We would like to know if there is a way to get metrics on floating Creo license usage. For instance, max number of licenses used at any given time in the last year, average number of licenses being used, which licenses have not been used, etc. Information like this could help us get a better understanding of our license usage to determine what we really need and what we should be buying.
You'd be better off looking for "FlexLM license tracking" or some such. I've not seen anything specific to Creo to do this, despite some inquiries in the past. There are likely software companies that have management tools of this sort to determine return on investment for licenses and that sort of thing. I'm betting you'll be able to track things going forward in time, but any past usage is probably not something that can be quantified.
Flexera, makers of FlexNet, do have a software monitoring package that will read Flexnet generated binary data files and provide those reports.
We looked at it years ago when the company was named MacroVision and the pricing was enough that we quickly dropped any plans of using it to monitor our license usage. At that company, we had 50+ seats of Wildfire and 25 seats of Unigraphics at the time. Maybe if you are a global organization with over 500 licenses you can afford the monitoring package.
We are using poor-man's monitoring. I have a windows task run a batch file every hour to write the PTC-Status to a txt file. I then use another batch file that reads those logs and parses them into a spreadsheet which I can review. It isn't great, but I was hoping for something better.
Your method is likely the one I'd use if we were being asked to track usage, since we only have five licenses being shared. I'd imagine it's kind of klunky, given you've got to leave a scheduled process running all the time and it's going to keep accumulating more and more data as time goes on, etc. Then again, when you've written your own batch files to do this kind of thing it's relatively easy to add to the capabilities of the thing. Even if it's in the amazingly cryptic syntax of DOS batch file commands. They look like insanely strong passwords required by a vindictive IT department.
The issue is that we now have different license servers for different world regions. Now I need to set up this batch 'hack' in each location. Certain people think we need one floating license per engineer. However, the metrics are showing a very different story. Trying to get accurate metrics is what we are struggling with.
I was wondering if there was some sort of log file that gets written to whenever there's activity like a license is requested, etc. So I looked at our server and found that there is a file called "ptc_d.log" that is in
Program Files\PTC\FLEXnet Admin License Server\licensing
It contains an ongoing stream of updates about the ptc_d daemon and its goings-on. Of interest for this particular problem is the lines that are triggered by a license checkout or checkin. Lines with "OUT:" and "IN:" show who was doing the check out/in and which of the licenses their transactions pertain to. Seems to be a continuously updated file. Ours starts in May of this year, which is when I installed the latest FlexLM license server software. It's current up to today.
The trouble with the file is it's a real mess of data. The lines of the file start with the time, which is good, but that time does not include the date. Entries prior to an IN or OUT *do* have a date, but are sporadic. From what I see, to extract the info you're looking for, you'd need to parse the file kind of like this:
* Read a line * If it's a line with a date specified, set the current date with it. * If it's an OUT line, get the user/license combo and set up a timer for them * If it's an IN line, get the user/license combo and output the total license usage time * Read next line, etc.
Plus all the error handling for unexpected server shutdowns, and any other weird cases you'd run into.
Would be kind of a fun bit of programming, if you like that kind of thing.
Yes, we saw that. It seemed easier to just parse the PTCStatus data since it already gives us the number of licenses used at any given time. It is a much cleaner file.
Look back through the old PTC/User meeting files. Around 2003-2004 there was a presentation on CADadmin tools that a user had written a bunch of scripts and such to do the reporting of licenses. I found the install executable in my archives, but not the presentation or any documentation.