Autodesk’s AutoCAD software is used in many industries due to its versatility. While one or two licenses are easy to manage, large organizations usually purchase many AutoCAD licenses to give engineers access to software for a variety of projects. This inventory of expensive engineering software licenses requires management and optimization, and this is where OpenLM comes into the picture. As the leaders of engineering software license management, we already provided an excellent monitoring and optimization solution to SAM managers designed for AutoCAD via the Active Agent extension.

However, we are aware that some organizations are limiting the installation of apps such as the OpenLM Agent, due to their very strict privacy policy. Still, they are looking to have the first-class reports and license optimization features that are at the core of OpenLM’s solution. This is why we are happy to announce the release of the AutoCAD Plugin, a privacy-aware solution we have developed for monitoring the usage of AutoCAD applications running on engineers’ machines.

Designed to be a part of AutoCAD

AutoCAD supports plugins from version 2016, and there have been thousands developed for this very popular engineering software. These plugins allow AutoCAD to perform a variety of features that weren’t built in the Autodesk software. OpenLM’s AutoCAD plugin walks this path: it was developed using the Autodesk API to carefully save the users’ work, close AutoCAD, and release the license. 

With the AutoCAD Plugin system, administrators don’t have to install the OpenLM Agent on the end-user workstations. They can deploy it on the machine as part of the AutoCAD application, and it will work as an inherent part of the software:

– the OpenLM plugin will start only when the end user launches the AutoCAD application and will identify the user by their AutoCAD username,

– the plugin will also stop monitoring the software as soon as the end user closes the engineering app.

The AutoCAD plugin becomes part of the software

In essence, the AutoCAD Plugin is as powerful as the OpenLM Agent but limited in functionality to this specific software. Simply put, system admins who want to crunch only AutoCAD license usage data have a simple solution that will provide accurate data on license consumption and actual usage, and crunch the data into an easy-to-understand report, which is the trademark of OpenLM.

How to get the AutoCAD Plugin

There are two things you need to keep in mind when looking to start monitoring the AutoCAD software using our lightweight plugin:(1) it works only with the full version of AutoCAD from 2016 and above (the LT version doesn’t support plugins at all); and (2) you need an OpenLM Cloud account.

The first page of the OpenLM AutoCAD plugin installer

The deployment process is very simple. You can start by downloading the AutoCAD Plugin MSI package from our website, and then follow the steps detailed in the knowledgebase article.

What does the AutoCAD plugin bring to your organization?

First of all, privacy and convenience. Now, you don’t have to install a piece of software that has the ability to track all processes running on the end-user workstation (of course, this applies to the Agent if you tell it to do so). Instead you will have a simple solution that lives and breathes along with the application you want to monitor to see actual software usage.

Considering that AutoCAD licenses are very expensive, getting accurate reports on actual usage is essential so that SAM managers can keep software assets under control and optimize license usage. With OpenLM’s AutoCAD plugin being part of the software running on the end users’ workstation, organizations get an overview of the most-used AutoCAD features, and have access to accurate reports on the actual usage (not just session duration). OpenLM crunches the data so SAM managers can plan and save on licensing costs. OpenLM helps them understand license consumption patterns and provides recommendations for the number of licenses the organization needs.

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