What is FLEXlm? What is FlexNet? OpenLM support of FLEXlm - OpenLM Software License Management
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What is FLEXlm? What is FlexNet? OpenLM support of FLEXlm


This document relates to the FlexLM / FlexNet Publisher license manager, and discusses OpenLM’s capabilities in supporting this license manager.



FLEXlm software is a prominent license management solution that enables software vendors to impose restrictions on the number of software seats available to their customers. FLEXlm supports different licensing policies such as Floating (aka Concurrent) and Node Locked licenses. This type of software system is also referred to as DRM (Digital Rights Management) Solutions . FLEXlm was originally a joint development of GLOBEtrotter Software and Highland Software in 1988. GLOBEtrotter was then acquired by Macrovision in 2000, which renamed the product FlexNet. In 2008 the company was sold to Acresso Software, and it’s name was changed to Flexera. The product was named Flexera FlexNet Publisher, but is still widely referred to as FlexLM. In 2011 the Canadian Teacher’s Private Capital fund acquired Flexera.

OpenLM monitoring and management of FlexLM / Flexnet Publisher

With FlexLM being as prominent as it is, it has implicitly set up a de-facto mod d’emploi standard in the field of license management. OpenLM has taken much care in supporting the different aspects of FlexLM monitoring and management, often exceeding Flexera’s proprietary tool in doing so.

Flexnet License Manager operation

The general structure of the Flexnet license manager is shown below: 





lmadmin or lmgrd FlexLM daemons are supplied either by the licensed FLEXenabled application publisher or by Flexera Software. Its job is to communicate with the application, and receive the license request from it. It then passes the request to the vendor daemon.


Created by the publisher, and is unique to each FlexEnabled application installed on the network. It is the vendor daemon’s job to process the license request and to either grant it or deny it, depending on the number of available licenses, and predefined license usage constraints.


Created by your software supplier, and holds detailed license information such as the quantity and time extent of the license


Some publishers provide trusted storage as an encrypted alternative to using license files.


FlexNet logs written by the license server manager (lmadmin or lmgrd), typically accounting the license check-outs and check-ins, and license denials.


Files created by license administrators to restrict license usage to specific users or user groups.

Why do you need software license management?

The need for effective software license management usually originates from one of the following business problems:

  1. High software expenses and a desire to reduce software spend
  2. Uncertainty about the the benefit of new licensing models
  3. Concerns about compliance with vendor licensing agreements
  4. Lack of knowledge about what software you have in your organization


Engineering Software License Procurement Report (Click to enlarge image)


OpenLM’s Software Licensing Tools

OpenLM is a software licensing tool that is meant for organizations that use engineering software, particularly engineering software that is licensed under a concurrent licensing model. Regarding license inventory, OpenLM does the accounting for you automatically and lets you know exactly what you have paid for – vendor, product and features – including the features you’ve bought but never used. OpenLM Software license management will give you the opportunity to cancel software license feature renewals that no-one needs. OpenLM empowers the user organization to implement software metering by which engineering application usage can be monitored, audited and reported. You can reach higher efficiency and maximize usage of your software licenses while reducing instances of denied licenses when your engineers cannot check out a license. See also software licensing tools.

License Managers and License Monitors

A common mistake made by people responsible for the administration of software licenses is in believing that the license manager software provided by the vendor ensures optimal use of the software. The main purpose of such software management software is to prevent concurrent use of the software beyond what the licensing agreement has defined. For more information about software license management and OpenLM’s license management tools, contact us.

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