Commercial software is unlocked via a license key. The software itself can be downloaded freely, but is then not yet ready for use. The software can only be used with the associated key that unlocks the functions. With this license key one differentiates between Node Locked, Floating and Named User licenses. For administration a small software is installed, which is called license server (this is controlled via the license manager) and must be accessible by the users in the network. For licensing, a unique hardware address must be specified. Here one differentiates between USB dongle, Host-ID and machine code of a virtual server.
Read more about the different license types here. A fundamental decision must be made between renting and purchasing the software. In addition, the following license options are possible depending on the product or the manufacturer of the software.
In this license type, a 99-year license for the software is purchased. In addition to the software, a maintenance contract is concluded annually, which provides access to the technical hotline and also includes free product updates. Purchase licenses are available as floating or node locked licenses depending on the software manufacturer.
This license can be rented for a term of 30, 60, 90, 120, etc. days or whole years. A time based license already includes the maintenance, and thus access to hotline and product updates during the entire rental period.
Floating license means that only one license is available, but the software may be installed multiple times. One user can use the software and thus checks out the license key on the license server. If a second user wants to use this license, it is not available at that moment. Only when the first user has finished his work, the key is returned and another user can use it. So only one user can use the software at a time.
For Wide Area Networks (WAN), the use of the licenses is possible with an additional charge. A distinction is made between country, continent and worldwide use. There is no surcharge for WANing for use in Central Europe.
A node locked license is registered on one computer for one user. This means that the software may only be installed once and can only be used on this one computer.
User profiles are available for configuration when licensing with Named User. These profiles are used to control activities in workflows, assign roles and user profiles. Roles can also be used to assign various rights in the software, resulting in the software being used quickly and efficiently.
In the following the different possibilities for hardware addressing and further terms are explained.
USB dongle is a small piece of hardware, similar to a USB stick. The USB dongle has a unique number as hardware identification, which is recognized by the license server. If the number of the USB dongle is stored in the license file and the dongle is available on the license server, the software can be used. The USB dongle can be plugged into any computer and provides there an external host ID, which makes the user independent of the hardware.
When licensing to a host ID, the unique serial number of the network card of the license server is used. The serial number is stored in the license file. The software only works if the serial numbers match.
The license server is the computer on which the License Manager runs. The License Manager uses the license file that specifies which software features are licensed and by when. The License Manager does not have to be installed on the computer running the user software, but it must be accessible from it on the network and should have a short latency.
A virtual server is a special form of virtual machine installation. A fingerprint of the virtual machine's machine code is used for licensing.
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