Autodesk Option Files for Network License Servers

Are you running network/multi-user licenses? Do you have an options file (adskflex.opt) configured on your server? If the answer is “no”, or “I’m not sure”, then you need to take a serious look at this functionality.

An options file is a notepad file that is specifically named adskflex.opt and is placed in the same folder as your Autodesk license file on your server or servers. It can be configured to do any number of things. Here are a few of my favorites.

License Inactivity Timeout – TIMEOUTALL or TIMEOUT

The purpose of this feature is to capture licenses from users who have left a product running on their desktop and are no longer using it. This feature works by pulling the license back when the time allotted has been reached. When the user returns to their software, one of two things will happen. If a license is available, then the user won’t even know that the license is taken. It will be immediately returned to them and they can continue to work on their project. If a license is not available, they will be informed that no licenses are available and that they need to save their project, and close the product. This can be set starting at a 15-minute minimum.

One advantage of setting a TIMEOUT or TIMEOUTALL is that your licenses will be switched out quicker between users. You can also reduce the amount of office chatter about who has what license! Another advantage is when someone goes home sick and inadvertently leaves the software running on their computer; now you don’t have to worry about trying to log in to that system to release the license!

Group Creation – GROUP and HOST_GROUP

The GROUP feature allows you to make a list of users and HOST_GROUP allows you to create a list of computer names. This feature is useful for setting up reserves, includes, excludes, etc.

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Reserving Licenses – RESERVE

The purpose of this feature is to protect licenses for a specific group of people or computers. For example, let’s say you have a team of users that are accessing your Product Design & Manufacturing Collection or Product Design Suite licenses. You also have other users that are accessing AEC Collections, Building Design Suite, and Infrastructure Design Suite licenses.

Now, imagine that the team of people who are accessing your Product Collections & Suites are a small group and you don’t want other users to take the limited number of licenses available to that team. If you set up a RESERVE in the options file, and give that group a specific number of licenses, it will protect that number of licenses, and always make them available for that group.

Including/Excluding License Usage – INCLUDE or EXCLUDE

Using the INCLUDE feature will allow you to protect specific licenses so that only the users, computers, or groups listed will be allowed access to those licenses. There is also an EXCLUDE option if the group of people you are excluding is smaller than the group being included, and will protect the licenses from being used by the group of people or computers that are excluded.

Report Log Creation – REPORTLOG

A report log can be an essential component if you need to track license usage with reports. There are a couple of available programs that will create reports from the report log file. My favorite is JTB FlexReport and JTB FlexReport LT created by JTB World (Disclaimer – I am in no way affiliated with JTB World and as such this is my true technical opinion and not a sales pitch).

The LT version is a freeware with one simple report in it and works for smaller offices that need only very basic information. The full version (cost associated) is much more versatile and contains many types of reports and charts. I know many companies that use the full version of JTB FlexReport and enjoy the reporting benefits and reasonable cost of the product! JTB World also offers JTB Process Monitor to record and monitor usage of processes or applications (like Word, Excel and other Window products). You can find out more about JTB products by going to their website.

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Here is an example of an options file:

autodesk options files network license servers

These are just a few of the many features available to you when you choose to setup an options file for your license server(s). To get detailed information on creating, setting up, and using an options file, go to the Autodesk page on Controlling License Usage.

If you would like to have a discussion on setting up options files on your license servers, I’m happy to assist with this. Please email me at KaDe.King@uscad.com and we can setup a conference call to discuss specific issues and what features in an options file are best suited to resolve the problem.

A Favor to Ask: Vote for 2018 Autodesk University Classes

Lastly, don’t forget to vote for the 2018 Autodesk University classes! From now until July 13th, you have the power to vote and help choose which classes will be presented at this year’s AU. Voting is as easy as a click of a button and doesn’t require any special logins. This year, I’ve submitted three of my popular classes that I taught at previous Autodesk Universities. Take a look at the classes below and please vote!

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What other network licensing tips and tricks are you interested in learning? Leave a comment below!

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