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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.
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
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.
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:
- 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 http://www.reprisesoftware.com/rlm/software-activation.php
Please contact Reprise Software to discuss new product details.
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.
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.
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.
Recently we received a common question from one of our customers looking for some advice.
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″
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.
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.
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 .”
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 www.sdl.com.
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.
RLM v9 introduces a new graphical, web-based program for generating RLM licenses called RLMgen. RLMgen simplifies license generation by allowing your staff to interactively define products in terms of the kinds of licenses you want to enable them. Separate definitions can be created for eval/trials, periodic pricing models, and permanent licenses. License parameters that are common to most licenses can be defined to apply to all license definitions. Once defined, licenses can be generated by entering the number of licenses, an expiration date, and the customer’s hostid.
RLMgen is especially useful for simple products were there is only one feature per product.
If your products consist of multiple features per license, or if you need to incorporate license generation into your existing automated processes, then using the standard license generation tool provided with RLM could be right for you. This utility program called RLMsign, parses stored license templates then inserts a digital signature into each license that it finds. The result is a license file that is ready to send to your customer.
Since RLMsign can handle arbitrarily complex licenses in each template, it is particularly well suited to support modular products that are sold in an array of different configurations.
API call rlm_sign_license()
RLM also offers a call in the standard RLM SDK called rlm_sign_license() that signs individual licenses in memory. This call is useful when you need to create a custom application that generates licenses, or to integrate license creation into your existing back office infrastructure, when access at the source code level is required.
LayTools Upgrade includes the Reprise License Management
Summary: TexEDA smoothly transitions to the Reprise License Manager and away from an exclusively dongle-based licensing solution.
TexEDA has been offering Integrated Design solutions for almost sixteen years. Until recently, the licensing of that software was managed using hardware keys (dongles) – parallel port varieties in the early days and USB versions in recent years. Although effective and secure, dongles are generally unpopular with customers. They also pose problems during evaluations, particularly when a customer in a remote part of the world needs to run a fully licensed version rather than one with reduced capability. Further, dongles have been known to be damaged, fail to function, and, since software prices are an important consideration, dongles can become a significant part of the software cost.
Despite the advertised benefits of a software licensing solution, there was reluctance based on security concerns, cost, effort to include the license manager lines in the code of the various application programs, and backward compatibility. The decision was taken, however, to move to software licensing when TexEDA embarked on a major software update. TexEDA identified Reprise as a possible partner and discussions with them resolved the perceived barriers in the past. Today, with RLM’s support, all the applications in LayTools software tools set are licensed with or without hardware keys. The transition was seamless to the customer even though it was introduced at the same time as a major software re-organization and as a new installation approach was introduced.
About TexEDA IC Design Products – LayTools
TexEDA (formerly Catena Software) has enhanced its comprehensive IC design product, LayTools, over the past sixteen years. LayTools is a professional-grade custom IC development suite optimized for complex analog, digital, and mixed-signal IC design and offering the same sophisticated features as other high-end products on the the market. The applications include such key packages as schematic capture, a sophisticated simulator, a layout editor, physical verification, and automatic place and route. All the products operate under a design manager framework. LayTools is available on a range of platforms (including Windows, Sun-Solaris Unix, and Linux).
Reprise Software is pleased to announce that RLM v9 was officially released on Thursday Dec. 16th, 2010.
RLM v9 contains several significant product improvements. Some highlights:
- includes an interactive, graphical license generator.
- allows you to set up an internal license server farm to deploy your applications in the cloud.
- has a license checkout debugging capability.
Of course, RLM v9 contains much more. Please contact Reprise Software for more details.