Concurrent Licensing Overview
Per-computer licensing assigns licenses to individual PCs. The license must be un-installed from one PC before it can be installed on another PC.
With concurrent licensing, licenses are dynamically allocated to PCs when Dimension starts and released when eTakeoff closes. (This is known as checking out a license and checking in a license.) You might have ten potential users but using Dimension is only a part of their job. So it's unlikely that more than five users would be using Dimension at the same time. Or you might have a single eTakeoff user that works on several different PCs. Concurrent licensing is intended to support these situations.
Dynamically allocating licenses requires that all users can communicate with a license server to check licenses in and out. This is done using the Internet. Dimension maintains a License Server to perform this task. So to check out a license you need access to the Internet when you start Dimension.
We realize that Internet access may be unavailable at times for various reasons. When the user knows in advance that this will happen (as when planning to work off-line while on a plane), the licensing supports "extended check out". This allows the user to check out a license until a future date and time. The license is not checked in when Dimension exits but remains checked out until the expiration of the extended checkout period.
In some cases, the loss of Internet access is unexpected. In this case, Dimension allows full use of the license without communicating with the License Server. Use of the license without access to the License Server is recorded. If it becomes excessive, the privilege may be revoked.
Concurrent Licenses are installed in the same way as per-computer licenses. The only different is that there is no limit to the number of computers on which the license can be installed. You could purchase a ten-user license and install it on one hundred computers. Of course, only ten of those computers could checkout the license at any given time.
Checking Licenses Out and In
Licenses can be checked out in several ways:
- A License can be checked out automatically when you start Dimension. This is the most common method.
- You can manually change the license checkout while Dimension is running.
- You can easily create a desktop shortcut to check out a special license (or licenses). One company might have many Advanced licenses and a few Premier licenses. The Premier licenses would be used only when Premier features are needed. The default checkout would be an Advanced license. But starting Dimension via the "Premier" shortcut would check out a Premier license.
Licenses are normally checked in when Dimension exits. You can use Extended Checkout (described below) to delay the check in until a specified date and time. During this period, no one else will have access to the license, even if Dimension isn't running.
It is also possible to check in licenses manually while Dimension is running.
Using Multiple Licenses
It's possible for one computer to have multiple concurrent licenses. One case was described above where the user has access to multiple licenses of different levels (Advanced vs. Premier). It's also possible to have a concurrent Dimension license plus one or more concurrent add-on licenses for special features such as Drawing Compare, Extensions, Excel Integration or Pattern Search. Or you could have multiple Dimension licenses AND add-on licenses.
When multiple licenses are used, the user may want to check out different combinations. Actually this may apply when there is just one license because you may want to check it out or just use the Basic (non-license) functionality. There are three ways to control license usage:
- There is a "default" check out is performed when Dimension starts.
- You can create desktop shortcuts to check out alternate configurations.
- You can manually change the check out while running Dimension.
When Licenses are Unavailable
Whenever you check out licenses, there is a possibility that a license will not be available because all concurrent usages are already checked out. When this happens, you will be asked what to do.
If you have only one license, you'll simply be prompted "Try again?" You may want to ask another user to exit Dimension then try again. If you don't try again, Dimension will continue in Basic mode.
If you have multiple licenses, you will be prompted with a more powerful Concurrent License Window. It will allow you several options:
- Try to check out a different combination of licenses
- Change the default checkout
- Create a desktop shortcut for a license configuration
- View a report of current license usage
- Perform an extended checkout (discussed below).
This check out window is also available from the Administration menu as "Manage Concurrent Licenses.".
Normally when you exit Dimension all licenses are checked back in. But there are situations where you may want to keep the license checked out for an extended period. This may be to make sure it's available later. Or you may know you will need a license in the near future when you will not have Internet access to check it out.
Extended checkout is performed using the Concurrent License Window. You simply fill in the date and time the checkout should expire. You can stop and re-start Dimension repeatedly during the extended checkout period without terminating the extended checkout. Dimension will NOT try to access the Internet during the extended checkout period. Obviously, the licenses used are not available to other users during the extended checkout period, even if you are not using them.
Extended checkout ends at the end of the checkout period. If you are using Dimension when it expires, it will attempt to do a non-extended checkout of the licenses you were using.
Extended checkout can be terminated early by using the Concurrent License Window and doing a non-extended checkout.
Monitoring License Usage
From the Concurrent License Window you can view a report of the current license usage. The report is displayed in a web browser window. It has a section for each license installed on the current computer (even if not currently checked out). Each section lists the names of all users with a license currently checked out. For extended checkouts, the expiration date and time are shown.