License management systems have methods of applying license consumption policies to their license pools. This policy determines the number of licenses that are effectively checked out for every usage scenario; For example, a user invoking the same application twice on the same workstation could either consume a single license or multiple licenses from the license pool.
Example 1: Flexera Flexnet Publisher (FlexLM)
In FlexLM this policy is set by the DUP_GROUP attribute in the FlexLM license file. The optional DUP_GROUP flags are:
Site, None, U (user), H (Host), D (Display), V (Vendor). Any combination of UHDV is allowed, and the DUP_MASK is the logical OR of this combination. For example, DUP_GROUP=UHD means that a user on the same host and display will not consume additional licenses when invoking multiple instances of a feature.
Example 2: Reprise RLM
In Reprise RLM this policy is set by the ‘share’ attribute in the license file. A license can be shared between processes with the same username (U), hostname (H), or ISV-defined data (I), or any combination of the above. In addition, the maximum number of shared licenses can also be specified in the ‘share’ attribute; For example: share=U:3 means that a user would be able to open up to three instances of the licensed application on any host machine, consuming a single license.
Controlling the consumption policy
From our experience, Software publishers (‘vendors’) rarely consider invoking multiple sessions on different workstations as consuming a single license. Consequently, users may inadvertently check out multiple licenses over different host machines and render the organization’s license utilization non-optimal. Having multiple license management systems, each with its own (sometimes unintelligible) method of setting the consumption policy may further worsen this condition.
OpenLM provides an intuitive method of dealing with this problem: Each vendor may be attributed a “Vendor policy”. This attribute determines whether a single or multiple licenses are checked out per user. In addition, the OpenLM alerts system provides a built-in alert for notifying system administrators when a user is trespassing the license consumption policy, and consuming two licenses of the same feature in parallel.