The SolidNetwork Licence Manager (SNL) adds significant flexibility to the way organisations can use their SOLIDWORKS licences, but this flexibility can be customised and extended further using the SNL options file.

This options file allows administrators to use the tools provided by FlexLM (the underlying technology) but not advertised in SNL tools provided by SOLIDWORKS.

To investigate we are going to consider a company Innova Systems (which may have some similarity to my office!). In this example there are 2 main teams Design and Technical and a senior manager Mark. All of these people need access to some elements of the SOLIDWORKS product suite, which consists of 9 SOLIDWORKS Premiums, 3 SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premiums and a SOLIDWORKS Plastic Premium, as detailed below:

1-The Design team consider SOLIDWORKS vital to their day to day work and therefore licences need to be available for them, however they do not use the SOLIDWORKS Simulation products.


2-Mark needs to be able to access SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Simulation at any time.


3-The technical team needs access to SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Simulation.


4-There is one machine in the company dedicated to solving simulations (both FEA and Plastics), anybody logged onto this machine needs to be able to access these products. This machine has an IP address of

5-Laptops are taken out of the office for site visits and the system needs to ensure that SOLIDWORKS is still available in the office.

6-Some of the more junior personnel are not allowed to use anything other than base SOLIDWORKS, and they are not allowed to borrow SOLIDWORKS licences


Now we know what we are trying to do we need to actually get ourselves an options file, to do this go into the SNL and start to reactivate your licence. Under the section where it asks if there is a firewall there is a tick box for a licence file select this and then click the edit button. You will then be asked if you want to create a blank options file. Success!

As with many tools that control access we can set up groups to simplify our lives later, to do this we add a line to our new licence file:

GROUP Design David Myles Ed Alex Adam Matt Jayne

The syntax of this line is – GROUP <Group Name><Group Members>

Or HOST_GROUP <Group Name><Host list>

The group name can be anything of your choice, however the group members are the windows user names.

We can add two further groups:

GROUP Technical Matt Sophie Chris Guy Eloise
GROUP Junior Matt Jayne Guy

As everyone is allowed to use SOLIDWORKS we do not need to set that, as usage is implicit unless stated otherwise,but we do need to allow specific users to use other products.

INCLUDE cae_cwadvpro GROUP Technical

The syntax of this line is – INCLUDE <Feature><Type><One item of that type>

The feature names can be looked up in the default file “C:\Program Files (x86)\SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager\lmgrd.log” in the line that contains “(SW_D) Server started on <Hostname> for:”

The types you will need include GROUP,USER, HOST, HOST_GROUP and possibly INTERNET

We can add some further INCLUDE statements:

INCLUDE cae_cwadvpro GROUP Technical
INCLUDE cae_cwadvpro USER Mark
INCLUDE cae_cwadvpro HOST
INCLUDE plastics_premium HOST

If we wish to prevent the office juniors using SOLIDWORKS simulation even on the dedicated machine then we need an exclude statement:

EXCLUDE cae_cwadvpro GROUP Junior

The syntax of this line is the same as for an INCLUDE statement.

EXCLUDE statements always override INCLUDE statements if there is a conflict

To ensure Mark can always access SOLIDWORKS we need to reserve a licence for him

RESERVE 1 swofficepremium USER Mark
RESERVE 1 cae_cwadvpro USER Mark

The syntax for this line is – RESERVE <Quantity><Feature><Type><One item of that type>

Please note that a reserved licence is dedicated to that user or group and cannot be used by anyone else although from a logging point of view it won’t be reported as in use when it isn’t.

Next we want to make sure the technical team don’t hog all of the licences. To do this we add a MAX line.

MAX 3 swofficepremium GROUP Technical

The syntax for this line is –MAX <Quantity><Feature><Type><One item of that type>

And that all of the licences of SOLIDWORKS are not taken out of the office:

BORROW_LOWWATER swofficepremium 6

The syntax for this line is –BORROW_LOWWATER <Feature><Quantity>

And finally we need to prevent the office juniors borrowing licences at all:

EXCLUDE_BORROW swofficepremium GROUP Juniors

The syntax of this line is – EXCLUDE_BORROW <Feature><Type><One item of that type>

All of this work gives us our final options file:

GROUP Design David Myles Ed Alex Adam Matt Jayne
GROUP Technical Matt Sophie Chris Guy Eloise
GROUP Junior Matt Jayne Guy
INCLUDE cae_cwadvpro GROUP Technical
INCLUDE cae_cwadvpro USER Mark
INCLUDE cae_cwadvpro HOST
INCLUDE plastics_premium HOST
EXCLUDE cae_cwadvpro GROUP Junior
RESERVE 1 swofficepremium USER Mark
RESERVE 1 cae_cwadvpro USER Mark
MAX 3 swofficepremium GROUP Technical
BORROW_LOWWATER swofficepremium 6
EXCLUDE_BORROW swofficepremium GROUP Juniors

Now we need to save the options file and finish the licence reactivation in order for the system to use our newly created options file.

A couple of other points, comments lines can be added by starting the line with the # character and for those people like me who can never get their capitalisation right there is a command


Which means you don’t have to worry about GROUP, USER and HOST name capitalisation.

A list of feature names is below and be warned they are always case sensitive!
The basis for this blog post can be found in a document installed with every installation of SNL, the licencingenduserguide.pdf which rolls off the tongue and can be found by default here “C:\Program Files (x86)\SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager\Docs\flexuser\licencingenduserguide.pdf”. The important chapter is ‘Managing the Options File’ on page 139.

Feature Name SolidWorks Product
3diws 3DInstant Website
animator SolidWorks Animator
cae_cosmosfloworkspe SolidWorks Flow Simulation
cae_cosmosfloworksstd SolidWorks Flow Simulation Standard
cae_cosmosmotion SolidWorks Motion
cae_cwadvpro SolidWorks Simulation Premium
cae_cwdesigner SolidWorks Simulation
cae_cwpro SolidWorks Simulation Professional
circuitworks CircuitWorks
designchecker SolidWorks Design Checker
dwgeditor SolidWorks 2D Editor
edrw eDrawings Professional
elec2d SolidWorks Electrical
elec3d SolidWorks Electrical 3D
elecpro SolidWorks Electrical Professional
featureworks FeatureWorks
harnessing SolidWorks Harnessing
pdmworks SolidWorks Workgroup PDM
pdmworks_as SolidWorks Workgroup PDM for SolidWorks Explorer
pdmworks_sa SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Contributor
photoview PhotoView 360
photoworks SolidWorks PhotoWorks
piping SolidWorks Routing
plastics_pro SolidWorks Plastics Professional
plastics_premium SolidWorks Plastics Premium
scanto3d ScanTo3D
solidworks SolidWorks Standard
swcomposer SolidWorks Composer
swcomposer_check 3DVIA Check
swcomposer_pathplanning 3DVIA Path Planning
swcomposer_playerpro SolidWorks Composer Player Pro
swcomposer_sync 3DVIA Sync
swcomposer_syncenterprise 3DVIA Enterprise Sync
swepdm_cadeditor SolidWorks Enterprise PDM CAD Editor
swepdm_contributor SolidWorks Enterprise PDM Contributor
swepdm_viewer SolidWorks Enterprise PDM Viewer
swepdm_processor SolidWorks Enterprise PDM Processor License
swoffice SolidWorks Office
swofficepremium SolidWorks Premium
swofficepremium_cwpro SolidWorks Premium with Simulation Professional
swofficepremium_cwadvpro SolidWorks Premium with Simulation Premium
swofficepro SolidWorks  Professional
swsustainability SolidWorks Sustainability
taskscheduler SolidWorks Task Scheduler
toolbox SolidWorks Toolbox
utilities SolidWorks Utilities


David Durston
As an Applications Engineer at Innova Systems for the last 4 (and a half!) years I have been involved in Pre Sales, Training and Technical Support with a focus on Data Management. Before working for Innova Systems I was a customer, designing specialist vehicles from Royal Mail lorries to Ambulances, all designed in 2D until we were saved! My industrial experience includes Pressings, Sheet Metal and Wooden Panel products, Vehicle design and a smidge of Robot Programming and Electrical design. Out of the office I am a board game fanatic who covers 100's of KM a month walking the dog.
David Durston

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