Monday, June 25, 2012

Squeezing the License Pool

Rumor has it the Autodesk is preparing to raise the price of licenses come July 1st. At the same time businesses are doing a little better than years past and everybody wants to do as much work as possible. So how do you squeeze the most value out of the licenses you do have?


Stand Alone vs. Networked
Autodesk licenses can be managed one of two ways. If a license is stand alone, it works where it is installed and that's it. A networked license can be accessed by any number of users one at a time. Licenses can be migrated from stand alone to networked and back (talk to your re-seller). Most all the advice that follows is based on a networked license.

Use Viewers
This is an easy idea that is sometimes hard to put into practice. If you have users that spend most of their time viewing or plotting, encourage them to use a viewer for those activities and not to pull from the license pool. You can download Autodesk DWG Trueview for DWG based products, and use the Revit Viewer found under all programs to access RVT files.
Leverage the Options File
If running networked licenses, the network license manager is a given. What you may not be aware of is that the system manager can create a text document to help control how licenses are used. That file is generally referred to as the options file. Use Notepad to create a a plain txt file then name it with the extension "OPT". Put it in the same folder as the "LIC" file and enjoy the benefits.


Benefit #1
Time out inactive users. Every office has people that automatically open an Autodesk product then promptly does nothing with it all day. The timeout option will reclaim inactive licenses and let others use them. The user of the reclaimed license rarely realizes they lost a license because when they become active in the Autodesk program again, they usually get a license back if one is available. If they a license is not available they will get a dialog telling them they need to save and exit. There is a 5 minute grace period to save and exit, last time I checked. The line below will time out user of the indicated version of Revit after 1200 seconds (20 minutes) of inactivity.


TIMEOUT #####REVSYP_F 1200

Benefit #2
Max out users. If you have some license hogs, limit them to how ever many licenses you want. The line below is holding John Doe to a maximum of 2 licenses.


MAX 2 #####REVSYP_F USER jdoe


Benefit #3
Reserve licenses. Sometimes its best to ensure that certain users always get licenses. Use the reserve option to hold a license for selected users.


RESERVE #####REVSYP_F USER jdoe


Combine options to suit your firm's needs either by individual or by groups. Find out more by checking Autodesk help page.

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