Important changes 6.1 -> 6.2

There are many new features in K2 6.2. Some involve an interface change in KeyConfigure, so those will be more apparent than other changes. This document is intended to describe the most important changes which a 6.1 admin should understand in order to take advantage of the features in K2 6.2. If you are simply looking for instructions on how to upgrade to 6.2, they can be found on the Upgrade page. If you are upgrading directly from 6.0 to 6.2, you should first read the document describing new functionality in 6.1, which is here.

Leased Licensing

In K2 version 6.2 we introduce a concept called "Leased Licensing". A Leased License is somewhere between a Node Locked License and a Floating License. As long as there is a license available, anyone can be issued a license - but then they will continue to hold the license for some period of time after actively using it. However, once that period of time passes, if they have not used the license again, it will be automatically revoked. So one way to think of it is as an Auto-Add Node Locked License, which automatically revokes licenses when computers stop making use of them for a period of time. Another way to think of it is as a floating license where the license is floating between computers, but stays associated with each computer for longer than the actual program usage. This license model recognizes that it is not terribly important whether a program is installed, or has been used in the distant past. Nor is it important whether a program is running at some specific point in time. Rather, it is most interesting to determine what computers generally make use of a program, and therefore should be counted against the license. For example, what computers have run the program at some point in the last month. The exact metric which is used to determine license allocation can be adjusted using the lease duration, but the general concept is very powerful. K2 version 6.2 makes this license model available for configuration in KeyConfigure, and KeyServer will automatically administer such a license according to the configured lease duration. An additional benefit to a Leased License is that the 6.2 version of KeyAccess will allow use of associated programs whenever a lease is held - even when KeyServer cannot be contacted. At Sassafras, we believe this model makes so much sense that we have adopted it for KeyServer itself. Clients can be configured to automatically have their KeyServer license issued or revoked according to actual usage. See the next section on Computer Login Types for more on KeyServer leases.

Time Sets

KeyConfigure 6.2 has a new window called "Time Sets". Initially it will be empty, but by right-clicking, you can define your own Time Sets, and Time Periods within each Time Set. For example, you could make a "Working Hours" Time Set. These Time Sets can then be used in reports. With a Working Hours Time Set, you could run a Usage (LIC x comp) report that only included usage during those hours of the week. For more, see the Time Sets and Reports documents.

Report Views

Even in KeyConfigure 6.1, the internal reports were quite dynamic - they could be sorted by any column, groups could be collapsed and expanded, and items could be double-clicked to see their full details. KeyConfigure 6.2 takes this one step further by introducing "Views" in reports. This basically means that once a report completes, the data may be able to be shown in an alternate view, a different way of seeing the same basic data. One way which this is used is to allow reports to be "flipped". As an example, consider Usage (LIC x comp) and Usage (COMP x lic) - both report on the same data, and have the same counts and durations in the detail lines, but then organize (group) the data differently. In 6.2 you can run just one of the two reports, then "flip" to see the data the other way, instead of running a second report.

Multiple parameters for reports

In KeyConfigure 6.1, reports could be run on all objects of the relevant type, or on a single object. For example, Usage (COMP x prog) could be run for all computers, or a single computer could be right-clicked in order to run the report on data from just that computer. In KeyConfigure 6.2, you can select multiple objects of the same type, e.g. multiple Computers, and right-click to run the report on just that limited set of computers. Additionally, you may opt to "Aggregate" the computers - that is, use data just from those computers, but disregard the exact computer when combining the data, and show a single group representing usage on any of those computers combined.

Additional Report changes

There are also a number of new reports, as well as improvements to existing reports:

  • Reporting in general has been optimized, and the same report will be significantly faster in 6.2 than it was in 6.1.
  • Some reports had complex results which were not formatted well, for example Audit Licenses (COMP x lic). The formatting of these reports has been improved by using a third level of detail.
  • New Usage reports have been introduced to report on KeyConfigure's "program folders".
  • New Audit reports have been introduced to summarize based on Serial Number and Path.
  • New Hotfix reports have been added to help understand where hotfixes have been installed, and what computers may still need certain hotfixes.
  • Histogram Lease (LIC) is a new report which shows license allocation (as opposed to use) over time
  • Lease Simulator (LIC) is a new report which helps clarify what limits would be necessary if an existing license were changed to be a lease license.

For more, see Reports.

KeyAccess client - 6.2 functionality

KeyAccess version 6.2 gathers many more hardware properties than earlier versions of KeyAccess. KeyAccess 6.2 also will audit Serial Numbers for some programs. Additionally, KeyAccess 6.2 for Windows has new functionality for auditing hotfixes. Finally, KeyAccess 6.2 does a better job of understanding what is licensed while it is offline. If it currently has a Node Locked or Leased license, launches of the program will be allowed while offline, even if the program is not set to always allow launches offline. Essentially, as long as the client knows it holds a license, it will continue to allow program usage, whether or not it is contact with the KeyServer. KeyAccess 6.2 is recommended whenever it can be installed, in order to take advantage of the latest feature enhancements and bug fixes. However, the older client versions are compatible with KeyServer version 6.2.

Computer Login Types

In KeyConfigure 6.1, computers were either set to Full, Basic, or Prohbited. In KeyConfigure 6.2, these settings have been changed in order to accomodate the Lease model of licensing. There are now four types of Login: Dedicated, Leased, Dormant, and Prohibited. The configuration for whether to audit or not is separate from the Login type, and can either be done in the computer details window, or via a right-click on the computer. The Lease model is a feature where instead of having to manually move computers from Full to Prohibited in order to reuse the KeyServer seats, client licenses can be allocated and revoked automatically according to activity. Computers that are set to Dedicated will always have a seat, until an admin manually removes them. However, if a client is set to Leased, it will automatically be moved to Dormant if the client does not connect to KeyServer for long enough. Likewise, a client that is set to Dormant will be automatically moved to Leased if it connects to KeyServer. Only clients that are Dedicated and Leased are counted against the KeyServer license count. The combination of Leased/Dormant is similar to if a KeyConfigure admin were actively moving a computer between Dedicated and Excluded whenever appropriate. The following table describes how settings in 6.1 correspond to settings in 6.2:

6.1 settings6.2 settings
"Full" "Dedicated", "Audit"
"Basic" "Dedicated", "Don't Audit"
no equivalent "Leased"
no equivalent "Dormant"
"Prohibited" "Excluded"

Increased flexibility in License Restrictions

KeyServer has always had the ability to restrict license usage by group. In K2 version 6.1, groups could be defined by Node list, divisions, location, or external authentication. In K2 version 6.2, groups can also be defined using a computer filter. Therefore, you can do something like allow a license to be used by any computers that have a name starting with some prefix. For more, see Groups and Filters.

Program Details window

In KeyConfigure 6.2, some parts of the Program Details window have been moved around a bit. Most notably, the details window now has a left hand side where the version mask appears, along with the list of other variants within the program family. In KeyConfigure 6.1, each program details window would only ever show details for one program variant. To see details for another variant, even another variant in the same family, would require opening a second program details window. In KeyConfigure 6.2, using the list on the left hand side, you can select a different variant in the family, and details window will change to reveal details for that variant. This allows you to more quickly understand configuration of all variants within a family. For more details on the new interface, see Program Details.

Audit Paths

KeyServer 6.1 stored a "Sample Path" for each version of a Program, which was simply the path from the first computer where the program was discovered. KeyServer 6.2 stores the path for each audit record. This means that you can see the local paths on a specific computer. Note that if a computer has two copies of the exact same version of a program installed, KeyServer will only collect the path to one copy. These paths can be viewed by customizing columns in any audit window (but not in an audit report).