Getting Started with NI Volume License Manager

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Getting Started with NI Volume License Manager

Primary Software: Other NI Software>>NI Volume License Manager
Primary Software Version: 1.0
Primary Software Fixed Version: N/A
Secondary Software: N/A


Problem: I am using NI Volume License Manager to manage the licenses on my volume license agreement. How can I get started using NI VLM?

Solution: NI Volume License Manager (NI VLM) helps you manage and administer your National Instruments software licenses. The computer that hosts NI VLM is referred to as the license server and the end-users' computers are referred to as the client computers. NI VLM is hosted on the server computer and is operated by the license administrator who is designated as the main contact for that company’s licenses. The client computers are configured to check for permission from NI VLM before launching the software. The license administrator does not need any particular knowledge of licensing or National Instruments software because the NI VLM makes managing the licenses easy. This short document will guide you step-by-step through the setup and configuration of NI Volume License Manager. The purpose of this demonstration is to successfully guide you to a state where your NI Volume License Manger and client software are operational.

NI VLM is based off of an industry standard licensing software, FLEXlm. NI VLM provides a user interface to the standard FLEXlm commands and features. This user interface enables customers to have automated license management without having to learn the details of FLEXlm. However, many of our larger companies already have their own FLEXlm implementation in place. The licenses we provide are compliant with standard FLEXlm implementations, so larger companies can use their own implementation with the license file we send to them. If a company decides not to use NI VLM, we cannot support their own FLEXlm implementation, although we will support the license file that is given to them.

By using a FLEXlm-based license management system, NI VLM customers will have an accurate record of how much software is used which can help forecast software purchasing. Customers also have only one serial number per product instead of one serial number per seat. This avoids keeping complicated spreadsheets to identify where software has been installed. In addition, by using NI VLM customers can prove they are compliant with the license agreement since NI VLM enforces the legal agreement. NI VLM provides some additional benefits beyond that of using FLEXlm. NI VLM provides additional benefits of creating disconnected licenses for computers which will not have network access and being able to use software over what has previously been purchased, "overdrafting" licenses. These features are discussed in this getting started document.

NI Volume License Manager is included at no cost to any customer who has a Volume License Agreement. Volume License Agreements require 5 or more development seats of software, which do not have to be 5 seats of the same product. A Volume License Agreement includes many other benefits including quantity discounts and SSP.

  1. Install NI VLM and email NI
    • To begin the process, select a reliable machine that is accessible by most of the clients that will access NI VLM. After choosing the server computer, install NI VLM from the CD you received in your shipment. Once you have installed NI VLM, send your computer ID and server name to the NI Contracts Group at [email protected] The NI Contracts Group will generate a license file specific to your server and your contract. (This is where you will demo) To find the Computer ID, launch NI VLM and select Options>>Display Computer ID. The Server Name can be retrieved by clicking on “License Server” on the left-hand side of the window. The Server Name is displayed in the view on the right.

  2. Installing the license file
    • After receiving your license file from National Instruments, install the license file in NI VLM. From NI VLM, select Options>>“Install License File…” Navigate to the location where you saved the license file you received. Select the license file and click “Open”. You must now refresh NI VLM by clicking “Apply Changes”. NI VLM refreshes and shows the contents of the new license file.

  3. Configure Administrator Information
    • Next, configure your administrator information. Administrator information is shown on the client computers if the client does not have permission to use the release version of the product or if there is a problem contacting the license server. To enter this information, from NI VLM select Options>>Preferences. In the Preferences dialog box, click on the Administrator tab and enter the requested information.

  4. Configure the Policies
    • After entering Administrator information, select the Policies tab. Select whether to enable overdrafting. Overdrafting is the ability to allow more licenses to be checked out than you have purchased initially. Overdrafting can be helpful in situations where an increased workload immediately requires more licenses than you have. If you want to use overdrafting, select the “Allow Overdraft” checkbox and read the agreement box. You can set the percentage of licenses to make available with overdraft. Only licenses that are assigned must be paid for. Payment can be made with the “Pay-as-you-go” option. Pay-as-you-go means each license is purchased as it is added. If you do not select this option your usage will be evaluated at the end of the contract and you can pay for the additional licenses at that time. If you will not need additional licenses, then do not enable Overdraft.
    • Another option is “Include Owner Information in Activity Log”. By selecting this option, when you send your activity log to NI, all of the owners listed in the activity log will receive Priority support. Creating the activity log will be discussed later.

  5. Create the network installer
    • Next, create the installers for the client machines. By default, National Instruments software is not configured to look to a server for a license. Use the Create Network Installer option to create an installer that automatically configures the client computers to look to the server for a license. By creating this network installer, you do not have to keep track of who has installed the software because the computer must have permission in NI VLM to use the software. In NI VLM, select Options>>“Create Network Installer”. First, specify the source of the software, usually the software CD found in your CD drive. Then select a destination to store the Network Installer. This location is usually a network drive accessible by the client computers. After selecting the source and destination, click next. The server hostname is entered for you. Enter the serial number that came with the particular client software for which you are creating the network installer. Click next to review the settings. Click next again to create the network installer.
    • Once your network installers are created, notify your end users where they can find these installers or you can burn CDs with this new installer to distribute to your users. When they install using this special network installer you created, their software will automatically point to NI VLM to check for permission to run.
    • Apply the patch for the Create Network Installer before starting this step. See the Related Links below for more information.

  6. Adding computers and setting permissions
    • Once the software is available, add clients and permissions to NI VLM. The only piece of information that is necessary for a client computer connected to the network is the computer name. If the client computer will be disconnected from the network, you will also need the computer ID which is found on the client computers using NI License Manager. To launch NI License Manager, go to Start >>Programs>>National Instruments>>NI License Manager. Click the “Display Computer Information” button to obtain the computer name and computer ID. Once you have the client computer name, and computer ID if necessary, in NI VLM, click the Add Computer button. In the dialog box, enter the client computer’s information. The fields in the owner section of the information tab are optional and can be used for your own record keeping. After completing this information change to the permissions tab which lists available software packages included in your Volume license agreement. Place a checkmark next to each software package that the client computer will need to use. After granting the permissions, click OK. Repeat this process for each client computer. After assigning permissions, you must click the Apply Changes button to refresh the server with these new settings and permissions.
    • You can also use the NI VLM Import Utility to help you gather and enter the client computer information. The NI VLM Import Utility is available for download from See the Related Links below.

  7. Removing Permissions/transferring licenses
    • You should now be able to successfully launch and use the software on your client machines. From time to time, you may need to remove permissions or transfer licenses to another machine. To do this, right-click on the computer whose permissions you want to modify and select “Properties”. Change to the permissions tab and add or remove permissions as needed. You can also right-click on the software product that is moving from one computer to another and reassign permissions there. Remember to click Apply Changes when you are finished.

  8. Creating a disconnected/home license
    • Some client computers might not always be connected to the network, such as a test machine on the production floor or a laptop. For these computers, create a disconnected license file from NI VLM. To create the disconnected license, ensure that the computer is added to NI VLM, the computer ID is entered, and permissions have been assigned. Then right-click on the computer and select “Disconnect”. Choose whether or not the disconnected license file should expire, and then save the file. To use the disconnected license file on the client computer, simply drag and drop it into the client’s NI License Manager.
    • NI’s license agreement states that you are allowed to install one seat of the software on one work computer as well as one home computer. Since many home computers will not have network access to the license server, create a home use license for these computers. Right-click on the computer whose user who requires a home license and choose “Create License for Home User”. You will need the computer ID of the home computer. Install the home license file on the home computer using NI License Manager.

  9. Generating Activity log
    • By using NI VLM, you avoid tracking license compliance yourself. The Activity Log in NI VLM contains usage information to prove your compliance. To generate the activity log, go to Options>>Save Activity Log. Email this activity log to NI to renew your license agreement, to change your license count, or to add your end users to our priority support list.

For technical assistance or questions, please refer to our support website at where you will find related knowledge base entries and can also request to email or speak with an Applications Engineer. If you have questions regarding your agreement, contact your NI Sales Representative or email [email protected]

Related Links:
KnowledgeBase 3G0GJU6E: NI Volume License Manager Import Utility
KnowledgeBase 3BT93H6E: Updated "Create Network Installer" for the NI Volume License Manager
NI Volume License Program



Report Date: 2005/04/26
Last Updated: 2005/05/25
Document ID: 3KPEI86E



對使用者來說哪些是重要的呢?謝謝... ^^