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Alternative to FlexNet Licensing (FLEXlm)

Alternative to FLEXlm

Concerned about the limited flexibility, dongle dependency and limited license model support of Flexera? Or maybe you're simply looking for a more cost-effective alternative to FlexNet licensing - but one that comes with the peace of mind of being used by leading consumer and technology brands worldwide.

To ensure that only authorised persons can use their software, software developers will implement a mechanism to enable and enforce license checks. A traditional way to do this was through the use of USB licence dongles, however, these came with a number of drawbacks - one the biggest being their lack of flexibility, particularly when it comes to enforcing floating licensing.

FlexNet Publisher (formerly known as FLEXlm) is a software license manager which at one-time became the 'go-to' solution to implement floating licenses to multiple end users of computer software. However computer software can be licensed in a variety of ways and FlexNet licensing is only one of these. The use of this solution can introduce a lot of complexity, not least of all the requirement for a licence server to be installed in each end-users location and there may well be a better alternative to FLEXlm licensing.

If you're considering Flexera's FLEXlm / FlexNet Publisher as your software licensing solution, there are some key questions to ask beforehand, particularly if you're aiming to grow your business rapidly.


The Challenge - and why Flexnet isn't really flexible

How will I manage license reconciliation and the processing of licenses?

Using Flexnet means that licenses that are checked back in need to be recorded, reconciled and accounted for. This requires a human process, meaning time is lost and valuable human resources are spent on a technicality. With 10Duke Entitlements the entire reconciliation process is automated with licenses allocated dynamically. This means you can reduce the size of your license reconciliation and fulfilment team and license and deliver products using a much more scalable licensing engine.

Can I offer my customers the software licensing options they want and expect, so that I keep my products competitive in a cloud-based, on-demand world?

Customers are getting used to and asking for pay-as-you-go access to software. Perpetual license models are no longer sufficient and to stay competitive, you need to be able to offer flexible models of access to your product line. From pay-as-you-go, aggregate use time, single-user fixed time, company-wide floating licenses and many more licensing model options enabled by 10Duke Entitlements offer greater flexibility than that hardware locked model of FlexNet Licensing.

Does my software licensing solution help me understand how my customers use my products?

10Duke Entitlements allows you to see how your customers are using your applications: when they are logging in, how long they are using the application for, from what device and many other factors. This allows you to understand user preferences and tailor your products in response. You might even learn that a feature that you thought was among your best isn't in fact that popular among your users. Based on that knowledge, you can then figure out what to do about it - do you ditch it altogether, or do you put your team to work to get the message to your users. Usage insights such as these aren't supported with Flexnet Licensing.

Does my software licensing solution support selling to customers that have complex organisation structures?

Modern B2B licensing requirements demand a licence engine that has the flexibility to reflect and meet the organisational complexity of the licensee - departments, business units, project team and project team members. It needs to be able to cope with issuing licenses that map neatly to the existing structure of your customer, but retain a one invoicing/purchase point. FlexNet Publisher isn't flexible enough to meet those needs.

Can the software licensing solution support integrated customer information management?

It is likely that the internal application you use needs to have access to customer information: CRM, e-commerce, fulfilment, and customer support are the most likely. Identity-based licensing, which underpins 10Duke Entitlements, enables you to keep a single view of each end user and provide that information simply to each internal application that needs access to it, keeping customer data in sync.

There are a variety of other questions to ask when considering a software licensing solution to deploy:

  • Does the solution require my customer to deploy anything on their premises?
  • Does the solution require the delivery of license keys to the customer and can this be done scalably?
  • Is the overall solution architecture elegant and simple to integrate to or is it more complex, with multiple potential failures or friction points?
  • Is there a hardware dependency on field-deployed dongles? If so, how am I practically going to support these?

The Solution - a modern licensing solution

For each of these questions, 10Duke Entitlements offers a simple, scalable and proven solution. Deployed by leading software and media companies around the world, it offers a flexible and cost-effective alternative to FlexNet Publisher.

The table below summarises how 10Duke Entitlements compares to Flexnet Licensing.

Comparison - 10Duke Entitlements vs. Flexnet


Entitlements/Licenses for

 10Duke Alternative to FLEXnet licensing
End Users☑
Project Teams☑
Business Units☑

Supported Source of entitlement triggers

 10Duke Alternative to FLEXnet licensing
Payment systems☑
Service desk app☑
CRM application☑

Deployment models

 10Duke Alternative to FLEXnet licensing
On premise☑☑
Private cloud☑
Public cloud☑

Authorization engine

 10Duke Alternative to FLEXnet licensing
Attribute based☑
Role based☑
License based☑☑
Hardware based☑☑

Usage / over-usage

 10Duke Alternative to FLEXnet licensing
Soft Limit☑
Hard Limit☑☑

Extensible constraints

 10Duke Alternative to FLEXnet licensing
Concurrent sessions☑
Aggregate use time☑
Client type☑
Time of day☑
Custom ones☑

License token / lease formats

 10Duke Alternative to FLEXnet licensing
JWT (JSON Web Token)☑

Web-based user interface

 10Duke Alternative to FLEXnet licensing
For administrator☑
For service desk☑

Licence reconciliation and processing

 10Duke Alternative to FLEXnet licensing


 10Duke Alternative to FLEXnet licensing
Month to month☑
Multi-year minimum contract☑
Pay as you grow☑

Typical Contract Term

 10Duke Alternative to FLEXnet licensing
Month to month☑


Learn more from our case studies for examples of how 10Duke Entitlements has been deployed by some of our customers to address their need for a scalable software licensing solution.

If you are looking for an alternative to FlexNet licensing, click here to learn more about 10Duke Entitlements, or contact us to schedule a demo.


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Comparison between 10Duke Entitlements vs. Flexera’s Flexnet.

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