What is a SIMATIC license manager?


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SIMATIC is the automation brand of the German technology company Siemens AG serving the engineering, simulation, diagnostics, and energy management market. Alongside hardware products, the SIMATIC brand includes a wide-variety of essential software product families, such as apps managing SIMATIC S7 controllers, HMI, SCADA systems, scalable energy management, IoT solutions, software designed for the brewery and beverage industry, and software for shared tasks and process control technology. These applications are managed by Siemens’ proprietary SIMATIC license manager which allows for easy allocation and transfer of licenses between hosts.

About Siemens

Siemens AG is the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe. Headquartered in Munich, Germany, the technology company was founded by Werner von Siemens in 1847. Since its founding, the company has focused on industry, infrastructure, transport, and healthcare.

OpenLM supports Siemens SIMATIC license manager

The hardware sold under the SIMATIC brand – such as controllers, IO-Systems, IPC, etc.– can be controlled via Siemens’ proprietary software. The SIMATIC software product suite includes apps ranging from field level up to company management level, including but not limited to STEP 7, WinCC, SIMATIC S7-PLCSIM Advance, Simatic Visualization Architect (SiVArc), SINAMICS, Startdrive, SIMOCODE ES, and SIMOTION SCOUT. SIMATIC software product licenses are managed by the ALM (Automation License Manager) and the TIA Portal (Totally Integrated Automation Portal), with the latter being the vendor’s cloud software solution. (See below for more on the licensing options.)

OpenLM supports more than 60 license managers, and that includes Siemens’ SIMATIC license manager, which means you get accurate reports on SIMATIC license consumption in one easy-to-use dashboard. With OpenLM system administrators can focus on other productive tasks than managing licenses and engineers have access to licenses whenever they need them. 

SIMATIC software licensing models

Alongside the trial period, Siemens’ SIMATIC apps are available in three licensing options: rental, node-locked, and network. Often part of the Starter Kit packages, rental licenses are actually node-locked licenses – with no limitations on functionality – that are valid for a certain time period (according to Siemens’ website, this could range between 90 and 365 days). The Siemens SIMATIC floating license option even gives users the option to use older versions of the same software family with the current license key. For example, a valid floating license will give users access to STEP 7/WinCC in Siemens’ proprietary TIA Portal.

Siemens is aligning its licensing models with the latest trend via the TIA Portal. Up until now, the TIA Portal was available as a one-time purchase, but with the release of V17 and TIA Portal Cloud, Siemens’ licensing options have become more flexible and adaptable to organizations’ requirements. Now, SIMATIC users can choose between an unlimited licensing model, an annual or monthly subscription, or pay-per-use billing. The latter two licensing models are available in the TIA Portal Cloud.

Screenshot of the Siemens TIA portal

The SIMATIC license manager is different from the one used by the Siemens Digital Industries Software’s product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions. The latter is built on Flexera’s FLEXlm, which OpenLM can also monitor. Siemens Digital Industries Software products portfolio was built on acquisitions. Siemens AG made an irresistible offer to UGS in 2007 to acquire its PLM software and services portfolio and since then it acquired several other companies to expand its reach in the market.   

Why monitor the SIMATIC license manager?

System administrators using OpenLM can rest assured that engineers working with SIMATIC software will always have licenses whenever they need them. Real-time reports will help them in managing licenses efficiently and spot any issues on time. Along with actual usage, OpenLM will also suggest ways to improve license management and reduce cost at the same time. Our solution crunches the data from a variety of sources and compiles them into an easy-to-understand report so system admins can ensure compliance with the contractual agreements. Without a license monitoring system on board, licenses administrators have only insights provided by the vendor.

With OpenLM’s reports on actual usage, they always have an up-to-date report on the SIMATIC license portfolio and they can turn that report into a business intelligence tool so the organization can align the software budget to its business needs and use the license pool in an efficient manner without hurting the performance of the engineers. 

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