The Fix for SOLIDWORKS Standalone Licensing

By Mark Peterson on September 29, 2017

If you own a Standalone SOLIDWORKS license and use it on multiple computers, you may have noticed a change in how you are able to manage that license. Many users are happy using the license transfer method available under the “Help” menu but if you’re looking for a more flexible way to transfer your license SOLIDWORKS has announced a new method for 2018 that allows the license to be assigned to YOU rather than a single machine. In this blog post we’ll discuss this new method as well as others that you can use while your company gets ready to upgrade to SOLIDWORKS 2018.

As a result, and to protect users from unknowingly violating the terms of the license agreement, SOLIDWORKS is better enforcing activations and now requires users to manually transfer their license between machines.  You still maintain the same flexibility as before, allowing you to use SOLIDWORKS on multiple machines, it simply requires a few quick button clicks in between computers.

This might make you feel great about SOLIDWORKS as a company – they’re doing their best to protect their clients from unknowingly violating their license. You may also feel like they’re doing what big companies do – looking out for their own bottom line. Whichever way you feel, we must change our behavior around the way we use our SOLIDWORKS license. So, what’s the best way to use the license you are entitled to if you need to use it on several machines?

SOLIDWORKS Help MenI think the most popular option, although least convenient, is to use the existing license transfer method. You can find this information in the SOLIDWORKS Help or this TriMech Blog post by our very own Keith Thompson. But how would you transfer the license to your home workstation if you already left work and forgot? Well if it’s still within your VAR’s technical support hours you can call them to get the license transferred for you. If not, you’re out of luck. Bummer.

Carrying your laptop with you is a way to ensure SOLIDWORKS is always available A more convenient method would be to purchase a laptop and carry that around with you. However, this might not be an option if your budget is limited – depending on your needs (check out my previous post on The Best Hardware for SOLIDWORKS) a decent CAD notebook could be ½ the price of an additional SOLIDWORKS license! There’s got to be a better way. How about a low-cost, convenient alternative?

Install remote client software like TeamViewer or LogMeInPro

 If your IT policy allows, you can install a remote client software like TeamViewer or LogMeIn Pro. If you need to transfer your license, even outside of the office, you can remotely login to your work computer and follow the standard transfer method from there. Not bad! But this still feels like we’re jumping through hoops (also, this software is not associated with SOLIDWORKS nor supported by them). SOLIDWORKS can’t expect us to follow these archaic methods forever, right?

SOLIDWORKS forumWell, if you read the SOLIDWORKS forums and look very closely you might have found this post buried within. One of SOLIDWORKS’ employees, Richard Doyle, stated that SOLIDWORKS is working on something to help manage the transfer of licenses for Standalone License customers which is due to release next year (check out comment 21 here). But as far as we know this single post is the only mention of an official solution from SOLIDWORKS. What is this mysterious product? When will it be available? How long do we have to endure the “license transfer dance”?

SOLIDWORKS 2018 product introduces Online Licensing Well, the wait is over. SOLIDWORKS officially announced a new product available for users installing SOLIDWORKS 2018 products, “Online Licensing”! So, what is this new product and how does it work?

The first thing to know is that it’s 100% optional – you can continue working with SOLIDWORKS licensing the same way you are today. With that said, Online Licensing provides major functionality improvements. For example, you can manage all your SW licenses through a single page in the Customer Portal where you may assign specific serial numbers to specific users. Here are some other benefits:

  • Login to use SOLIDWORKS.
  • Flexibility to use SOLIDWORKS anywhere it’s installed (at work, at home or on the move).
  • Easily move from device to device (no more manual activation/deactivation).
  • Offline mode.
  • Support for SOLIDWORKS CAD, Simulation, Flow, Plastics (what else?)
  • Synchronize settings across devices
  • Access customized training material via MySolidWorks

 You will need to have a Customer Portal account for each user that would like to utilize Online Licensing. The licenses are not required to be on subscription but, because of the changes made to the installation manager, this will be available to users working with SOLIDWORKS 2018 products only.

So how does it all work? Well there’s another product that’s testing in tandem with Online Licensing called the “Admin Portal” that controls these functions (we’ll discuss this in a future blog post). Here are some of the benefits of Admin Portal:

  • Accessed through the Customer Portal
  • Add, remove, and manage SOLIDWORKS users and administrators.
  • Add, remove, and manage what products and services each user is entitled to.
  • See activation and subscription status.
  • Turn on/off SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing.

These products are currently in beta testing but should be released to North American clients early 2018!

Want to learn more about SOLIDWORKS capabilities? Request a demo today! 

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