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ELM 1.2 - 01 How License Manager Works

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Enterprise License Manager is installed on a central server on an organization's network. On Center Software recommends you select a server that does not functioning as a file server or database (SQL) server, and this server must not be your domain controller.

The license manager and any workstations licensing to it must be installed on the same Domain. WAN connections may work, however it is the client's (your) responsibility to configure, test, and troubleshoot authorization issues when licensing over a non-LAN connection.

There are two programs that make up Enterprise License Manager:

  • Enterprise License Manager (License Activation Utility) - this utility contacts On Center Software and validates license codes. The service is named "OCS ELM Transport Service" in Windows Services and the associated executables are "ocslmtrans.exe" and "serveractivationutility.exe". This utility is launched by clicking the "Enterprise License Manager" icon on the server's desktop. This is not the 'license manager', this utility simply downloads the licenses from On Center's servers that the license manager can then serve out to end users.
  • The License Manager - consists of two components:
    • The vendor daemon (oncenter.exe) which receives and manages license requests from end users. The vendor daemon is a running task (an executable program) not a service, however it automatically starts when the license server or machine is restarted (like a service).
    • The FlexNet License Manager (LMAdmin - license server management interface), is a Browser-based utility that displays license utilization information and provides access to manage the license manager, this service is named "lmadmin" in Windows Services (that's the default name, you may change it during installation).

Overview of How Enterprise License Manager Works

Enterprise License Manager (License Activation Utility)

Once the components are installed on the server and appropriately configured, the administrator for the server enters the activation codes provided by On Center Software into the Activation utility. Each activation code is transmitted to On Center Software's licensing servers to check that it is a valid code - upon validation, the code is "fulfilled" meaning a license is downloaded to the server with a unique "Fulfillment ID" and the utility displays which features are available and the number of licenses associated with each code.

Each feature of a product (for example, tko and dpm (Takeoff Mode and Digital Production Control - Project Manager) is associated with a separate activation code.

When changes are made to a company's license inventory (adding licenses or decreasing license count) the code must be returned and reactivated (or replaced with a new code) and then the license files are "re-read" in LMAdmin. Depending on the circumstances, new activation codes may be issued by On Center Software for license count changes and product version upgrades.

When a version upgrade is released, you will need to obtain new Activation Codes from On Center Software, activate them and return your old codes before any users install the upgrade. See Related articles for more information.

The license manager administrator can reserve features (licenses) for specific workstations using the Activation Utility.  Only those computers specifically allowed to use a feature are able to pull that feature license to a workstation. See the Related articles for more information.

FlexNet License Server Manager Interface (LMAdmin) (the "License Manager")

Once you have activated all the codes you were provided, you use the FlexNet License Server Manager Interface (lmadmin) to configure the license manager and view license usage. From this utility, the administrator can stop/start the license manager (daemon), re-read license files, view system information, and see how many licenses are available and in use.

Using Licenses

When a computer on the network launches an On Center Software application, the application checks with Enterprise License Manager to see if there is an available license for the product. Communication between the workstation and the server is handled by the vendor daemon (oncenter.exe). If a license is available, the license count is reduced by one (1) on the server and allocated to the particular workstation. The workstation immediately transmits that feature's 'Fulfillment ID" to On Center Software's licensing server for validation. If the validation is successful (the Fulfillment ID is current and the license has not been revoked or deactivated on our licensing servers), the license is applied to the program. If validation fails, an error message displays on the workstation and the license is immediately returned to the license manager pool of available licenses.

  • For floating licenses, when the application is closed, the license "seat" is returned to pool of licenses and another workstation (seat) can use it. When the user launches the application again, the application automatically tries to retrieve a license from ELM. If one is available, it is applied automatically and the user doesn't need to do anything. If there are no "seats" available when the user launches the product, they will receive an error message that no licenses are available. They will have to go through the normal licensing process after a license is freed up but another user.
  • For borrowed licenses, the license is "checked out" for the duration the user selects. The license remains applied to the application for however long the user selects - they don't need to do anything further and can even disconnect from the company's network for that duration. When the duration expires, they will need to be connected to the company's network to "borrow" another license (or "float" one). Borrowing is not enabled by default and must be "turned on" by the ELM administrator when her or she is activating license codes through the Activation Utility.

Example: If a client owns 3 On-Screen Takeoff licenses allocated to Enterprise License Manager, 3 users can simultaneously license the application. The fourth concurrent user opening On-Screen Takeoff receives a notice that all floating licenses are in use. They must wait until another user closes the application (returns a license to the pool), then attempt to authorize the application.

Example: Let's say the ELM Admin activates a code in the ELM Activation Utility but subsequently, contacts On Center/ConstructConnect and tells us the code has been compromised, or the code is upgraded to a newer version of the product, or returns the product, or decides to convert those network licenses to "standalone" licenses. The code is disabled on our side, even though the ELM is still "charged up". That is why all ELM licenses must be "validated" to ensure the licenses are the most current and still active/legitimate licenses. 

When grabbing a licenses from Enterprise License Manager (floating or borrowed), workstations must have an active Internet connection. The application validates the Fulfillment ID with On Center Software's server each time a license is retrieved. If the application cannot validate the license, it will not be applied to the application.

Detailed instructions for authorizing the Server and the Workstations and administrating Enterprise License Manager are provided in the following chapters.

previous article arrow Enterprise License Manager v1.2 System Requirements Installation Overview next article arrow

Product documentation (user guides) describes functionality in the latest version of each major release and may not match the functionality in the version you are using. Please check the Product Information and Downloads pages by clicking one of the product buttons above.

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