You will love this! #4: A report that gives full transparency on license restrictions

This “You will love this!” article introduces a solution developed by NR SAM Consulting that could make your SAM Manager's life easier with helping you managing more clever licenses for accuracy and optimization!

3/22/20245 min read

Intelligent License Restriction: this super powerful feature deserves full transparency!

Let's say this "you will love this article" will also help you connecting the dots of Flexera SAM technology. It anticipates future posts that will show you how to make licenses more clever in their license consumption.

Understanding the power of license restrictions

Flexera has a powerful reconciliation engine allowing n - n optimization between licenses and installed applications

One strength of the Flexera approach for license consumption is to have an "global approach". Many use rights, acquired over multiple contracts will be consumed by installed applications, in various locations and datacenter. This is powerful because it allows to apply optimizations, such as having licenses of the "closest" version covering various installations of various versions in the case of unmaintained licenses. This goes way beyond more manual approaches of managing licenses per contract, allocating servers and computers to contracts and letting the license consumption be computed in the constrained narrow scope.

"I want this license to be allocated to this server specifically" is an approach that some SAM Managers have (particularly for expensive licenses) that is more manual but makes sense in their perspective and is not completely address by this global approach. You have two ways though to manage this: if you use assets, you can link the server's asset to the Purchase Order lines. You can also allocate the server to the license and use the "Allocation Reason" (introduced with 2023R1), to document which is the Purchase Order of the license intended for the specific server. A link between allocations and purchase orders would be a nice enhancement in the future.

But you need to control things in some situations

The power of n - n license to installed applications on server allows optimization of license usage in the Flexera reconciliation algorithm. This is sometimes not possible to have an "all purchase rights can cover all deployed applications".

  • Some license contracts (less and less) don't allow license transfers across entities of a given organization, or across counties / regions for instance.

  • In other cases, you would like licenses to be influenced to optimize your license consumption. For instance, have Windows Server Datacenter licenses consumed only by Windows Server Datacenter physical servers... or Windows Server Standard virtual machines in clusters with "high Windows density".

That's where restriction and intelligent restriction (by report) can be very helpful

Restriction by entity has been a capability of Flexera ITAM for decades. In the restriction tab of the license, you can pick up one or multiple entities (enterprise groups) and restrict (scope) a license in multiple dimensions (Locations, corporate unit, cost center). Principle is that a restriction applies to the entity and its children. Multi-dimensional restrictions will complicate things... you need to be careful as each consuming devices will need to comply with each of the restriction criteria that are set up. For instance, restriction on Location = Europe, Corporate Unit = NR SAM Consulting and Cos center = 1234, any application installed on a device in France, Italy or Germany will be monitored, but only if the are in the NR SAM Consulting entity AND in the right cost center...

Note that it is best practice to add the restriction information in the license name; For instance: "SQL Server Standard with SA - EMEA".

Restriction by report (intelligent license restriction): this feature was introduced in 2023R1 when I was Product Manager, requested by Flexera Services, and resolves many challenges I am now facing helping my customers optimizing their license consumption. You can define a dynamic target through a report that will be re-assessed at each license calculation. "All VMs in Clusters A, B and C" for Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Datacenter license.

Incredibly useful for Prod / non prod (IBM, Tibco), Server / Desktop (Java), or in any situation a more expensive edition is adapted to "High density" clusters (Windows and SQL Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux).

All set on your restrictions? Use new the report now!

The License Issues Analysis report I created and productized in 2023R1 allows to report on many things... and reports used for instelligent Restrictions, Allocations and exemptions (2023R2 extension).

NR SAM Consulting have created a new report that goes beyond and provides which are the entities licenses are restricted to. It also provides the report folder information. You can now check inconsistencies in restrictions without going on each license!


If you are on premises, you can enjoy this immediately by contacting me. If you are a Cloud customer, this is a matter of patience and the report may be productized, like the 30 reports I created that now support the 3 published SAM Operations, SAM Optimization and SAM Publisher Hubs that you can explore in the Flexera ITAM Best practice information available in Flexera Community post.

Check back the list of 18 "Dots Connected" or "You will love this!" posts published or to come in this article.

Want to learn more?

I would recommend some of the recorded SAM Best Practices Webinars I delivered you can find in the Flexera Community

You can find the links to the 24 recorded Flexera SAM Best Practices Webinars in the "ITAM Best Practice Available in the Community" Flexera KB article.

The License duplication Wizard I shared in the Flexera Community will help you!

Note that the "License Duplication Wizard" solution I shared in the Flexera Community in 2021 can be very useful if you are on premises in these situations where you need to create multiple licenses with different restrictions:

  • You flag your licenses for duplication by adding "Duplicate" in the Recipient filed of the financial tab of the licenses (that nobody uses and can be set in multi-edit mode).

  • Run the "Duplicate License" report, enter a quantity and have all your flagged licenses duplicated

This is way faster than running the license creation wizard again and again!

For those who have an interest in SQL scripting, this report is interesting as it reads the db schema of each table involved in the licenses definitions (7 if I remember well), that have evolved over Flexera ITAM versions, and duplicates the records using the schema relevant to your version of ITAM or FlexNet Manager.