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TOPIC: Autodesk licensing

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Using Autodesk Subscription Products OFFLINE

Do you need to access Autodesk software from the job site, commuter train, or at a weekend home? If so, please review the important information in this article to make sure that you can maintain access to your software, even if the connection to the internet is unreliable.

With new subscription contracts, license validation and software activation are no longer handled with serial numbers, product keys, or license files. Rather, the licensing service uses an active internet connection to validate the licenses.

Per the terms of use, the user can access the software OFFLINE for up to 30 days after activation.

  • For a subscription with single-user access, named users need to connect to the internet every 30 days and sign in to the software so the product stays up-to-date and verifies that the subscription is still current

However, due to the functionality of the licensing service, activation can be wiped out if the attempt to validate a license fails. The Licensing Service will fail to activate for the following reasons:

  • The product has not been assigned to the Named User that is trying to access the software
  • A poor internet connection causes high latency with Autodesk’s servers, resulting in a timeout
  • The Firewall/Antivirus is blocking the licensing service from communicating across the internet

Ultimately, to maintain access when working OFFLINE it is important to ensure the following:

  1. Update the software in the Autodesk Desktop App, including Hot Fixes, Security Patches, Licensing Service Updates, and Service Packs.
  2. Check that the connection with the internet is stable and the necessary firewall settings are in place
  3. After the product has been activated, disable the NETWORK ADAPTER. This will force the computer to stay OFFLINE and will prevent the licensing service from attempting to activate, and risk failing.

At Microsol Resources, we have received a few support cases where licensing failed on a poor internet connection, even if it was activated the previous day. Based on feedback we have received, I have posted an Idea to the Autodesk Ideas Forum, which proposes the creation of a Borrow feature, similar to the functionality for Network Licenses.

Subscription Activation – Force OFFLINE mode

Feel free to vote for the idea, or comment and make a different suggestion! Community support is a great way to catalyze the development of better tools.

For general information on the Transition to Named User, please read our blog post Top 10 Resources for Autodesk Subscriptions.

Are you having trouble using an Autodesk product offline? Call us at 888-768-7568 or send us an email!

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Activating Your Autodesk Software for Home-Use

On a long-term or temporary basis, there may be users that need access to Autodesk products beyond the office network, either from a laptop in the field or from a home-based computer. If you are an Autodesk subscriber or have perpetual license(s) on active Autodesk maintenance plan(s), you have the ability to install your Autodesk software on a secondary workstation such as a laptop or home office computer. To see an eligible product list click here. The different setup options are described below, for Single-User (Standalone) or Multi-User (Network) licenses.

Single-User (Standalone)

Autodesk Terms of Use specifies the number of machines that a product can be installed for an authorized User:

User may install Software on up to three (3) Electronic Devices

User may only use the Software on one (1) Electronic Device at a time.

Single-User license entitlements are assigned in User Management  by the Primary or Secondary Admin.

Users can view their products when logging in to manage.autodesk.com and navigating to All Products & Services.

Expanding a Product reveals the downloads that are available. Click View Downloads to open the Download dialog.

 

Browser Download is recommended, with the Pop-up blocker disabled. This will ensure that multiple installation files (EXE) can be downloaded at once. After all files have successfully downloaded, open one of the EXE files to start the installation process.

After installation, install updates through the Autodesk Desktop App, which will be automatically installed alongside any Autodesk product. Upon opening the product for the first time, choose Single-User and then sign-in with their Autodesk ID & password.

Multi-User (Network)

For Multi-User licenses, there are three options to setup use at home:

  1. Install the software and use a VPN to check out the license
  2. Borrow a License from the Network License Manager – For Users that take laptops home or in the field.
  3. Request a Home Use License – For Users that need to use the product on a personal computer at home. Note: This is only available for Eligible Products.

Accessing LMTOOLS via VPN

In this option, you will need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to connect the individual remote user to your office. Once the VPN connection is established, the user can open the application, and check out the license from the LMTOOLS server on your network.

You may need to configure the client to properly locate your firm’s LMTOOLS server. You can do this by editing the ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE environment variable, as described in our blog: Using Group Policies to Distribute Autodesk Settings.

The instance of LMTOOLS can also be stored in a Cloud or virtualized server. As long as the client can access the server with LMTOOLS, they can check out the license. You can also use this to borrow a license (see below).

However, if latency is high between the VPN client and the server with LMTOOLS, then the client may time out before checking out the license. In that case, you can use the FLEXLM_TIMEOUT environment variable to give the client more time to get a license. This process is described in a KB article by Autodesk, which can be found here: How to create a FLEXLM_TIMEOUT.

Borrow a License

In the upper right corner of a product, click on the Sign-in drop-down menu and go to Manage License.

This will open a License Manager dialog where the license that is currently in use from the Network License Manager can be Borrowed.

Select a Date and Borrow License.

The license will be returned automatically on the return date that is specified. The license can be returned earlier if the computer is connected to the same network as the License Server.

Request a Home-Use License

Home-Use licenses can be requested at this Autodesk Page by the Contract Manager or Software Coordinator.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Get Started.

After logging-in, enter the Serial number for the product.

If eligible, a different Serial Number will be issued to the Contract Manager and can be used to activate the home installation.

Notes:

  1. While in most cases the turnaround time is much sooner, please allow up to 5 business days to process your request and receive an email from Autodesk with serial number(s).
  2. For Multi-User licenses, files will need to be downloaded by the Contract Manager, Software Coordinator, Primary Admin, or Secondary Admin and issued to the User for installation on their home computer

Upon opening the product for the first time, the ‘Let’s Get Started’ screen will appear. Select ‘Enter a serial number’ and enter the SN provided by Autodesk when the home-use license was requested.

The user should now be setup for home-use!

Note: Users may only use the Software on

one (1) Electronic Device at a time.

Are you having trouble setting up a product for home use? Call us at 888-768-7568 or send us an email!

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Autodesk Licensing Options: Single-User (Stand-alone) vs. Multi-User (Network)

Autodesk licenses are designed to make using the products easier for you. When you purchase your Autodesk software, you’re given two main types of licensing options: stand-alone or network.

SINGLE USER/STAND-ALONE LICENSES

Stand-alone licenses are ideal for individuals or small offices that require only a few people to access and use Autodesk products. They do not require network connectivity to run and usually cost less than network licenses.

A stand-alone license with single-user access supports one or more Autodesk products for an individual user and computer. Single-user access is ideal for individuals or small offices requiring one or more stand-alone licenses of software assigned to specific user(s) or device(s). For most Autodesk products, a copy can be installed on a second computer for “non-concurrent usage;” meaning that the two copies cannot run at the same time (i.e. you can use your Autodesk products on your work computer, as well as your personal computer when out of the office).

Purchasing multiple-seats of a stand-alone license supports a specific number of users, allowing you to install, register, and activate one or more Autodesk products on several computers using a single serial number.

MULTI-USER/NETWORK LICENSES

Network licenses are ideal for larger organizations that require many individuals to access and use Autodesk software from multiple locations. Multi-user access allows more than one person to share software licenses.

A network license supports the use of Autodesk products up to a maximum number of users or “seats”, who are connected to a server network. The products can be installed on as many computers as desired; however, at any one time, can only run on the maximum number of computers for which licenses have been purchased. Because you can install the products on more systems than the number of licenses purchased, you get true floating licenses across your entire organization.

A software utility called the Network License Manager (NLM) issues licenses to users, up to the number of seats purchased. If all network licenses are in use, no more computers can run the Autodesk product until a license is returned to the NLM. The NLM is supported by the three possible server models. When purchasing a network license, you specify the server model which best suits your needs. Your three options are:

  • Single license server model – The most basic of the three options, the NLM is installed on only one server, so all license management and activity is restricted to one single location. A single license file represents the total number of licenses available on the server.
  • Distributed license server model – Licenses are divided across more than one server, each containing a unique license file representing a portion of your total number of licenses. The NLM is installed on each server so all license activity and management is distributed among the number of servers that best suits your needs. Servers do not need to exist on the same subnet and, if one fails, the licenses on the remaining servers are still available.
  • Redundant license server model – All licenses are configured on three different servers. Each server contains the same license file so all of your software licenses are available on each server. The NLM is installed on each server and can monitor and issue licenses as long as at least two of your three servers are functional. All three servers must be located on the same subnet and have consistent network communications (slow, erratic, or dial-up connections are not supported).

Feel free to reach out to us at Microsol Resources if you’re still confused about the difference between your different Autodesk licensing options!

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