SolidWorks activation, SolidWorks Product Activation

Activation – Yea or Nea!

Activation – Yea or Nea!

4 November, 2008

Working on technical support we receive many calls regarding licensing. The most common queries to do with licensing are related to Activation, as to many users this is a mystery. The best explanation that I’ve ever been given to explain how activation works is “the cookie jar” analogy. The cookie jar analogy goes like this; In the US (the home base of SolidWorks) there is a license server with every bodies license and details of their entitlements. If you purchase 1 license from your local reseller you then receive 1 cookie in the big cookie jar in the US. The cookie remains in the jar until you decide to take it. When you install your new license onto your PC you are asked at the end of the installation to enter in your details and activate either automatically online (which is instant) or via email, where you send the information to the server manually via an email. During the activation process your PC communicates with this server in the US (the cookie jar) and takes your cookie from the jar, and your seat is licensed immediately. So once you have taken the cookie from the jar you cannot use it on another PC until you return (or transfer) it to the jar via a license transfer. So in the instance where you activate at the office and you would like to go home and continue working, you would need to return (or transfer) your cookie back to the jar in order to take it back again from your home PC. For more information on this Activation process please visit the link below. Some of the SolidWorks users love the ability to transfer and activate their license to and from locations, and some do not. From my experience the ones who do not like activation, often do not understand it. Remember the dongle that was used to license SolidWorks 2006 and earlier version? This dongle could be lost, broken, or even in many cases drowned in a washing machine! This lead to a replacement dongle requiring a replacement fee! We also had many dongles failed, and many driver issues that left users sitting on their hands until a replacement could be issued. The activation license has eliminated all of this. Another great option with activation is the ability to transfer your license from site to site remotely as many times as you like throughout the day. If you had a dongle you would need to physically deliver your dongle to the alternate site if you needed to use SolidWorks on an alternate site if and when you only have a single license. Another great advantage of product activation is that it has sped up the ordering process as a dongle does not need to be generated and shipped out to you, you can have a license running in just a few days! Activation also speeds up the process of modifying your license, say if you want to upgrade you can just notify your reseller and have them alter your activation license, then a quick reactivation and you’re off. Remember: Your activation retrieves an ID from your hard drive, so if you remove your hard drive (say to upgrade) remember to transfer first because if you do not and you throw away your drive you’re throwing away your license too! Things to note: • Your activation stays with your PC until you transfer so once you activate you are licensed forever in that PC you do not need to activate again unless you transfer. • Upgrades; When you upgrade SolidWorks to the next major version you will be asked to reactivate, this is not another license just a conformation for the server to know what you are running. • If you are moving to another PC you MUST transfer first, so the license can be taken down at the alternate location. Your reseller cannot deactivate for you. • You can activate and transfer as often as you like. • Upgrade of a service pack does not require activation • 1 License means 1 activation, in 1 location. For more FAQ’s please see the link above… Adios! Micah Speight Intercad Pty - Authorized Solidworks Reseller in Autralia & New Zealand ————————————— Expert in SolidWorks? Submit your own CAD tips to the SolidWorks community, and become famous!

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  • Iain MacPhail says:

    Pretty straightforward Micah, but I can’t help the old drawing checker’s eye. Although it spelllchecks OK, it isn’t “every bodies”, but “everybody’s”.

    Yair, I know…



  • AM/WF says:

    thanks for that Ba.

  • AM/WF says:

    hhhmmm…not sure why my comment isn't showing up. sorry if this is a double…but thanks for this article Ba.

  • wam says:

    Why I like Dongles

    When I purchase my software I like to know I’ll be able to use it in the future, regardless of when, whether I stopped using it years ago, whatever. I don’t mind copy protections schemes as long as once I go through the gyrations of getting thru the unlocking process, I know I can restore the installation regardless of which machine I use.

    So therefor, I prefer a simple “I trust you” unlock code that isn’t referenced to my current hardware – typically a license file.
    But for those paranoid software developers, I’d prefer they make a dongle available.

    Here’s what I send to those that don’t see it that way and would rather lock it to my current PC, and why that SUCKS:

    Dear megla- maniacal Software Company:

    Thing is, I really want a dongle version – here’s why:

    I hate soft locks ’cause if you go out of business, your registration website is down, or I upgrade hardware on a weekend, I’m screwed.

    Say four years from now I’m called to rework a previous design I did using your tool.

    Now, I haven’t used that tool since we now (four years later) have di-lithium, whiz-bang powered DSP/FPGA/ costs 0.10 USD MCU’s. So I’ve since upgraded hardware, and moved on….

    Well, Donald Trump wants millions of these old designs built but needs a hard-coded pre-nuptial that prints on the LCD. So I try to reload the old program.

    It’s Sunday on Christmas holiday. And there’s a major riot of trophy wives-to-be that knocked out all the Internet connectivity ’cause they’re pissed that Donald is selling these things.

    I find the old installer, run it and —-

    — lo-and-behold it’s useless.

    Then lets say you guys go bye bye ’cause you hit the jackpot, they don’t make the stuff anymore ’cause the aforementioned di-lithium W-B chips are now in vogue, and you now backpack across Europe eating just whole wheat toast and coffee. You married a Sports Illustrated model and don’t want bothered.

    So now I got files written for your specific tool and all my work is now lost forever… Donald’s mad….my house gets over run with angry trophy wives… Tom Cruise is jumping up and down on my couch like a crazed orangutan…. not a pretty scene. And it’s Christmas…

    So I like USB dongles …

    In fact, having no way to re-enable the software without intervention from a manufacturer that goes belly up is a violation of the Fair Use/Quiet Enjoyment:

    “Quiet Enjoyment”
    Licensees, having paid for the right to use licensed technology, generally seek to ensure that nothing interferes with the benefits they have received. For example, licensees are concerned with their ability to obtain assistance from the licensor in fixing defects that are discovered in the technology, to have the right to fix the defects themselves if the licensor is unable to do so, to obtain periodic upgrades and other maintenance services from the licensor, to transfer their rights if they sell their business and to continue enjoying the technology even if the licensor becomes bankrupt.”

    Most people inaccurately associate ownership to the technology as “… that’s the reason they license software…” but that ain’t so…

    You see, one of the first “licenced” forms of technology was by none other than Ray Dolby. The reason they license it is to forgo “selling” ( and the inherent issues of capitalization/export/tax issues) so that all sales are considered licensed works which are considered as royalty income – therefore taxed as income.

    See this:

    So a dongle version would be nice….

    OH – and if you want to see how well that tested out in courts of law – Google the recent ruling on First Sale Doctrine against Autodesk, makers of AutoCAD.

    From Wikipedia:

    “In 2008, in Timothy S. Vernor v. Autodesk Inc.[3], a U.S. Federal District Judge in Washington rejected a software vendor’s argument that it only licensed copies of its software, rather than selling them, and that therefore any resale of the software constituted copyright infringement. Judge Richard A. Jones cited first-sale doctrine when ruling that a reseller was entitled to sell used copies of the vendor’s software regardless of any licensing agreement that might have bound the software’s previous owners [4].”

  • Dan says:

    I’ve been having trouble installing a student copy of Solidworks 2008-2009 Student edition that I got from my university to help me complete my fourth year engineering project. I do not have internet at home and have emailed the required file only to have it come back saying that the serial number is not valid (or some crazy stuff like that). I have an original version of Solidworks and am unable to activate it, thus my project is in stall. I have emailed Solidworks and have not heard anything back. Is there any way to get it up and running so I can use it. I need to use COSMOSWorks, and the trial period will only let you use Xpress.
    Quite frusterated as you can understand.

  • Jayde says:

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