Recently, we have received a lot of questions about how license usage is calculated and how to limit license usage on SELECTserver. Many of the answers to these questions are already available on Bentley.com and Be Communities, but it can be difficult to piece together the various tidbits of information to get a good look at the big picture.
How Usage Is CalculatedBentley's Licensing Program Manager Steven DeVoll posted a great article on what usage is and how it's calculated which is the best place to start. To summarize, SELECT usage for an application is calculated by looking at how many machines it is used on during each hour of the day; Bentley then looks at the highest hourly usage for each day to determine daily peak usage.
As noted in the first question of our Application and Usage Reporting FAQ, usage reporting is historic, not live, for most Bentley applications. When a Bentley application is launched, it transmits its recent usage logs to SELECTserver if it is able. If it is not able to communicate with SELECTserver, the application will work in Disconnected Mode for thirty days or until communication with SELECTserver is reestablished; while in Disconnected Mode, usage is still recorded and will be reported to SELECTserver the next time communication is established between the client application and SELECTserver. If Disconnected Mode or an Evaluation/Trial Period is exceeded and your product is disabled, you may still be able to use it in fifteen minute increments; this usage is still reported to SELECTserver, even if you do not own a license for the product.
Applications which utilize the IEG License Service (RAM, STAAD, AutoPIPE, SACS, MaxSurf and Multiframe) are currently exceptions to this rule; information on how to see who is using one of these applications in real time can be found in this wiki article. Although these applications restrict concurrency, their usage is still calculated hourly as described above.
How to Monitor Usage and Why It's Important Another great blog post from Steven DeVoll explains why usage reports are important. SELECTserver offers several usage reports which will allow you to examine your usage, track patterns of usage and determine where you can reduce your usage. For a full list of available usage reports, check out the Help link on your SELECTserver Administration Site or read the following Quick Start Guide. If you are receiving overusage notifications, the Trusted Usage report will be of particular interest to you. This report will show you how your daily peak usage compared against your owned licenses. The usage shown in blue indicates normal usage. Orange indicates trusted usage which exceeds your owned licenses. Green indicates checked out licenses; while a license is checked out, usage is recorded for every hour of every day until either it is checked back in or its expiration date is exceeded. Once you have determined which days show trusted usage, you can then run a Machine Usage by Hour report to see who used the license when to determine if there are ways in which that trusted usage can be prevented in the future.
How to Manage UsageWhile SELECTserver cannot restrict usage, as noted in answer to the first question in the License Behavior FAQ, there are several ways in which you can manage and reduce your license usage.
Common Problems and MisconceptionsWhen discussing usage with users, I find there are a few particular questions and concerns which come up frequently.
It's important to keep in mind that usage is calculated hourly and is not reported live. Bentley does not look at concurrency when determining trusted usage.
Additional InformationI highly recommend reading the blog posts and wiki articles linked above. You can find additional information on license usage and trust licensing here as well:Trust Licensing FAQSELECT Licensing ProgramBentley CONNECT SELECTservices (Formerly SELECTserver) Quick Start Guide
Please note that the ability to comment on Blog posts has now been disabled for this Community, as they were mostly being used to ask questions. For questions about a Blog post, please post on the respective Forum (for example: Licensing and Activation Forum) to ensure you receive a timely response (since the forums are monitored).
You may have recently seen that we are starting to roll out CONNECT Licensing with our applications. CL will allow users to have an alert display when a user is about to use more licenses than they are entitled. It will also allow you to block certain users and certain applications from being used at all. We currently have 6 products available (with MicroStation being one of them). When a CONNECT Edition application is released it will now have CL. The downloads site has the CL notation so you are aware.
Thanks - Glenn
We have also had the need for developing our own license-monitoring software. We log our usage in our GIS-database. We still have to argue with Bentley about their way of monitoring licenses - which we have observed is wrong - according to their own policies.
It still looks like they lock/reserve a license for a whole clock hour - even if it has only been used for less than a minute. In Bentleys terms it states that they will only check out the license/register the usage - it the program has been used for a least 10 minutes (that's not the reality!). We have also observed that Bentley has moved the time-interval that the user checked out the license, so that it will look like there was an Overusage - within a whole hour.
We are getting quite tired of Bentley - and are investigating alternatives - mainly because of their behavior when it comes to extra invoices.
Hi Hayden Lewis
Our licensing system implements Bentley’s Trust licensing philosophy which places your productivity as its highest priority. We don’t want the unavailability of a license, whether that be because of network issues or a sudden influx of work beyond the number of purchased licenses, to get in the way of any user doing the job they need to do.
To allow you to take advantage of a pool of licenses without requiring an active network connection at the time, we log usage to be sent when there is a connection. There is some delay inherent in the nature of this implementation. We do understand that that causes challenges in managing the number of licenses used at a particular moment, but we think there’s nothing more valuable than your engineers’ time and the productivity gained by using the product. Our pricing models and commercial programs like SELECT Open Access attempt to weigh the value of the product’s use against the cost of lost productivity.
The Term License Fact Sheet (www.bentley.com/.../9787.ashx) describes how we calculate usage including the change to a 10-minute peak usage interval, including the forgiveness any usage with a duration less than 10 minutes which had the effect of reducing the number of term licenses generated and eliminated counting of accidental starts. If you feel like you’re still seeing invoices produced for these accidental starts, I would encourage you to contact Bentley support. Our support colleagues should also be able to review with you the techniques available to help manage your usage.
Please Bentley can you get in touch with me to discuss as a company the best way that we can monitor our licence usage.
We have hand written cards that we hang up in front of our computer when we are using a licence and only hand back at the end of each hour (archaic) however for what ever reason, accidentally clicking on a product by mistake when trying to select the program next to it etc we every now and then have a slip up. This results in thousands of dollars being charged to our company.
I have read through this page and a few others with no clear path to take as to how to manage our subscriptions without spending hours trying to figure out how it all works! The software packages that we also use from your competitors have dongles for each licence we have and there have been no issues. These may cost extra but for the software development for your over complicated licence management tools I can't see this being any cheaper, if not more expensive that the dongle option.
Unless you can explain otherwise the only clear reason I can see you have still kept this way of licencing is that it is a money making scheme.
KevSnook1 - it is best to ask questions on the forum. Here is a link to the Licensing and Activation Forum: communities.bentley.com/.../275813
It is important to note than in the case of Geopak, the license useage sent includes an hourly overlap. Meaning, that if I get into Microstation with Geopak active at 10:04, the license log will show that I actually started using it at 9:54, thereby showing a usage for both hours. This also applies if you login in at 10:54, it will show that you remained in the software until 11:04.
Why is this? I still don't understand that if certain Bentley programs can use real time licence management, then why can't Microstation and Geopak?
See also below article, which I've added to the list of "Additional Information":
If you have any other questions, please post to the Licensing and Activation Forum:
this article provides no explanation on how to monitor current usage. Reports are okay but not real time.
My company has around 72 computers and 65 employee. We have 22 Microstation licenses. We have around 18 people who use Microstation on a daily basis and the rest use it on and off as their project requires. These people are in 3 offices and a half dozen field offices. Since all of our computers are internet connected 24x7 I was relying heavily on the Bentley license monitoring tool to give me daily updates on usage. Though I was recently informed that it could be weeks before the numbers there are accurate due to clients that report late and server congestion. I could have gone over several times before I am made aware of the first overage and implement changes. After reading over this article “communities.bentley.com/.../understanding-monitoring-and-managing-usage.aspx” it looks like Bentley offer no method of control built into the product.
I have started development on a monitoring system. I can currently monitor who is using Microstation in almost real time. There is a 5 minute delay. Also it only works on Windows 7 and above and I have user still using Windows XP. So my solution doesn't fit our office yet.
There was some great information on this thread “communities.bentley.com/.../91587.aspx”, I didn't really see anyone with a solution that I could implement.
I was wondering how similar companies are handling license monitoring.
My reply to this post was moved by Bentley to: communities.bentley.com/.../91587.aspx
Thanks, Nicole, for piecing all this together.
Fantastic, I have already forwarded this to our local Sales teams. A must read article.
Excellent article Nicole! Concise and informative.