Macrovision bolsters software license management

Macrovision has introduced FlexNet Manager, a centralized software license management system for enterprises.

Providing management and usage reporting, FlexNet Manager leverages Macrovision's FlexNet, which is license-tracking technology supported in many third-party applications. FlexNet Manager offers visibility into software licenses and usage in an effort to ensure organizations are getting value from their software.

The product is intended to solve the software usage tracking issue for the US$140 billion worth of software purchased by companies annually, said Macrovision's Daniel Greenberg, product manager at the company. "Most of those companies don't know how their software is being used," Greenberg said.

A FlexNet Manager customer hailed the product's multiplatform support.

"The first thing that we see is we're able to look at both Unix and PC-based servers," said FlexNet Manager user William Palleschi, manager of computer-aided engineering tools for the engineering group at Credence Systems, which manufactures automatic test equipment.

"With this new tool, we can use one tool to look at all our license servers across the network," Palleschi said.

Through the use of license management software, Credence is able to gauge license usage and reallocate licenses when needed, he said. With a software license costing $20,000 to $25,000, "You need to make sure it's being used," Palleschi stressed.

FlexNet Manager features two key modules: an Administration Module, to centralize software license operations, and a Reporting Module, providing central reporting of license usage and helping to optimize use of existing software licenses, according to Macrovision. Users can determine which modules, components, and features are being used in an application, enabling companies to make more informed decisions on software purchases and improve accountability and compliance.

Among the technology companies that have implemented FlexNet technology in their products include Adobe Systems Inc., IBM Rational, Macromedia Inc., Motorola Inc., and Cisco Systems Inc. Some $70 billion worth of software is FlexNet-enabled, Greenberg said.

Applications not already FlexNet-enabled can be gauged by FlexNet Manager through wrappering technology, although these applications cannot be tracked down to granular levels such as measurement on a per-user basis, according to Greenberg. Internally developed applications also can be tracked through FlexNet Manager.

Pricing of the product starts at $20,000.

Macrovision and Citrix Systems also announced integration of FlexNet into Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite 3.0, providing a consistent licensing system for Citrix flagship products.

Macrovision in February released FlexNet Publisher, which helps software vendors manage licenses to their products.

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