Best Practice on Unlicensed Installations with Custom Metric Licenses
I have a number of applications that currently sit in the "Unlicensed Installations" pile that I'd like to clean up.
I know that these applications are linked to licenses that are set up as "Custom Metric" for various reasons. An example would be IBM Workload Scheduler where use rights is based on the number of Jobs processed Per Month.
Now, because this license type does not reconcile against installations, how would one go about clearing out the Unlicensed Installations page given that these applications and installations do not count towards license consumption.
Assume applications and versions are correctly linked to the license and devices are allocated to the license.
Is there a technical way to overcome this with configuration changes. If not, what would be the best practice to manage this scenario?
I know there was an idea floated previously which was to create an "overhang" license, that captures all of these types of installations but this just didn't sit right with me, although I have used this in the past. The other thought was to simply change the Application status to "Ignored" but again, don't believe this would be considered best practice.
Would love to hear how other Flexera users have approached this or recommendations from Flexera themselves 🙂
*Running FNMS 2020 R1 (On-Prem)
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I can't think of any way to stop installations appearing in the Unlicensed Installations grid when there is not any license record that covers installations. As you've noted, simply having an application linked to a license doesn't stop that application being listed in this grid if that license doesn't cover installations of software - that is not the purpose of the grid.
I wouldn't necessarily dismiss the idea that you've described as an "overhang" license so quickly. That sounds like a good idea to me, and probably quite accurately models the rights that you have under your license terms. In particular, you have:
- A right to install particular software applications. It sounds like your right may be to install these applications on an unlimited number of devices, so you could use an "Enterprise" license type to model that right. Link this license record to the applications that it allows you to install.
- A right to use particular software, as measured by associated custom metrics. The custom metric licenses model this right.
Because the rights you have to install and use software are quite different, there's nothing wrong with modelling those rights with separate (but logically related) license records.
Depending on the particular analysis you're doing, you may also find that filtering the grid to restrict which installations are listed is effective. For example, you could filter by "Related licenses = 0" to only show installations of applications where the application is not explicitly linked to any license:
I see a few issues with the proposed solution: 1) The Unlicensed/Licensed metric on the dashboard uses these number to assess your total coverage picture, which is inaccurate when you are looking at applications with custom metrics that will not 'consume' as an install should; 2) when you are working with a publisher that is mostly custom metrics and you have approximately 100 licenses for a single publisher, then creating one license set to device or user, to get that consumption registered, is not what i would consider best practice - nor would creating another hundred; 3) the only way to get these removed from the list is to trigger the consumption of the install or ignore the application - the latter is really not acceptable. I don't even know if Deferring the application would work - maybe worth a try. Perhaps an additional status that would omit from the Dashboard metric could be an option?
While there can be some useful information from the legacy "Unlicensed Installs" dashboard widget, there are many permutations to take into account. For example, do you really need it to show that all of your installs of Freeware applications are not licensed? And as called out, software products licensed via some type of "Access/CAL" metric or a Custom Metric are not licensed based on the installation of a product. The main goal here is to find hidden risk and make sure that all of your installs of Commercial software is covered with a license. That main goal can be performed on the Installed Application View. Simply filter on Commercial = YES and Licensed = No.
Yes, but then you have to explain all of that to the people looking at the dashboards, and that conversation doesn't always translate to their liking. If the goal of the metric is to truly measure what is covered by a license, then the metric should be adjusted to reflect that.