FlexLM License Management 101: Switch to Smart SLM with OpenLM


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FlexLM license management is a common concern for users as well as leaders across industries. FlexNet Publisher (the new name of FlexLM) is the most commonly used license manager in the engineering application industry, adaptable with different types of licenses such as node-locked and concurrent (floating). FlexLM is regarded as one of the DRM (Digital Rights Management) solutions, enabling organizations to restrict the number of licenses their customers can access. If you need to monitor FlexLM licensing, you may be using one of the following types of software:

Notably, it is not possible to showcase every application supported by FlexLM licensing due to the wide volume and continuous development of new software supporting FlexLM licensing.

Challenges in FlexLM license management

Like monitoring any other licenses, FlexLM license management comes with common challenges such as:

  • License Utilization Tracking: Accurately tracking real-time usage to avoid overuse or underutilization.
  • License Availability: Ensuring that licenses are available when needed by users.
  • Compliance and Audits: Keeping up with license compliance to avoid penalties during audits.
  • Usage Reporting: Generating detailed usage reports for management and optimization.
  • Network Issues: Handling network-related issues that can affect license checkouts.
  • User Management: Managing user access and prioritization for high-demand licenses.

OpenLM resolution for FlexLM: Switch to smart license management

OpenLM provides a centralized platform for FlexLM license management. With our smart license management solution comes a single interface to monitor and control your license usage in real-time. It also provides automated alerts and comprehensive reports to help you stay on top of your licensing needs and ensure compliance with vendor agreements. Apart from that, we provide advanced analytics reflecting your license usage patterns, helping to identify and eliminate idle licenses.

OpenLM integrates seamlessly with FlexLM, providing a user-friendly interface for license management. It enhances security features and ensures compliance, and its scalable nature makes it suitable for organizations of all sizes.

License harvesting: Minimize your FlexLM license wastage with OpenLM

License harvesting is a proactive way to reclaim expensive applications sitting idle on an engineer’s workstation. This helps maximize the utilization of purchased licenses and reduce the need for additional licenses. OpenLM’s license harvesting feature automatically detects idle licenses and reclaims them, ensuring that your resources are used efficiently.

The basic license harvesting method OpenLM offers involves two actions: 

  1. Identifying idle open application sessions 
  2. Safely releasing the license in order to improve license utilization

Open application sessions consume licenses despite they are always not in use. Imagine, a user was working on a design in Application A. Suddenly, they received an urgent call to join a project meeting. They quickly switched to their communication software Application B to participate in the call, but forgot to close Application A. In this scenario, Application A will become idle but continue to increase your license usage.
OpenLM can identify such instances of idle sessions and help in assessing the license usage efficiency. It can lead to the following:

  • Better decisions on the purchase and maintenance of licenses
  • Optimized allocation of licenses within the users
  • Smart license consumption to minimize wastage

Implementing license harvesting

This mainly involves installing a program named Workstation Agent on the end-user workstations and end-user services on the central server along with the OpenLM server.

Here are the ways you can harvest idle FlexLM licenses with OpenLM.

  • Save and close: Saves open projects, closes the application, and returns the license back to the pool. Works for ArcGIS and ArcGIS Pro, AutoCAD (All features that use the acad.exe), SOLIDWORKS, MATLAB, CATIA, PETRA, Harmony, Kingdom, and more.
  • Suspend and resume: Detects the idle application, ‘freezes’ the application and releases the license back to the pool until someone reclaims it. Works for all FlexLM applications.
  • Agent procedures: It is a general-purpose license retrieval (not just for FlexLM). It can also be used to close node-locked idle applications.
  • Remotely close: In this method, the License Administrator can manually remove a license of an idle application from the OpenLM Admin interface.  

Managing FlexLM licenses centrally with OpenLM offers numerous benefits, including improved efficiency, cost savings, and compliance. The addition of features like license harvesting further enhances the value OpenLM provides.

Watch this webinar to get a real-time look at managing FlexLM licenses with OpenLM:

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