CAD Manager Tools

Being  a CAD Manager can be a tough job when you don’t have the right CAD manager tools. Your managers expect you to justify spend on CAD software licenses and report on your license inventory, they want you to ensure projects always have the licenses they need but aren’t always too keen on purchasing more, engineers and project managers complain about ‘constant’ denials and claim their projects are getting delayed due to problems accessing their CAD software. You don’t have a sure way of confirming or refuting their claims – unless you use a CAD manager tool that can help monitor, report and alert.

Also you may want to assess the impact in changing from one CAD software licensing model to another e.g. concurrent to tokens.  Some people look to the CAD license manager software for assistance but that doesn’t help very much because it is primarily meant to limit the pulling of licenses beyond what’s in your inventory, not help you with your reporting needs. This can really only be done though dedicated CAD manager tools – CAD management software that addresses your needs as a CAD manager. OpenLM is such a tool.

Why You Need a CAD Manager Tool

Ensuring a balance between the pool of concurrent licenses available and the number of users who need their CAD tools is a constant juggling act. Other factors, such as multiple license servers and hybrid licensing in which the majority use the concurrent pool, plus some named licenses, add complexity to the task. CAD manager tools like OpenLM offer capabilities beyond that of a license server that can be a godsend to CAD managers. These include:

  • a view of all licenses available across multiple servers
  • monitoring all your CAD programs where you have more than one CAD/CAM/CAE design software application
  • the ability to harvest licenses
  • objective reporting of license utilization to compare against vendor reporting
  • additional aids like pushing alerts to users when a license is freed

Using the capabilities of OpenLM’s CAD management software simplifies the optimization and management of CAD, and this should be good news to your stakeholders.

CAD User Productivity

In an ideal world every engineer would have his or her own named license to use when required. But this is just not viable because it means the license would be lying idle when the user is on leave, in a meeting, on site or doing something else for any other reason. This is why concurrent licensing is such a good solution – the license is available for anyone to use and is shared. Sometimes denials of service will occur, but there are several ways to mitigate this:-


  • Use OpenLM CAD manager tool to identify idle licenses that can be harvested and freed up for users who are waiting
  • OpenLM has an optional extension that will alert the user when a license frees up, without them having to keep retrying to pull the license.
  • Where it is clear that a named license is required for a specific user, the CAD license manager application provides reporting that supports the request.

Productivity will be improved because denials of service will occur at an acceptable level, and even when they do, you can easily identify other licenses that are out and not being used, and retrieve them.

CAD Project Continuity

The project manager is expected to deliver on time and within budget and a project that requires CAD tools and CAE/CAM design software will be adversely affected if there are not enough licenses available. Buying more licenses pushes up costs for what might be a short-term requirement and those CAD tools may just spend the rest of their life on the shelf. Managing licenses is not a part of the project’ manager’s job specification. He/she expects the CAD manager to worry about that.


The best case solution is for the project to tap into an existing concurrent pool, rather than investing in a new pool dedicated to the project. The CAD manager can use a CAD Manager’s tool like OpenLM to optimize and prioritize availability of the CAD tools needed by the project. The project manager has one less risk to worry about and there is no needless outlay for surplus licenses.

Containing CAD License Spend

Engineering applications such as design software can cost thousands of dollars a seat with annual maintenance adding a significant chunk to the IT budget. Management will want to know that the software purchased is being used to the maximum, and not hindering productivity. While proprietary license manager software can provide some basic reporting on this, an independent CAD management application provides an objective and big-picture view of license optimization. Cost savings where over-purchasing was identified and rectified or, conversely, where more licenses are needed are supported by meaningful reports.

CAD Manager Tools for Reporting

OpenLM has other reporting capabilities to assist the CAD manager such as usage reporting when you have a hybrid license model (combination of named and concurrent licenses). You also have the ability to audit what the vendor’s license manager is telling you about utilization, which can be useful if you are using Autodesk tokens, and are not aware of potential cost conflicts. You can also compare efficiencies where you are using multiple CAD tools and justify standardizing on a single tool or discontinuing limited use of one or more CAD software.

Vendors have recently tried to move customers away from concurrent licensing, claiming new models are more economical. OpenLM license management software gives you accurate historical data on licensing costs and you can ask the vendor to meet or beat these figures. You have invested much time and effort into optimizing license usage; with a CAD Manager tool you have the evidence of your good work, right down to the second for some software.

OpenLM CAD management tools are not limited to CAD software, but can manage most engineering and scientific software from a wide range of leading vendors.

Download and explore the full unlimited version of OpenLM for 30 days.
During this time you will enjoy full support with no strings attached.

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