Special Cases and Regular Expressions

FlexNet Manager Suite 2021 R1 (On-Premises)

Special use for zero in upper bounds

In points rules, where the upper bound of an individual test is numeric, you can use a zero as a special case that (once you leave the field) is displayed as Any number. In the same test, a numeric lower limit normally uses zero just as a zero, without special meaning. Therefore if you set both lower and upper bounds of an individual test to zero, this means that every installation measured with this individual test will pass.

Of course, keep in mind all criteria (or individual tests) within any one rule must match before an installation is considered matched by the rule as a whole.

Regular expressions

A few values allow for matching by regular expressions. (A regular expression means the use of special character combinations to match any of a whole set of values. For example, the regular expression [0-9] will match any single digit.)

In FlexNet Manager Suite, regular expressions follow these principles:
  • If the value is exactly an asterisk ( * ) with no white space, it will match any value from an installation.
    This is considered the least specific rule — in evaluating rule sets from different licenses against a particular software installation, the most specific match is always the one used. Therefore a rule with any value other than * for the same test will always be preferred over one with just an asterisk.
    Tip: Keep in mind that all the rules created in your enterprise (these have a Source value of Local) are processed first, so that your customized rules always have priority. Therefore in your local rules, a more specific setting is preferred over an asterisk; subsequently, when rules delivered through the Application Recognition Library are processed, the more specific setting within those rules is preferred over an asterisk.
  • Otherwise, the rule value is split on white space and considered as a series of separate regular expressions. Each is considered in turn against the inventory value from an installation. Only if all these regular expressions (in any order) are matched somewhere within the inventory value, will this individual test within the rule pass.
  • The special characters for the regular expression are those defined for Microsoft .NET, and documented at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/az24scfc.aspx (Regular Expression Language - Quick Reference).
  • When you need to use one of the special characters used in defining the regular expression as its own literal value in a test, 'escape' it by preceding it with a backslash. Thus a period (.) stands for any single character in a regular expression, but backslash-period (\.) just means period.
  • All comparisons are case-insensitive.


  • You want to define a Processor type that matches an IBM Cell Broadband Engine 8i processor. This processor returns in inventory as Cell/B.E. and if you enter that exact value in a points rule, the periods in the name will be interpreted as a regular expression. To make them literal periods (so that they will match only periods in the incoming data for Processor type, rather than any single character), escape them as follows:
    Cell/B\.E\. 8i
  • You want to create a rule where the Processor type will match any of three different Intel Xeon processor models, and assign 120 points to each. For this rule, there are two separate uses of square brackets in regular expressions. A few characters within the brackets stands for 'any one of these' ([67] means either a six or a seven); while adding a dash converts the meaning to 'any one value from this range' ([0-9] means any single digit). Therefore the following regular expression matches the Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU X6520 @ 2.67GHz, and the X6550, and the X7542:
    Xeon [67]5[0-9][0-9] 
  • Here are three different regular expressions for applying the Processor type test to IBM computers. Remember that individual terms in your test must be separated only by spaces, that the order of terms within the expression does not matter, and that all the terms in one regular expression must be matched before an installation can consume under this rule:
    • To apply a rule for all IBM processors:
    • To identify just IBM PowerEdge 520 processors:
      520 IBM PowerEdge
    • To identify only IBM Power4 and IBM Power5 processors:
      IBM Power(4|5)

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2021 R1