Combining Network License Files

By John Semel | IT

When you create a license file for network use, it will issue an individual license file for each application.  E.g. if you have 10 licenses of Autodesk Building Design Suite Standard 2014, and 4 licenses of Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium 2014, these licenses will be issued separately and need to be merged into a single license file.

This may seem like a straightforward process, as the licenses are essentially text files.  However, there are some best practices that need to be followed.

Duplicate Lines
When you create the license file, there are three lines at the start of the file:

VENDOR adskflex port=2080

These lines indicate the server name, the server’s MAC address, and tells FlexLM to use port 2080.  These do NOT need to be repeated when you merge the license file.

The license file will function correctly if the lines are repeated.  However, the file will not work correctly if there is a mismatch with the server name, the MAC address or the Vendor port — and since FlexLM is case-sensitive, a mismatch of capitalization will also prevent the license server from issuing all the licenses.  Since duplicating the headers introduces a possible point of error, and does not enhance functionality, we recommend you omit the header altogether.

Sample 04

Issue Date
Another item is that the date the licenses are issued must be the same.  If the dates mismatch, then FlexLM will not issue all of the licenses.

In the sample below, the dates do not match.

Sample 05

As you may notice, we are using Autodesk’s License Parser to check on the file.  More on this below.

License Order
We prefer to keep licenses in order, going from the lowest on the cascade sequence to the highest.  In the above example, Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium 2015 is typically earlier in cascade sequences than Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite Premium 2015.

The cascading sequences can be found here.

Duplicate Licenses Are Not Allowed
In some instances, a firm may have more than one license for the same product, e.g. firms may merge, or a company may upgrade one group of licenses after a second set was upgraded.  FlexLM will not issue the second licenses under these circumstances.

In the example below, we have two difference licenses of Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium 2015, one with 10 seats and one with 4 seats, and different serial numbers.  The licenses need to be merged by your Autodesk Reseller, and the license file has to be regenerated with the new license.

Sample 06

Limitations of the License Parser Tool
While the License Parser is a very useful tool when merging licenses, please note that at the time of this post, it is still in beta and has some notable limitations, including:

  • It will not detect a mismatch between the header lines
  • It does not check for any syntax errors in the encrypted sections
  • It will not report if your MAC address is too short (note: the parser will not show a MAC address at all, if it’s too short)
  • It will not alert you to duplicate licenses

Still having problems? Give us a call at 888-768-7568 and we’ll help you out!


Published on October 8, 2014 in IT.

About the Author

John has been the Director of IT at Microsol since 2014. Prior to that, he worked with architecture firms. He is an expert in multi-site collaboration technologies, licensing, subscription software, CAD & BIM specific hardware & digital imaging.