It was 20 years ago today…

Well, approximately.

Happy Birthday, FLEXlm!

February, 1988 was the month when I started the development of FLEXlm. I recall that, at the time, we all felt that we might have a good 3-5 year run with the product before someone like Sun or HP came in and took away the market.

We never would have expected it to be going strong 20 years later. I certainly would not have thought that some of the same code would be in the product now. But, as my son likes to say, “I can predict the future – I’m just usually wrong”.

At any rate, here’s a big “Happy Birthday” to FLEXlm!!!


  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow, and 1 day after its 20th birthday, its been sold! Do you think the sale from Macrovision to a private equity firm will be good for FLEXlm?

  2. Matt Christiano says:

    Well, it depends on what you mean by “good”.

    It has been pretty clear that Macrovision has not been very interested in the software business for some time, so in that sense it will be good – assuming the new owners are more interested in the FLEX product lines than the InstallShield products.

    The equity firm buying the business has a track record of building up their portfolio companies via acquisition (as opposed to breaking them up for salvage value), so in that sense it will be good – again, assuming they view the FLEX product lines as core to their new business vision.

    On the other hand, it seems to me that Macrovision has done a good job (from a Macrovision shareholder standpoint, not necessarily a customer or industry standpoint) of extracting the maximum amount of revenue out of their customer base. Macrovision has not, however, done as good a job of breaking into new markets.

    Absent new markets, the main source of revenue increases are likely to be bourne by the existing customer base. Whether that is good or not depends on who you are.

    In short, your mileage may vary.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am very impressed with the FLEXlm scheme of licensing. I am interested in RLM because the original dev team for FLEXlm are the architects. What plans does Reprise have to distance RLM from FLEXlm? I guess my question could read, are there dev techniques Reprise has been exploring that will allow RLM to overtake FLEXlm in marketshare? Minor enhancements to the FLEXlm structure don’t interest me as much as enhancements that further tighten the system’s security. While I don’t expect anyone at Reprise to “give away the store” in answer to my questions, I would like a solid answer if at all possible.


  4. Matt Christiano says:

    Thanks for your comment.

    Our philosophy with respect to security hasn’t changed much since we developed FLEXlm – it is “keep honest users honest”. So, if you are asking “are we going to have better security than FLEXlm”, the answer is, probably not.

    On the other hand, if you are looking for better management and ease of use, these are the areas where we are focused.

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