How remote usage is recorded


Usage of Bentley products on a host machine (i.e. a computer to which a Remote Desktop connection is established) via a client machine (i.e. a computer from which a Remote Desktop connection is established) is becoming more common with the proliferation of remote access and virtualization. This wiki explains how such usage is recorded by the SELECTserver and Subscription Entitlement Service (SES) licensing systems.

License Client usage logging behavior in virtual and remote environments starting from 11.0.12.x

Note: This behavior applies to License Client (delivered with CONNECTION Client and later.

To better support the increased usage of virtual and remote environments across multi-user and single-user environments, changes have been made to how the license client determines which machine to associate the application usage to. 

Single-user remote environments 

Single-user environments would include supported operating systems such as Windows 10 or Windows 8.1.  As these environments only allow one user to be remotely connected at a time, application usage will be logged by the license client against the Windows machine name on which the application process is running regardless of whether it is a physical machine or a virtual machine. A remote session connecting to these machines will not affect the usage being logged. 

Multi-user remote environments 

Multi-user environments would include server operating systems such as Windows Server 2016 or Windows Server 2019.  These operating systems are designed to allow multiple users to access resources on the machine at the same time.   

For situations where a user is remoting in to one of these environments, the license client will capture, at the time the License Client service is started, the name of the machine that the Windows user is remoting from.  Any application usage generated under that Windows user while that License Client service session is active will be logged against that remote machine name. 

If the user ends the remote session from one host and connects from another while the process is still running on the server, the original host name (i.e. the first machine that the user remoted in from) will be maintained for further application usage logging.  That initial host name will continue to be used until either the Windows user signs out or the License Client service is restarted. 

Remote Desktop usage prior to License Client 11.0.12.x

Bentley products detect when usage is accrued remotely by another computer via Remote Desktop. Important differences exist in how SELECTserver-based and SES-based products associate usage to a machine name:

Citrix usage

Citrix is a virtualization technology that runs products installed on a server on client machines via Terminal Services, the same underlying technology used for Remote Desktop. Consequently, usage of Bentley products published on a Citrix server is recorded against remote client names regardless of whether they are SELECTserver-based or SES-based.

Virtual machine usage

Virtual machines act as a separate machine from the computer on which they are installed. However, the method by which virtual machines are accessed dictates the machine name against which product usage is recorded. If connecting to the virtual machine via Remote Desktop or the Hyper-V Manager, which uses Remote Desktop Services (formerly Terminal Services), usage is recorded using the criteria in the "Remote Desktop usage" section. If connecting to a virtual machine via a console session such as VMware Workstation, usage is recorded against the host machine. As a general rule, if the ClientName environment variable in Windows is defined, usage will be recorded using the criteria in the "Remote Desktop usage" section.

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