<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=217263058604764&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Directing Traffic - Advanced Control of Autodesk Network Licensing

by Jonathan D. Kriek on Jun 19, 2015

NetworkLicOptions

In my last article we discussed the basics of Autodesk Network Licensing and the overall benefits. Now we'll dive into several advanced license management features such as restricting users to specific licenses, license borrowing, and license timeout. Be sure to check out the previous article Benefits of Autodesk Network Licensing – the Time to Act Is Now.

The Options File

Access to your Autodesk licenses can be controlled with what FLEXnet refers to as an Options file. Please note the options file is actually an optional component of the system and is not required for normal or basic license operation. 

How To Create the Options File

  1. Create a new text file named ADSKFLEX.OPT
    Make sure windows is not hiding file extensions.
  2. Place this file in the same directory as your Autodesk license file. Generally "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Network License Manager"

options_s

Configuring the Options File

We're now going to go over the main commands that you can use to control your Autodesk licenses. For a complete list of available options please refer to the FlexNet manual.

Using a plain text editor, such as Notepad, edit the Options file. 


Creating Groups:

Note: By default, windows computer names and user names are case sensitive unless the GROUPCASEINSENSITIVE ON statement has been added to the options file.

The following is the format for adding groups:

GROUP [groupname] [user1] [user2] [user3]

Example:

GROUP KETIV KRIEKJ CARLSONM ELIASONN

optionsstage1_s

Now that we have a group defined we can more easily assign permissions, but it is possible to single out individual user or computer names if desired.


Creating Reservations

Now let's take our KETIV group and reserve a license for a specific product - in this case Autodesk Inventor Professional 2016. You can find product codes for Autodesk 2016 products here.

Format:

RESERVE [count] [productfeature] [type] [name]

Example:

RESERVE 3 86497INVPROSA_2016_0F GROUP KETIV

optionsstage2_s

Here's a few more examples:

RESERVE 1 86497INVPROSA_2016 USER KRIEKJ

RESERVE 1 86497INVPROSA_2016 HOST KETIVCOMP1

RESERVE 5 86497INVPROSA_2016 HOST_GROUP KETIVTECH

RESERVE 1 86497INVPROSA_2016 INTERNET 192.168.0.100

RESERVE 5 48800ACD_2006_0F PROJECT KETIV_INV

The last example refers to a "Project" and here's how to define that for your users per machine.

  1. From the Windows start menu click "Settings > Control Panel".
  2. In Control Panel, double-click "System".
  3. In the System properties dialog box, click the "Advanced" tab.
  4. On the Advanced tab, click "Environment Variables".
  5. Under System Variables, click "New".
  6. In the New System Variable dialog box, enter LM_PROJECT for the Variable name and the project name for the Variable value.
  7. Click OK to close each dialog box.

Creating Timeouts

Now we want to make sure that users consuming licenses are actually using them right? For this we can configure the NLM to automatically reclaim inactive licenses after a specified time.

Note: Inactivity is defined as an idle product with no commands issued in the specified time. Users will still be given the option to save their work if they lose their license and if claiming another one isn't possible.

Format: Time is specified in seconds and has a 900 second minimum.

TIMEOUT [productfeature] [seconds]
-or-
TIMEOUTALL [seconds]

Example: 7200 seconds (2 HRS)

TIMEOUT 86497INVPROSA_2016_0 7200
-or-
TIMEOUTALL 7200

optionsstage3_s


Creating Exclusions and Inclusions

So now how do we exclude a user, group, or computer from getting a license? Here's the command we need to issue in order to do that.

Format: 

EXCLUDE [productfeature] [type] [name]

Example:

EXCLUDE 86497INVPROSA_2016_0F USER smithj

Sorry smithj, you can't access this particular Inventor now =)

optionsstage4_s

Remember the "type" can be USER, HOST, GROUP, HOST_GROUP, INTERNET, or PROJECT and anyone not explicitly excluded will continue to have access to these licenses.

On the opposite side we have Inclusions and as you might have guessed anyone not explicitly included will not have access to the specified licenses. If you want to block license usage for only a few users you should consider using the EXCLUDE syntax we just went over.

Format:

INCLUDE [productfeature] [type] [name]


License Borrowing Options

One of the advantages of Autodesk Network Licenses is that you can enable your users to borrow a license on thier machine for a specified time where they may not have internet access or their connection to the server may be spotty.

  • Creating Inclusions and Exclusions for Borrowing

So lets tell the NLM that we only want our field group to be able to borrow Autodesk AutoCAD Mechanical 2016. This means I'll also have to define that group because it didn't exist before.

Format:

INCLUDE_BORROW [productfeature] [type] [name]

Example:

INCLUDE_BORROW 86478AMECH_PP_2016_0F GROUP FIELD

optionsstage5_s

Again the same rules apply - anyone not explicitly included will not have the ability to borrow the specified licenses. If you want to block license borrowing for only a few users, you should consider using the EXCLUDE_BORROW syntax below.

Format:

EXCLUDE_BORROW [productfeature] [type] [name]

Like most features "type" is flexible for USER, GROUP, HOST, ect.

  • Creating Borrow Periods

We've now established the product and the group that can access it, but we most likely want to set a specific amount of time that the license(s) can be borrowed for.

Format: In hours

MAX_BORROW_HOURS [productfeature] [hours]

Example: 120HRS (5 days)

MAX_BORROW_HOURS 86478AMECH_PP_2016_0F 120

optionsstage6_s


Activating the Options File

  1. Stop and Start the license server from the Start/Stop/ReRead tab in LMTOOLS.
  2. The NLM will automatically include the ADSKFLEX.OPT fileExamine the debug log file to confirm that your options file changes have been implemented by the license manager. 

stopstart_s

Conclusion

Wow, we covered a lot in this article! It's pretty close to being all-inclusive, but please make sure you at least skim the manual for a complete list - it's 100+ pages long ;)

Again be sure to check out the previous article if you haven't already:

Benefits of Autodesk Network Licensing – the Time to Act Is Now

Stay tuned for future articles on this subject as well as trends, tips and tricks, and best practices for the Autodesk community!

Topics: Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Vault, Autodesk AutoCAD, Autodesk Maintenance Subscription, Autodesk Network Licensing, FlexNet

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all

Meet the Authors 

Kanwar
Kanwar Anand
 
Jav
Javier Chavez
 
JDK
Jonathan D. Kriek
 
 Rich_S_Pic_for_Web
Rich Sanchez