elasticLM is a novel technology for creating and managing software licenses designed for distributed computing environments like Grids, Clouds or SOA. Of course, the benefits of elasticLM are also available when using elasticLM for applications running on local resources, e.g. workstations or clusters.
elasticLM overcomes the limitations of existing software license management solutions making the use of license protected applications on resources outside of the own administrative domain as easy as running them locally.
License usage is authorised through negotiation of Service Level Agreements between the license service and the user taking into account availability, policies defined locally, policies of the ISV or attributes defined for user in a virtual organisation.
The negotiation allows to inform the user about the price of the license before executing the application. The price information can also be used to check the request against budget constraints defined, e.g. for user or department.
The result of a successful negotiation is a mobile token which can be used e.g. in a IaaS environment to execute an application with the agreed features.
Tokens can move to the environment where needed, can be combined with other tokens or licenses created on the fly by an ASP.
Software licenses are treated and implemented as services, thus providing platform independent access just like any other virtualized resources.
In addition to licensing and license management elasticLM offers additional capabilities like monitoring the use of applications (license protected or not) and creating usage records for later evaluation.
Moreover, elasticLM may also be used in SaaS or PaaS environments - e.g., where the license is available locally and no tokens are needed for application execution - to create Service Level Agreements with the SaaS user and create usage records for accounting and billing.
Aspects of security have been examined with special care. We identified relevant issues related to both the different actors and the license mechanism itself. These issues relate to
Sophisticated measures have been taken either employing standards like X.509 certificates or XACML and other state-of-the-art technologies for code protection.