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What is new in OpenLM version 3.3

Version releases

OpenLM publishes milestone version releases of the OpenLM Server annually, integrating major changes made to the OpenLM interfaces and infrastructure. Minor versions are released more frequently, integrating bug fixes and minor requests made by OpenLM customers.

OpenLM Version 3.3

OpenLM has recently released a new version: 3.3. Though not considered a milestone version, 3.3 does contain a substantial number of important enhancements and fixes, applied to many of its modules. This document is an overview of the new capabilities embedded in version 3.3.

OpenLM Usage Analytics and custom reporting

The OpenLM 3.3 Usage Analytics tool offers extended effectiveness to the embedded OpenLM report capabilities

Benefits of the Usage Analytics tool

  • Report scheduling – Schedule reports to be sent automatically to any pre-defined email address in any required format (e.g. CSV, PDF, Excel).
  • User specifications – Specify relevant report filters for each user and send the user-specific report to each member by email.
  • Custom reports: New reports and data inquiries which are not found in the OpenLM EasyAdmin UI can be produced by the Usage Analytics tool system.
  • Custom calculations – The Usage Analytics platform facilitates advanced calculations on the data residing in the OpenLM database.
  • Huge databases – Search through extensive databases quickly, using data warehousing techniques.
  • Custom charts and graphs – Customizable charts enable a flexible view of presented data.

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Please contact our support team at support@openlm.com , and our representatives will be glad to assist online with the installation and customization of the Usage Analytics tool.

 

OpenLM Proactive License Management

OpenLM version 3.3 presents the ability to directly intervene in the process of license drawing. We call this the “OpenLM Proactive License Manager”.

Benefits of the OpenLM ProActive Management

The OpenLM License Manager serves as a shell for vendors’ license managers. It provides intricate license management capabilities that are not provided by the vendors’ license manager. It is designed with the users’ best interest in mind, and with the intention of returning control back to the software users.

Components

The image below depicts a simplified block diagram of the OpenLM Proactive License Manager solution:

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The OpenLM Proactive License Management solution is comprised of the following four components:

  1. The OpenLM Agent is a lightweight software component that should be installed on end users’ workstations. The OpenLM Agent:
  • Monitors processes running on the workstation
  • Catches events of software launching
  • Provides the means to intervene in the execution of specific processes on the workstation
  1. The OpenLM Proactive Manager acts as a hub to all OpenLM Agents. The OpenLM Proactive Manager:
  • Is configured by the OpenLM Server.
  • Obtains information from the Agents regarding active processes and software launching.
  • Ascertains whether to grant permission, and enables the Agents to launch the software according to the said configuration.
  1. The OpenLM Broker Needs to be installed on the same machine as the OpenLM Proactive Manager. It will facilitate the connection to the OpenLM Server.
  1. The OpenLM Server is the main OpenLM component. It:
  • Provides an administrative interface to configure the OpenLM Proactive Manager,
  • Maintains license usage information in a database,
  • Provides a platform for reporting license usage.

Examples for application of proactive license management

Bucket licenses, and prevention of excessive consumption

Some License Managers (e.g. Bentley) quantify license utilization according to “Buckets”. These are calendar time frames (e.g. hours), within which a specific session is active, and the license is regarded as consuming an entire bucket. For example:

  • When the defined bucket duration is 1 hour, for a session that started at 15:45 and ended at 15:52, the entire hour-long ‘Bucket’ (15:00 → 16:00) is considered to be consumed.

 

The bucket consumption policy may include a grace period, during which a license is not considered to be consumed. For example:

  • When the grace period is 5 minutes, and a session that started at 15:45 ends at 15:48, the 15:00 → 16:00 ‘Bucket’ is not considered consumed.

 

The bucket consumption policy normally includes a minimal usage period, which may result in annoying excessive consumption charges. For example:

  • When the defined minimal session period is 10 minutes, and a session that started at 15:53 ends at 15:59, the 16:00 → 17:00 bucket will be considered as consumed in addition to the 15:00 → 16:00 bucket.

The OpenLM Proactive advantage

The OpenLM Proactive License Manager takes all the factors mentioned above into account, and enables administrators to apply limitations that intervene in the license checkout process and avoid excessive consumption of bucket licenses.

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Proactive management for non-bucket licenses

The OpenLM Proactive license manager is now able to intervene in the checkout of non-bucket licenses. This is accomplished by simply setting the bucket duration to ‘NONE’.

Proactive management for Autodesk

The Autodesk cascading mechanism is designed to ensure that all users will consume the minimal ranking licenses they need in order to do their work. For example, when a user launches AutoCAD 2016 and Revit 2016, the cascading mechanism may choose to consume a single suite license instead of the two aforementioned licenses.

However, this is NOT the case for checking out products of different versions (e.g. Autocad 2015 and 3DS MAX 2016). That’s because products of different versions are not members of the same cascading sequence lists. Checking out products of different versions will always result in duplicate license consumption, even when done by the same user and on the same workstation.

Autodesk license administrators have brought up this matter to our attention, and we decided to respond with a new, attractive capability for Autodesk users; License administrators are now able to prohibit duplicate usage by intervening in the launch of Autodesk applications of different versions.

EasyAdmin User interface enhancements

New EasyAdmin UI for vendor name and check-out policy

  1. OpenLM 3.3 reads and parses FlexLM license files and Reprise RLM license files, and extracts the check-out policies dictated by the DUP_GROUP parameter in these files.

For example: when the DUP_GROUP (FlexLM) or ‘Share’ (Reprise RLM) parameter value of a specific feature (e.g. F1) is set to ‘UH’ (User+Host), a specific user (e.g. User1) launching several instances of the same feature  on the same host machine (e.g. Host1) will only consume a single license.

This information is clearly presented on the new “Checkout policy” window:

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  1. OpenLM v3.3 has expanded this function, to apply similar “Checkout policy” properties to general applications, which are not necessarily linked to a FlexLM or Reprise RLM license file.

File fetching and FlexLM License File Upload

OpenLM enables users to fetch text files from a remote License Server machine onto the local EasyAdmin web application machine. In version 3.3 the supported file formats include:

  • FlexLM License server log files
  • DSLS License server log files
  • LM-X License server log files
  • FlexLM License files
  • FlexLM Options files
  • FlexLM – ArcGIS Audit log file

Version 3.3 has added the option to edit and upload FlexLM license files via the EasyAdmin web interface onto the license server machine. Following such an upload, the OpenLM Broker will remotely invoke a license server ‘re-read’ or ‘restart’ action, causing the FlexLM License server to take the new license file into account.
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License Activity current sessions

The EasyAdmin “License Activity” window is dedicated to reporting sessions that have ended, i.e. have a start date and an end date. Some users have found this presentation confusing, as licenses that were being consumed at the time of reporting were absent from this window.

OpenLM version 3.3 added the ability to present currently active sessions alongside the ones that have already been terminated. This is done by checking the new “Show current activity” box. The active sessions will be presented with a green background.

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“License servers not responding” Alert

The EasyAdmin web interface enables users to produce advanced system alerts, with detailed selection filters. One of these is the “License Server not responding” alert, which notifies the user on the occurrence of a license server malfunction. OpenLM version 3.3 added the option to filter this alert and indicate when specific license servers are down.

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New features in the License Utilization chart

OpenLM version 3.3 incorporates a few important enhancements to the License utilization chart, making it a powerful tool for assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of license utilization in the organization. This is especially important for customers who are considering the purchase or renewal of subscription licenses (e.g. Autodesk subscription licenses).

The new enhancements include:

  • Aggregated usage presentation
  • Quality of Service (QoS) – license effectiveness
  • Detection of abnormal usage patterns

In version 3.3 we changed the default presentation to the aggregated percentage of usage, i.e. each point (x,y) answers the question: “What is the percentage of usage time (y) that AT LEAST a given number of licenses (x) have been in use concurrently.

In the example below, for a total number of 12 licenses:

  • At least 0 licenses have been in contemporary use 100 % of the time.
  • At least 1 (1 or 2 or … or 12) licenses have been in contemporary use 19 % of the time …
  • At least 8 (8 or 9 or … or 12) licenses have been in contemporary use 2.54 % of the time

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The benefits of the new version

1. Aggregated usage presentation

The aggregated algorithm produces a monotonically decreasing function, which plainly presents the number of required licenses. In the example presented above, there have never been 12 licenses in contemporary use within the past 180 days.

2. Quality of Service (QoS) – license effectiveness

We added the Quality of Service (QoS) parameter.In the example presented above, in order to support 96% of license requests, the organization would only need 7 licenses. Having procured 12 licenses means that the organization owns 5 redundant licenses.

3. Detection of abnormal usage patterns

By comparing the the two presentation formats (w/wo the “Show Aggregated” check box), one could notice ‘blips’ in the utilization chart (e.g. for the value of 3 licenses). These ‘blips’ may indicate abnormal usage patterns, such as long forgotten active sessions.

Changes in the denials report

The OpenLM 3.3 EasyAdmin web interface has seen some improvements in the license denial reports, to easily zoom in on the causes for license denials reported by the License Manager:

  • We have sorted the denial error messages according to categories for FlexLM, DSLS, IBM-LUM and LM-X
  • We have added a “search by error message” capability.

Report Scheduler

OpenLM 3.3 enables the scheduling and delivering of EasyAdmin reports. Specific report windows may be selected, filtered according to the user’s preferences, scheduled to execute at predefined timing, and propagated to specific role players in the organization via email.

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License Server Configuration tool

Configuration change indication

Changes that are applied to the configuration of license servers in the OpenLM Server configuration tool are highlighted in red, pending an OpenLM Server ‘Apply’ and service restart.

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In a complementary manner, license servers that have had their configuration changed in the OpenLM Server configuration tool, will be marked with a yellow warning sign in the EasyAdmin – “License Servers” window, pending an OpenLM Server service restart.

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License-Manager-specific enhancements

We have added some enhancements that are specific to certain license managers

Licman

We added support for monitoring the T-Systems Licman license manager, which is required for T-System’s applications, such as Medina and Medina/SDM

Olicense

We added support for monitoring the Ensoft Olicense license manager, which is required for Ensoft’s applications, such as Modelify and Simdiff.

DSLS

We added support for reporting of DSLS token-based license usage

LM-X Denials

We added the report of license denials for the LM-X license manager

BetaLM multi-server redundancy

In version 3.3, OpenLM has added support for monitoring of license activity on BetaLM multiple server redundancy constellations. Consequently, OpenLM currently supports multiple-server redundancy monitoring for:

  • FlexLM
  • DSLS
  • IBM-LUM, and
  • BetaLM

Reprise RLM

We have added the ability to read the RLM license file, and integrate its data in the OpenLM reports.

Sentinel RMS

We have added the vendor column for Sentinel RMS licenses

Login Using Windows Authentication

The OpenLM EasyAdmin administrative web interface incorporates a role-based security access scheme, facilitating appropriate levels of access according to the role held in the organization.

OpenLM also incorporates directory service synchronization, to combine license management with directory service information (e.g. Active Directory) and automatically maintain user and group data.

In version 3.3, OpenLM has combined these capabilities to offer a Windows Authentication scheme. This feature enables direct access to the EasyAdmin web application following the standard Windows login process, employing the username and password registered on the organizational Directory Service.

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OpenLM Broker Configuration Tool

Version 3.3 of the OpenLM Broker has introduced the “Collapse All” button. This is useful for license administrators who monitor multiple license servers on the same machine.

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Under the hood

License handling

We have changed the way we interlace data streams pertaining to specific license servers’ usage and inventory information. This resulted in more robust, accurate usage reporting in real time.

OpenLM Broker composite messages

We now present the timestamp of the latest received data from OpenLM Brokers on the OpenLM EasyAdmin ‘Servers’ window.

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OpenLM Agent

Agent performance

We have improved the OpenLM Server – OpenLM Agent communication, thus decreasing the network load and improving the OpenLM Server’s ability to handle data streaming from a number of remote OpenLM Agent modules.

Additional Service:  “OpenLM Software Locker”

During the process of deploying OpenLM agents, the administrator is prompted whether they would want to support the new “OpenLM Proactive Application Manager”. If the Administrator chooses to support this feature, an additional service will be installed on the OpenLM Agent workstations:  the “OpenLM Software Locker” service.

This service facilitates:

  1. Detecting the launch of monitored products on the end-user’s workstation, and
  2. Preservation of the OpenLM Agent process, i.e. users will not be permitted to disable the OpenLM Agent process, as this will compromise the functionality of the OpenLM Proactive Application Manager.

ArcGIS 10.4.1

The OpenLM 3.3 Agent has been modified to support “Save & Close” idle license harvesting for ArcGIS 10.4.1.

ArcGIS Pro

The OpenLM 3.3 Agent has been modified to support “Save & Close” idle license harvesting for ArcGIS Pro.

Solidworks

The OpenLM 3.3 Agent has been modified to support “Save & Close” idle license harvesting for Solidworks.

Conflict notifications

When OpenLM detects conflicting license usage data from multiple sources, a notification is displayed,  Users are presented the option to send the required information to our support team for analysis.

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