Usage Tab

FlexNet Manager Suite 2021 R1 (On-Premises)

On this tab, you can define rules to determine whether an application was in use in the period leading up to the last software inventory.


Applications are typically licensed by installations. When a licensed product is installed, it normally consumes from the license whether or not the software is being used on that computer. If you could show that a particular installed application is not being used, you can negotiate to uninstall the software from that computer, so that its license entitlement becomes available for someone else who actually needs the application.

When you track whether or not an application is actually used by the person running the computer, it is called tracking its "usage". You can set parameters to determine when an application is considered to be in use.

For example, you might decide to track usage for a three month period. In the last three months, you see that Sam has used MyApp only once. Demand for MyApp licenses is not high, and you may decide to leave Sam's installation licensed, thinking 'once is enough'. But under different circumstances, when budgets are tight and demand for MyApp is higher, you might want to find anyone that is using the software for less that 10 hours in the 3 month window. Do these people really need the software for their core functions? Now you might decide to ask whether Sam can do without MyApp so that someone else can benefit from the license.

You may also choose to combine two measures. For instance, you may decide that Sam can keep her license if she has started MyApp more than 3 times in the last three months, and used it for at least 10 hours across all sessions in total. If you choose to use both measures, then both must be satisfied. If Sam started the software four times (good) but only used it for eight hours (not enough), her installation of MyApp would not be considered 'used' in the last 3 months.

The process of recovering licenses from installations that are insufficiently used is sometimes called 'harvesting' the licenses. These recovered licenses, already paid for and possibly also under maintenance, may be deployed to other users or computers (but first check the terms of the original license to be sure that transfers are not forbidden).

Available controls

You can set the following values to control how usage is measured for this application.
Note: These settings are used to filter incoming usage information from all available sources, including Microsoft SCCM and locally-installed FlexNet inventory agents. In the case of FlexNet inventory, there are separate settings that determine whether or not the application usage component of the FlexNet inventory agent reports any activity at all; and those settings are generally set to much lower levels, so that the activity can be reported on both a daily and a weekly basis. The settings on this page affect how the uploaded reports are aggregated over the entire reporting period.
Control Notes
Usage period ... months

The length of time for which usage records will be assessed for this application. This is a rolling time window that always ends at the most recent reconcile calculation (which by default happens each night). Thus, if you set the period at 3 months, it is normally equivalent to saying "the last three months".

Enter or spin up the number of months to use as a measurement window for application usage records.

The number of times an application was started exceeds

This is the 'hurdle', the highest value you would consider unused. For example, if you enter 3, then from the fourth time the application is started on each computer in the applicable period, it is considered used on that computer.

First, select the associated check box to enable this measure. Then, enter or spin up one less than the number of uses (sessions) that must be reported before this application is considered to be used on a computer. To trigger a usage record at first use of the application’s files, leave this field at zero (with the check box selected).

The number of hours an application was active exceeds
The progressive total time for which the application must be open and have focus (be the front window) before it can be considered to have been used in the survey period. Up to and including the limit you specify, a particular installation of the application is not counted as used. If in total it has focus for a minute longer, it is considered used.
Tip: This condition is treated as a logical-AND with the previous setting. If both conditions are selected, both must be satisfied for the installation to count as used.
First, select the associated check box to enable this measure. Then, enter or spin up one less than the number of hours for which the application must have focus (be the front window) before it is considered to have been used in the sample period. For example, if you enter 2, the application is considered used after having focus for 2 hours and some minutes (or more). However, if it had been closed after 1 hour and 59 minutes of having focus, it would not be considered used.
Tip: This is the running total of use over the usage tracking period. In the above example, if the application had focus five times for 30 minutes each in the period leading up to the latest inventory import, in total it exceeds the required 2 hours, and this condition is satisfied.

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2021 R1