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Method of Managing Organizational Policies for Software License Management, Including Fine- Grained License Control

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000250256D
Publication Date: 2017-Jun-20
Document File: 4 page(s) / 169K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method and system for managing organizational policies for software license management that relies on a repository of approved/disapproved licenses for a department, individual etc. When an organization needs to deploy new software, it can run a check against the repository using the appropriate context and determine whether to approve, disapprove, and/or offer alternative software licenses to meet the user’s needs and comply with organizational policies.

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Method of Managing Organizational Policies for Software License Management, Including Fine- Grained License Control

The people deploying software are typically not legal experts, and may not know how to respond to licenses questions. In many cases, installers choose to accept a license without completely reading or understanding the license terms. The complexity of understanding licensing agreements is not limited to individual or desktop systems, but extend to cloud computing environments.

The cloud infrastructure's Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and Platform-as-a-Software-Service (PaaS) could pose additional challenges. With IaaS and PaaS, the customer has shared control over what is run in the cloud environment, including third- party software. In the case of IaaS, the customer may have control over operating systems and deployed applications, but not the infrastructure itself. With PaaS, customers may have control over the deployed applications but not the operating system (OS). With SaaS, use of Web applications (e.g., TurboTax*, Google*, etc.) has become more widely used.

The novel approach introduced herein relies on a repository of approved/disapproved licenses for a department, individual etc. When an organization needs to deploy new software, it can run a check against the repository using the appropriate context (e.g., this install is for a test machine, this is for a production machine, this is for an enterprise OS production machine, etc.). If the license is known in the repository and the context can be processed, and if the license answer can be determined (i.e., accepted/denied), then that result is used. If the license answer cannot be determined, then the request is immediately routed to the license approval team for a decision. That decision can then be added to the license repository for future use and to facilitate/streamline the process for future requests.

The licensing approval can be for the whole license or fine-grained. The granular level approval may involve giving license approval for a subset of the software suite and limiting the type of environment to which the software is deployed. For example, a user may be able to install Microsoft Word*, but not the whole office suite. It may limit the installation up to 'n' core machines but not greater. Similarly, the approval may be dependent on the role a user plays. A software developer and tester may have different levels of approval.

Usage Example: 1. A new version of Adobe Acrobat Reader* is released with a requirement for a new

license (version 12). Only Acrobat license versions 8, 9, 10, and 11 are approved. 2. Thirty minutes after Reader comes out, someone in the organization downloads it to

install it; 3. The license repository detects that this license does not match a known license, so it

routes it to the designated team that can approve/reject the license (e.g., the organization’s legal department or its delegate);

4. Whil...