Network License Management

This article describes how network licenses work and how to manage the licenses in a network environment.

What is the difference between Stand-Alone and Network Licenses?

For a stand-alone software license, a license is needed to be installed on each computer workstation that the software is to run on. With a network software license, a pool of licenses is available on a server for use by any computer workstation on the network. The number of network licenses available can correspond to the maximum number of simultaneous users expected, and not for each computer workstation where the software is to be installed. A great advantage of a network license is that the license only needs to be installed and activated on a server and not on the computer workstations. This allows computer workstations to be changed or upgraded more easily, without having to worry about reactivating licenses when changes occur.

What are the requirements to use Network Licenses?

Network licenses require a License Server software be installed on a Windows computer. It can be a workstation or a server. Although the License Server software does not require a powerful computer, it is necessary that the computer hosting the License Server be running and available on the TCP/IP network in which there are the computer workstations used to run the software.

How does a License Server work?

The network licenses are made available using the License Server software. This software is different than the product software. The product software, such as GeoHECRAS, is then configured to contact the License Server at startup to request a license from the network license pool.

A single network license can be used by one user at a time but can be used on any computer workstation that can contact the License Server. Two network licenses would allow the product software to run on two different computers simultaneously. Users sharing a network license can work on different computers, with the maximum number of simultaneous users being the number of network licenses available for a given product.

When the user starts the product software, it requests a license from the License Server through the network. If a license is available, the License Server assigns a license to the computer workstation, and the number of available licenses in the network license pool is reduced by one.

When the user exits the product, the license returns to the network license pool. If the user runs multiple sessions of the same product on the same computer workstation, only one license is used. When the last product session is closed, the license is released.

Managing the License Server

Interacting with the License Server is performed using the CivilGEO License Server Configuration utility. This utility can be used to review the total available licenses, what licenses are currently in use, and other information. In addition, licenses can be forcibly removed from a computer workstation and returned to the network license pool.

Reviewing Available Network Licenses

This section describes how to determine the available network software licenses and which users (and their corresponding computers) have checked out a software license. Follow these steps:

  1. From the computer that the License Server installed on, click on the Windows Start button.
  2. From the Windows Start menu, launch the CivilGEO License Server Configuration utility.
  3. The CivilGEO License Server Configuration utility will start up.
    CivilGEO License Server Configuration
  4. Select the Display License Server information radio button and then click the [Next] button.Select licensing option | CivilGEO License Server Configuration
  5. The CivilGEO License Server Configuration utility will display information about the total number of available software licenses and the software licenses that are currently in use.
    License Server Configuration dialog box

The following sections describe the above dialog box in more detail.

Installed network licenses

This section displays the product name, the total number of available software licenses, the number of software licenses that are currently in use (checked out) and when the product subscription expires.

Licenses currently in use

This section displays the computer workstations detail where the product is currently running on. It will display the product name, the IP address and the name of the corresponding computer that is using the product, along with the date-time when the product was started up, and the validation date-time when the checked-out license would expire if the network connection to the computer failed. If there are no products currently in use, then this section will be blank.

The license validation date-time is used if the computer workstation gets disconnected from the network and cannot connect back to the License Server. The product issues a heartbeat back to the License Server to inform that it is still in use. However, if the product crashes or the computer workstation suddenly powers off, this feature allows the license to be recovered without requiring any interaction with the user or IT staff. After the license validation date-time expires, the license will automatically return to the network license pool.

Network License Management - Licenses currently in use

Note: Since the utility fetches computer workstation name from the DNS, it is necessary to scavenge the DNS (that is removing old and false entries) for displaying the updated computer name. If the DNS has old data, the utility will display the old Computer Name in the Licenses currently in use section in the CivilGEO License Server Configuration dialog box. Click here to learn more about DNS scavenging and how to scavenge old records.

License Server status

This section displays the status of the License Server, whether it is running or stopped, and the port number in which the License Server and the product communicate back and forth to each other.

The user can refresh the License Server status or stop the License Server by clicking the [Refresh] or [Stop] button respectively.

If an incorrect port number is specified for either the License Server or the product, then the license will not be able to be acquired across the network. If the specified port is blocked or disabled, this will cause the product on the computer workstation to fail because it cannot communicate with the License Server.

Releasing Checked Out Licenses

This section describes how to release a license that is in use, back to the network license pool so that the license can be used on another computer. Follow these steps:

  1. Launch the CivilGEO License Server Configuration utility.
  2. Select the Display License Server information radio button and then click the [Next] button.
    Select licensing option | CivilGEO License Server Configuration
  3. From the Licenses currently in use section, click the Release [X] button corresponding to the license that is to be freed and returned to the network license pool.
    Release Checked Out License
  4. The following confirmation dialog box will be displayed:
    Confirm License Release dialog box
  5. Click the [Yes] button.

The selected license will then be returned to the network server pool.

About the Author Chris Maeder

Chris Maeder

Chris is an experienced civil engineering and software technology leader, with over 30 years industry experience. With proven expertise in global software development, he has built engineering teams that adapt quickly, focus on what’s important and, most importantly, deliver. He is a licensed professional civil engineer with extensive experience in water resource engineering. He has performed and supervised engineering projects in urban stormwater drainage, transportation and roadway drainage, storm sewer design, detention pond design, stormwater quality, green infrastructure, watershed management planning, wastewater sewers, water distribution networks, pump stations, FEMA flood studies, bridge and culvert design, bridge scour and armoring, dam failure analysis, seepage and groundwater modeling, and environmental permits.

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