OpenLM User Manual - OpenLM Software License Management
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OpenLM User Manual

1. About OpenLM

OpenLM is an IT software company, specializing in licensed software applications management and usage monitoring.

OpenLM provides clear reporting of real time and historical license utilization data

OpenLM produces productivity tools for License Administrators, Managers and End-users alike, with the best interest of software users in mind.

OpenLM demonstrates a flexible modular architecture, suited for versatile license management systems and various organization sizes.

OpenLM supports monitoring and management of a wide variety of license managers, over local or wide-area networks (LAN / WAN), executed on either Windows or Unix/Linux based systems.

OpenLM facilitates elaborated alerting against a variety of licensing-related predefined conditions

The OpenLM software supports major trends in the field of licensing, including license consolidations, usage chargeback (usage billing) and trend analysis.

 

Table of contents

1. About OpenLM

2. Benefits of OpenLM 4

2.1 Managers: License monitoring

2.2 Administrators: Reporting

2.3 Administrators: License management

2.4 End users: License Availability

3. Contact us

3.1 Support

3.2 Sales

4. Documentation and online resources

4.1 Screenshots

4.2 Application Notes

4.3 Troubleshoot guides

4.4 Video Tutorials

4.5 FAQs

4.6 Knowledge base

4.7 OpenLM Extensions

5. License managers monitored by OpenLM

6. OpenLM components

6.1 Modularity

6.2 Installation

6.3 OpenLM Server

6.4 EasyAdmin Web interface

6.5 OpenLM Broker

6.5.1 OpenLM Broker configuration

6.5.2 OpenLM Broker benefits

6.5.2.1 WAN (Wide Area Networks) and Firewall

6.5.2.2 UNIX / Linux license servers

6.5.2.3 Network robustness

6.5.2.4 log file information

6.5.2.5 license file information

6.5.2.6 Remote log file fetching

6.5.2.7 FlexLM Options file management

6.5.2.8 Administrative actions

6.6 OpenLM Agent

6.6.1 Agent Configuration

6.6.2 Benefits of the OpenLM Agent

6.6.2.1 Clarity

6.6.2.2 Improved organisational culture

6.6.2.3 Productivity

6.6.2.4 Active usage

6.6.2.5 Efficiency: Idle license retrieval

6.6.2.6 Intervention

6.6.2.7 Interception

6.6.2.8 Online license managers and new types of license managers

6.6.2.9 Project management

6.6.2.10 Additional information

6.6.2.11 ArcGIS License level

6.6.3 OpenLM Agent deployment methods

6.7 OpenLM Router

6.7.1 Benefits of the OpenLM Router

6.7.2 OpenLM Router Configuration

6.8 OpenLM Proactive Application Manager

7. Additional OpenLM Extensions

7.1 LDAP (Active Directory) synchronization

7.2 Actual Usage

7.3 Active Agent

7.4 The OpenLM Usage Analytics & Reporting extension

7.5 Roles and permissions

7.6 OpenLM Enhanced Alerts extension

7.7 Options File Management

7.8 External Database Extension

8. OpenLM SaaS – Cloud implementation

 

2. Benefits of OpenLM

2.1 Managers: License monitoring

  • Maintain license inventory
  • Maintain compliance and Audit proactivity
  • Justify discontinuation or purchase of licenses.
  • Ensure availability of licenses.
  • Distribute costs

2.2 Administrators: Reporting

  • License server status.
  • License inventory and procurement.
  • License usage.
  • Unused licenses reports
  • Group & Project usage

2.3 Administrators: License management

  • Prevent excessive license usage charges
  • Controlling license server access
  • Maintaining compliance by location
  • Allocation of licenses to specific users and groups.
  • Allocation of licenses according to time of day.
  • License utilization chart – matching number of licenses with required Quality of Service.

2.4 End users: License Availability

  • Empowering end users. License usage information is made transparent.
  • Idle license retrieval
  • License availability notifications
  • Improved organizational culture
  • Actively improve usage efficiency

3 Contact us

3.1 Support

OpenLM has offices in Europe and in the USA. It provides near round-the-clock global support within short response time. Our commitment to innovation guarantees that our clients are constantly updated to the latest and best of any OpenLM tool.

Please feel free to address our support team on any technical issue by either :

Sending an email to support@openlm.com  , or

Logging in to an online chat from the OpenLM website.

3.2 Sales

Initial OpenLM installations permit fully featured access to the OpenLM software, for an evaluation period of one month. When this period has elapsed, the OpenLM software will prompt the user for a license file. The user will then need to contact OpenLM in order to obtain such a license file.

Please read more about OpenLM licensing on this document:

Our Sales team will be glad to assist in any issue relating to OpenLM licensing and procurement. Please feel free to address our sales team by either:

Sending an email to sales@openlm.com  , or

Logging in to an online chat from the OpenLM website.

4. Documentation and online resources

4.1 Screenshots

The Screenshots document is a brief tour of the main OpenLM windows and components.

4.2 Application Notes

The OpenLM Application Notes section contains the bulk of information regarding every aspect of the OpenLM system. You will find the documents categorized by the following

subjects:

  • Installing OpenLM
  • Monitoring licenses
  • OpenLM Modules
  • OpenLM Databases
  • Interfacing license managers
  • Controlling licenses
  • Extension enabled applications; ESRI, Autodesk, MATLAB, Solidworks
  • EasyAdmin Configuration

There is also a good “Search this site” widget there, to ease access to any specific document.

4.3 Troubleshoot guides

Some troubleshoot guides for common issues are found on the Troubleshoot section in the

OpenLM site. These troubleshoot items constitute a constantly growing knowledge base, and

are constantly updated. This is a good source for answers to issues encountered by users.

You will find the Troubleshooting guides categorized according to

  • OpenLM Server
  • OpenLM Broker
  • OpenLM Agent
  • OpenLM Database
  • License managers
  • EasyAdmin

4.4 Video Tutorials

The ‘Tutorials’ section on the OpenLM site contains videos on the following subjects:

  • EasyAdmin
  • The ‘Widgets’ sub menu.
  • The ‘Management’ and ‘Operational’ sub menus.
  • Historical license usage reports.
  • OpenLM Server
  • OpenLM Server configuration: The license server tab
  • Adding users manually and via Active Directory synchronization
  • Roles and permission groups
  • OpenLM Broker
  • Installation and configuration

Some of the videos were produced with older versions, but they are still quite relevant for OpenLM version 3 as well.

4.5 FAQs

There is also an FAQ section on the OpenLM site. It is categorised by:

  • Infrastructure
  • Sales
  • OpenLM Server
  • OpenLM Broker
  • OpenLM Agent
  • EasyAdmin

4.6 Knowledge base

There is an abundance of documentation in the OpenLM Knowledge base section. If you’re looking for information on installing MATLAB or the quirks of Options files – this may be a good place to start.

This part is divided to:

4.7 OpenLM Extensions

The OpenLM Extensions section on our website holds clear explanations and videos per each of the extensions that are licensed separately from the basic OpenLM Package. These include:

  • Actual usage
  • Active Agent
  • Alerts
  • External Database Support
  • Group Billing
  • LDAP (Active Directory) synchronization
  • Project billing
  • Options files management
  • Roles and permissions
  • OpenLM Router

5. License managers monitored by OpenLM

OpenLM directly queries an ever-expanding list of license managers. At the time of writing this document, this list includes more than 20 license manager types. The complete list of license managers, and their respective supported features is presented here.

Documentation regarding the configuration of OpenLM for interfacing each of the license managers elaborated above is found here.

In addition to the said above, OpenLM may be configured to monitor and control the license usage of a wide variety of licensed software applications, served by on-premise or online license servers. It does so by monitoring the usage of applications on end-user workstations, as explained below.

6. OpenLM components

The following diagram presents an overall view of the most common OpenLM components:

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6.1 Modularity

The OpenLM system is modular, and may be laid out in various configurations. Implementation can be minimal or comprehensive as required by the license administrator. Examples for such configurations are

  • OpenLM Server only; The server will query information from remote license servers.
  • OpenLM Server and Brokers; The OpenLM Brokers will query license usage information locally, on the license server machines. This information will be propagated to the OpenLM Server.
  • OpenLM Server Server, Brokers and Agents; Same as above, with enhanced monitoring and management capabilities for end users.
  • OpenLM Server, Brokers, Agents and Routers; Same as above, with additional license server management capabilities.
  • OpenLM Server, Brokers, Agents Routers and Proactive application managers; Same as above, with additional application management capabilities.

6.2 Installation

  • The Download files for the latest OpenLM version are found in the OpenLM site’s Download section.

6.3 OpenLM Server

The OpenLM Server is the core element of the OpenLM system. It integrates the functionality of all other peripheral system components, such as the OpenLM EasyAdmin web interface, OpenLM Agent, OpenLM Router, OpenLM Proactive Application Manager, and OpenLM Broker.

It is responsible for collecting information from various system components and storing it in an embedded relational DB. External databases like Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL are also supported.

The OpenLM Server is implemented as a Windows service and can be installed on any network machine. It enables monitoring and managing of multiple license servers, over LAN or WAN networks. Common OpenLM Server configurations may vary from one or more license managers nationwide to multiple license servers located worldwide, over different time zones.

The following image and document demonstrate a basic installation of the OpenLM Server, and the setup required to remotely monitor a FlexLM (Flexnet) license manager:

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As the OpenLM Server is incorporated in almost every action applied in the OpenLM system, it seems not feasible to include all relevant data about it in a single document, but here is one containing some of the OpenLM Server basics:

 

Another good document to start from is this one:

Installation guide for the OpenLM license management system: Quick – AN4011

6.4 EasyAdmin Web interface

EasyAdmin is the administrative interface of the OpenLM system. EasyAdmin’s control panel features a desktop interface that enables users to configure the OpenLM Server; OpenLM’s core component.

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Please refer to the ‘Screenshots’ document for an overall description of the different windows available on the OpenLM EasyAdmin web interface.

6.5 OpenLM Broker

The OpenLM Broker tool is a Java software module installed on the License Manager Server. The Broker interacts directly with the License Server locally querying the current License Server status.

6.5.1 OpenLM Broker configuration

The image below depicts the action of local License server query by the OpenLM Broker, and the propagation of the acquired information to the OpenLM Server:

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The following documents are quick and comprehensive guides for installing and configuring the OpenLM Broker

The OpenLM Broker may be silently deployed, using an msiexec script:

6.5.2 OpenLM Broker benefits

The OpenLM Broker provides the following benefits:

6.5.2.1 WAN (Wide Area Networks) and Firewall

The OpenLM Broker queries the license server locally and propagates the acquired data to the OpenLM Server. Therefore, installation of the OpenLM Broker is required for monitoring license usage over WAN networks or through security restrictions (e.g. Firewall).

6.5.2.2 UNIX / Linux license servers

The OpenLM Broker is a Java application, and can therefore be installed on machines running Windows or Unix / Linux operating systems. The OpenLM Broker is therefore required for qurying license managers that are executed over non-Windows (e.g. Unix / Linux) machines.

Please refer to this document for more information:

6.5.2.3 Network robustness

The transmission of data from the OpenLM Broker to the OpenLM Server is buffered and zipped. This enables the OpenLM system to overcome communication failure and network instability issues.

6.5.2.4 log file information

License server log files incorporate valuable data regarding license utilization and the status of the license server. This data includes:

  • Denied license requests
  • Cause for license denials
  • Accurate license usage (1 second resolution)
  • Offline (‘Borrowed’) licenses
  • Identity of users who have borrowed licenses
  • License server errors

The OpenLM Broker reads these log files, and propagates the data to the license server, to integrate it in the OpenLM reports.

The image below depicts the configuration of the OpenLM Broker in this capacity:

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Please refer to this document for more information:

6.5.2.5 license file information

License files incorporate an abundance of information, relevant to the quality and quantity of the licenses available in the inventory. This information includes, for example:

  • License packaging (e.g. Packages, Suites)
  • Properties of license pools (e.g. license expiration, quantity of licenses)
  • License types (e.g. Stand-alone licenses, Named licenses, Node Locked licenses, Floating licenses)
  • License usage policy (e.g. ‘DUP_GROUP’): the policy of license consumption in view of multiple launches of an application

 

The OpenLM system may be configured to import the data resident in the license server license file, and incorporate it in the OpenLM Database and OpenLM reports. The following diagram depicts such a configuration:

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In addition to the said above, the OpenLM EasyAdmin user can:

  • Select and fetch the license file to their local machine, and
  • Edit and upload the License file back to the License server machine, followed by a ‘Restart’ or ‘Re-read’ action.

 

Please refer to the following documents for additional information:

6.5.2.6 Remote log file fetching

As mentioned above, OpenLM users EasyAdmin users may select and fetch the files to their local machine. These files include:

  • License files
  • Log files, and
  • Options files.

Please refer to the following documents for additional information:

6.5.2.7 FlexLM Options file management

The OpenLM Broker facilitates maintenance of FlexLM Options files. This includes:

  • Implementing License server policies
  • Allocating licenses
  • Restricting license usage
  • Enforcing license compliance (e.g. for regional licenses), and
  • Applying preferences for license access

 

When combined with OpenLM’s ability of Active Directory synchronization (see below), this ability becomes a powerful tool for automatic management of license restrictions, seamlessly following any changes that are applied to the organization’s active directory, all done from the EasyAdmin web interface. The following image depicts the required configuration for this capacity:

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Please read more about it here:

6.5.2.8 Administrative actions

The OpenLM Broker facilitates the option to remotely apply administrative actions to the license server, e.g. Start, Stop and Reread.

6.6 OpenLM Agent

The OpenLM Agent is a lightweight optional software component that is installed on end users’ workstations. It provides a set of capabilities that empower end users, making them less dependent on system administrators, improves license utilization, and boosts license availability.

This Application note elaborates most capabilities and configurations of the OpenLM Agent:

6.6.1 Agent Configuration

Below is an image depicting a typical deployment OpenLM Agents, and their connection to the OpenLM Server

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6.6.2 Benefits of the OpenLM Agent

Here is a list of the benefits that come with deploying OpenLM Agents on your network, adjoint with links to relevant documents.

6.6.2.1 Clarity:

End users can see who’s got the license they need. They are also presented with these user’s contact details, in order to contact them and obtain licenses independently.

6.6.2.2 Improved organisational culture:

The option of ‘hogging’ licenses – i.e. keeping licenses checked out for a user’s disposal – becomes irrelevant. This effectively improves the organisational culture.

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6.6.2.3 Productivity:

The Agent can notify users regarding licenses that have been busy before, and have recently become available. This process annihilates wait time, and further boosts productivity.

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6.6.2.4 Active usage:

Idle sessions are monitored, and may be presented graphically, managed and reported on the EasyAdmin web application. Please refer to this Application note for more information:

6.6.2.5 Efficiency: Idle license retrieval

The Agent can retrieve idle licenses automatically back to the license pool, according to a set of predefined thresholds. This process improves the utilization of available licenses, and may produce substantial savings on software expenditure. The image below demonstrates the configuration of OpenLM components required to achieve idle license retrieval:

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There are several methods for automatic idle license retrieval. Please refer to these documents for further information:

6.6.2.6 Intervention:

Administrators can manually shut down specific applications or check licenses back into the license pool in response to faulty licensing conditions. Please refer to this Application note for more information:

6.6.2.7 Interception:

The Agent may be configured, in conjunction with the OpenLM Proactive Application manager to intercept the launching of applications. This is particularly useful for avoiding  excessive license usage charges. Please refer to this Application note for more information:

6.6.2.8 Online license managers and new types of license managers:

The Agent provides a quick solution monitoring and controlling the functionality of license managers that could not be queried by the OpenLM Server or OpenLM Broker.

This includes Online license managers and new types of license managers. We refer to this as the “Unmanaged licenses” method. Please refer to this Application note for more information:

6.6.2.9 Project management:

OpenLM can be configured to log license usage according to projects. The OpenLM Agent interface will prompt the end user for the currently active project, thus attributing usage on that workstation to the selected project. Please refer to this Application note for more information:

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6.6.2.10 Additional information:

Additional information such as Workstation IPs is provided to the OpenLM Server by the Agent.

6.6.2.11 ArcGIS License level

OpenLM was originally written by ESRI ArcGIS veterans, and as such still includes some ArcGIS specific benefits. Setting the ArcGIS license level is one of them.

6.6.3 OpenLM Agent deployment methods

The Agent can be deployed silently, using an msiexec script:

OpenLM Agent Silent Installation – AN4023,

or deployed via GPO:

Customizing OpenLM Agent deployment via GPO – AN3023a

6.7 OpenLM Router

The OpenLM Router redirects license requests made by application users to their respective license servers.

6.7.1 Benefits of the OpenLM Router

The OpenLM Router facilitates a new set of capabilities for license managers such as:

  • Providing a single point of reference to all application clients when applying changes to the license server configuration
  • Applying rules and restrictions on license usage according to specific users, IP ranges and time of day. These rules may be applied to any type of license server.
  • Setting up a license server redundancy scheme.

6.7.2 OpenLM Router Configuration

The Router’s method of employment is to intervene in the license request made by the application, en-route the license manager. Please refer to the image below for clarification

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Please refer to these document for more information:

6.8 OpenLM Proactive Application Manager

OpenLM has been addressed by numerous customers who expressed their concern regarding loss of control over software license checkouts. These customers complained they could not deal with excessive license consumption, resulting in unplanned expenditure or breach of licensing compliance.

OpenLM now presents the capability of directly intervening in the process of license drawing. We call this the “OpenLM Proactive Application Manager”. The OpenLM Proactive Manager is a Java application that acts as a hub to all OpenLM Agents. It needs to be installed on the same machine as the license server (e.g. FlexLM), adjacent the OpenLM Broker. The OpenLM Proactive Manager:

  • Is configured by the OpenLM Server.
  • Obtains information from the Agents regarding active processes and software launching.
  • Ascertains whether to grant permission, and enables the Agents to launch the software according to the said configuration, or prohibits them from doing so.

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Please refer to this document for more information:

7. Additional OpenLM Extensions

In addition to the many capabilities elaborated so far, OpenLM facilitates a variety of additional useful capabilities that we refer to as ‘Extensions’.

7.1 LDAP (Active Directory) synchronization

OpenLM relates to different types of entities (e.g. Users, User-groups, IP, Hosts and Host-groups) in its configurations and reports. Please read about the different entity types and the methods to introduce them into the OpenLM database here:

One such method to introduce new entities is through synchronization with the organizational Active Directory. This method facilitates, for example :

  • Importing of Organizational Units (OUs) and their membership
  • Importing of permission groups, and optionally applying restrictions to Options files
  • Importing user information (e.g. telephone number) for a clear display of license consumption
  • Billing according to groups, departments, projects etc.

The image below depicts the configuration required for Active Directory synchronization:

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Please refer to the following Application notes (Basic and Comprehensive), to learn more about the capabilities and different methods of Active directory synchronization in OpenLM:

7.2 Actual Usage

As already mentioned above, in the context of Active Agent benefits, the Actual Usage extension enables license administrators to assess license usage efficiency. Please refer to these Application notes for more information:

 

7.3 Active Agent

As already mentioned above, in the context of Active Agent benefits, the Active Agent extension identifies idle open applications and safely releases them in order improve license utilization.

Please refer to these Application notes for more information:

 

 

7.4 The OpenLM Usage Analytics & Reporting extension

The OpenLM Usage analytics and Reporting Tool enables customers to generate business reports that range from the most basic usage reports to the most complex predictive modeling schemes. With this tool, you can:

  • Easily create multiple reports, integrating graphs and tables according to predefined criteria
  • Schedule reports to be automatically generated, and sent at a predefined time via email.
  • Manufacture interactive reports, that are similar to a dashboard reports, incorporating elaborate filters.

Please read more about OpenLM Usage Analytics here:

7.5 Roles and permissions

The OpenLM Server supports a role-based security feature that enables system administrators to implement customized access to OpenLM tools by setting access roles. This feature facilitates the implementation of OpenLM tools for diverse groups; like help desk, system administrators, managers and developers. The role based security system secures nearly all the resources of the OpenLM system’s entities, such as listed servers, fields and action buttons.

Please refer to this Application notes for more information:

7.6 OpenLM Enhanced Alerts extension

OpenLM provides basic alerts in the OpenLM EasyAdmin start → Widgets → Alerts window. These include:

  • OpenLM internal alerts, e.g.: OpenLM Server has not received license server output from the OpenLM Broker, or
  • License server alerts, e.g.: FlexLM error messages.

The OpenLM Enhanced Alerts extension is designed to ensure the stability of the licensing system. It enables License managers to define alert conditions, and act upon them when met. The system can be assigned to handle complex conditions over multiple license servers and features; Binary logic (AND / OR) may be applied between conditions.

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For more information about the OpenLM Enhanced Alerts extension, please refer to this document:

7.7 Options File Management

As mentioned above in the context of OpenLM Broker benefits, OpenLM facilitates license allocation and restriction through dynamic, automatic management of the FLEXlm Options file mechanism. Please refer to these documents for more information:

In addition to the above, OpenLM also enables the import of users and groups into the OpenLM Database, via the mechanism of Options Files reading. Please refer to this document for more information:

7.8 External Database Extension

By default, OpenLM provides an embedded Firebird database as part of its basic installation. Customers may want to migrate their tables to an external database, when they become too large for the embedded database to handle. OpenLM recommends considering migration when the Firebird database size approaches 1 GB.

The External Database Extension enables OpenLM to employ external databases such as MySQL and SQL Server for maintaining system configurations and accumulating License usage data.

Please refer to these relevant documents for more information on OpenLM external databases:

8. OpenLM SaaS – Cloud implementation

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software licensing and delivery model in which the software is remotely hosted and licensed upon subscription. Organizations turn to SaaS in order to outsource hardware and software maintenance and reduce IT costs. OpenLM has implemented OpenLM SaaS  following this trend, enabling organizations to implement their systems with minimal installation and maintenance efforts.

The image below depicts the a schematic implementation of the OpenLM SaaS environment:

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  • The OpenLM SaaS solution only requires the installation of the OpenLM Broker on the customer’s License server machine.
  • The customer’s data is maintained on a dedicated relational Database
  • The customer enjoys all reporting and monitoring capabilities provided by the EasyAdmin web application.

For more information about OpenLM SaaS, please refer to these documents:

in Installing OpenLMOpenLM Modules

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