How to best manage software licences

Sorry if this is a bit basic, but I'm struggling a bit with 1Password and software licence key management.

For business use, there are two critical pieces of info I need to track. The licence key itself and the purchase receipt. The receipt is necessary because of how software audits work. On the surface, this seems simple enough. Create a software licence and link the receipt as a document. But then the real-world creeps in and starts making a mess of things.

I don't usually buy licences in a single shot. A handful are purchased for testing and the rest when the software is rolled out. And licences will be added when the company expands. Plus, some licences may be linked documents too (useful for xml).

The end result, something like AV software can easily have 5 or 6 individual linked documents. And working with the software stack installed across a company, you're going to end up with tons of secure documents.

This whole process seems to create a lot of seemingly unnecessary data that needs to be managed (i.e. Coming up with a naming scheme for all the receipt documents and the licence documents). And it makes finding things that I do store as stand-alone secure documents (like SSH keys), difficult to locate. It's a single to noise problem.

So, am I missing something. Is there a better way for me to use 1Password to manage software licences?


1Password Version: 7.2.617
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: Win 10
Sync Type: iPassword.com
Referrer: forum-search:software licences

Comments

  • I have the same challenge.
    With vault sync via Dropbox, the documents are stored at the item. I would like to sync over the 1Password account.
    Here, unfortunately, there are only the documents. This is so confusing and difficult to handle.
    I hope this will be improved. There should be the possibility to link documents to an item or to embed them as in the past.

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    While 1Password isn't really designed as a receipt-filing/expense-tracking system, if this is something that you're both doing a lot of -- storing receipts and license files in 1Password -- I'd suggest creating a separate vault for that stuff, since it sounds like it's for archival purposes more than anything. A separate "receipts" vault could be hidden most of the time, and then you could switch to it when you wanted to, and focus mostly on that internal structure: Documents named according to date, vendor, etc. Just keep in mind that storage is not unlimited and images and PDFs can add up quickly.

    I don't really use 1Password like that since it's mainly for sensitive information, especially stuff I need to access frequently, like account credentials. And I've got records of purchases elsewhere already in the form of receipt emails, banks statements, and financial planning. So for me, what I do is save the licenses themselves. Personally, I find it easier to have a single entry for a piece of software that links to multiple Documents if needed, to avoid clutter. And having an archive vault for old stuff I don't need much anymore but still may need helps me keep things tidy. Let me know what you think.

  • PeldorPeldor
    edited January 4

    I've been muddling my way thru and have some additional thoughts. I use 1Password Teams in a business IT environment so my feedback about the 'software licence' management in 1Password may be beyond-the-scope of what this feature was intended to handle.

    1Password works well enough when the licence is a text string. For example, for Windows Server I can create a 'software licence' and store all my install keys. Awesome!

    Things are less awesome with Windows Server CALs / Client Access Licences. In effect, I need to buy a Windows Server CAL for each human in my business. But the "licence" isn't a text string...you don't type it into anything. Instead you need to produce a proof of purchase if you're ever audited. The PDF receipts are effectively my licences. And recording this licence in 1Password requires a separate ‘document’ for each purchase.

    I've run into simiar issues with Dell's iDRAC and Veeam. They use XML documents that need to be uploaded into the app. I’ve created the 'software licence' item in 1Password but because the key isn't a text string, I also need to create a 'document' to store the actual key. If I own multiple licences, I need multiple documents.

    Once you multiply this across a company's software stack and the fact that the link only goes one direction, it's a bit of a mess.

    I've ended up with several 'software licences' each requiring 10+ documents in 1Password.

  • PeldorPeldor
    edited January 4

    I've been muddling my way thru and have some additional thoughts. I use 1Password Teams in a business IT environment so my feedback about the 'software licence' management in 1Password may be beyond-the-scope of what this feature was intended to handle.

    1Password works well enough when the licence is a text string. For example, for Windows Server I can create one 'software licence' item and store all my install keys in it. Awesome!

    Things are less awesome with Windows Server CALs (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/product-licensing/client-access-license) I need to buy a CAL for each human in my business. But the "licence" isn't a text string...you don't type it into anything. If you're ever audited you need to produce a proof of purchase. The PDF receipts are effectivly the licences. Recording this in 1Password requires a seperate document for each PDF.

    I have simiar problems with the licences for Dell iDRAC and Veeam. They use XML documents that need to be uploaded into the app. I’ve created the 'software licence' item in 1Password but because the key isn't a text string, I also created a 'document' to store the actual key. Own multiple licences then you need multiple documents.

    Documenting the entire software stack at my company, I've ended up with several software licences requiring 10+ linked documents. And when you add the fact that the link only goes one direction, it's a bit of a mess.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Yep, indeed. This is a fairly good argument for a feature that we had in standalone vaults (pre-1Password Teams) called "attachments." They were similar to Documents but didn't exist in the item listing on their own. The only time you saw them was when you were viewing the item they were attached to. There has been some discussion about bringing that (or a very similar concept) to 1Password.com memberships. While in general Documents are a more flexible replacement for attachments there are cases such as this one where attachments may make more sense.

    I can't make any promises at this point, but attachments are something we've discussed and I think perhaps they warrant more discussion.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Ben

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member
    edited January 8

    @Peldor: That's really interesting. Thank you for taking the time to explain your use case! Honestly, based on your description, I'd go with either a separate vault for that (which also makes it easy to see a count of how many "licenses" you have there), and/or use tags to group all of those documents instead of linking them all together. Makes it easy to find them in the sidebar, or searching.

    It's not obvious, but one of the great benefits of not having files attached to items is that they aren't all automatically downloaded on all devices. It sounds like you don't need to have those on all of your devices at all times, but if you had a single "Client Access Licences" Secure Note with dozens or hundreds of files attached to it, you'd have to wait for all of that to sync any time you signed in on a new device. This way, as individual Document items, they're still readily available in your account, but you don't need to actually download them unless you need to view them -- say, if you're audited.

    I can definitely see that "attachments" are useful in some ways though. No matter what, even though this isn't something 1Password was explicitly designed to handle, it's really helpful to learn the ways people use 1Password that we haven't thought of, as that can inform future development. Cheers! :)

  • @brenty and @ben: Thank you for taking the time to read and respond! I wasn’t looking for a new feature per-say. I figured it’d be a good idea to ask the community at large if there’s a better way storing this in 1Password. I’m guessing I’m not the only Teams user in Windows environment that’s looked at this.

    As suggested, tags make this somewhat manageable but it is a lot of manual meta-data management. Getting a team (herd of humans) to consistently use a manual naming/tagging scheme is a bit of a pipe dream.

    I’m struggling a bit with storing a different type as password, certificates. 1Password ought to be an ideal place to store SSH/TLS certificates. But it seems to fall-over if I want to have multiple certificates in a single 1Password object.

    I create a 1Password object (Document, Secure Note, Server or whatever) and paste the certificate into the password field, I get something that looks like:

    -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
    LourmIpsumasdljkdsafjldsafl;kjadsf;lkjdsaf;lkjdsaf;jkldsfa;ljkdsaf;kljdfsa;klads
    asdflkdsfaljkdsfaljkhdfsaljkdfsalj;dfas;ljkdfsaljk;dfsaljk;dfsaljk;ddfadfdfsddsdf
    -----END CERTIFICATE-----
    

    So far, so good. For the second part (the key or intermediate cert), I create a text or password field in the 1Password object. But when I paste the additional cert, the text is cut off after the first line break. All I get is:

    -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----

    Is this intended behaviour?

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @Peldor: Sorry about that! It looks like you may have run into a limitation of the "old" item details view. If the snippet you posted is representative of your actual item (though not your real data), the good news is you'll have a better experience with 7.3, currently in beta, once you've got that in the very near future. :)

    You make a great point about the challenges of sharing data with people. I'm not sure that's a problem we can solve. It's definitely both rewarding and challenging to maintain organization in groups. Heck, even my past self is a pain in my neck when I am trying to find something these days. If only Past Me adhered to Present Me's clearly superior methodologies. ;)

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @Peldor: Actually...I wonder if I misunderstood your text issue. If you're trying to put multi-line text into a single-line field, that's not really going to work the way you want. It would be better to put something like that into the Notes field, which can be pretty much as many lines as you want --- though performance can become an issue if you get too carried away. ;)

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