been added, and several Alert bugs have been fixed.

License servers

IBM LUM

1. OpenLM is now able to monitor IBM LUM License denials.

2. OpenLM can be configured to monitor LUM server redundancy constellations, also referred to as LUM Clusters. In order to do so, just select the ‘LUM’ type, check the “Is Triad Configuration”, and type in the cluster name.

Application specific enhancements

Support Autodesk Cascading Sequence

OpenLM has improved the automatic license retrieval of idle Autodesk licenses, to match the Autodesk license cascading sequence.

MATLAB

The MATLAB idle license retrieval mechanism has been fixed to silently approve idle sessions’ save and close. Now MATLAB and Simulink toolboxes such as the Financial or Signal processing toolboxes can have their usage optimized to increase license utilization throughout the company.

EasyAdmin

License Server File reading

OpenLM is becoming the hub for controlling all types of licensing files. With file reading and data transferring capabilities enhanced, It is now possible to use the OpenLM EasyAdmin web application to interact with different text files, located on remote OpenLM monitored license server machines. This way OpenLM accumulates data from license files, log files and options files to compose a comprehensive picture of your licensing capabilities and restrictions.

License usage

The license usage chart has become more robust, accurate, and user friendly than its predecessor on earlier versions. The OpenLM Server’s processing of data has been optimized for faster processing, Display of usage information has been reviewed and rewritten, and the interface to this report window has been improved.

‘True’ denials

According to license servers’ resource sharing configurations, licenses can be denied on one server but provided on a second. License denial reports are now timewise filtered to differentiate between two cases; when a license has been granted by another server, and when the license request was flatly denied.

OpenLM Desktop customizations

Users of the EasyAdmin web application can now customize the filters, start-up appearance and refresh rate of EasyAdmin windows. In order to do so:

  • Right click the top-left corner of each EasyAdmin window. This will produce a window-specific ‘Properties’ dialog.

  • Apply changes to the different fields of this dialog, and click ‘Save’. This will save the required changes specifically according to the user’s EasyAdmin login credentials.

Role based security

Role based security options have been enhanced to include more intricate resources and generic role types. It is now easier to apply specific capabilities to each user role by assigning detailed resources to these roles.

Login as guest user

The EasyAdmin web application is the administrative entry point for license monitoring and management by OpenLM. This is why OpenLM provides role-based security access to EasyAdmin. In this method, a username and password provide to each user a certain level of access to EasyAdmin resources. In version 2.0, OpenLM has introduced the ‘Guest’ user, to provide predefined limited EasyAdmin access. This is in accordance to numerous such requests made by OpenLM clients.


Options files maintenance

OpenLM now automatically updates Options files according to changes that have been made in groups’ structure and membership. The user can schedule periodic sweeps over changed groups and users entities in the OpenLM Database, and update the Options file according to the deltas in this information.

Groups usage report

Time-based license usage reporting according to groups has been added in the license activity window.

 

 

License usage heat map

The License usage heat map is another reporting tool for graphically clarifying the timewise consumption of licenses


OpenLM license file

In version 2.0 a clear account of the features that are available for use by the OpenLM license file is presented on the OpenLM EasyAdmin web application.

 

Notification area

EasyAdmin provides a new notification area. It conveys information such as having an available update to a later OpenLM version, additional features and enhancements and release note documents.

 

License availability notification

 

When a user is denied a specific license, the OpenLM Server sends a notification to the user once that license has become available again:


Version 2.0 has redesigned and improved the “Available licenses” algorithm. For example, it now takes “false denials” into account.

New download system

The new download system on the OpenLM site does not require repetitive registration each time a user requires an OpenLM module. This has been a nuisance to our customers, and has been timely fixed.

Fixed issues:

Apart from the additional features and enhancements that were implemented in OpenLM version 2.0, it has also seen a large number of bug fixes in all OpenLM modules and categories. A concise list of issues fixed in version 2.0 will be released soon.

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FLEXnet Option Files Examples

What is FLEXnet publisher?

FLEXnet publisher (formerly known as FLEXlm) is a software license manager utilized by companies to manage software shared by different people on different workstations. With what are termed “floating licenses,” FLEXnet enables end users to draw and return software licenses from a license pool on a host server.

What is a FLEXnet option file?

An option file defines various operating parameters of the license manager.

Creating/Editing an option file

In order to create an option file, save a text document in the same folder as the license file. Next, the document the according to the name of the vendor, followed by the extension “.opt”

For example, an option file for Matlab will be named “mlm.opt”. Accordingly, option files for Autodesk and ESRI ArcGIS would be named “adskflex.opt” and “ARCGIS.opt,” respectively.

Allocating licenses to a specific user group

First, define a group with the keyword “GROUP,” followed by the name of the group, followed by the members of that group. Names are all case sensitive.

Example: A group called “Matlab_Users,” consisting of Billy, Jim, and Kim

GROUP Matlab_Users billy jim kim

Next, to select which licenses to allocate to that group, type the keyword “INCLUDE,” followed by the feature name, followed by the group name.

 Example: Allocating feature “Optimization Toolbox” to the group “Matlab_Users”

 INCLUDE MATLAB GROUP Matlab_Users

These two steps are combined:

GROUP Matlab_Users billy jim kim

INCLUDE MATLAB GROUP Matlab_Users

Limiting individuals or groups of users to a maximum number of licenses

In order to limit the usage of a feature by a group, first allocate the license to that group or individual as demonstrated above. Then, set a usage limit with the keyword “MAX,” followed by the name of the feature, followed by the group name.

Example: Limiting the max number of Autocad 2002 licenses used by group “Autocad_Users,” consisting of users Ronald and Lisa, to 7. (41100ACD_2002_OF is the name of the Autocad 2002 feature)

GROUP Autocad_Users ronald lisa

INCLUDE 41100ACD_2002_0F GROUP Autocad_Users

MAX 7 41100ACD_2002_0F GROUP Autocad_Users

Excluding access to specific features

Enter the keyword “EXCLUDE,” followed by the feature name, followed by group or individual being excluding.

Example: Excluding user Franklin from feature “Geosteering plug-in for Petrel 2013”

EXCLUDE OCEAN_SLB_SIM_GEOSTEERING franklin

Controlling license borrowing

To allow someone to borrow a feature, use keyword “BORROW,” followed by the name of the borrowed feature, followed by the user or group of users.

Example: Including users Bill and Sam in the list to borrow the feature Ansys Fluent

BORROW fluent bill sam

Alternately, to exclude someone from borrowing a feature, simply replace “BORROW” with “EXCLUDE_BORROW”

Example: Excluding users Bill and Sam from the list to borrow the feature Ansys Fluent

EXCLUDE_BORROW fluent bill sam

A “borrow lowwater” determines the number of licenses that must remain unused at any given time. Enter the keyword “BORROW_LOWWATER,” followed by the feature name, followed by the number of licenses that can’t be borrowed.

 Example: Setting a borrow lowwater for the feature autocad at 5

BORROW_LOWWATER autocad 5

To adjust how long a license feature can be borrowed, enter “MAX_BORROW_HOURS,” followed by the feature name, followed by the number of hours

Example: Maxing the number of hours a solidworks feature license can be borrowed for at 15 hours

MAX_BORROW_HOURS sldworks 15

Setting license timeout

FLEXlm license timeout is a feature that releases inactive licenses back to the license pool. Enter the keyword “TIMEOUT,” followed by name of the feature, followed by the time (in seconds) after which inactive licenses are released. To set a timeout for all features, simply enter “TIMEOUTALL,” followed by the time.

Example: Setting timeout for Matlab Database Toolbox for 14400 seconds (4 hours)

TIMEOUT Database_Toolbox 14400

Example: Setting a timeout for all licenses for 108000 (3 hours)

TIMEOUT  108000

The OpenLM Difference

OpenLM allows users to harness the full capability of option files using a unique graphical user interface. This interface dramatically simplifies the process of managing license parameters by allowing companies to use active directory groups to automatically generate option files.

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OpenLM Maintenance Release Version 1.8.1.26

OpenLM Server version 1.8.1.26

OpenLM Server version 1.8.1.2 is a maintenance release to version 1.8. It contains some bug fixes to problems found in previous versions and enhancements. We  recommend that users of previous 1.8 versions to whom these problems may be relevant upgrade their system to this version.

Upgrading the OpenLM Server

In order to upgrade to version 1.8.1.26:

1. Stop the OpenLM Server service

2. Backup your DB file (Typically located in: C:\Program Files\OpenLM\OpenLM Server\db)

3. Make sure ALL windows are closed; especially the services window.

4. Install the new version on top of the existing one.

5. If prompted to do so, contact OpenLM to obtain an up-to-date license file. Please provide your MAC address and Hostname (case sensitive) for that. Copy this file to the

C:\Program Files\OpenLM\OpenLM Server\License   folder, and restart the OpenLM Server service.

 

What’s new in OpenLM Server 1.8.1.26 (Dec 18, 2013)

– 0001444: [OpenLM Server] Support German DSLS date format and improve DSLS interpretation – resolved.

– 0001455: [OpenLM Server] Error upgrading 1.7 –> 1.8; “OpenLM Users” missing in DB 1.7 OLM_GROUPS table. – resolved.

– 0001451: [OpenLM Server] Project info erased when session is declared idle. – resolved.

– 0001450: [OpenLM Server] Too many features under single vendor – causes problems in reading Agent message. – resolved.

– 0001373: [OpenLM Server] HASP License output parsing does not recognize expiration date – resolved.

 

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Application Note 1027_a: OpenLM Agent Installation and Configuration

OpenLM Utilizer Agent

The OpenLM Utilizer Agent is the end user tool of the OpenLM system. It completes the OpenLM license monitoring tool from the End user’s point of view. It provides end users the following capabilities:

  • Query license availability.
  • Check which users are holding required licenses.
  • View a user’s full set of details as they appear on the LDAP, and communicate with users regarding license availability.
  • Receive license availability notifications as soon as requested licenses become available.
  • Report the session’s active project (mainly for billing purposes).

OpenLM Active Agent

The Active Agent incorporates all the characteristics of the Utilizer Agent. On top of that, it supports an extension that enables system administrators to shut down open applications either manually, or by defining a timeout policy. In this manner, system administrators can suspend or save and close idle applications, in order to make more efficient use of licenses. The Active Agent features a user-friendly interface that enables users to quickly reopen closed applications, or resume suspended ones.

Installation

Download and save the Openlm Utilizer or Active Agent MSI installation file from the Download section of OpenLM’s site. Double-click it, and follow the instructions of the installation wizard.

When installing the Active Agent, the Extensions “OpenLM Extensions” dialog window appears.

The user may either:

  • Select to install the appropriate software extensions, thus ruling an idle application to be treated in the “Save and Close” method, or
  • Select NOT to install the appropriate software extensions, thus ruling an idle application to be treated in the “Suspend and Resume” method, even though it is an “Extension Supported” application.

For more information on Extension-Enabled applications, please refer to “Application Note 1005: Configuring OpenLM to close idle Licenses”.

At the end of the installation process, in the “Agent Configuration” dialog window, type in the OpenLM server with which the Agent is required to connect, and click the “Apply” button. The Installation is now complete, can be changed at any time (see below).

After installing:

The OpenLM Agent icon appears on the “system tray”.
OpenLM Agent in a connected state:
OpenLM Agent in a disconnected state:

Agent Configuration

  • Right click on the agent icon and select ‘OpenLM Agent Configuration’. The Agent configuration window opens.
  • Select the Agent’s language.
  • Type in the OpenLM server name or IP.
  • Type in the OpenLM server port. This is by default 7012.
  • Click the “Check connectivity to OpenLM server” button.

Advanced settings:

  • Logger Configuration File: Type in the location of the Agent Log File.
  • Logging Level: Adjust the Agent’s logging level.
  • Skip Double Instances Alert: This option either enables or blocks alerts when trying to open two agent sessions simultaneously. This option is set active by default.
  • Use Local Computer’s Proxy Settings: This setting may solve issues that originate using a proxy server. This option is set inactive by default.
  • Shut Agent when products Are inactive… : These parameters are relevant for VM servers. When OpoenLM closes a licensed application, the VM (e.g: Citrix) is kept in use by the workstation, unnecessarily consuming a license. This configuration shuts down the OpenLM Agent after INACTIVITY_TIME, thus releasing the VM license.

The OpenLM Java Agent window

The OpenLM Agent window shows the Feature usage status, per License Server, Vendor and User name. Individual user data is also available through the Agent; Just click a chart line to get more information on the user who is currently occupying the license.

Revision 0.1, Apr29 2012.

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