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Managing Renewable Licenses – A Practical Approach

Using RLM refresh-type activation to support short-term renewable licenses

Consider these licensing system requirements:

  • The system must be able to generate a time limited and trial licenses.
  • The trial version will automatically become a “full version” when the customer purchases a license.
  • Full licenses are also “time limited”, i.e. customers can purchase packages of 30, 60, or 90 days.
  • Each time the application starts, it must validate that its license has not yet expired.
  • The application must be able to operate “off line” for a specified period of time: if the license cannot be reactivated at the expiration of the allowed off-line period, then the license is suspended and the application cannot start.
  • Upon first reconnection, if the user still has a valid license (has not been terminated), the license is reactivated, the off-line allowed time is restored and the application can be run again.

Supporting the Concepts

Using the optional RLM add-on product, RLM Activation Pro, a refreshable license is one that is intended to be reactivated frequently and receive a license with a new expiration date with each reactivation. Refreshable licenses are typically of short duration (days). The ISV is assured that the maximum period during which the end user can run the licensed application is the duration of the refreshable license, say 30 days.

For example, if the ISV specifies a 30-day refreshable license, then the license will be good for 30-days after each activation. If the refresh operation fails for any reason, such as the lack of Internet connectivity, then the license is still good until the end of the 30 day period – enough time to resolve any connectivity issues.  This allows the customer to operate off-line until the license needs to be refreshed.

Refreshable licenses also give the ISV a way to revoke a license should that user fail to meet contractual obligations, for example. The ISV can simply disable the user’s license on the activation server, and refresh attempts of that license will fail from that point forward, or until it is re-enabled by the ISV.

The client side of refreshing can be automated, so it can be performed without an undue burden on the end-user. Reprise supplies a “Refresh API” for license refreshing, which the ISV can use from within the application itself, or within a separate standalone utility. Reprise supplies a generic refresh utility that can be supplied to the end-user by the ISV. The generic utility, “refresh_util”, is meant to be set up to run daily as a scheduled task.

Help for RLM license administration

- view the RLM License Administration Manual here
- Visit our license administration help page here

Written by Reprise Software - Visit Website

ISV-Defined Hostids

Defining new Hostids within RLM

RLM comes with a comprehensive set of integrated hostids, but there are times when ISVs need to lock their software licenses to something else. The three most common reasons for ISV-defined hostids are:

  1. Supporting non-Reprise dongles
  2. Tying licenses to peripheral hardware devices
  3. Combining various identifying elements of the computer.

ISV-Defined Hostid

RLM provides the ability to extend the native set of hostids by using your own routines to obtain host identification which is unique to you.

In order to do this, you use the rlm_add_isv_hostid() call in your application. If you want to support multiple instances of your hostid type on a single computer, you would use the rlm_add_isv_hostid_multiple() call.

For more information on ISV-defined hostids, please consult the latest RLM Reference Manual or contact Reprise Software.

Help for RLM license administration

- view the RLM License Administration Manual here
- Visit our license administration help page here

Written by Reprise Software - Visit Website

RLM License Administration Bundle

RLM License Administration Bundle for License Administrators and End Users

The RLM License Administration Bundle is designed to give license administrators everything they need to maximize their use of RLM-licensed applications, the bundle contains the most-current RLM license server, and a tool, “rlmtests,” to help with license server and network capacity planning.

The RLM License Administration Bundle includes some testing tools that let License Administrators answer questions such as:

  • How fast can my license server service license requests?
  • How many licensed users can my server handle?
  • What will my performance be if I double my current user population?
  • When should I split my license inventory into multiple independent license servers?

‘rlmtests’ is totally self-contained, creating the required test licenses and then starting a license server before it runs the tests, finally reporting the results on the screen. The rlmtests utility performs two categories of tests: checkout performance tests and server capacity tests.

With this utility, license administrators and other end users can be proactive about their hardware requirements, matching available hardware to expected needs and developing a plan for hardware acquisition to match the growth in users of RLM-licensed software.

The RLM License Administration Bundle can be downloaded from the RLM License Admin support page:

Help for RLM license administration

- view the RLM License Administration Manual here
- Visit our license administration help page here

Written by Reprise Software - Visit Website

How to Produce RLM Report Logs

SUMMARY: RLM license servers can produce detailed report logs of the license activity of your products. By default, these log files are turned off. This article will explain the potential uses of these report log files, what they are and how to tell your RLM license server to start producing them.

User Benefits

Users of products that use RLM license servers for floating or concurrent licenses use report logs for:

  • Proof of internal license compliance
  • Allocating costs across departments who share licenses.
  • Asset and maintenance cost optimization and budget planning
  • Entering into and monitor usage-based software licensing agreements

ISV Benefits

Software vendors benefit from report logs too. They can be used to:

  • Reconcile over-usage
  • Build post-use billing models
  • Produce audit reports to support future product pricing negotiations

How to turn on RLM Report Logs

There is nothing that the ISV needs to do.  The user creates an “options file” for each RLM ISV for which he wants to produce a log file, and adds this line to the file: REPORTLOG +file_path

Also, on the ISV line of the license file, the options file name must be specified.

Format (pre-RLM v9.0): ISV isvname isvname.exe isvname.opt


Format (RLM v9.0+): ISV isvname options=isvname.opt


Other RLM Report Log Features

  • Plain-text format is fully documented
  • Applications can ensure that report logs are capturing usage
  • ROTATE [daily | weekly | monthly | #days ], automatic log file rotation
  • Feature names mapped to “product names”
  • Authentication to ensure report data integrity
  • Anonymized – ensures user privacy
  • ISVs can write their own report log records
  • 3rd party RLM reporting tools are available from Reprise Software partners

For more information about RLM report log and its format specification, please review the RLM End User Manual.

Format (pre-RLM v9.0):

ISV isvname [isv-binary-pathname [options-file-filename [port-number]]]

Format (RLM v9.0+):

ISV isvname [isv-binary-pathname [options-file-filename [port-number]]] [binary=isv-binary-pathname] [options=options-file-filename] [port=port-number]

Help for RLM license administration

- view the RLM License Administration Manual here
- Visit our license administration help page here

Written by Reprise Software - Visit Website

Reprise Software Announces Software Activation

Reprise Announces Software Activation – RLM Activation Pro

Reprise Software is pleased to announce a new product, RLM Activation Pro.  The new product is ready for beta testing immediately on Linux, Mac OSX and Windows, and it is scheduled to be released during Q2 2011.

RLM Activation Pro offers better performance, scalability, access control, and back-office integration options.

RLM Activation Pro provides all the standard Software Activation features, including:Software Activation

  • secure license rehosting
  • software activation database built on open source MySQL
  • written in open source PHP scripting language
  • supports pagination and sorting of displayed data
  • secured multi-user access privileges (admin, edit, view) through usernames/passwords
  • compatible with existing RLM client activation API call, rlm_activate()
  • database conversion utility provided to upgrade from old RLM Internet Activation product

RLM Activation Pro is a separate product, not simply an upgrade to the older “RLM Internet Activation” product. However, RLM Internet Activation (older product) will continue to be supported and is available for sale to new and existing RLM licensees.

For more information, please see

Please contact Reprise Software to discuss new product details.

Help for RLM license administration

- view the RLM License Administration Manual here
- Visit our license administration help page here

Written by Reprise Software - Visit Website

Lumina Decision Systems picks RLM

Summary: Lumina launched the 4.2 release of its flagship product, Analytica®, in early 2010 using Reprise’s licensing solutions for the first time. This replaced an internal license code scheme that they had been using for more than 13 years.

Licensing Challenges of the Past
Prior to Analytica 4.2, Lumina would issue a license code for each individual end user of its products. The license code would be entered during installation to enable the appropriate edition of the product.  In many organizations, the end-user and the purchasing agent are not the same person. So the identity of the end-user was often not known to Lumina unless the end-user voluntarily filled out a registration web form.

Licensing Motivations
As they attempted to improve support relationships with end-users, it became apparent that they needed better information gathering mechanisms to find out who their end-users were. The solution was to adopt a license-activation mechanism for distributing licenses. The advantage of using activation-based methodology is that it provides a natural time to collect the most up-to-date CRM information from their customers.  It also allows them to set up subscription-based support services automatically. For example, their customers can now set up access accounts for the web-based Analytica Wiki which provides reference materials on Analytica while their customers are using the product.

Lumina also wanted to start offering a floating license option, which would not have been possible using the old method. Floating licenses have several advantages.  Large organizations can make Lumina’s product available to an extended user group, which increases product exposure and familiarity.  Floating licenses also allow them to focus on organization-wide sales instead of low-margin individual sales. This is convenient for them and their customers both, since it reduces the amount of time their staff has had to spend processing Analytica license transfers between individuals.

Selection of Reprise
“We surveyed several options prior to undertaking this change in licensing scheme,” said Lonnie Chrisman of Lumina.  ” These included expanding the current in-house solution to include activation and floating license support, or integrating with one of several existing license manager products on the market.

Lonnie added, “We carefully considered four major license manager offerings in this space, focusing primarily on the level of end-user friendliness and transparency, flexibility of the product, openness and documentation for the programmer, and overall capabilities.  Flexibility was especially important knowing that we would have to adapt it in many customized ways to integrate it into our installers, products, and back-end systems. Reprise’s offering stood out compared to the other offerings on all counts.  We also attended a conference on license management sponsored by one of Reprise’s competitors where we solicited opinions from existing IT managers who use these products. They repeatedly recommended Reprise over the other options.”

Based on the recent success with RLM, Lumina will continue to use Reprise for the release of version 4.3 in March 2011. Analytica 4.3 is a major new release of great importance to Lumina and their customers.

About Analytica
Analytica® is a visual modeling tool for building and sharing quantitative decision models.  Popular with top quantitative and statistical analysts, Analytica’s success is based on its ability to speed the development process by an order of magnitude while improving the transparency of complex decision models. Analytica models are organized as a hierarchy of influence diagrams, providing a highly intuitive and visual depiction of the encoded logic. Its efficient handling of multi-dimensional intelligent arrays™ allows users to break out of the two-dimensional spreadsheet paradigm, enabling unparalleled flexibility and scalability, explicit representations of uncertainty, and optimization capabilities.

Help for RLM license administration

- view the RLM License Administration Manual here
- Visit our license administration help page here

Written by Reprise Software - Visit Website

Licensing a multi-featured product with RLM

Recently we received a common question from one of our customers looking for some advice.

Q: My application is a suite of programs that can be licensed in various combinations.  What’s the best way to design the licenses in this case?

The answer depends on whether the components are always released on separate schedules or as a group.  If the former, then use a separate LICENSE line for each one.  This allows them to have different attributes, such as version and expiration.

If the components are always released as a group, then they can be licensed with a single LICENSE, with the specific set of components authorized expressed in the “OPTIONS=” attribute of the license (example below).

If you choose the OPTIONS field route, then the value of the OPTIONS attribute can be retrieved using the RLM api call rlm_license_options(). This call returns the contents of the OPTIONS string so that your application can parse it to determine which features should be enabled.

Example: OPTIONS=”pie bar scatter max_points=1000″

Help for RLM license administration

- view the RLM License Administration Manual here
- Visit our license administration help page here

Written by Reprise Software - Visit Website

The Sidwell Company selects RLM

Summary: RLM provides the foundation for a modularized floating license and pricing model for Parcel Builder from The Sidwell Company.

Parcel Builder includes several modules which can be licensed separately in order to provide a scalable application for customers with a variation of software requirements and budgets. Traditionally, Parcel Builder modules were licensed by a unique identifier generated at the time of the first install and was stored in the registry. This type of licensing system had some vulnerabilities and limitations, such as ghosting, virtual machine usage, etc. If clients required a reinstallation of the software, or a reconfiguration of installed modules on different workstations, they needed to contact Sidwell to provide new licenses.

RLM Introduced

In order to provide a more flexible solution, Sidwell sought to include concurrent licensing capabilities in Parcel Builder 4. Concurrent licensing would give enterprises with multiple installations the ability to utilize different modules from their current workstations without issuing additional licenses. After thorough research, Sidwell found that the Reprise License Manager (RLM) offered the best solution for providing the enterprise-class license management required by Parcel Builder. Sidwell’s software developers found RLM to be the best solution due to its affordability, ease of customization, and exemplary technical support throughout the entire software development cycle.

About The Sidwell Company:

The Sidwell Company, located in St. Charles, Illinois is an industry leader in the development and implementation of GIS solutions for cadastral mapping, land records management, aerial photography, photogrammetric services, and software development for local governments across the United States. Sidwell has become a recognized name on a national scale with the success of their Parcel Builder™ software suite, which is an extension to ESRI®’s flagship GIS software, ArcGIS® 10. Parcel Builder has been adopted by over 160 counties across the country as their land records-based GIS maintenance solution. Parcel Builder has undergone three major updates since its inception in 2004, and is now at Version 4.

Help for RLM license administration

- view the RLM License Administration Manual here
- Visit our license administration help page here

Written by Reprise Software - Visit Website

Reprise License Manager (RLM) Selected by SDL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 8, 2011,  San Jose, CA

Reprise Software Inc, a leader in software license management solutions for independent software vendors announced today that SDL, the leading provider of Global Information Management  solutions, has selected the Reprise License Manager (RLM) as the software license manager for their SDL Structured Content Technologies division’s SDL Contenta®, SDL XML Professional Publisher™ (SDL XPP™) and SDL LiveContent™ products.  RLM represents a robust, and more easily maintainable licensing platform on which SDL Structured Content Technologies can support its future licensing capabilities.

“We chose RLM because it allows us to stay current with evolving licensing technologies while providing a familiar structure for our existing customers,” said Jennifer Goodman, vice president of product management for SDL’s Structured Content Technologies division. “We particularly like the possibility of implementing new business models by making changes in the license file without requiring a recompile or new release of our software.”

“SDL SCT’s license management requirements demand a robust, powerful, yet affordable license manager,” stated Matt Christiano, CEO of Reprise Software. “We are proud that SDL’s Structured Content Technologies division recognizes the flexibility, simplicity, power and value of the Reprise License Manager .”


About SDL

SDL is the leader in Global Information Management. Global Information Management enables companies to engage with their customers throughout the customer journey –from brand awareness, to sales and after-sales support– and across languages, cultures and channels.

SDL’s best-of-breed Web Content Management, eCommerce, Structured Content and Language Technologies, combined with its Language Services drive down the cost of content creation, management, translation and publishing. SDL solutions increase conversion ratios and customer satisfaction through targeted information across all customer touch points.

Global industry leaders who rely on SDL include ABN-Amro, Bosch, Canon, CNH, FICO, GlaxoSmithKline, Hewlett-Packard, KLM, Microsoft, NetApp, Philips, SAP and Sony. SDL has over 1500 enterprise customers, has deployed over 170,000 software licenses and provides access to on-demand portals for 10 million customers per month. It has a global infrastructure of more than 60 offices in 35 countries. For more information, visit

About SDL Structured Content Technologies

SDL’s Structured Content Technologies division is the worldwide leader in Component Content Management and Dynamic Publishing software. Leveraging XML standards such as DITA and S1000D, the division’s suite of products empower global companies to efficiently create, share, manage and publish technical information that is up to date and tailored to the interests of their global customers.

Help for RLM license administration

- view the RLM License Administration Manual here
- Visit our license administration help page here

Written by Reprise Software - Visit Website