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how to view usage on a license server by user


how to view usage on a license server by user



We are trying to see how many users were using PTC for the last year.  I would like to get username and computer name. Our network license server is running on Windows OS. Any ideas/recommendations are appreciated.

Thank you


23-Emerald II

Which PTC product are you looking for information for?

Windchill captures the information in log files.

Creo captures the information in FlexLM logs.


Also this is NOT the group to be asking questions in. The menus allow you to select the product group for questions.

Thank you, PTC Creo,

I am not sure if we have Windchill  installed, if I install it now will I be able to see those records going back ?

I am sorry which group should I ask this questions at ?

Thanks again

23-Emerald II

I moved his to the Creo System Administration area.


For Creo, there a couple of log files that are human readable that with some digging you can extract the information as to username and computer they logged in from. This information is a little cryptic as the makers of FlexNet sell a package (very expensive) that analyzes binary log files.

If you have some programming skills you could probably figured out the structure of the log files and extract the information. I know PTC has developed these tools, but not made available to their customers, for license assessments to be sure companies are not exceeding their licenses.

As for Windchill, it would only record Windchill usage AFTER it is installed, no back history.


There are really two thing you want to track. The number of concurrent licenses in use during the day. And then the folks that startup Creo every day. Those are two very different numbers.


Rather than buying software to do this I suggest a roll your own approach.


Tracking Licenses

I suggest you read my presentation from 2014 PTC Live Global. Attached, tracking starts on page 23, but you need to understand the stuff before that page.

What I intended to say on each slide can be found by clicking on the icon in the upper left corner of the pdf.




We have it email us the results of the day every night:





Getting the number of users that access the software each day

As for tracking users I have this line in my startup script.

start C:\ptc\startup_scripts\start-user-tracking.vbs


The virtual basic is just a wrapper for a batch file so the user doesn’t see a new command window pop up when they start Creo.


This is the batch script (see attached. You’ll need to replace your server name and share name.


The following is from an internal email:

I’ve been wanting to get the number of unique users that start up Creo Parametric each day.

This is a different number than the number of concurrent licenses used.


For example this is the number of unique users that started up Creo 4 last week, vs the number of concurrent licenses used up.

Tuesday was our Go-Live day for Creo 4, so we had a lot of folks installing and firing up the software.


I created this graph by manually massaging the data files in Excel. You will notice later that on day one, my scripts will give a different number.

The reason for this difference is in Excel I eliminated duplicate of the users, if they started Creo on multiple machines I only counted them once.

In the scripts below I’m not doing that. If they startup Creo on multiple machines I count each one.  


Attached are four text files. Save these out and change the extension to .bat

  • BatchSubstitute.txt
  • Get-counts.txt
  • Uniq.txt
  • Daily-usage-tracking.txt


You’ll need to edit the last script for your own environment. Server name, share name, and paths.


The Creo Startup Script

The process starts in the Creo startup script where I have these two lines near the top of the script.

rem ** Gather daily-usage data

start L:\scripts\startup\%CREOSHORTVER%\daily-usage-tracking.bat


This script outputs a file with content like this: giving the user name and machine name.

Daily User Count for Tue 01/28/2020




The numbers in front of the filename are the year, month, & day

In the script, that date is set by this command:

set TODAY=20%date:~-2%%date:~4,2%%date:~7,2%


Add batch files to the output folder

In the output folder, you’ll get a collection of text files like this.


Place the other three batch files in this folder.


Getting the user count

Double clicking on the get-counts.bat will output full-count.txt file.

The yellow column is the date, the blue column are the number of users.


Excel Manipulation

Import the full-count.txt file into Excel. Use the colon as the delimiter.

You should get this:



We need to convert column A into a date:

  • Select Column A by picking on the A at the head of the column
  • In Excel pick the Data ribbon, and then pick Text to Columns



  • Pick the Next button twice until you get to step 3.
  • Pick the Date radio button and use the pull down to select YMD, then pick Finish



  • Now you can make a pretty graph to impress folks with….


  • But….  if you add in the number of licenses used on those days you have a really useful tool to show you how much head room you have in your license pool
  • davehaigh_12-1602712954350.png

If you want, you could set up a scheduled task to generate the full-count.txt file every night.




The scripts are in the zip file with the extension .txt. change them to .bat to use. 


Dave this is an interesting way to tackle this, not using the licensing logs at all.   I'm not seeing how you are getting concurrent user data.  Is there info stored when a user shuts down creo?  How can you tell how long they hold a license?  

I'm not concerned by how long a user is using the software. That would be a number a supervisor would be interested in, but has no bearing on how many licenses need to be purchased. 


If you read the presentation I attached, you see that I have a script that tracks license usage every 15 minutes using the ptcstatus command. That outputs a single point in time for the number of concurrent licenses in use. that output get's added to a file on the server. The content of that file looks like this and is tab delimited. That way it imports into Excell in three columns, date, software type, and number of users. 

  • Mon Nov 30 06:34:00 2020 PROE_DesignAdvP 14
    Mon Nov 30 06:49:00 2020 PROE_DesignAdvP 16
    Mon Nov 30 07:04:00 2020 PROE_DesignAdvP 22
    Mon Nov 30 07:19:00 2020 PROE_DesignAdvP 23
    Mon Nov 30 07:34:00 2020 PROE_DesignAdvP 29
    Mon Nov 30 07:49:00 2020 PROE_DesignAdvP 32
    Mon Nov 30 08:04:01 2020 PROE_DesignAdvP 37
    Mon Nov 30 08:19:01 2020 PROE_DesignAdvP 47
    Mon Nov 30 08:34:01 2020 PROE_DesignAdvP 54


This data file go back several years, so if needed I can bring the data into excel and graph usage for several years, to try to visualize the growth in usage over time. 


Now the disavantage of this data, is that it doesn't just give me the max usage for each day, it has usage for every 15 minutes. 


At the end of each day there is a scheduled task that is described in the presentation that emails the highest usage for each software for that day. As of yet, I have had it create another set of files with just the highest daily usage, but that is possible, that would be a better data table. 


Essentially I'm just looking at the daily email to see how much headroom we have and if we are approaching the limit of our licenses. Then every time we redo our contract with PTC, I examine this data in more detail and talk with the design groups to understand their projected growth over the contract period. This allows me to reasonably project the number of licenses we need to add to account for that growth.  


For years we have used the product JTB FlexReport to monitor the utilization of our concurrent licenses.
I think the price/performance ratio of this software is excellent.
The corporation I work for chose the enterprise solution OpenLM some time ago.
OpenLM can do far more than I would need.
Of course, this is also reflected in the price. But since the costs are shared between different companies of the corporation, it doesn't really matter compared to JTB FlexReport.

So we do have OpenLM, I just find it is a bit of information overload. It provides a level of information I don't really need to make a purchasing decision. 


Plus I've not figured out how to have it email me daily tallies of usage. 


Our low tech approach gives me all the data I need to keep an eye on the usage vs the number of licenses, to make sure we don't run into an issue of folks not being able to acquire licenses.  


This isn't perfect. We have had very little usage of the advanced Simulate license over the last few years. So we reduced the number we bought of that license, to increase the number of Simulate Live licenses. Unknown to me, one of the advanced users of Simulate, started mentoring a bunch of young engineers earlier this year on the software, so the use of it suddenly ballooned. Meaning users were getting rejected because all of the available licenses were in use. I had to transfer a license from one of our other networks to resolve the issue. 


The thing is, OpenLM or any other license tracker would not have been able to anticipate the increase usage of that feature any better than our low tech approach.  


I believe the Advanced simulation is now included in Creo 7.0.     

I show separate lines in the license file for the different types. It may depend on the type of Creo License you purchased. But even so it should show the different lines in the summary section of the license. 


#211 Creo Simulation Advanced UI Creo 7.0 
#212 Creo Simulation Advanced ENG Creo 7.0 

#MECBASICENG_License Creo Simulation Basic ENG  Creo 7.0  
#MECBASICUI_License Creo Simulation Basic UI  Creo 7.0  
#MECELITEENG_License Creo Simulation Elite ENG Creo 7.0 
#MECELITEUI_License Creo Simulation Elite UI Creo 7.0 

#379 Creo Simulation Live Creo 7.0 Ext

One more thing, ptcstatus also shows advanced simulate as a different line item.

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