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Setting Up your Autodesk Software Subscriptions

By John Semel | IT, Subscription

Autodesk is changing the way it distributes software, from the perpetual model to a subscription-based system. To help with this transition, we present our guide on configuring software subscriptions for Autodesk customers.

In this post, we’ll pull together some of the information we’ve already posted on our blog, and will keep this post up-to-date as the process is updated.


Formerly known as “network licensing,” setting up your network for subscription for Multi-User has the fewest changes from perpetual licensing. It uses the same network licensing software (LMTOOLS, Autodesk’s implementation of FlexNet), and the same methods of generating license files.

(For those not familiar with the process, the latest version of LMTOOLS is available via the following link:
https://knowledge.autodesk.com/customer-service/network-license-administration/get-ready-network-license/download-the-network-license-manager )

The biggest difference is that license files with subscription products will include an expiration date, at which point the license server will no longer issue that license. A critical note is that all licenses of the same software product or industry collection must have the same issue date in order to cascade properly. For example, if you have 5 Perpetual multi-user seats of Revit, and 7 subscription multi-user seats of Revit, the issue date for each license must be the same; otherwise, the license server will only give out one of the two increments.


For single-user, the process is in some respects more involved than with a multi-user license. This is because single-user licensing is assigned on a Named User basis via the Autodesk Account.

The first part of the process is to configure the users, and assign them the seats. What this does is configure the Autodesk activation servers to verify which users are assigned the seats. Note: This task can only be performed by the Contract Manager and/or Software Coordinator(s).

We start by logging into your firm’s Autodesk Account, as the Contract Manager or Software Coordinator. Make sure you are on the Management tab, and click on the Users Icon on the left side:


If you do not have users created yet, you can add a user individually, or do a bulk add, by clicking on Add Users:


These are referred to as “Named Users” once you start assigning products and subscriptions to the individual users.

You should also make sure your users have logged into their Autodesk Account, BEFORE they start to use the software. This avoids potential problems with the user’s account.

We have a more comprehensive blog post on this topic here: Microsol Blog: Adding Users

Next, click on “Edit Access” next to the user’s name:


This opens a dialog box which lets you know how many seats are available, and lets you assign one to the user:


N.B.: By default, Autodesk assigns one seat of every new subscription product to the Contract Manager. (We believe this is done to make it easier for single person firms / sole proprietors to access their software right away.) If you notice that you have one seat less than you expect, check the Contract Manager’s user account. Assuming the Contract Manager does not use the software, you can remove an assignment from that user without causing any issues for the account.

It is critical to follow this process properly. Using the same credentials for multiple users to simultaneously access the software is not only a license violation, it will cause myriad problems in your environment, including potentially blocking all users from operating the software.

Again, more detail is available here: Microsol Blog: Setting User Permissions

If you have questions about these procedures, please email us at support@microsolresources.com or by phone at 888-768-7568.


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.