Licensing / overuse or not

I'm having a kind of heated discussion with our new contacts in Denmark about overuse of software licenses, and would like to have a feedback from Bentley staff (or other users).

Our contact states that we are having a massive overuse of licenses and wants us to buy more licenses. According to him we are having 2 days overuse and he calculates that to 22% somehow.

In my opinion we do NOT have an overuse at all, but we have still more to go.

The average usage of licenses in this example is 1, while we do have 2 licenses. The average overusage is stated as 0 - no problem at all.

  • Hi Andreas,


    First, I am glad to see the help file I wrote is being read (and quoted)!  There is an awful lot of information in there.  In particular, I created an entire section devoted to how usage is calculated and describes how the entire licensing mechanism works.  This is all found in the Introduction (and both its sub-sections) which I encourage you to read if you have not done so already.  As the second sentence in the Introduction points out, SELECTserver’s licensing paradigm is guided by the SELECT agreement.  The SELECT agreement is a topic you and your account manager should review together since it is exclusive to your company and Bentley.


    That said I would like to address the areas of the help file you have quoted and answer your questions as I see them.  On page 2 of your document, we see the MicroStation usage at the Bentley Hong Kong Office.  The chart shows that in April of 2012, there were 3 occasions usage was exceeded (and by very little).  I agree with your assessment that this example does not represent an account that is taking advantage of the program.  As such, I would not expect the account manager to discuss ways to mitigate TRUST usage in this case.


    Now, let’s talk about page 3.  In this example we see the Bentley Beijing Office is consistently using a large amount of MicroStation.  They own 25, however they often recording usage in the 30’s and in some cases more than 40 (it peaked at 45)!  Clearly we have TRUST usage and the question is how much.  The SELECT agreement states (and I am paraphrasing here, not quoting directly) that the number of uses in any interval shall not exceed the number of licenses owned.  The SELECTserver documentation defines the interval as a calendar hour.  One could conclude since the peak use recorded was 45, that the Beijing office should buy an additional 20 copies.  I think that would be harsh in this example since 40 was only breeched a handful of times.  However, if we look at how many times the Beijing office used more than 30 licenses, I define it as legitimate case of TRUST usage, since it happens often.


    Optimally, the scenario described on page 3 is extreme and the account manager will have likely been in contact with the account to suggest ways to mitigate TRUST usage.  For example, the green represents checked out licenses.  Are all 13 of those check outs necessary?  After several conversations and different attempts to rein in TRUST usage have failed, then the account manager would speak to the need of purchasing more licenses. 


    In this case, let’s assume the account manager has been in regular contact and the mitigation efforts have not worked completely.  We do see between 19 May and 30 June, usage is trending near the 30-35 mark (we assume for the sake of this example this is when mitigation efforts were in full force).  I would then expect the conversation between the account and the account manager to review their mitigation efforts along with their results and sync to the number found through this process. 


    The account manager would then present different programs such as Portfolio Balancing which allows the account to trade in underutilized products for products in need.  The benefit here is the account would not necessarily need to purchase more copies.


    I hope this helps, and please feel free to post back questions.


    Steven DeVoll, M.S.

    This is a test

  • So, basically what you are saying is that.

    1. The avg. usage and avg. overage figures in the charts of the SelectServer report can't be used for anything.
    2. It is up to the account manager to decide if you use too much or not.

    As Microstation or any vertical products never give any feedback about free licenses (quite contrary to other software), this is a bit hard to understand.

    Regarding our case we do have an additional difficulty, as the upgrade path from Microstation, which we have followed the last couple of years, is broken due to the change to AecoSim. This means that we are using up to 2 licenses per machine (Microstation and Aecosim), as long as we have to run things in parallel. Additionaly we don't have any dataset for Aecosim yet. Thus we are getting overage both by having less Microstation licenses than before (we traded in some for Aecosim), have double count in license use when running both in parallel, and don't have any workspace for Aecosim.

    Not funny.

    P.S.: I'd like to have a second opinion from you about something else, we'll do that offline.

  • Would you consider making it available open source?

  • In fact, just because I've had such a good day (sarcasm is so hard to read), tomorrow I might get the internal company lawyer to look at the legalities of charging us for software/services we don’t have the ability to use, and also the statements from our rep that if we stop paying the subs on a perpetual licence we lose it.

  • @ Andreas Zieritz

    I have to talk to our management first, but I think they will agree to publishing the wrapper as open source. Because there are many internals hardcoded I have to cleanup the code first and do some changes to make it useable outside our company.

    A new issue we found is the use of the collsion tools. I think they are a component of a regular MicroStation installation but not inside our licensed options. If you open the tool a license is registered. How should I tell our employees not to use a button wich is inside licensed program: Don't push that button, we don't have pay for it? A courious cad worker will press it sooner or later. Does anybody know how to disable it?

  • K2/KeyServer can be used to enforce your license limit - preventing launches that would take you above your limit.

  • Ok. now it's getting funny.

    We are going to be charged for a Staad overusage (around 8.700 Kr., a bit more than 1000 $) for one day in the last 3 months. I actually don't think this is an overusage eiter, most likely someone used Staad and forgot to get out of the program. Total overusage around 6 hours, on a 2 days period.

    Besides that we have filed SR 7000134293 on 2014-04-04 (License usage restrictions).

    And for the records - we are definatelyt not going to pay that.

Reply Children
  • Hi Andreas Zieritz, when I look at usage for STAAD Pro for your account I see more than one or two days of usage. I see excess usage logged against 6 dates- 4/8, 5/13, 5/20, 5/21, 5/28, and 6/5. You should be able to verify this usage by going to your SELECTserver administration site and running a daily peak usage report. The daily peak usage report will display the days that you had usage in excess of the 1 license that you own.

    Once you see the dates where excess usage occurs, I think it is easiest to see user details by running the "Machine Based Report" of "Application Usage by Hour." This report will show you a breakdown of what users had usage and the start and stop time of each user.

    Remember, usage is defined by the calendar hour- how many unique machines log usage within that calendar hour.

    I hope this helps.

  • Overage Duration on these days is 00:00 for all products.

  • It looks like you have opted into Open Access already. Once you opt into Open Access your license count shows unlimited licenses. As such, in SELECTserver, you don't actually see the overage duration listed since SELECTserver thinks  you have unlimited licenses.

    Knowing that you own 1 license of STAAD Pro, you can see in the list all of the days where you havepeak usage greater than 1. (The dates I listed above). Then you can take those dates and go to the machine based reports and run an application by usage report to see the machine names and durations for each user/day.

    The SELECT Open Access portal also shows this information (with your actual owned quantities of licenses) and ties back to the possible Quarterly Term License Invoice amount.

    In the future, the goal is to merge the functionality of the portal (owned quantity count and tie to invoice amount) with the functionality of SELECTserver (notification and usage data details).

  • Regarding your other comments, I think it is obvious that Bentley is trying everything it can to make it difficult to not run into licensing problems. As far as I - and many other in this forum - have commented, this seems to be the  only purpose of the recent changes in license management. I still have to see one positive reaction to the new licensing behaviour.

    - no possibility to restrict license overusage, either based on machine, user or software product.

    - products where this has been possible (Staad.Pro) have recently changed their behaviour as well, no possibility to opt out either

    . Select Server does not report against number of licenses (

    - overusage is not reported for the correct product (Staad.Pro overusages give Structural Entreprise entries)

    In addition we had this bug in Bentley hosted Select Server, as it didn't send us any usage reports for a couple of months now.

  • Bentley have just made a pigs ear of this licensing thing. It used to be quite simple, but no more!!

    If Open Access shows that a company has unlimited licences how are they supposed to know if they have exceeded their allocation.without having to run additional reports.

    Come on Bentley, if you have to force this new licence regime on us at least make it simple to track over usage. At the moment, as Andreas noted, you are making it difficult.