Processing a Subscription Purchase

FlexNet Manager Suite 2022 R2 (On-Premises)

The 'purchase processing wizard' refers to the blue pop-up work area of the Unprocessed Purchases page. The appearance and behavior of this wizard varies depending on all aspects of the purchase. To simplify description, this topic addresses only a particular case:

Processing purchases that set up or renew a subscription license (with or without accompanying maintenance).

For details about what a subscription means, see subscription (license).

Start this procedure from the Unprocessed Purchases page.

Processing purchases for subscription licenses:

  1. Select the appropriate row(s) from the list of unprocessed purchases.
    You may select multiple purchases, as long as they all have a Purchase type of Software subscription. (If your selection includes other types, the Process button remains disabled. Try selecting fewer purchases.) Keep in mind that when you process multiple purchases, they are all updated with links to the same license (but their distinct dates are preserved, and only the latest dates are copied into the license); so only select multiple purchases when you are processing them all to link to the same subscription license.
  2. Click Process.
    A new processing area opens above the list. Its appearance depends on whether you are processing one purchase or several:
    • If you are processing multiple purchases, continue with step 3.
    • When processing a single purchase, the Max. available field shows the total number of entitlements now available through this purchase (if this is the first time the purchase has been processed, it equals the Effective quantity on the purchase; but if you have previously assigned some entitlements from this purchase to another license, this is the balance still available). Skip to step 4.
  3. In Set purchase quantities panel, adjust the To be processed value from each of your multiple selected purchases as required to show the number of entitlements each should contribute to (or renew on) the license.
    For a renewal of a subscription, there is no requirement to match the existing entitlement count on the license you will renew. Entitlement quantities are automatically adjusted up or down over time as determined by all the linked purchases.
    The purchase properties displayed are generally straight-forward:
    Property Notes
    Purchase order no.

    The identifying code of the purchase order authorizing the purchase.

    Editable in the Purchase order no. field in the General tab of the purchase properties.


    Details of the item purchased.

    For process automation, it is best practice to include a recognized SKU in this field, or include the exact application name as recorded in the Application Recognition Library. For renewals without a SKU, you can use the exact license name as the Description, as this allows for automatic detection of the appropriate license to renew.

    Editable in the Description field in General tab of the purchase properties (in the Purchase details group).

    Purchase type
    The nature of this purchase, such as software, hardware, maintenance and so on. Determines whether automated processing of the purchase can occur, and whether the purchase can contribute to license entitlements.
    Tip: At purchase processing time, when the purchase is linked to a license, the purchase type from a recognized SKU is given priority over this Purchase type set in the purchase properties. It is best practice to keep these two values aligned.
    Note: Automated processing of purchases for software licenses can occur only when the Purchase type is set to one of the following:
    • Not set
    • Software
    • Software baseline
    • Software maintenance
    • Software subscription
    • Software upgrade.
    Effective quantity

    Total number of units acquired with this purchase. Depending on purchase type, these 'units' may be license entitlements, or maintenance coverage for this number of license entitlements.

    In the case of a Software subscription purchase, this is the maximum number of entitlements that the purchase can contribute to any subscription licenses. The value displays in the General tab of the purchase properties.

    Max. available

    When no entitlements have previously been assigned from this purchase, the Max. available is the same as the Effective quantity. However, if you have previously assigned some entitlements to another license, this shows the remainder, which is the most that you can assign from this purchase to a different license.

    To be processed

    By default, this shows the same as the Max. available column, and you cannot increase it past that maximum value. However, you can use the spinner controls (or type directly into the field) to adjust the number to a lesser value if you want to assign fewer entitlements from this purchase to your target license. Mix and match the quantities from your multiple purchases as you require.

    Adjust the values in the To be processed field for each purchase until their combined total is appropriate to assign to a single subscription license. When that is the case, click Apply entitlements, and advance to step 5 (skipping the intervening step that is for processing a single purchase).
  4. If required, adjust the Quantity to process field, either by typing in a value or using the spinner controls, to set the number from this single purchase to assign to the license you will identify shortly.
    By default, this quantity to process is the same as the Max. available field, meaning that if you make no change to the value, you assign all the available subscription entitlements to the one license. If you set the Quantity to process field to a lower value, you are splitting the purchase across multiple licenses, and can make another pass through this wizard later to assign the remaining entitlements.
  5. Choose an option from the Apply to drop-down list:
    Option Description
    a recommended license
    This option is selected by default when the system suggests suitable licenses in the list below. The list of suggested licenses displays:
    • Priority, as determined through the internal recommendation process
    • License, displaying the Name from the license properties
    • Reason, being a note of explanation about why this license appears. For example, a license may be recommended because the purchase Matches an application version lower than the highest available (meaning that the only match is against an earlier version of the application).
    To choose a license from this list of suggestions, select that row of the list.
    an existing license (search) Choose this when you know that an appropriate license exists, but it has not been selected by the automated process (when no license is recommended, this choice is the default). With this choice, a new Licenses control is shown below the drop-down list: click in the field to activate the Search control. Optionally, enter a few characters from the license name or publisher to focus the returned set of licenses; and click Search (details of the search result fields are in Fields Available in License Search Results). Select one license from the search results, and click Add license.
    a new license (create) Use when there is no applicable license previously recorded in FlexNet Manager Suite, or when you need a new license with a different set of use rights. The new license is prepared based on the properties of the purchase. (You may need to modify these defaults in the license properties thereafter.) If a known SKU is recognized in the purchase, the new license is based on the appropriate template from the Product Use Rights Libraries. Otherwise, later pages will let you provide more details, after setting the maintenance provisions.
    When the license question is settled, the Dates button is enabled. Click Dates.
  6. In the Subscription dates panel:
    1. In the Get dates from drop-down list, identify the source for setting or renewing the dates of the subscription.
      Tip: Linking a Software subscription purchase to a license by any method (including this purchase processing wizard, or manual linking through the property sheets of either the purchase or the license) automatically adjusts the Duration of the license to Subscription, and automatically extends the Expiry date to match the latest expiry date on any linked purchase (provided it is later than the date already recorded on the license).
      Choose from:
      • Purchase — The preferred method, and the default when there are effective and expiry dates available on the purchase. The Effective date and Expiry date displayed below are copied from the purchase being processed (or, if you selected multiple purchases, from the latest purchase). Using the purchase dates allows for maximum automation of subscription renewal, since the license dates are updated from the (latest) purchase data.
        Tip: Things to be aware of:
        • If you have selected multiple subscription purchases for linking to a license, and choose to Get dates from the Purchase, the displayed dates are from the latest purchase, and the license will be updated with these displayed latest dates; but the other purchases are not updated with these dates. Each purchase retains its own dates as previously recorded.
        • If you choose this option and any processed purchase(s) have blanks for these dates, those unlimited purchase(s) apply for all time, so that the subscription never expires. (If this is the only purchase being processed, an alert warns you about this.) You can fix this after processing the purchase(s) by inserting the dates into the purchase properties, and that change takes effect from the next license compliance calculation.
      • Custom — The default when the purchase being processed does not include appropriate dates. This setting displays the Effective date and Expiry date fields as date input fields where you can type in or pick the required dates. Notice that, as shown in the display text at the bottom of the blue wizard area, the dates you set will be copied back into the purchase record as well. (The updated purchase record can then update the license when you complete the wizard.)
        Tip: If you had selected multiple purchases to process in a single pass, and also selected this Custom date option to set the Effective date and Expiry date fields during processing, these dates are written identically into all the selected purchases, as well as into the license. This suits the case where, as needs increased, multiple purchases were raised for the same subscription period on the same license. However, the more common case for multiple purchases is to Get dates from the Purchase(s).
      • Contract — Use this only when you have a contract record already established and have the appropriate dates set on the contract record. Notice that, once again, the dates from the contract as shown below are copied back into the purchase record (after which, the purchase can update the license dates).
        Contract field Copied to purchase field
        Start date Effective date
        Expiry date Expiry date
        Next renewal date

        Not copied.

        Review date

        Not copied.

        Last renewed date

        Not copied.

        This Contract source may be useful for the first purchase relating to a contract, where the dates on the contract may match your purchase dates. If you select this option, use the additional controls to select the applicable contract, and then its effective date and expiry date are displayed below the contract name. As well as the dates being copied (as listed above), a link is automatically established between the purchase and the contract, visible from the properties of either one.
        Beware of using the Contract source in the following scenarios:
        • Contracts with longer-term dates that require shorter-term renewals. For example, suppose you have a 3-year contract that requires annual purchases for renewal. If you have set up your contract with the Expiry date in 3 years, and the Next renewal date set for the end of the first year, a first-year purchase linked through purchase processing incorrectly shows that it covers the full 3 year period (because these are the relevant dates shown on, and copied from, the contract).
        • Linking later renewal purchases against a contract record with unchanged dates. This causes the multiple linked purchases to all be aligned to the same contract dates (probably not what you expect).
        To avoid these problems, use the following recommended approach:
        • For Get dates from, choose the Purchase option (if correct dates are available in the purchase properties), or Custom option (which writes the chosen dates back into the purchase properties).
        • Separately (not as part of purchase processing) link the purchase and the contract, using the property pages of either the purchase or the contract.
    2. Most often, set the check box for This purchase includes maintenance.
      The default setting is taken from the purchase being processed. (If you are processing multiple purchases at once, the default is the setting from the first of the purchases returned.) Whatever setting you leave in this wizard is written back into the purchase(s) being processed. While there are sometimes differences (for example, Microsoft has some subscription licenses available with and without Software Assurance), in general you should leave this check box set, since a typical subscription license includes upgrade rights during the term of the subscription, and in FlexNet Manager Suite, these are driven by the maintenance coverage. This means a common action here is to override the purchase (where the purchasing officer may have said 'no' to separate maintenance, thinking that the benefits of maintenance are already included in the subscription) and to set the check box (so that product use rights are correctly set).
    3. Review the information text at the bottom of the panel to ensure that your settings will produce the desired result, and when satisfied, continue with the next step.
  7. Click Process.
    The next actions depend on the license you chose:
    • For an existing license with complete details, the wizard area closes. See the results described at the end of this topic.
    • Where the license is to be created, and it can be sufficiently defined from the purchase record (for example, through a recognized SKU), its properties appear, and you can continue with step 8.
    • Where a new license is required, but insufficient information is available (for example, when no SKU has been recognized, and the purchase description does not exactly match a previously created license), the Create a License page appears. Your purchase is already listed for the new license (and does not need to be selected or further processed). Continue with these sub-steps.
    1. In the Application to license section, use the Search control to identify the application covered by this purchase.
      For details, see To Use a Fly-Down. When you have selected the Application, the controls in the next section are enabled and populated with options and defaults.
    2. Complete the details in the Purchase overview section:
      Control Notes
      Purchase type

      The method or process used for this purchase.

      • OEM — A purchase from an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that included the software license, such as the operating system license supplied when you buy or lease hardware.
      • Retail — A purchase direct from a retailer, generally without influence by other agreements (purchasing agreements, maintenance agreements).

        Microsoft calls this a Fully Packaged Product (FPP) purchase.

      • Subscription — A purchase that requires regular payments to maintain the subscription.
      • Volume — A purchase subject to a volume purchasing agreement.

      In some cases, this list defaults to All. With this setting, the Purchase type does not affect the choice of License model (further down the page).

      Purchasing program

      Only enabled when you select Volume (or All) as the Purchase type. You may only select from the options in the drop-down list (you cannot type new values into the field).

      The purchasing program offered by the software publisher.

      Available only for major vendors.


      Only enabled when you select Volume (or All) as the Purchase type.

      Choose Yes or No if you are clear about whether the purchase includes software maintenance, and otherwise accept the default Any.
      License type

      The kind of license, which determines what properties are available for the license, and how compliance is calculated for the license.

      For summary information about each license type, see the Glossary entries (expand the table of contents in the left-hand panel).

      License name
      If the license is created automatically, the license is given a default name. You may edit the name, although this may make later update purchases more complicated. The defaults may be derived in the following ways:
      • When the license is created from a license model, the default name is derived from the licensed software product (the application name, without any reference to a specific version).
      • When the license is created by importing a Microsoft License Statement (MLS) in a spreadsheet, the license name combines the Publisher, Product, and Edition values listed in the MLS record.
      • When the license is created while processing a purchase order line, and that purchase order line used a recognized SKU, the Description from the SKU is used as the default license name. This typically includes the publisher, product name, version, license type, and language.
      • On the other hand, if a purchase order line does not use a recognized SKU, the default license name is copied from the PO line Description.

      As you make changes to these values, the suggestions for a License model may be updated.

    3. If a suitable license model displays in the list, select it.
      Tip: Try clearing the check box for Show only recommended license models to see more models, but choose carefully.
      A license model is a faster way to configure the new license you are creating, but it is not mandatory. Even if you cannot find a suitable license model, you can still proceed.
    4. When you have the best possible settings, click Create.
      After a short time, the properties page for your new license appears. (The related purchase is already linked, and visible in the Purchases tab.)
  8. You may edit the license properties as required, and when finished, click Save.
  9. Click Close to exit from the license properties and return to Unprocessed Purchases.
The wizard area closes. For purchases where the entire Effective quantity has now been assigned, the processed purchase has disappeared from the Unprocessed Purchases page (it has moved to the Processed Purchases page). If the purchase still has some entitlements to process (for example, part way through splitting it across multiple licenses), it remains in the Unprocessed Purchases page, displaying the remaining quantity of entitlements in the Available quantity field.

FlexNet Manager Suite (On-Premises)

2022 R2