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The FLEXlm Advantage

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Amidst the release of new products, the development of new technologies, and additions to our Engineering and Sales and Marketing departments, our products and our processes have grown more complex. To better deal with this increasing complexity, we've recently begun adding a new license management system, FLEXlm from GLOBEtrotter Software, to our products.

This new system marks a dramatic change in the way BASIS handles licensing. When BASIS first introduced license management with BBxPROGRESSION/4® in November of 1991, our requirements were fairly simple--count users. Today, the most basic function of the new license management program is still to count users, but with several BASIS products running on even the simplest systems, the counting mechanism needs to be more sophisticated. And complex first- and second-line systems networked with UNIX and/or Microsoft Windows NT servers require even more licensing finesse.

After reviewing several competing license management products, we chose FLEXlm because of its sophisticated user-counting methods and flexible licensing options. The fact that FLEXlm is used in over 15,000 products worldwide and is available on all the major operating system platforms made it an even more attractive option. Because it is an industry standard, the FLEXlm system can manage licenses for all BASIS products in addition to other software applications and thus ease our customers' overall licensing burden. FLEXlm will also allow us to combine several products, as well as include licensing for backup servers and users across a network of redundant servers under one license.

FLEXlm can also handle fixed and floating licenses. BASIS currently offers only one product with FLEXlm--the BASIS ODBC Driver® 2.0--and this product uses a node-locked implementation that ties the software to a specific piece of hardware. We introduced node locking on the BASIS ODBC Driver because, as a typically non-mission-critical application, it was a safe way to measure user response to the system. However, we are considering the use of the new floating license capability in mission-critical products. In the future, when a company purchases a product with a floating license, the license will be locked to the central server so any node on the network could access the software, up to the licensed number of users. This allows much more flexibility in deployment of the software than a simple node-locked implementation.

We encourage all of our customers to visit the BASIS website at and download the latest BASIS ODBC Driver demonstration to see the new FLEXlm system in action. As we move forward with the FLEXlm system, we want your feedback so we can offer the best license systems possible.

John F. Schroeder, Ph.D.
Chief Technical Officer


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