fbpx

Keep an eye on license reactivation patterns and override ISV

Things happen. One day the operating system of your customer’s computer may change or his boss may announce that he is just about to reward his employee’s hard work with the all-new, fab laptop. While many people would probably be over the moon about getting a new, state-of-the art computer, some of them could start worrying. And these would probably be Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). Know why?

Contacting the software vendor and asking him to reactivate a license consumes the vendor’s time! And time means money, or to be more precise, wasted time means money loss. License reactivation becomes an issue when it comes to hundreds of rehosts every single month – doing it is just an arduous task for ISVs .

Is there any way out to save both the ISVs and the customer’s time and effort during license reactivation?

If the first thought that crossed your mind was “No”, you were in the wrong! The vendor can save lots of time thanks to the End User API that enables the end user’s application to connect LAC directly, without the need to involve the vendor in the meantime. End users can reactivate the license on their own if the vendor allows for this. Furthermore, thanks to LAC the software vendor gets more transparency of how often single customers ask for license reactivation. No matter what host id ISVs require end users to lock their licenses to, they can collect information about the values of particular host ids used by a customer.

Not having to contact the vendor in order to reactivate the license means keeping a firm grip on time and money. And, perhaps first of all, it means more customer satisfaction.

Get a sneak peek at the license reactivation process and download the online License Activation Center demo !

Open the door to license optimization with License Statistics

If you’ve been tasked with reducing your company’s IT costs, improving your organization’s efficiency, or maintaining software license compliance, look no further. X-Formation’s complete solution for tracking and reporting software license usage, License Statistics , is the key toall doorsfor your company’s sound license management.

Door No. 1: Reduce software costs by 30%.

Why? Software purchases comprise from 20% to 35% of the typical IT budget. On average, companies overspend on software license agreements and maintenance by nearly 30%. Don’t let your company be average!

How? With License Statistics it’s as easy as opening a browser to see monthly usage percentages for chosen licenses. Once you gain insight into the number of licenses used during the periods of highest usage, as well as which licenses were underused or even untouched, you will quickly discover areas for potential savings. And savings can be enormous!

Door No. 2: Improve productivity.

Why?Employees are the cornerstone of each company. If they cannot access the software they need, they simply cannot do their work.

How?Thanks to License Statistics’ Denial Requests report, you can determine how many denials occurred in a given time period, which users were denied, how often denials took place and when they occurred.

Door No. 3: Plan your future licensing budget accurately.

Why? Many companies are not knowledgeable about their present software usage or their future software needs. Knowing which users use a given feature greatly helps you anticipate renewal costs and negotiate the cost of new licenses. Such knowledge also contributes to gaining meaningful insight into trends, costs and contract entitlements.

How? License Statistics makes it possible for you to be in the know about the features that are most utilized, license usage longer than 24 hours, features that are nearing expiration, and information on users using features on more than one host.

Knowing the doors you must unlock to find your path to license optimization is crucial to effective license management. If you want to have the key that will help you increase your company’s ROI, simply try the demo , see how well this key fits in, and open the door to success!

How many license managers does your solution track?

When deciding upon a tool for tracking license usage, there are several important considerations to take into account. Perhaps one of the most important of these is license manager support.

A good solution will have the flexibility to monitor thousands of different software applications. Naturally, many of these will fall under FlexLM, FlexNet Manager, IBM LUM, and Sentinel RMS (which typically are supported by most license usage tracking solutions). But what about the others? There are a number of license managers out there that are not necessarily so popular (and which not all solutions can track), but nonetheless prevalent in use. This would include, for example, Dassault Systemes License Server (DSLS).

Their licenses can be quite expensive, so there really is no option for not tracking them. On the other hand, using several tools for tracking different license managers is not feasible. What is needed is one license management solution torule them all.

Then there is also the question of real-time monitoring vs. importing log files. Whether you will need one or the other very much depends on the license manager itself. However, because many of the most popular managers do both, you will more than likely want a solution that supports real-time monitoringandlog importation. Log importation also comes in handy when you want to view usage statistics from data that was gathered from remote license servers running on separate networks, or just even analyse old data that was gathered years ago.

By now you might be wondering if there is a solution out there that can actually handle the above-mentioned requirements. The answer is yes, and it’s License Statistics .

License Statistics does both real-time monitoring as well as log importation, including encrypted report logs, denied request logs, pay-per-use log files, and other report log files.

And as for license manager support,there’s no one on the market that does it better. License Statistics currently supports the following list of license managers. Please note this list is continuously being expanded.

  • LM-X License Manager
  • FLEXlm/FlexNet
  • IBM LUM
  • Reprise License Manager (RLM)
  • Sentinel LM/RMS
  • beta_lm
  • LS-DYNA
  • LICMAN
  • Mathematica License Manager (MathLM)
  • Dassault Systemes License Server (DSLS)
  • GNS
  • HASP License Manager
  • SmartPlant License Manager (SPLM)
  • RSoft
  • Felics
  • Sentinel Hardware Keys
  • CodeCollaborator

For more information on gathering type (real-time or imported) for any of the listed license managers, please see our documentation, Supported License Managers .

On top of that, License Statistics also lets you track license usage for custom applications by using an XML file .

So… how many license managers canyoucurrently track and monitor usage for?

In the center of Europe’s Silicon Valley

Recently I was doing a little research on the growing tech scene in Krakow and came across an interesting PPT presentation showing some of the key IT companies in the city. The presentation gives a little background on Krakow, some IT figures, trends, success stories, and why companies like Google, IBM, and Motorola have established themselves in this city. But more importantly, what caught my eye is our company, X-Formation, listed as an international startup with back-office R&D (note this presentation is from 2010). And I thought to myself that it’s pretty nice to have been recognized by Ramon Tancinco, Cisco’s Head of Strategy for Central and Eastern Europe (author of this presentation) as an important company in Krakow’s scene.

Seeing that I figured it would be good to stop for a moment and take the time to reflect a little on our journey…

It was in 2008 that we decided to move our R&D center to Krakow (for many of the same reasons Google and others have migrated here), and looking back now, it was definitely a key decision in our company’s history. Since then we’ve been growing steadily and have gone from a team of about 5 to now over 30 people. Naturally, this has resulted in significantly advancing development of our two core products, LM-X License Manager and License Statistics , which, mind you, have now become forces to be reckoned with in the software licensing and license management world. But additionally, in 2011 we launched a completely new product, License Activation Center which has filled a large gap in the market for online license activation and distribution solutions. All that to say, it has truly been great experience (and one we are thankful for) working with some incredible talent from this city and also establishing ourselves, without a doubt for the long term , in this beautiful city also now known as Europe’s Silicon Valley.

New License Statistics offer for universities and other academic institutions

We’re pleased to announce an exciting new offer in our License Statistics educational licenses. Eligible universities and other academic institutions can now purchase anunlimited1-year subscription license for 3000 EUR. The key word here is, of course, unlimited, meaning both License Statistics Real-time and Imported Usage can be used for monitoring and tracking an unlimited number of users and license servers. Knowing how many thousands of students and faculty staff there are at a typical university, not only is this offer huge, but so are the potential savings from discovering all those unused or underutilized software licenses. Act now and get your school to start saving! Download a free trial or try the demo!

Protect software on embedded systems: LM-X License Manager on ARM

In response to increasing requirements of ISVs we’ve implemented a new LM-X License Manager development environment:Linux OS on the ARM architecture. This latest extension to our already existing broad range of platform and language support allows vendors to enter the growing market of embedded systems and secure their software used on mobile phones, PDAs, digital media and music players, hand-held game consoles as well as computer peripherals such as hard drives and routers.

Licensing is a crucial component for ISVs developing embedded software. Instead of having to maintain a virtually unlimited number of product variations, vendors can develop a smaller number of products and use licensing to customize them based on customer preferences and needs. Licensing also allows vendors to enter new markets more quickly without reengineering existing products, offer more secure trial versions, and protect and grow revenue. Furthermore, with License Activation Center , vendors can centrally manage their products, customers, and entitlements. Contact us for more information on licensing software on embedded systems with LM-X License Manager or sign up for a free evaluation .

Protecting your software against piracy

Software piracy has expanded during last decade and has become a serious issue for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). New storage techniques combined with high speed peer-to-peer networks has made illegal copying and distribution easier and more accessible than ever before.

Unauthorized software copying causes significant lost revenue for ISVs and results in higher prices for end users. According to the Business Software Alliance (BSA), “Piracy continues to rise on a global basis: the worldwide piracy rate increased from 41% in 2009 to 43% in 2010; largely a result of exponential growth in the PC and software markets in higher piracy, fast growing markets such as Brazil, India and China.”

X-Formation meets current global threats and helps you to protect your copyrighted software from being illegally duplicated and installed on unauthorized computers. X-Formation provides products that effectively protect you from illegal or unintentional license overuse:

1. LM-X License Manager . LM-X is a full-feature, easy to use license manager that’s easy to integrate with your products. LM-X secures your software, allowing you to employ various licensing methods: from standard licensing scenarios such as node-locked (stand-alone), floating (network), trial, time-limited, and perpetual licenses; to more complex solutions, such as feature-based, token-based, pay-per-use, and more.

2. License Activation Center (LAC) . LAC is an advanced, web-based license creation and distribution system that provides a centralized interface for ISVs and their customers. Software vendors enter their product and license generation details into LAC, and generate activation keys for individual licenses.

Licenses can be activated only by using a valid activation key along with hostid information as required by the vendor. The license activation process ensures the software can be accessed only for the intended user/machine, preventing applications from being installed and run on unauthorized computers. The entire activation process can be fully automated by the ISV or done by the end user online or using email.

While it may seem that software piracy is impossible to eliminate entirely, ISVs shouldn’t be passive about their response. ISVs must be proactive to protect their intellectual property and avoid falling victim to software piracy, an illegal and criminal activity. Contact us to evaluate our solutions, and see how easy and effective it is to use X-Formation products to protect your intellectual property from today’s piracy threats.

What sets License Statistics apart from the competition?

I’ve been receiving lots of great feedback from customers lately. I don’t mean to brag but it feels good to know that they’re using a product that gets the job done and the features that we’ve worked hard on implementing are bringing expected results. And so, I’ve decided to share a few points about our software that customers keep noting as the reasons why they use and value the product, and especially what makes it stand out from the crowd.

Best out of the box experience

Compared to competing products, customers say that License Statistics provides the best out of the box experience, and that applies to the installation as well as the overall use of the product.

Installation is fast and easy. You get 1 installation file and that’s it – there are no additional 3rd party apps or components to install anywhere, at all. I know what you’re thinking now – what about the database – don’t I have to install and configure that too? The answer is no. License Statistics uses an embedded database, so you don’t need to spend a minute on it. Everything simply works out of the box! Unfortunately customers can’t say the same about the competition which requires you to install different modules, components, and clients. In some cases you need to install clients on every single machine where you’re running the monitored applications – sounds like an administrative and maintenance nightmare, if you ask me. All in all, with License Statistics you can be up and running and generate your first report in less than 10 minutes.

License Statistics also provides an out of the box experience with its reporting capabilities. The product comes with a pre-defined set of simple to complex reports, where you can obtain all the specific usage details with a few easy clicks. The simpler reports typically require no more than 2 clicks to get the information you need. Additionally, we’ve left you the option to run your own reports should you find any limitations in the ones already provided.

Accessibility and easy sharing of information

Because License Statistics is web-based it can be accessed by any authorized user from any location. Therefore, sharing license usage information is as easy as sharing a web address – you just copy and send the URL to your colleague. Furthermore, License Statistics has a cross-platform architecture allowing you to access it on any OS with a browser. To sum up, not only is installing License Statistics fast and easy, as mentioned earlier, but also all you really need is 1 installation on 1 machine to monitor your entire enterprise and all your licenses.

Support for 12 license managers

License Statistics currently supports 12 license managers, including: LM-X, FLEXlm, FlexNet, IBM LUM, Sentinel RMS, Reprise License Manager (RLM), and others. There is no other solution on the market that can provide you with such versatility to monitor thousands of different applications. But we’re not stopping just yet, and support for more license managers is just down the road. Do you need a particular license manager supported? Let us know and we’ll be happy to get to work on it.

Real time monitoring and importing report logs

While there are many solutions out there that can monitor license usage in real time, there are only a few that can import report and pay-per-use log files. Going further, there are only 2 products on the market that can import and parse FLEXlm and FlexNet encrypted report logs – that would of course be FlexNet Manager, and now… License Statistics! What this means is that you can extract important usage data from your FlexNet report logs without having to purchase expensive software. For more information on monitoring in real time and importing log files, see our KB article, What is the difference between License Statistics real-time usage and imported usage reporting? If you would like to find out more about our software give us a call or download a free 30-day License Statistics evaluation .

Using LM-X License Manager with the .NET licensing model

If you’ve ever used .NET LicenseProvider for your licensing model, you probably know that the default implementations of this abstract class offer only basic features that are unlikely to satisfy today’s needs for security and flexibility. This is where LmxLicenseProvider can help you to make your licensing model more robust.

LmxLicenseProvider lets you use LM-X License Manager’s capabilities in your .NET licensing model, providing solutions for existing or home-made implementations, such as automatic server discovery, license borrowing, redundant server capabilities, and much more. (To find out more about LM-X License Manager’s features, see http://www.x-formation.com/lm-x_license_manager/features.html .)

For details on how to integrate LmxLicenseProvider with your application, see our KB article, “How to use LmxLicenseProvider as an implementation of the abstract base class provided by .NET LicenseProvider.”