Floating/Network licenses

Introduction

Network licenses (also known as floating licenses) allow multiple users to share a limited pool of licenses in a local network. After installing the License Server on the computer being used as a server, the server will handle requests for licenses from users computers. If you have a team of 20 people and 10 licenses for a product, the entire team will share access to the 10 licenses, while no more than 10 people can use the software at the same time.

While Stand-alone licenses use a license file installed and activated for each computer, and can be used only in that machine, network licenses are installed and activated only one time on your server. When a license request arrives, the server determines whether the proper license for a requested product is available. If an appropriate license is present and not in use, the server will allow access to the software.

As the licenses are stored on a server, you cannot use the software if you are not connected to the network. Although the server software does not require a powerful system, it is mandatory that the computer hosting the license server be running and available while there are computers using the licensed software.

In order to deploy Network Licenses you must:

  1. Install the License Server on the server computer.
  2. Install and activate one or more Network Licenses on the server using the License Manager.
  3. Configure each client to retrieve the licenses from the license server.

License Server Installation

To be able to use network licenses, a computer in the network must be designated as the license server. Once you have selected it:

  1. First make sure that your have administrative rights on the target computer.
  2. Download the License Server software from the links you received after purchasing the software (in the registration email).
  3. Run the setup program and follow the steps.

The License Server will be installed as a system service named "Itoo Software License Server". A shortcut to the License Manager is also created on the start menu.

License Manager

You must use this tool to manage the licenses of all products purchased. It's the same one used to manage the Stand-alone licenses.

To use it, select the License Manager in the Itoo Software/ License Server group of the Start menu. There are four tabs in this tool, two of them are only available if you have a license server installed:

  • Licenses: On this page the licenses are listed and managed
  • Computers (only with License Server installed): Here you can see which computers are connected and manage them.
  • License Server: (only with License Server installed) On this page, the system administrator controls the License Server. You can check the status of the service, start and stop it.
  • About: Here you can find information version and contact information.

Licenses

When opened, the License Manager displays the installed licenses. You can retrieve license details, check its status, activate it, or add new licenses as shown below:

Licenses can appear in different states, depending on the type of license and its activation status:

  •  Activated Stand-alone licenses: Shown in black text, these licenses are not used by the License Server (see Stand-alone license).
  •  Activated Network Licenses: Shown in blue text, these licenses are activated are ready to be shared on the network.
  •  Un-activated licenses: Red text with an warning icon, theses licenses are valid but have not yet been activated. You must activate them before using.
  •  Broken licenses: Red text with an error icon . These licenses have corrupted data and can't be used in any form. They must be reinstalled.

To obtain more information about a license, use the Details... button, here you can see the data stored on it.

Installation of new network licenses

Unlike Stand-alone licenses, that are authorized for use only on a single workstation (the computer on which its installed), a network license allows for concurrent usage for a specific number of workstations. This number is shown in the license's details as "Licensed for x users". For instance, if you purchase 5 network licenses, you won't receive 5 separate license codes, you will only receive one code that once installed creates a license for 5 users in the License Manager. Later, if you purchase licenses for 3 additional workstations, you will receive a new license code for 3 users, that must be added in the License Manager.

When you acquire licenses from Itoo Software, in the e-mail you get the license code, as a block of letters and numbers. To install it, use the "Add.." button on the Licenses tab. Copy and paste the code in the window. Please be sure that you do not include any text other than the code itself:

If the entered code is valid, press Ok. The license is installed on your computer and ready to be activated.

License activation

The activation process is identical for Network as for Stand-alone licenses. The difference is that the network licenses are activated and linked to the hardware of the License Server.

After an new license is installed, you'll be asked to start the activation wizard. You can activate manually using the "Activate" button as well. Please, see the activation process in Stand-alone licenses for instructions on how to do this.

Computers

In the "Computers" panel, you can see all clients that are connected to the server, what licenses are being used and how long each computer has been connected.

Each time that a workstation uses a network license, it connects to the License Server and starts a lease of the license for a limited time period. Before that period expires (by default ten minutes), the license must be refreshed or the lease will be lost and the license can be requested by another user.

Using the "Disconnect" button you can force the server to disconnect a computer before the lease time expires. The typical use of this control is when a workstation has locked up, and it's license is locked to that computer. In this case, you can unlock the license by manually forcing a disconnection. If a workstation doesn't reply after the lease time period, it is disconnected automatically by the server.

License Server

On the "License Server" page, you can check the status of the service, start and stop it. A detailed log of the server activity is also available, to diagnose any problems.

The top panel shows information about the windows service, whether it's installed correctly and if the service is started. Using the "Start/Stop Server" button you can stop the service and restart it at any time, please note that if you stop the service, all connected clients will lose their leased licenses and will try to reconnect.

The bottom panels gives you more detailed information about the service, such as the server version, TCP ports used and the total number of connected users. This data is updated each time you enter this tab, or by clicking the "Refresh" button.

Configure Clients

A network license can be used from any computer that can connect to the License Server over the network. The license server or network licenses should not be installed on the client computer. To configure your software for using network licenses, please follow the procedure below:

From the Start menu, search for the application group and select "Change License Mode". You will get the license configuration window:

In this window, you select with type of license the software will use. The first option uses a locally installed Stand-alone license. Selecting the second option, the software will use network licenses. You will be asked how to connect to the license server in this dialog box:

The first method is the recommended procedure, the client will search for an active server over the local network using a broadcast query. The server will be located each time that a license is needed by the software. If the server is accessed through a router, and the automatic method doesn't work, you must use the manual configuration and enter the IP address used to retrieve the license.

Please note: If you have installed multiple commercial Itoo Software products, each one has its own license configuration. You can use one product with a Stand-alone license, and another with a corporate network license. Please make sure that each product is configured to use its license correctly.

Accessing the License Server through a Firewall

The License Server installer checks for the Windows Firewall and adds the necessary rules if it is present. If you use another firewall software, or a physical firewall between the server and the client computers, the following ports must be opened:

  • TCP Port 16720
  • UDP Port 16720