As Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) adopt the Reprise License Manager™ (RLM) in increasing numbers, we decided to provide advice on how to optimize the process and ensure a smooth transition from another technology to RLM.
We’ve also asked our customers for their feedback about the process, and how we can improve it.
Below is some of our collected wisdom on the subject of switching license management technologies.
License Managers: A Range of Options
Just as ISVs have choices when deciding which license model to go to market with, there are a range of transition strategies you can use to switch to RLM. The variables include the number of licenses already installed in the field, how often you’ve upgraded licensing in the past, and the complexity of your product line.
We’ve had customers switch out their legacy license manager and ship product with RLM in a matter of weeks. Similarly, plans to move a complex product line with a significant installed base can take months just to get the plans in place to properly make the switch. But the truth is, there’s no one right way to move to RLM.
It’s Not as Scary as you Think—Really
Probably the first thing we’re asked when talking to ISVs is “how do I make the transition?” While this is certainly a valid question and something that needs to be done correctly, it needn’t take on mythic proportions. After seeing customer after customer switch, what we can confidently say is that switching is often accomplished with minimal stress and resources.
Some Technical Details
There is nothing that prevents an ISV from adding RLM to whatever existing licensing scheme may already be in place. Simply check first for an RLM license; if RLM licenses are not installed, the product can behave as it does already. RLM can peacefully coexist with existing technology. Regarding license servers and client-server communication, again, there should be no issues with all technologies living on the end user’s network in harmony.
In fact, RLM can detect the presence of a FLEXlm lock file and use that knowledge to prevent doubling the end user’s licenses—one (existing) set licensed with the old technology and another (duplicate) set licensed via RLM. Since only one server can run at the same time, only 100% of the end users’ licenses can be served. This strategy can be the basis of a technical transition plan to RLM.
The transition to RLM is a lot like an upgrade to whatever existing license management technology you may be using today. You’ve delivered updates before. Apply those procedures but simply include RLM-licensed binaries (and servers if necessary).
The Sales Pitch (Or, Why We Really Think You Should Do This)
We wouldn’t be here explaining how to move to RLM, and you likely wouldn’t be reading, if there weren’t benefits for both sides. We have worked hard to build a solid product, company, and brand. We bring something extra to the table to be worth your time: experience. Software licensing may initially appear quite simple; even trivial. However, after nearly 50 years of combined experience in the licensing industry, we can confidently say that while licensing may appear to be straightforward 95+% of the time, it’s that 5% of the time that requires a team like Reprise and a product like RLM to have your back and offer skilled and friendly support.
Technologies, hardware/software platforms and business models change with time, and we’re right there within days or weeks, not quarters or years, when supporting that latest “gotta have it.” We don’t just acknowledge your question, we provide solutions, usually in hours or a few days, and by debugging licensing problems and fixing them quickly.
Ideally, software licensing works well, mostly in the background. It keeps everyone honest, improves revenue and does not get in the way. But as we all know, with computers comes the capability to break things at nearly the speed of light. When those occasional, but critical problems arise, we’ll be there to help. Planning and executing a smooth transition from a legacy license manager to RLM is the best way to get started towards making things better for you and your customers.
Please contact us to explore how your company could switch to RLM.