To provide maximum flexibility as well as control to our customers, in 8.0 we made following main changes from licensing perspective
- Removed all license enforcements: In previous releases, our DevTest solution components e.g. Workstations, Registries etc. were individually licensed and needed to talk to licensing server for license enforcement. We felt that this restriction was hindering product adoption and utilization, so we removed all those license enforcements. Starting 8.0 none of our components need to talk to the licensing server or need a license file except Enterprise Dashboard which is further discussed below.
- Enforced license audit data collection: As we transition from license enforcement model to honor based compliance model, we wanted to give the administrators the ability to have insight into the usage of the tools and components so that it help monitor compliance. So we made Enterprise Dashboard a mandatory component along with the need for Enterprise Dashboard to be activated via a license key file. The idea here is that only authorized administrators (having the key file) should be able to install Enterprise Dashboard so they have the full knowledge and control of Enterprise Dashboard instances within the organization and run audit reports off of. When Enterprise Dashboard is in place any number of registries could be installed just by pointing to an active Enterprise Dashboard, by anyone within the organization without the need of license file. Since all DevTest 8.0 components will be connected to the Enterprise Dashboard directly or indirectly, they will be sending usage metrics over to the Enterprise Dashboard. Those usage metrics are used by the administrators to help stay compliant and catch any unintended out of compliance situations. Here is diagram that shows how DevTest Components interact to push usage data to Enterprise Dashboard
- Report on New licensing metrics along with metrics used in old licensing model via Enterprise Dashboard: We understand that it will take time for customer contracts to move to newer licensing metrics. So we have both old licensing metrics as well as newer one being collected and reported via the Enterprise dashboard. What that means is that you can upgrade to DevTest 8.0 while you are still on old licensing contract and use the same tools to stay compliant. This will also give you a good understanding of utilization by newer metrics while you are on old contract, so that when contract renewal or change time comes you can make your choices based on the real data.
- Giving control to Administrators to stay in compliance: Next question is how can administrators be in control to keep organization going out of compliance. This is the only area where we are helping only from newer licensing metrics perspective. Since newer licensing is all user based (instead of component or transaction count based) we tied the control via ACL. The Access Control List gives the administrators to allow/restrict users to access different DevTest capabilities. Within our DevTest Server Console, we added information to allow administrators easily translate user roles into effective license. Please see below screenshot of DevTest Server console where effective license user type is shown based on selected permission list for each role.
When a user with that particular role, logs in using any of the DevTets interfaces including DevTest portal, Workstation, command line utilities e.g. TestRunner etc. based on the role s/he is assigned, the effective license type is used and marked as an active user of that type for the time period s/he was active. This information about user being active is sent over to Enterprise Dashboard which collects information about all the active users and generate data on overlapping user sessions across different license types. This data is used to report maximum number of concurrent users for each user type in a given period which can be compared against the contract to asses compliance. Administrator also can see more detailed report of user sessions that can help them optimize the license usage.
Note: Indirect Run-time users of DevTest Services are not currently included in audit reporting. These are the users who are mainly manual testers not directly logging into DevTest portal or Registries. Those indirect users are testing user interfaces going against the Virtualized services or back-end servers monitored by CA Application Insight Agents.
Please feel free to provide your feedback on these changes and anything else we can do to make your life easier in terms of managing and administrating the solution licensing.