One of the key administrative tasks when it comes to software license management is controlling the allocation of licenses for each user. This is especially complex when it comes to engineering and scientific software, where that user may require 30 or 40 specialized and costly applications to perform his job to the standard required. We have had an increase in requests from customers of Flexera FlexNet Manager (and a few other license manager tools) for a product that makes license allocation easier for them. The main problem is that the file where allocations are set up, which is the “options” file in FlexNet, does not link to the company’s organizational directory, such as Microsoft’s Active Directory.
OpenLM’s license manager software does link to the organization’s directory as a matter of course. This means that any change to the organizational directory is synchronised through to the allocations table in OpenLM. This cuts down a load of manual work managing two separate allocation views and also reduces the possibility of error. The users of Flexera license management products are aware of OpenLM’s capability in this area, but have invested much time and money in getting FlexNet tailored for their organization, so are reluctant to change vendors at this stage, but are looking for something to ease the “Options” file pain. We are glad to announce that we now have a solution.
The OpenLM License Allocation Manager (or LAM) is a software product dedicated to the management of license allocation. This new release is limited to allocation for Flexera licenses, but imminent releases will cater for other license management software. It can be bought as a stand-alone product that does not impact any existing license management software installation. The software integrates with the organizational directory and the license administrator no longer has to cope with updating the text file for license allocation used by FlexNet.
While many of our customers are happy just to have this directory link enabled, there is much, much more that gives precise control over license control. Parameters are included to allow customization of allocation for:-
- Allocation and access by user group, for example a specific project team.
- Geolocation, where access is managed based on the user’s location.
- Time of use. This parameter helps in managing peak demand and can be combined with location and/or group.
- Software version. Where multiple instances of a software package are used, a user or user group may be permitted to or prohibited from using a specific version.
- Workbench management. Where a portmanteau license has been acquired, such as AutoDesk’s bundled offerings, the user can be limited to using only some of the products.
- Feature limitation. Especially with token licensing, specific features may carry an extra cost or be in scarce supply. Allocation can be tailored to permit or limit access to a feature within an application.
We have not exhausted the possibilities that our new LAM software offers. If you believe that this product could help you solve your current license allocation problems, why don’t you contact OpenLM to find out more and try the software for your own environment?
Time of day: Some licenses entitle users a “follow the sun” policy, granting licenses on different time zones according to the time of day. Server availability: Some license management systems provide a multiple server redundancy scheme to ensure license availability in case of hardware or network failure. Changes in infrastructure: Migrating a license manager from one server to another may require changes in configuration of end user workstations Dynamic users: Users join and leave the organization, and migrate among groups and projects. User prioritization: Ranking of users in the hierarchy of license priority and application license level may change over time. Project priorities shift: The allocation plan should reflect the priorities dictated for each project. These priorities are also dynamic by nature.