Which is Right for You: Standalone or Floating License?

In our last blog article, we examined the difference between perpetual and term licenses and how you might leverage both license types to meet all your license entitlement needs. We also looked at SOLIDWORKS commitment to offer and support perpetual licenses well into the foreseeable future. Today we will examine the two choices within perpetual licensing from SOLIDWORKS – which are Standalone and SNL (SolidNetWork Licenses).

Standalone licenses, as the name implies, are intended for an individual user of SOLIDWORKS or any related product such as Simulation, Composer or Electrical. It uses an “Activate/Deactivate” mechanism to entitle the software for use after installation, or to move the license entitlement to another device such as a home, laptop or mobile computer or a new user all while ensuring only one license is in use at any one time. Activation is a onetime process which requires that you have internet or email access to complete the process. Once activated, you do not need to be online to use your software.

Product activation after installation for Standalone licenses.

Like fuel-efficient cars or appliances, SNL or “floating” licenses allow you to stretch your investment across your community of users. SNL uses a proven and reliable client/server distributed licensing approach, where access to the software is granted by a license server installed on your network that contains all of your entitlements. When a user starts SOLIDWORKS or any related product or Add-in, it checks with the server to see if licenses are either in-use or available. Once a user closes SOLIDWORKS or related product or Add-in, the license is immediately released back to the server for another user to use. Typically with SNL, administrators will install the software for every potential user, knowing that SNL will monitor concurrent usage to ensure that the number of concurrent users does not exceed the number of purchased licenses.

There are three important provisions that govern and limit the “floating” nature of SNL licenses:

  1.  The network on which the SNL is installed may only serve licenses to client machines of the same legal corporate entity.
  2.  Clients accessing the SNL license server must be located in the same global territory (defined below) as the server.
  3.  A minimum of one SNL server license is required for each country in which there are client users.

The global territories permitting license sharing from SNLs are: the Americas, Europe, Japan, and Asia-Pacific. For example, SNLs installed and managed on a server in the United States may be accessed by users of the same company in Brazil and Mexico as long as one SNL was acquired in Brazil and another SNL was acquired in Mexico (for a total of three SNLs – US, Brazil, Mexico). Users in China would not be allowed to access licenses from a server in the United States, and vice versa, even if the users are in the same company as each global territory must have its own SNL and pool of licenses.

SolidNetWork licenses can be shared by users of the same legal entity, in the same global territory, provided an SNL is purchased for each country in which there are clients/users.

Global network licenses, often called “follow the sun licensing,” or Regional network licenses, can be purchased that removes global territory and country restrictions to varying degrees, however, these licenses may cost extra and must comply with the requirement that all users be of the same legal/corporate entity.  Your local Value Added Reseller can provide more information and put you in touch with a SOLIDWORKS sales representative about these specialized licensing options.

Nearly every software title from SOLIDWORKS can be put onto SNL. For example, SOLIDWORKS, Simulation, Flow Simulation, Electrical, Composer, Inspection, MBD, PCB, Plastics, etc. – can all be added to SNL and shared among users.

Most SOLIDWORKS software titles can be added to an SNL and shared among users.

SNL and standalone licenses can be mixed/matched. For example, you could have five standalone licenses of SOLIDWORKS Standard dedicated to your all day/every day CAD users. Those same standalone licenses could access via SNL a pool of Simulation, Composer, Electrical – even SOLIDWORKS Premium (CAD) licenses.

Network licenses and its subscription cost the same as standalone licenses. Standalone licenses are also upgradable to SNL. There is, however, a fee for purchasing each SNL or converting from standalone to SNL that varies in price across geographic regions. It’s easy to see – SNL licenses offer tremendous value, variation, and flexibility, especially when combined with standalone and term licenses discussed in our last blog post. In our next blog post, we’ll examine how home/mobile use is accomplished.

You can find additional information on SOLIDWORKS licensing and activation options here.

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.