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
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.
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
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