Rational Common licensing (RCL) v 8.1.3 has been released on July the 2nd 2012 The highlights of this release are
It is compatible with earlier versions of the client products that use RCL from earlier releases. The daemon versions for this release are:
The advantages of moving to Rational License Key Server (RLKS 8.1.3) (11.10) server is Security and Performance; these are the two most important aspects that has been emphasized on this release. Users will benefit with a more detailed logging mechanism which will cater to the aspects of understanding any warning(s) or errors on the server side also help them keep a check on the performance of the license server.
In terms of serviceability enhancement, RCL 8.1.3 provides a well-structured logging mechanism to RCL Clients and captures the important activities going behind the scenes which are easily accessible to the end user. It gives you the output in XML format which can viewed in web browsers. This is all very exciting since it makes the lives of support folks and developers a lot easier. The RCL logging configuration file, RCL_Log_Config.txt is stored in a default location and contains the different parameters for logging like location, product, version, size, loglevel, maxfiles etc. The RCL log for the Rational Product(s) captures time Stamp and the event associated, provides a message status which is in text format and a Message ID along with the severity of the logged event with a status on the user action. This detailed level of information in the logs would certainly help end users to understand any warning or errors and help them resolve more confidently without having to call support.
This logging capability will be seen only in products which have integrated RCL 8.1.3 and enabled logging. Serviceability per say is only restricted to clients. There is no serviceability supported added to other components – like License Key Administrator (LKAD), Borrow Tool, RLKS Server.
Support for Early Return of Borrowed licenses
Another important feature with this release is that you return a product license before the expiration date for Borrow enabled products. The Borrow Tool is not new in RCL 8.1.3, it was introduced in RCL 8.1.2 however limited to 'Borrow Products' support only. With the advent of RLKS 8.1.3 ‘Borrow Tool’ we would now have an option of Early Return of Borrowed products that helps in
- Enables effective usage of product licenses.
- Supported for ‘Borrow enabled' floating licenses
- Works on License servers 8.1.2 onwards.
RCL 8.1.3 Borrow Tool has the “Return Product” button enabled and available on selecting one borrowed product from Borrowed Products table. On Clicking on “Return Products” button by selecting one or more borrowed products, It will go ahead with the Return Early operation.
Installation Manager based installation of RLKS 8.1.3 on UNIX
From RCL 8.1.3, RLKS installation on Unix platforms will be done through IBM Installation Manager (IM), there will not be any more shell script based installation of RLKS. You need IM version of 1.5.2 for RLKS installation. Here only one instance of RLKS 8.1.3 installation can be done on a Unix machine there is an Option to start the license server at the end of the installation. There is also an Xterm window during start/stop server to indicate the status to the user. The Intention of all of this is to give the users better hands on view and help them administer control through a UI rather than through the console.
One highlight around the Installation Manager based RLKS installation is that the license file import screen will need the user to input the license file path and port number. This installation screen is unique to Unix license server installations.
In order to upgrade to RLKS 8.1.3, you need to backup the license file used by older version of RLKS installation. Uninstall/remove the older version of RLKS installation and start the installation of RLKS 8.1.3. Configure the backed up license file in the configuration page of RLKS 8.1.3 installation.
To conclude, RLKS 8.1.3 has some really nice features added which will greatly benefit clients in understanding the issues through improved logging, a good UI experience to users deploying RLKS on UNIX platforms and added flexibility of returning borrowed licenses earlier. For more details you could also refer to the release notes of 8.1.3 which can be viewed post installation or by choosing the "more Info" link while using the IBM Installation Manager to Install this release.
Authors: Kushagra Sharma and Indraneel Paul