Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Q&A guide for OpenLM FAQ

Q&A guide for OpenLM


Where should I install OpenLM?

OpenLM server can be installed on any machine connected to the network. For evaluation purposes you can install it on your personal workstation. In production environment, a secured and stable server is recommended.

Do I have to install OpenLM Server on the FLEXlm server?

No. OpenLM can remotely monitor one or many FLEXlm servers.

What operating system is required for OpenLM Server?

OpenLM supports almost any windows OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server. We also support both 32 & 64 versions. Please check our full compatibility table on our website. Despite the fact the OpenLM Server runs on Windows platforms it can monitor FLEXlm servers that run on any operating system (UNIX, Linux, MAC OS,...).

Which license managers are supported by OpenLM?

FLEXlm (FLEXnet)
Sentinel RMS
Sentinel HASP

Do you recommend to install any component on each FLEXlm Server?

Yes, we recommend to install OpenLM Broker software on each licenses server. OpenLM Broker performs important services on the server for OpenLM:
  • It constantly reads your license manager log files (report log files in case of FLEXlm/FLEXnet). 
  • It can push license usage information to OpenLM Server in order to solve accessibility problems.
  • It controls the license manager.
  • It allows use to edit our FLEXlm option files using OpenLM EasyAdmin.

The installation of OpenLM Broker is not mandatory, OpenLM can function even without it. OpenLM Broker is supported on Windows, UNIX, Linux and contains an easy to use installation wizard.

We have servers in different places, some of them are located in different time zones. Do we need to install another instance of OpenLM?

No. A single instance of OpenLM can monitor all your license servers, even if they are located in different time zones.

What is the functionality of OpenLM Agent?

OpenLM Agent is an optional component that empowers the end user and by that it allows users to have better access to the licenses they need. OpenLM Agent provides this functionality:
  • The user can get immediate license availability report from OpenLM icon on the notification area.
  • The user can also see which users are using the licenses and full users information as synchronized with LDAP (Windows Active Directory).
  • When the demand for licenses is high compare to the number of the available licenses users will get a license denial. When this happens some users may spend valuable time on searching for available license. The "License Availability Notifications" feature is saving this valuable time by automatically registering a request for the user once a FLEXlm denial occurs. Once the requested license is released to the license pool the user will get a notification that says that license may be available.
  • With supported systems like ESRI ArcGIS or Autodesk software OpenLM can release idle licenses and by that enhance license usability.

How can I configure "license availability notifications"?

Open the OpenLM Server configuration form and navigate to the "Agent Policy" tab. Check "Notify End User" and then set the maximum time frame for the license order to be valid (default is 60 minutes). Users will get a license availability notification after they were denied and the requested feature became available within the set "maximum time".

We have many workstations. How can I distribute OpenLM Agent to end users?

OpenLM Agent Supports silent install and thus can be distributed by any network management system like Microsoft SMS, CA Unicenter, HP OpenView etc... If you do not have a network management system you can easily distribute it by network start-up scripts or VO.

Where can I find the commands for OpenLM Agent silent install?

Yes, this can be done easily using the silent install functionality of OpenLM. All the options are detailed in our blog.

I would like to implement access control to OpenLM EasyAdmin so unauthorised users will not be able to access the system. How Can I do that?

A new extension called "OpenLM Role Based Security" is included with OpenLM version 1.6. It allows system managers to easily implement access control and role based access permision to the system. Access permissions can be applied to individual users or groups of users as synchronized with Active Directory or created locally in OpenLM. The permission set provided by OpenLM is very granular, it provides tab, column and button resources.

Where does OpenLM store its information? Can I use my own relational database?

OpenLM uses an embedded Firebird database. The embedded database is a file (OPENLM_DB.GDB) usually typically located at: C:\Program Files\GlobalMaps\OpenLMServer\db\
OpenLM also allows you to configure it to use external RDBMS like Oracle, MS SQL Server and Firebird server. 

Where is the OpenLM Users Management interface?

All OpenLM Users Management functionality is now embedded into OpenLM EasyAdmin interface. Check the Users & Roles interface in OpenLM control panel.

Which web server is serving EasyAdmin? Can I use my own web server?

OpenLM also installing the LightTPD web server with the installation of OpenLM Server. LightTPD is configure as a Windows Service and startup with the machine. The use of web servers such as Apache or IIS or others is also supported.

Operating EasyAdmin

I have a lot of licenses and users. The lists are very long and I find it hard to navigate. What can I do?

EasyAdmin provides many tools that help in managing large amounts of information:
Sorting: click any title and the information will be sorted by this column.
Filtering: On the left side of each tab you can find a filtering tab. It includes automatic filters according to the most important attributes: server name, vendor, etc...

I have features that I don't want to see in the license list. Can I hide some licenses?

Yes, on EasyAdmin Control Panel click Start->Preferences->"Show/Hide features". Uncheck the features you want to hide and they will not be displayed.

I want to use the usage information that OpenLM system collected to generate additional charts and reports. Is it possible?

Yes, you can easily export any information displayed in EasyAdmin by using the export button located in each tab. It will export a CSV file that you can use in your spreadsheet or database. If you configure OpenLM to use an external database you will also be able to access the information directly.

What is the purpose of the workstations tab?

It allows you to know which workstation are using your floating licenses. The workstations tab is very useful when you are distributing OpenLM Agents to all users workstations. It allows the system manager to track and monitor the progress of the distribution process. 

We would like to be able to charge projects for software usage time. Can OpenLM help me do that?

Yes. The OpenLM Groups & Projects extension provides a full solution for this purpose. OpenLM supports a billing policy based on groups of users or on projects.

I do not see the real product name in EasyAdmin, I just see the name of the FLEXlm product name. Which is not convenient. Can I set the name by myself?

Yes. EasyAdmin Control Panel click Start->Preferences->"Products/Packages" opens a form that allows you to name each product and to create packages.

Will OpenLM alert me on expired licenses?

Yes, OpenLM EasyAdmin will list licenses that are about to expire in a month in red. This way you can easily detect these licenses. You can also use the extension, OpenLM Alerts to define any alerts based on license expiration dates.

We are using a FLEXlm triad configuration (three redundant servers serving the same license file). Does OpenLM Server support FLEXlm triad?

Yes, just point OpenLM Server to all the three redundant servers.

How can I open logging on OpenLM system in order to debug problems?

Most OpenLM system components contains an easy GUI to set logging level. Please check this article . Fix this -oren g 11/30/10 7:18 PM 

OpenLM for ESRI ArcGIS and OpenLM for Autodesk

Do I have to install OpenLM Active Agent on each workstation? Why?

Yes. The agent communicates with OpenLM Server and when there is a need to close the application in order to free up licenses, it will save the active project and close the software. The Agent is also communicating with the end user and provides a wide range of services that saves administration time and empower the user.

Does OpenLM for ESRI ArcGIS support ESRI Extensions licenses like 3D, Network, Publisher?

Yes. OpenLM fully supports ESRI software extensions. Since the number of extensions licenses is very low compared to the number of base licenses (ArcInfo, ArcEditor, ArcView) we implemented special (optional) methods to enhance license usage rate:
  1. OpenLM Agent closes all extensions licenses when ArcGIS shuts down. It assures that when the user reopens ArcGIS extension will only be used if it is really needed.
  2. OpenLM Server can remotely release an extension license from an idle ArcGIS session without even closing it.

Organization can expect a huge increase in extensions usability when implementing OpenLM for ESRI ArcGIS.

What are good setting for my license release functionality?

We pre-set the system to 80% threshold and 15 minutes maximum idle time (check this article).  

Can the user lose any information after OpenLM closed an idle session?

No. OpenLM is always saving the project before closing it. OpenLM will not close an application it it's processing something.

My end users express concern about the implementation of OpenLM for ESRI ArcGIS or Autodesk software in our organization. What is your experience?

OpenLM functionality is implemented in many organizations that use ESRI ArcGIS or Autodesk software. Users are typically concerned about any change and specifically from OpenLM managing their licenses. After a week of using the system most users get used to OpenLM and appreciate the fact that they can now get the license they need whenever they need it.
We will be happy to help with the implementation of OpenLM and to supply references to organizations that already implemented it.

What is the support level for Autodesk software?

OpenLM provides the same support level for ESRI and Autodesk software. OpenLM is fully supporting the Autocad Network License Manager as the ESRI Network License Manager that also uses FLEXlm.

Will OpenLM close a new project that was never saved?

Yes. It will save it in a temporary folder (defined by the system administrator) with a temporary name and close it.

Can I configure OpenLM Active Agent to work with ArcGIS Desktop or Autocad published using Citrix (no desktop, just application window)?

Yes, we fully support that. The only requirment is to launch OpenLM Agent with the same link that starts the application on Citrix (contact us in order to get a sample script).
In order to avoid a situation where the application was closed but, OpenLM Agent is still open and occupying the Citrix license, there is an additional settings on the OpenLM Agent configuration. On the lower part of the form  the settings: "shut Agent when products are inactive after..." determines how long the Agent will stay running after ArcGIS closes. Setting it to 5 minutes can be a good start.

Support, updates and upgrades to OpenLM Software

Will you notify me when software updates are available?

Your OpenLM server can do that for you. It will automatically check for updates on OpenLM Server and send you an email message when updates are available. All you need to do is to enable Software Notification in the OpenLM Server Configuration form.

How can I get support?

You can contact us by:
   * Email - Send email to
   * Contact form - Send any request to our technical or sales teams.
   * Support Forums - Post any question, problem or request.

Technical information can be found in our Articles section, OpenLM Blog and on the user manual. Become a fan and get regular updates from us.

Do you need more functionality? Have problems?

It is very important for us to know about that. Please use our contact form or send an email to .

I evaluated OpenLM for 30 days but I still need more time. Can I get an extension?

Generally yes. Use the registration tool located in the OpenLM Server configuration form or send an email to .

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Collecting project information for usage using OpenLM Software


OpenLM Software allows organizations to collect usage data for billing and management purposes. OpenLM supports different policies, by groups or by project. Collecting information by groups is most common, the organization is using OpenLM in order to collect information according to any sub-division: subsidiaries, divisions, departments, etc.. The information is then used in order to implement the billing policy selected by the organization: charge by the hour, distribute maintenance costs between cost centers, or other.

Billing usage time by the active project is mainly used by project oriented companies. It helps such companies to calculate a more accurate cost of the project by collecting the usage time for each project.

Supported Software Systems

The process of collecting project information for software usage is supported for software systems that are using license managers such as FLEXlm (FLEXnet), SafeNet RMS, SafeNet HASP, IBM LUM, LMX and more.

These types of license managers are used by high-end software systems such us: ESRI ArcGIS, AutoDesk Autocad, Pro Engineer, PTC, Catia, Matlab and more.

Setting project support settings

OpenLM interfaces that allow the system administrator to perform the following actions:
  • Create new projects.
  • Set project state (Active, Not Active).
  • Assign users to projects (or remove).

Version 1.5 of OpenLM provides these interface by using OpenLM Users Management Module. From version 1.6 and on, we integrated these interfaces into OpenLM EasyAdmin.

The project collecting capability needs to be activated from OpenLM Server Configuration form. This can be done by navigating to the Projects tab. The following options are available:
Activating projects capability (“Log Project Information”).
Minimal Usage Duration - User can set a short period of usage that won’t be considered as actual usage.
Agent’s Behavior - Allows the system administrator to select one of two policies, by using OpenLM Agent functionality or by Environment Variables. The use of OpenLM Agent functionality is more user friendly and provides a more accurate results.

Environment Variables - The use of an environment variable is simple, set the name of the environment variable and OpenLM will automatically collect the information based on the environment variable settings. Using these option may also require the use of “Add unknown projects”, OpenLM server will automatically create unknown project names reported by users.

OpenLM Agent functionality - OpenLM actively collects project information for usage sessions. OpenLM Agent provides the following functionality:
  • Active Project prompt popps up automatically from OpenLM Agent when the user is activating the licensed software.
  • Active project prompt to pop-up every few minutes, in case the user switched to another project.
  • Active project prompt can be set to disappear automatically when the user ignores it.
  • The user can also activate the active project prompt from OpenLM Agent icon at any time.

Generating Reports

OpenLM EasyAdmin->Reports Tab provides reports based on active project. The user can generate usage reports at any time and limit the query by almost any argument.

Individual sessions can be reported by using OpenLM EasyAdmin->License activity tab.

Synchronization with external systems and sharing information

OpenLM allows organization to synchronize project assignment information automatically with external systems like the organization project management system.

OpenLM supports the update of the project list and and assignment of users to project through OpenLM API.

External systems can also access the project information and totals by using OpenLM API.


OpenLM System provides a complete infrastructure that allows organizations to implement a billing policy for licensed software usage. The system supports billing policy based on groups or users, projects or both together.

OpenLM Supports automatic synchronization of project information with external system like project management systems.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New article about billing of license ...

New article about billing of license usage in 

The article describes how to implement a charge back policy for licenses managed by a license server like: FLEXlm, FLEXnet, IBM LUM, Sentinel RMS, Sentinel HASP and more.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Floating license usage billing - how ...

Floating License Usage Billing - Its Implementation in OpenLM Version 1.5.5

The implementation of the usage billing policy in many organizations has proved to be a very profitable step. This article discusses the concept of FLEXlm billing and the usage of OpenLM Software in order to implement such a policy.

Many organizations use software systems that are licensed by Floating (concurrent) licenses. This type of license facilitates the organization to install an unlimited number of seats of the software. The number of licenses used concurrently are limited to a predefined number (i.e. set during the purchase). Many of the software systems licensed this way, use Flexera FLEXnet Publisher (commonly known as FLEXlm software). This type of licensing method is commonly used by software vendors that produce high-end software systems.

In many cases, such projects are initiated as a part of a License Server Consolidation project. In order to explain the project, let us use an imaginary company "Green Energy Ltd." from the USA that has 3 subsidiaries worldwide: UK, Australia, and Japan. Each subsidiary manages several license servers with different software systems. Let us assume the following software inventory:

Autodesk Autocad

The usage diagrams produced from OpenLM EasyAdmin show that utilization of some of the licenses is high, while other licenses are practically not in use, depending on the time and location.

This chart demonstrates usage of ESRI ArcGIS licenses in USA alone:

The first step the company took was to consolidate all the licenses so that a single license server will serve all users worldwide. This table shows the license availability worldwide after the consolidation:

Total Licenses
Autodesk Autocad

After the consolidation, the company checked the usage level of their licenses and found that the utilization is more balanced. But, some software systems are heavily used while others have a very low usage rate.

Thus, the licenses were better utilized when the company adopting the following two steps:
  • Utilizing the consolidated license server now allows users to use the same licenses over the 24-hour period.
  • The creation of a bigger pool of licenses provides a higher license availability.

Based on the usage reports, the company decided to purchase more licenses for some of the software systems, while cutting down the maintenance fee for other licenses that are under utilized.

The managers of some of the subsidiaries have complained that they pay for licenses they don't use; the reason for which is that the maintenance costs are evenly distributed between the subsidiaries. In order to solve the problem, the company decided to implement a billing policy based on the actual usage of licenses by each subsidiary. The "Groups and Projects" extension to OpenLM System provides this solution. The company has created a Group for each subsidiary using the OpenLM Users Management software.

In order to avoid the need to manually relate users to the Groups, the system manager decided to utilize OpenLM's ability to synchronize Active Directory users and groups with OpenLM Server database. Since the organizational belonging of each user is based on the structure of the organizational tree in AD, the manager chose the OU's option and set the system to constantly synchronize the information with AD. This way, each new user will automatically be related to the correct subsidiary. OpenLM automatically updates the user's belonging to a subsidiary, according to any change in the position.

Thus, the information now looks the same both in AD and in OpenLM Users Management interface.

After a month, the team was able to produce a usage report according to the different groups, thus easily producing a fair billing report for each group.

The UK subsidiary has decided to further enhance the accuracy of their project's pricing. By implementing a project usage policy, they have measured their license usage of each project. They have created all their projects using OpenLM Users Management application, and have assigned each user to one or more projects. Users that were assigned to only one project did not have to report the active project. Users that belonged to more than one project, report the active project using the capabilities of OpenLM Agent software.

The information collected this way allowed Green Energy UK to price their projects better, taking the cost of expensive software usage into account.

This example provided an insight to the basics of Floating License Billing that can be implemented by OpenLM system. We can see that the capabilities of OpenLM actually enabled the server consolidation project, and also provided all the information needed for billing.

The highlights of OpenLM functionalities demonstrated in this article are:
  • OpenLM's ability to monitor the usage level of the organizational resources.
  • OpenLM's ability to synchronize OpenLM information with Active Directory in order to avoid manual work and to ensure data accuracy.
  • OpenLM's ability to easily provide usage information for different groups of users.
  • OpenLM's ability to track the usage of licenses for specific projects.


OpenLM Software provides all the needed tools for the implementation of a usage billing system in organization using license managers like FLEXlm (FLEXnet). IT Managers are now able to easily implement a usage billing system that can lower operational cost while improving license availability and reducing administration costs.

We have to emphasize that this is not a real world example. In reality, there are many other problems that were not taken into consideration here, for example, network limitations and many other factors.

OpenLM for ESRI Desktop ArcGIS at YouTube

A new video for OpenLM for ESRI ArcGIS software was just published on YouTube. It demonstrates some of the capabilities of OpenLM Software for ESRI ArcGIS:
Management capabilities for FLEXlm licensed software using EasyAdmin.
Smart and automatic TIMEOUT functionality.
License availability notifications.
FLEXlm usage query by end users.
Synchronization with Active Directory.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Workstations tab in EasyAdmin2

Workstations tab in EasyAdmin2

OpenLM's workstation tab was completely updated in version 1.5.5 of OpenLM. This short article explains the new functionality.

Four new columns are introduced in the workstations panel: "IP Address", "User idle time", "Online" and "Controlled" that replaces the "Managed" column in earlier versions. These columns are added to "Hostname" and "Agent version". "Last Heart Bit" column has been removed.

A short description of each column:

Hostname shows the workstation's name as reported by FLEXlm or other supported license manager.

IP Address is collected when the system is set to resolve stations names (This is an optional setting at OpenLM Configuration form->Advanced).

Last User is the name of the username that was last active on this workstation. This value is only available when OpenLM Agent is distributed to end users workstations.

Agent Version column shows the version of the OpenLM Agent installed on this workstation. This information is very useful when distributing or updating agents on users workstations.

The User Idle Time column displays the number of seconds passed since the user was active on the workstation. This column will only display information when an agent is installed on the end user workstation.

The Online column has two possible values, online (green) or offline (gray). A workstation will always be offline if an agent is not installed on it. When an agent is installed, the workstation will be online when at least one user is logged in. It takes about five minutes before OpenLM switches a workstation's status from online to offline or vise verse.

The Controlled column is only relevant to supported systems, at this stage, OpenLM for ESRI ArcGIS. This column indicates if OpenLM Extension is properly installed on the ESRI Desktop ArcGIS software. When OpenLM Extension communicates successfully with OpenLM server through OpenLM Agent then the workstation is controlled.

The information provided by the updated workstation tab in EasyAdmin2 interface allows system administrators and managers to control license activity. For example:
  • Recognize users that are idle and consume a floating license.
  • Recognize unauthorized access to the floating licenses.
  • Locate workstation that does not have OpenLM installed.
  • Locate uncontrolled installations of ESRI ArcGIS Desktop software.
  • Control the distribution of OpenLM Agent to end users workstations.
  • Etc...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Features in Version 1.5.4 of OpenLM

 New Features in Version 1.5.4 of OpenLM

This article describes the new features in version 1.5.4 of OpenLM.


More control over database upgrade - When upgrading OpenLM from previous versions it usually involves database upgrade. Until now the database upgrade program was a part of the installation program of the new version. Starting from version 1.5.4 the installation program is a separate program that the user can choose to activate as a part of the installation. The user can also choose upgrade later and execute the database upgrade program separately.

Support for Users Groups - OpenLM System now supports reporting by users groups. This is an extension to the system and it is licensed separately. The main interface of this feature is the new OpenLM User Management application. More interfaces can be found in OpenLM EasyAdmin.

Support for Projects - OpenLM now allows an organization to analyze usage time according to projects. This is an extension to the system and it is licensed separately. The main interface of this feature is the new OpenLM User Management application. More interfaces can be found in OpenLM EasyAdmin and OpenLM Agent (Will be explained in details later).

New modules

OpenLM Users Management

A system that allows system administrators to manage users groups and projects. The system was developed using Java so it can be installed on any operating system.
The system does not need to be installed where OpenLM server is installed, it can be installed on any workstation on the network. It communicates with OpenLM Server using HTTP protocol and allows easy and quick editing of users information. Although the system can be installed on multiple workstations more than one user can't update the system information at the same time.

The module supports the following actions:

  • Create/Edit/Delete users, groups and projects.

  • List/Query and manage users, groups and projects.

  • Relate users to groups. One user may be related to zero, one or many group(s).

  • Define default group to each user.

  • Relate users to projects. One user may be related to zero, one or many project(s).

  • Define default project to each user.

We are planning to add the ability to import/synchronize groups information from LDAP databases (Windows Active Directory).

OpenLM Alerts

A module that alerts system administrators on problems with their licensing systems. It checks conditions defined by system administrators and sends messages using email or SMS.

Since the module is monitoring the components of the licensing system including OpenLM Server and FLEXlm Servers we recommend to install it on another machine. The system is composed on two parts: the conditions editor and the alerter service.

The conditions editor allows system administrators to define conditions on one or more components like servers, vendor daemons, features. The first release of the system contains two types of conditions:

  • Threshold conditions - Allows conditions like: If the usage rate of feature <feature_name> higher then <percent>.

  • Duplicate License Usage - Will alert when one user is using the same feature on more then one workstation.

The module allows the user to define different severity levels to the defined conditions:

The module supports three types of destinations for sending messages to the end user:

  1. EasyAdmin Alerts window on the "control panel" tab.

  2. E-mail address.

  3. Any phone by SMS.

The module allows the user to limit send times according to the hour on which the event occurred. This way the user can define that an email will be sent if the condition is met during work hour and later - an SMS will be sent.

OpenLM Alerts Service runs on a windows machine and checks the defined conditions. We recommend to consider these aspects when designing your alerts system installation:

  1. OpenLM Alerts checks the alert with OpenLM Server that sometimes has to perform complex queries in order to generate the information. We recommend to define on needed alerts and the check frequency should be as low as possible.

This is the first release of OpenLM Alerts system. We are looking forward to hearing your feedback on it. Please send your feedback to

Changed Modules

OpenLM Agent

OpenLM Agent is the end user tool of OpenLM System. All OpenLM customers are licensed to unlimited installations of OpenLM Agents on users workstations. OpenLM is an optional component but customers that use it report saving in administration time, satisfied user and better utilization of licenses.
We are constantly adding new applications to OpenLM Agent. In version 1.5.4 we added the ability to report active project in order to implement project billing system for FLEXlm licensed software. The software will allow the end user to set the active project from a simple and user-friendly form. The form can be opened manually from OpenLM Icon located on Windows notification are or pop up automatically when the user activates his licensed software.

The system administrator has total control over the behavior of OpenLM Agent. All options are available on OpenLM Server Configuration Form.

Updates to OpenLM EasyAdmin

The ability to choose export parameters - In previous versions, export option on OpenLM EasyAdmin tabs automatically created a file without the ability to choose the date format. In version 1.5.4 the user is able to select the exported file name, time format and timezone.

Total time was added to user activity tab - OpenLM EasyAdmin will accumulate and display the total usage time according to the user queries.

Reports tab was added and at version 1.5.4 it offers reports for projects and groups.

Updates to OpenLM Log Reader

Timezone configuration for FLEXlm servers - The configuration is now automatic and it does not rely on the FLEXlm server time settings.