subscription (license)

A subscription license is one that is both:
  • Time limited, with license entitlements provided for a defined period
  • Renewable by regular payments that extend the period of entitlement.
In FlexNet Manager Suite, a subscription is not a distinct license type, but a characteristic that can be applied to licenses of any type. For example, you may have a Device subscription license which has all the same properties as any other (perpetual) Device license, with the addition of:
  • An Effective date when you may begin using the licensed software (the applications linked to the license record)
  • An Expiry date, by which you must either renew your subscription with a further payment, or stop using the licensed software.
FlexNet Manager Suite provides flexible ways to manage license subscriptions:
  • If your enterprise raises a purchase order (or includes a line item within a purchase order) for each renewal payment due on your subscription, you may simply attach the purchase records to the license.
  • If you record only a single purchase for the original acquisition of the license, and then rely on some form of payment automation for your renewals, you can create a payment schedule to track the regular payments.
The benefits and differences between these approaches are outlined below.

Using purchases

This approach can provide high levels of automation, including adjustment of entitlements if the subscription expires. In overview, the process is:
  1. Import the purchase records from your purchase order system (or spreadsheet, or create the records manually), ensuring that:
    • Each purchase has a Purchase type of Software subscription, or references a recognized SKU that has its own Purchase type of Subscription (in the event of conflict, the SKU setting has priority)
    • Each purchase records the Effective date when it started or renewed the subscription
    • Each purchase records the Expiry date when the subscription period covered by the associated payment runs out (and in an ideal world, the effective date of the next purchase is a day after the expiry date of this one)
    • Each purchase preferably records the SKU for the related software, or at the very least uses an identical description of the software.
  2. Process the first of these purchases (navigate to Procurement > Unprocessed Purchases, and see Processing a Subscription Purchase) to create the appropriate license; and then process the rest (for which the page's recommendation is linking to the same license, based on the matching SKU or description). Merely linking these purchases to the license ensures that its Duration is set to Subscription, and its Expiry date is updated to the latest expiry date recorded on any of the linked purchases.
  3. As the latest purchase approaches its expiry date, the license (and linked purchases) appear in the License and Maintenance Expiry page (see License and Maintenance Expiry), so that you can:
    • Import or create another purchase record to renew the subscription, or
    • Let the subscription expire, at which time the entitlements authorized by the series of purchases fall to zero, and any installations shown against this license in following inventory imports are marked as at risk.

Using payment schedules

This approach allows more direct manual control and intervention, as well as allowing for more detailed financial records. In overview, the process is:
  1. Create the license for the software subscription. (If there was an original purchase covering the subscription, you could achieve this through purchase processing, so that license and purchase records are linked.)
  2. Create a contract (because payment schedules can exist only when attached to a contract). A suitable contract type might be Subscription, although you could also use Software License, depending on your corporate preferences. Optionally, you may link the contract to the license, but that is not a requirement.
  3. Once the contract has been saved, its Payment schedules tab is available and you can create the payment schedule, including details of budgeted and estimated amounts. On the Licenses tab of the payment schedule properties, you can link this schedule directly to the license you created.
  4. Now, as each installment on the payment schedule approaches, the license appears in the License Compliance > Licenses with Payments Due page (see Licenses with Payments Due). When you are ready, you can mark each installment as paid.
    Note: As changing this setting does not modify the properties of any linked license, you may also need to adjust the Expiry date on the license properties.
  5. Payment schedules have no effect on license entitlements, so if you decide to let the subscription expire, you must manually reduce the available entitlements on the license to zero.

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2022 R2