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License Statistics v6.9 Gives You Complete Control of License Usage

Licenses Statistics v6.9 features License Harvesting, the innovative way to automatically influence results and control license usage. Reclaim checked out but unused licenses automatically, based on criteria you define. Never again lose productivity due to avoidable license shortages.

Every software license used in your organization represents a big investment of time and cost. Companies commonly use network licensing to help keep those costs down because a network licensing model ensures more effective license use than does a node-locked licensing model.

But no solution is perfect, and with network licensing the biggest bottlenecks come from users who check out a license from the pool – and then neglect to check it back in, leaving it running for hours… overnight… or even over a weekend. When that happens, others cannot access a license and you lose productivity. Virtual working environments make the problem even worse.

But what if you had a way to automatically release a blocked license without the need for administrative assistance, and at the same time improve license availability and resource management?

That is precisely what the new License Harvesting feature in License Statistics v6.9 does for you. Now you can not only monitor and track license usage – you can actually influence and control network license usage. The new License Statistics Agent makes this new level of monitoring and control possible.

What Is License Harvesting?

License Harvesting automatically identifies licenses that have been idle for a certain amount of time, and specifies the criteria for releasing those blocked licenses automatically. 

There are several ways to handle license release depending upon configuration and your requirements:

  • Gracefully ask the user to close the application or continue working;
  • Close the application gracefully after a set period of user inactivity; or
  • Force the application to close and immediately reclaim the blocked license.

How does License Harvesting Work?

The License Statistics Agent is the key to implementing and configuring License Harvesting in your organization. It’s a simple operation, as described below.

Install and Configure License Statistics Agents

Install the License Statistics Agent on every end-user host you wish to monitor, then connect the Agent to the License Statistics Server. The Agent monitors whether the application is being actively used and manages idle licenses based on the criteria you establish.

Set Up License Agents Groups in License Statistics

Once you have installed and connected all Agents to License statistics, create an Agent Group by going to Administration → Groups → Agents tab.

Once you’ve added all the agents into the new group, Save the group.

Set Up the Application to Be Monitored

Now that all Agents have been installed and added to groups, you now configure the application to be monitored on the end-user host. There are several options and scenarios you can set up that control how License Harvesting will be implemented for that application.

Here are the basic configuration steps:

  1. Go to Administration → License Harvesting and Add a new harvesting application. Give the scenario a name, enable it to monitor the Agents, and enter the name of the application process running on the end-user host.
  2. Set up Activity Tracking parameters to establish what should be considered an idle state. You can specify an “Inactive User Duration” in seconds before Harvesting begins, or a “Minimum CPU Activity” percentage below which the application is considered idle and Harvesting is triggered.
  3. (Optional) Set Working Hours during which the application can be used. If the application is used outside the defined days/hours, the Harvesting process is started. (24/7 is allowed by default, but you can easily adjust it for weekends and specific hours of the day.)
  4. Set the parameters for how License Harvesting will be conducted: Set the parameters for user confirmation:
    1. Confirmation Required: The end-user will be asked if the application should be closed due to idle state.
    2. Confirmation Timeout: (Optional) The time in seconds after which User Confirmation will be considered as YES and the application should be closed. If you set no value, the User Confirmation dialog will remain until the user chooses.
  5. Set the Release Method for the application:
    1. Graceful: Close the application gracefully, leaving to the application the decisions about unsaved state questions or confirmations.
    2. Graceful Wait Time: (Optional) The time in seconds after which the Agent will force the application to close; if not set, it will wait endlessly for the application to close itself.
    3. Force: kills the application upon meeting your established criteria.
  6. Select the Agent Groups to which the new License Harvesting parameters are to be applied.
  7. Save your new License Harvesting configuration.

Automatic License Harvesting

The entire Harvesting process is automated. Each agent periodically connects to the License Statistics server to get the configuration. Should the end-user host lose connection with the server, Agent continues to operate with the last received configuration until the connection is reestablished. 

The License Agent begins monitoring the application immediately after receiving its configuration from the License Statistics Server. It monitors the application process and checks user interaction and/or CPU usage.  

Here’s what happens after a user who had checked out a license forgot to check it back in, instead, leaving for the day. The user left without saving their work.

  1. The Agent detects that the application is idle based on configuration. 
  2. Harvesting begins. The user is prompted to either close the application or keep working.
  3. After the User Confirmation Timeout elapses with no user response, the Agent continues to close the application.
  4. The application is asked to close gracefully.
  5. Since an unsaved document still remains open, the application asks if the user should save the state before closing.
  6. After the Graceful Timeout period elapses with no response, the Agent escalates the application close method.
  7. The Agent sends the signal to force the application to close.
  8. The end-user host operating system kills the application.

When the application stops running, it is no longer connected to the license server. Based on your license server configuration, the license will be returned to the available license pool for access by other users in the company. When the user returns, they will have to check out a new license from the server (if one is available).

The beauty of the License Harvesting feature is that it does not depend on the license server having to monitor individual applications – Harvesting can be applied to all applications on the end-user host.

Put License Harvesting to Work for You

Contact our team for expert guidance on what License Statistics can do for you. And if you’re an existing License Statistics customer, you can get a free two-month trial to see how License Harvesting works in your environment. Call or email our sales team for details.

As always, the X-formation team is ready to help you get the most from your software investment.

Check the video we’ve put together on License Harvesting

The License Statistics Agent video

The License Statistics Agent brings a new set of features to License Statistics designed to improve your ability to monitor and manage software usage throughout your organization. One of the new features addresses a major change Autodesk made to its licensing in conjunction with its shift to the cloud platform.

What you’ll learn in this video:

  • What the License Statistics Agent is and why it matters to your organization.
  • How the License Statistics Agent helps you monitor and manage the new Autodesk cloud licensing.
  • How the License Statistics Agent monitors and reports on Autodesk client application usage in real time.

Watch the video now to see yet another way x-formation is helping you get the most from your software investment.

Features and Enhancements in License Statistics v6.8

New License Statistics Agent administration features, display of Autodesk ID reservations in Reservation reports, API v2, user interface upgrades, and a new License Statistics Agents page lead the list of features and enhancements for License Statistics v6.8.

The v6.8 release of License Statistics introduces an administration and configuration tool for the License Statistics Agent, updates Reservation reports to display Autodesk ID reservations, and a variety of user interface upgrades and enhancements. The new release continues the introduction of tools designed to support the License Statistics Agent.

For a complete list of new features and enhancements, see the License Statistics v6.8 Release Notes.

(Some features are available only with the new License Statistics licensing model.)

Here’s what’s new with License Statistics Agents.

License Statistics Agent

License Statistics Agent is a License Statistics add-on tool that enables client usage monitoring for software using locally running applications that must be tracked on the clients themselves. License Statistics Agent communicates between these applications and License Statistics, running as a service in the background.

License Statistics Agent is currently available only for Windows installations. In addition, License Statistics Agent currently supports monitoring only for Autodesk license usage.

License Statistics Agents page

The License Statistics Agents page provides a list of all License Statistics Agents in use, and that status of each. The first version of License Statistics Agent supports the Autodesk client application monitoring. (See the documentation on Reviewing Licensing Statistics Agents for more information.)

The Agents page provides the following information about License Statistics Agents in use:

  • Name: By default, this is the host name, which can be edited using inline edit.
  • Version: Version of the agent service. This column shows a warning symbol if the agent version is older than the current License Statistics version.
  • Status: Status of license server. The status can be either Up or Down. A status of Down indicates that there was no data gathered during the last two reporting intervals.
  • Host: Host name of the machine running the agent.
  • IP: IP address of the machine running the agent.
  • Last Update Time: Last update time of the license server.
  • License Servers: A list of all license servers for which the agent provided data. Currently, this is limited to a single Autodesk license server. In future releases, this column may list multiple license servers supported by a single agent.

Autodesk Reservations in Reservations Reports for Autodesk Client Application

Autodesk reservations are now tracked in Reservation reports for the Autodesk client application. All License Statistics Reservation reports now reflect Autodesk client usage, including the following:

License Statistics API v2

The License Statistics API has been greatly enhanced in the v6.8 release. It’s now much cleaner and easier to use. New endpoints have been implemented to make it even more extensive.

Note: Support for API v1 will be supported for a limited time. However, v1 is deprecated and support for it will be removed in the future. Please plan to update your use of the API for the new version. 

See the following documentation updates for more details on what’s new in API v2:

Usability Improvements – Multi-Column Ordering

We’ve also enhanced the License Statistics user interface to improve usability and application behavior. Of special note is that multi-column ordering is now available on all grids and in API v2. Check out the improvements, and please let us know what you think.

The X-Formation team is devoted to your success. If you have any questions, please contact support for answers.

To discover more about the new features and enhancements, consult the Release Notes for License Statistics v6.8 

 

Summary: Ongoing Management of Software Assets During the COVID-19 Crisis with License Statistics

In this final article addressing license management during the COVID-19 crisis, we summarize the ways you can use License Statistics to gain insight into license usage through regularly monitoring and managing license usage.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create difficulties for many companies as they keep business operations moving safely while adapting to new, remote ways of doing business. At X-Formation we’re proud to be able to help you maintain control of costs by better optimizing license usage.

Previous articles in this series:

Managing Software Assets

Just as we were here to help your organization through the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009, we continue to work on your behalf through the COVID-19 pandemic. The key to managing software assets now is to watch borrowed license use as workers continue to work from home long-term, and as some return to the office itself. 

The nature of work may have changed forever, but the ability to manage and optimize your software assets hasn’t. The tools you have at your disposal in License Statistics are exactly what you need to manage costs and keep your staff working.

Managing Licenses Overall

Settling into this “new normal” has created its share of challenges. Here’s a summary of the tips we provided in “Part 2: Managing Licenses During the COVID-19 Crisis with License Statistics”:

Managing Borrowed Licenses

License Statistics administrators may find that adjustments to license behavior — such as the expiration time for borrowed licenses — will be necessary to ensure uninterrupted software use. Here are some easy ways to monitor borrowed license usage to ensure availability:

  • The Currently Borrowed Licenses report shows you the borrowed licenses for all features on one or all license servers. You can also drill into borrowed licenses on a specific license server. The report details the number of borrowed licenses used,  checkout and borrow expiration times, and the user / host for each borrowed license by feature on the selected server (or servers).
  • There may be rare cases in which too many licenses have been borrowed by the same user on multiple hosts. You can immediately see where this is happening on the Current Usage on Multiple Hosts report, and in the Usage Per User report.
  • The Current User Usage grid includes information about a user or user group’s license usage, including expiration times for borrowed licenses, the license server, vendor, feature information, and host licenses where checked out from, the number of licenses used (which may be more than 1 in cases such as token licenses), the time the license(s) were checked out and the amount of time the license was used.
  • The User Usage History grid includes information about a user or user group’s historic license usage, including the license server, feature information, the host that licenses were checked out from, the maximum number of licenses borrowed (used), and the number of hours licenses were used.
  • Another way to look at borrowed license usage is by feature. The Current Feature Usage report page shows the usage statistics for a selected feature. In a glance you can see a summary of  feature usage information, including a current count of licenses used, borrowed and reserved; the total licenses available; and the feature’s expiration date and utilization percentage. 

Stay Calm and Manage Your Licenses

We trust this information has helped you get better insights into your software assets and license usage. License Statistics enables you to maintain control of your business and continuously scale licenses up or down as your workforce changes.

The X-Formation staff reminds you they’re here for you whenever you need assistance. You can count on us. In the meantime, continue life’s best practices: Stay home, practice social distancing and cut down on your unnecessary licenses.

Managing Borrowed Licenses During the COVID-19 Crisis with License Statistics

In this third article addressing license management during the COVID-19 crisis, you’ll see how to use License Statistics to monitor and better manage use of borrowed licenses.

With more people working from home, and with no end in sight to the need for vigilance over COVID-19, you’re going to find that more and more users have borrowed floating licenses for use remotely. Some companies are already planning for long-term remote work to adapt to the radical changes in working environments. That means more borrowed license usage.

License Statistics administrators may find that adjustments to license behavior — such as the expiration time for borrowed licenses — will be necessary to ensure uninterrupted software use. Here are some easy ways to monitor borrowed license usage to ensure availability:

  • The Currently Borrowed Licenses report shows you the borrowed licenses for all features on one or all license servers. You can also drill into borrowed licenses on a specific license server. The report details the number of borrowed licenses used checkout and borrow expiration times, and the user / host for each borrowed license by feature on the selected server (or servers).

  • You may also find situations in which too many licenses have been borrowed by the same user on multiple hosts. You can immediately see where this is happening on the Current User Usage report and in the User Usage History report.

    The Current User Usage grid includes information about a user or user group’s license usage, including expiration times for borrowed licenses, the license server, vendor, feature information, and host licenses where checked out from, the number of licenses used (which may be more than 1 in cases such as token licenses), the time the license(s) were checked out and the amount of time the license was used.


    The User Usage History grid includes information about a user or user group’s historic license usage, including the license server, feature information, the host that licenses were checked out from, the maximum number of licenses used and borrowed, and the number of hours licenses were used.


  • Another way to look at borrowed license usage is by feature. The Current Feature Usage report page shows the usage statistics for a selected feature. In a glance you can see a summary of  feature usage information, including a current count of licenses used, borrowed and reserved; the total licenses available; and the feature’s expiration date and utilization percentage.


    The Current Feature Usage list includes the username and hostname of the machine on which the selected feature is checked out, how many licenses that user has checked out, the checkout time(s) and how much time has elapsed since checkout, and when the borrow time expires (for borrowed licenses).


    The Feature Usage graph gives you a picture of the number of licenses used throughout the day, making it easy to see borrowed license usage over time.

 

We believe that you should remain in control of your business. License Statistics enables you to do just that as you can continuously scale licenses up or down as your workforce changes.

In the light of the current situation we urge everyone to do what is necessary in the situation: Stay home, practice social distancing and cut down on your unnecessary licenses.

How to Use License Servers Usage Page

The License Servers Usage page, new with License Statistics v6.6, allows administrators to monitor statistics about each license server

The License Servers Usage report page gives administrators the ability to monitor statistics about how each license server is being used in real time. A usage chart gives you an overview of usage counts, and a usage grid provides usage details for each license server.

The information you get from the License Servers Usage report page can help you understand exactly how many users are using which license servers. You can actually see which servers have the heaviest use, helping you make better decisions about future hardware and network requirements.

You’ll find the License Servers Usage report in the Usage tab of the License Servers page, located under the Administration section in the left pane. (This page is visible only for License Statistics administrator users.)

The License Servers Usage Chart

(Available in v6.6 under the new licensing model only.) The Usage tab includes a License Servers Usage chart that allows you to view counts for Users, Features, or Hosts. You can sort by total or current usage. Control your viewing options using the Show and Sort by drop-down menus.

License Servers Usage grid

The License Servers Usage grid lists details about the number of features, users and hosts in the database for each license server. The grid provides the following information for each license server:

  • The number of features/users/hosts included in the last query.
  • The number of the users/hosts that were monitored by the associated license server only.
  • The number of all features/users/hosts monitored by the associated license server.

Hover over any number in the grid, and you’ll see a list of the users, hosts, or features included in that report count. In any such list you can edit the display name, display version, and description that appears in reports.

Refer to “Reviewing license server usage” for more details on using the License Servers Usage page.

Tracking Autodesk® Named User Licenses with License Statistics

Autodesk® is moving from network licenses to named user licenses starting August 7, 2020. License Statistics v6.7 introduces the License Statistics Agent in response.

Beginning August 7, 2020, Autodesk® will change its licensing model from network licenses to named user licenses. (See the Autodesk article “Transition to named user licenses” for details.) To support the new model, Autodesk introduced its cloud platform to manage licenses (https://manage.autodesk.com). 

How Autodesk’s Change Affects You

With named user licenses, Autodesk moves away from network licenses and, after a year, eliminates maintenance contracts for network licenses. It’s a difficult decision to make – trade in now, stay with network licensing without maintenance, or shift to perpetual licenses – also with no maintenance. Deciding to switch is about cost and your needs. Even if you retain network licensing with no maintenance, License Statistics will continue to support FlexNet (used by Autodesk network licenses).

Should you shift to named user licenses, you’ll no longer have a single source of usage data. You must monitor both the cloud service and the applications running on client hosts.

Here’s how License Statistics handles named user license monitoring.

How License Statistics Monitors Autodesk Named User Licenses

The v6.7 release of License Statistics introduces a new Autodesk cloud license manager type consisting of two independent data gathering methods:

  • HTTP monitoring of the Autodesk cloud platform (https://manage.autodesk.com) to gather general license and user data.
  • License Statistics Agent, installed on end-user hosts, to gather license usage statistics.

License Statistics Agent

This initial version of License Statistics Agent is the first iteration of our new long-term project that will significantly extend License Statistics capabilities. With this first version, you will be able to monitor Autodesk named user license usage directly on client hosts.

The Agent is a separate application you install independently from License Statistics directly onto client hosts. There, it gathers data about license usage – including username, hostname, and sessions where the application was running – and delivers it to the License Statistics application. The License Statistics Agent communicates between these applications and License Statistics, running as a service in the background.

License Statistics Configuration for Autodesk

You’ll provide the Autodesk administrator username and password during license server configuration in License Statistics. License Statistics will report the following:

  • The list of products the customer purchased.
  • The number of licenses for each product.
  • The list of users assigned to particular Autodesk licenses. These will be displayed in License Statistics in the form of reservations as of next release.

You’ll be able to see usage and quantity of Autodesk named user licenses on a single report.

(Note: License Statistics will continue support for FlexNet – used by Autodesk network licenses – as we move towards monitoring the Autodesk cloud licensing solution.)

For License Statistics Agent installation instructions, see “Installing and Configuring License Statistics Agent”. License Statistics Agent is available only with License Statistics v6.7 and the Licensing 2019 licensing model

We believe that you should remain in control of your business. License Statistics enables you to do just that so you can continuously scale licenses up or down as your workforce changes. As always, if you have questions or suggestions, get in touch with us!

How to Use the Feature and User Reservations Report Pages

The Feature and User Reservations report pages, new with License Statistics v6.5, provides a quick view into license reservations

The Feature and User Reservations report pages give you an overview of the License Reservations for selected users or groups, and for all reservations of a selected feature. 

Knowing how many licenses are actually in use gives you more control over denials, gaps in license usage and under-utilization of licenses. Reviewing the Feature and User Reservations reports help you understand situations such as users being unable to check out a license despite only 2 out of 10 licenses currently being in use. (See the documentation for more information about License Reservations in general and the license servers you can monitor.)

Read on to learn more about how to use the Feature and User Reservations Reports pages.

The Feature Reservations Report Page

You’ll find the Feature Reservations report page under the Features section in the left navigation pane. There you will see an overview of all reservations for the feature you selected. The General Information area at the top of the page includes identifying information for the feature and lets you select the license server and feature to view.

Feature Reservations grid

The Feature Reservations grid shows the reservation information for the license server and feature you selected.

The grid displays the following information:

  • The type of reservation.
  • The pattern used for the reserved licenses.
  • The maximum number of licenses reserved.
  • The number of licenses remaining.
  • The time the reservation became available for checkout.
  • The expiration time.
  • Whether the reservation is current or historical.
  • The last time at which the reservation was queried from the license server.

You can view a reservation history graph for any active or historical reservation, and get details for any active reservation.

See “Feature Reservations” in the documentation for details.

The User Reservations Report Page

You’ll find the User Reservations report page under the Users section in the left navigation pane. There you will see an overview of all reservations across all features and license servers for the user or user group you selected. The General Information area at the top of the page allows you to select the user or user group to view.

User Reservations grid

The User Reservations grid shows the reservation information for the user or user group you selected, based on the pattern gathered from the queried server.

The grid displays the following information: 

  • The Feature name, version, and type.
  • The type of reservation.
  • The pattern used for reserved licenses.
  • The maximum number of licenses reserved.
  • The number of remaining reservations of each type.
  • The time the reservation became active.
  • The time the reservation will expire.

See “User Reservations” in the documentation for details.

We believe that you should remain in control of your business. License Statistics enables you to do just that as you can continuously scale licenses up or down as your workforce changes. As always, if you have questions or suggestions, get in touch with us!

Managing Licenses During the COVID-19 Crisis with License Statistics

In this second article addressing license management during the COVID-19 crisis, we show you how to use License Statistics to gain useful insights into your software licenses – and the ability to control how those licenses are being used.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, companies find that settling into this “new normal” has its share of challenges. Tracking changes in license usage is key to maintaining operations and keeping costs down today. Here are a few tips for making the most of your software license investment by using the tools readily available in License Statistics.

  • As personnel shift or go on furlough, license utilization is likely to vary quite a bit as your company continues to adjust. For example, you’ll probably find that the number of unused licenses will suddenly grow with staff reductions and moves. You’ll find, too, instances where too many licenses are being used by the same user on multiple hosts. Where can you gather this information?In License Statistics, all current and real-time reports give you immediate insight into license utilization. The reports most useful for tracking purposes are:
  • Use the information License Statistics provides to predict future license needs based on historical reports showing real license consumption. For example, if Utilization for a period of time is lower than expected, the Usage History Comparison report can show you where to make adjustments. Other useful reports:
  • The Feature Reservations History report can provide information about unconsumed reservations that could easily be used by other people. Use it in combination with the User Denials report for the same feature and time frame to get complete details.
  • You can use the Expiring Features report to see an overview of when features are expiring. This allows you to plan for (or even delay) future payments for the licenses until the expiration date gets closer.

We believe that you should remain in control of your business. License Statistics enables you to do just that as you can continuously scale licenses up or down as your workforce changes.

In the light of the current situation we urge everyone to do what is necessary in the situation: Stay home, practice social distancing and cut down on your unnecessary licenses.

Managing Software Assets During the COVID-19 Crisis

With the COVID-19 crisis continuing to unfold there is enough to worry about. With License Statistics, managing your software assets doesn’t have to be one of them.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a crisis for many companies as they work to keep business operations moving while at the same time maintaining a safe working environment. Changes in staffing resulting in layoffs, reduced hours, and remote work created new and unexpected consequences and a host of new problems for business owners.

Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about managing your software licenses if you’re a License Statistics customer.

We here at X-Formation, the creators of License Statistics, are here to help you get control of costs by better optimizing license usage. Our full staff is still hard at work on your behalf, ensuring the stability and utility of License Statistics to make sure you get through this crisis with the fewest difficulties possible. We were there in the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009, and are here now for you and your business. While working from home like most others we still stand by our commitment to make a great product which helps you in your daily life. Additionally we’re proud to serve several of the medical companies that are on the frontline of this crisis.

We listen to you and, based on your feedback, have built the tools you need to manage your software licenses. In the next few articles, we’ll show you how you can use License Statistics to know exactly where and when your licenses are being used so you can better track what you need and what you don’t.

We believe that you should remain in power of your business. License Statistics enables you this as you can continuously scale up or down those licenses as your workforce changes.

In the light of the current situation we urge everyone to do what is necessary in the situation: Stay home, practice social distancing and cut down on your unnecessary licenses.