Autodesk Applications’ Real Usage Data Revealed


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Oren Gabay, CEO at OpenLM


Here we’ll keep an eye on the actual license usage of various engineering software vendors.

The first one will be Autodesk, a leading provider of 3D design and engineering software.

We have been collecting anonymous utilization data from hundreds of organizations through the OpenLM License Parser, our interface for parsing license server logs and license files. This free online tool highlights license usage patterns and statistics, and produces insight on license inventory, utilization and availability.

We examined the license usage data of five of Autodesk’s most popular engineering applications, based on different usage data of different organizations. We selected 4 main usage categories:

  1. Average Session Duration: Short average session durations usually imply a healthy organizational culture, whereas long average session lengths imply that users are unnecessarily keeping licenses for themselves.
  2. Daily Sessions per User: High number of sessions indicates that users employ licenses as needed, and return them to the license pool when they are done.
  3. Rate of License Denials: Having not being denied a license at all may imply that the license pool is underutilized. Having too many denials implies that licenses are too few or should be better managed.
    Note that denial reporting may not be fully accurate, since FLEXlm reports more denials than you actually have. The OpenLM server software filters false denials and reports only TRUE denials, but the specific parser implementation is limited in this aspect.
  4. Total Utilization Percentage: The ratio between the total usage in a given time period, and the total potential usage of all acquired licenses during that period. Comparing an organization’s “Total Utilization” score to the average benchmark spells out the bottom line for license efficiency.

The results of Autodesk’s leading packages are summarized below (usage data for ALL Autodesk products can be found here):

Autodesk’s Engineering Applications Average Session Duration (Hours) Daily Sessions per User Denials per Hour Total Utilization Percentage
AutoCAD Package 4:44 1.59 2.71 18.64%
Building Design Suite 2:41 1.07 0.87 17.18%
Product Design Suite 6:57 1.72 0.8 21.19%
Navisworks Manage Package 4:26 1.34 1.09 23.8%
Civil 3D Package 3:54 0.66 0.24 25.5%


We strongly advise license administrators and IT personnel to compare the usage data in their specific organization to the benchmark data presented above. This way, they will ascertain whether their use of Autodesk’s software licenses is in the ballpark.

It’s worth mentioning that nowadays Autodesk is replacing its software licensing method from acquisition to monthly, quarterly, annual, and multi-year subscription plans (read all about it here). The current benchmarks are mostly based on permanent online licenses data.

That’s all for now. Next time, we’ll present the license usage data of Dassault Systèmes’ popular engineering applications, such as Abaqus and SolidWorks.


Oren Gabay is the CEO of OpenLM, a provider of software license management solutions for engineering applications

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