Dundas BI Licensing

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1. Overview

This article explains how licensing works in Dundas BI (DBI) and shows you how to administer licensing from within the application.

2. Concepts

2.1. What is a DBI License?

A DBI license grants your organization a number of license seats which enables users to log on and use the application. In addition, optional features such as SaaS / Multi-Tenancy only appear in the Dundas BI application if enabled through a license.

2.2. Cumulative nature of DBI licenses

DBI licenses are cumulative. For example, if your organization needs 5 more license seats, you can obtain a license from Dundas that adds 5 more users on top of what you already have. In other cases, a license may replace or invalidate a prior license; adding a retail license on top of the evaluation license that is included with the DBI installer will invalidate the evaluation license.

2.3. Dundas BI Instance

Dundas BI supports multi-server deployment out-of-the-box for load balancing purposes. In this scenario, multiple servers have Dundas BI installed but they each point to (or share) the same Dundas BI Application Database (App DB).

For licensing purposes, the entire ecosystem of servers and software referencing a single Dundas BI Application Database is referred to as a Dundas BI Instance. DBI licensing is tied to such an instance and there may be a limit on the number of servers permitted to connect to the instance.

2.4. License Kinds

The following kinds of licenses are available:

License KindDescription
Evaluation
  • Included with DBI installer
  • Time-limit of 45 days
  • Watermark appears on UI screens
Retail
  • For production DBI instance
  • Invalidates evaluation license
  • Removes watermark from UI screens
Development
  • For development, test, or staging DBI instance
  • Included with standard retail purchase
OEM Retail
  • For ISVs and their clients
OEM Developer
  • For ISVs and their clients
Training
  • Used in DBI training courses/sessions

2.5. License Format

A DBI license is a block of XML text; there is no license "file" involved per se. Installation of a license can be done remotely from the Dundas BI Administation interface and simply involves copying and pasting the license XML text obtained from Dundas.

2.6. Seats

A license seat allows users to log on to Dundas BI. Two license seat modes are available to support your organization's specific needs:

Reserved Seats (also known as Named Seats)

  • Allows users to log on regardless of who else may be using the application. 
  • Ideal for users who need use the application frequently or for long periods of time.
  • Seat types: Reserved Standard User, Reserved Power User, Developer.
  • DBI Developers always use a reserved seat.

Floating Seats (also known as Concurrent Seats)

  • Floating license seats make it possible to support a large number of Dundas BI users.
  • The key is that the floating users cannot be using the application all at the same time.
  • The number of floating users logged on simultaneously cannot exceed a certain limit as determined by DBI licensing.
  • Seat types: Floating Standard User, Floating Power User.

To better understand the concept of floating seats, think of chairs at a table. If all of the chairs are taken, people standing will have to wait until someone gets out of a chair before they can sit down.

2.7. Elasticity

Elasticity is a built-in feature of the DBI licensing system that allows a user to temporarily exceed the floating license limits. This feature allows a user to still log on and continue working while giving the DBI system administrator notice and an opportunity to review the organization's need for more DBI license seats.

A DBI retail license typically includes a fixed number of elastic hours for standard users and power users. For example, a standard user may be permitted to exceed the license limits by logging on for up to 5 hours in total per calendar quarter. Note that unused elastic hours are not carried over from one quarter to the next.

Besides elastic hours, there is also the concept of elastic seats which represents the number of concurrent users that are permitted to log on and use up elastic hours when all floating seats are occupied. In a DBI license, there are two license fields, Floating Power User Elastic Seats and Floating Standard User Elastic Seats, which represent the maximum number of concurrent users that can be logged on and using elastic seats for power users and standard users, respectively. 

Portion of DBI license showing elastic seat and hour limits
Portion of DBI license showing elastic seat and hour limits

3. Managing Licensing

To manage licensing in Dundas BI, go to the main menu and click the Admin button. Then expand the Licensing section to see the available options.

Licensing options in Admin screen
Licensing options in Admin screen

3.1. Adding a DBI license

Adding a DBI license is as simple as copying and pasting the license XML text obtained from Dundas. See this article for more details: Add a License.

You'll need to add a new license if you are upgrading between major versions of Dundas BI.

3.2. Seat Usage

Click Seat Usage to see the number and distribution of seats that are currently in use for this Dundas BI instance.

Seat Usage shows 1 out of 2 Developer seats are in-use
Seat Usage shows 1 out of 2 Developer seats are in-use

The Seat Usage screen shows a number of horizontal bar charts. If reserved license seats are in-use, click on the in-use bar to see the corresponding list of user accounts that are logged on. If floating seats are in-use, click on the in-use bar to see the corresponding list of sessions.

View the list of reserved developer accounts that are logged on
View the list of reserved developer accounts that are logged on

3.3. Maximum number of floating sessions reached

The maximum number of floating (concurrent) sessions reached in a given calendar month for each floating seat type (e.g., standard or power user) is recorded in a database view (vSessionUsageHistory) in the Dundas BI Application Database. You can use this information to monitor how close your organization is to reaching your floating license limits.

For example, in the figure below, the maximum number of floating sessions (for standard users or SeatKind = 0) reached in October 2015 was 19 sessions.

View the session usage history from a database view
View the session usage history from a database view

The values for the SeatKind column are defined in the LicenseSeatKind enumeration.

3.4. Configuring Elasticity

There are a few configuration settings related to license elasticity. To view or modify these settings, expand the Setup section in the Admin screen and then click Config. Change the Category to Licensing and also click the Show Advanced Settings checkbox.

Configuration settings for license elasticity
Configuration settings for license elasticity

The Elasticity Activation Warning Enabled setting determines whether an email will be sent to the DBI system administrator the first time a user starts using an elastic seat in any given elasticity period. The email will be sent a maximum of one time per calendar quarter and the email settings in DBI must be configured properly for this to work.

The Elastic Hour Warning Threshold settings are used to send an email to the DBI system administrator when a specific number of elastic hours are remaining. By default, this is set to zero hours which means the email will be sent when the hours have been exhausted. No warning email is sent if the threshold is set to -1.

3.5. SaaS / Multi-Tenancy

Dundas BI provides built-in support for SaaS (software-as-a-service) and multi-tenant deployment scenarios. This is a feature that allows a single Dundas BI instance to serve multiple independent tenants. But note that this feature is an option which must be enabled through appropriate licensing.

The DBI system administrator can create and set up multiple tenants that are completely isolated from each other. The DBI administrator can also assign seats and elastic hours on a per-tenant basis.

Adding a new tenant
Adding a new tenant

Additionally, each tenant can have their own tenant administrator which has the ability to add and manage users, groups, and projects without having to involve the DBI administrator.

Note
For tenant administrators, the Seat Usage screen is accessible from the Account Service section.

4. Notes

  • If there is a problem with the licenses in your instance (e.g., all licenses have expired), the built-in administrator user will still be able to log on (with Viewer privileges) in order to correct the issue (e.g., by adding a valid license).

5. See also

 

Dundas Data Visualization, Inc.
500-250 Ferrand Drive
Toronto, ON, Canada
M3C 3G8

North America: 1.800.463.1492
International: 1.416.467.5100

Dundas Support Hours: 7am-6pm, ET, Mon-Fri