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How do you manage your ArcGIS floating license pool?

I have to field several calls a week, or sometimes a day, from staff wanting to be able to check out Spatial Analyst or ArcInfo but they can't because there are none available. I've a little script I run to get a list of who's got what, and then need to either make phone calls to find out if Sam or Ellen really is still using SA or pass on the list of names to the caller so they can do the leg work. Better than half the time the user has simply forgotten to downgrade their license level, or close ArcMap/Catalog after they've done what they needed to do.

This is monkey work that really should be handled by a computer. I've not found anything that really works for us yet. What do you do?

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Exactly the same thing you're doing. It's just a lot more manageable since we only have four people who could hit two ArcInfo licenses. –  Michael Todd Oct 18 '10 at 23:30

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can control it with

http://www.openlm.com/index.php/articles-topmenu-7/65-when-will-openlm-close-an-idle-session-of-esri-arcgis-arcinfo-arceditor-arcview

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Nice one. Definitely going to check it out. –  om_henners Oct 19 '10 at 10:38
    
Definitely interesting. The full program is a free try-before-buy install, which gracefully degrades to lite mode at the end of the trial period (30 days, which can be extended). Lite mode can be used indefinitely. OpenLM is comprised of a server app that monitors the ESRI License Manager, keeps stats of usage, and reporting functions. Then there is a client app on each workstation that handle the graceful shutdown etc. of idle sessions. At this time (fall 2010) pricing is $110 per ESRI License + 20% annual maintenance. –  matt wilkie Oct 19 '10 at 20:30

For managing ArcGIS floating licenses, I'd also like to recommend License Statistics.

I have to field several calls a week, or sometimes a day, from staff wanting to be able to check out Spatial Analyst or ArcInfo but they can't because there are none available.

With License Statistics you will see exactly how many licenses are available and how many are being used. You can also get denied user statistics, to see who was denied access to your software and when.

Better than half the time the user has simply forgotten to downgrade their license level, or close ArcMap/Catalog after they've done what they needed to do.

License Statistics has helpful widgets that show users who have licenses checked out for more than 1 day, or users who have the same licenses checked out on several machines. So, you can get rid of this inefficiency rather quickly.

There's so much more that the software can do though. There's an online demo you can check out: http://licstat-demo.x-formation.com/ More here: http://www.x-formation.com/

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It's not fun. The two things we have in place to help this out are the following:

  1. We have an intranet site which lists the current ArcGIS license usage. This puts it on the user to check the intranet when they have a license issue and do the calls themselves. It's still not great, but it mostly works.
  2. We also have the 9.3 License Checker Extension, which brings up a dialog to remind users of which extensions they have active, and tells them which license they're using. You can set the popup frequency on install, though I'd recommend the once daily option (you can also chose once per session, or once every time you open a new .mxd) - too often and it becomes just another click-through box to users.

All that said, if I could wave a magic wand I'd love to see the following:

ArcGIS should automatically grab a license when required by a tool and then release it once the tool has finished. That way the license server only blocks if everyone decides to use SA etc. all at once. (You could do this in Python, but you have to script every tool that needs a license, and then get your users to use the scripted versions...)

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Nice succinct wording, added to ArcGIS Ideas –  matt wilkie Oct 19 '10 at 5:56

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