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Tech Support Blog: SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing and Admin Portal - FAQs

Monday June 11, 2018 at 4:51pm

NOTICE: Online Licensing has been discontinued by SOLIDWORKS

So this is part 4 and the final part of our blog series on the new SOLIDWORKS Admin Portal and Online Licensing. In this final segment I wanted to summarise with some of the headline messages and FAQs.

So this is part 4 and the final part of our blog series on the new SOLIDWORKS Admin Portal and Online Licensing. In this final segment I wanted to summarise with some of the headline messages and FAQs.

01- Is Online Licensing now the standard for SOLIDWORKS going forward?

No, Online Licensing is just another way of accessing your software. Traditional activation based licensing is here to stay, as is Network Licensing (SNL), perpetual (permanent) and term (rental). Online licensing is just another, optional means of working with your software.

02- What are the main exceptions?

Only SOLIDWORKS 2018 and newer licenses will support online licensing, and only standalone licenses are supported (so no floating licenses). For the Admin Portal you can manage this account with any version of SOLIDWORKS- it doesn’t have to be SOLIDWORKS 2018.

03- Is online licensing for sharing my SOLIDWORKS license between me and my colleagues?

No, to share licenses, customers should use SolidNetWork Licensing (SNL) as online licensing is related to a named user login and assignment. It is ideal for the individual who uses SOLIDWORKS in more than one location- think a home and office environment. The SOLIDWORKS EULA (End User License Agreement) prohibits sharing of online service logins. Online licensing is for a named user to be able to access their SOLIDWORKS license on multiple computers i.e. office and home.

04- Can a user/member have more than one licensed managed by online licensing?

Yes, so long as they are different product types/flavours. Online licensing assignments can also span multiple companies. So if you are a contractor with SOLIDWORKS, you can make your own SOLIDWORKS (CAD) license online enabled, and then when contracting for a company take on their SOLIDWORKS Simulation license as an online license as well. You cannot be assigned to more than one online license of the same type/flavour, i.e. 2 SOLIDWORKS CAD online licenses.

05- Can an online license product be used simultaneously on more than one PC?

No, this would not be possible. Initially to swap over to an online licensed product you must deactivate in the traditional sense to ensure no PCs are using the software. Then when the license is online enabled, you login to the software. If a login session is detected elsewhere then the original session will be forced to be logged out if you choose to continue.

06- Can I swap back and forth between online and traditional activation based licensing?

Yes, and you can do this as often as you wish- so long as the prerequisites are fulfilled. For example when initially going from Machine Activation to Online, you must deactivate the machine holding the SOLIDWORKS license. When going back from Online to Machine Activation you need to have logged out of the SOLIDWORKS session so no active sessions are seen as in use.

07- I often forget to transfer/deactivate my SOLIDWORKS license at work when I intend to use at home and get stuck. Will I hit the same problem with Online Licenses?

No, and really this is the main benefit of online licensing. If the previous login is detected on the other machine you will be met with a message which allows that previous session to be forced to be logged out allowing you to continue uninterrupted.

08- What sort of internet connection is needed to run online licensing, and can I disconnect when I have opened the software?

A standard Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection will suffice. This could be a public Wi-Fi, or phone hotspot- basically anything that allows a connection to the internet. This connection also needs to be continuous as SOLIDWORKS uses a “heartbeat” method to frequently query the SOLIDWORKS activation servers to ensure the license isn’t being requested for use elsewhere. If a web connection is lost for more than a few minutes, you will be asked to save work and close the software. If you have a prolonged period without a web connection then you won’t be able to reopen SOLIDWORKS at all so this should be carefully considered if you choose to enable online licensing.

09- Is there an offline mode?

For situations like point 8 (which you would have to foresee) or if you are perhaps travelling and know your network connectivity is not guaranteed, you can use an offline mode for up to 30 days. You must launch SOLIDWORKS with a connection first, and pull down the profile menu to take a license offline. In unforeseen circumstances where the internet connection is lost, or you are in a location where a connection is unavailable, you won’t be able to launch SOLIDWORKS unless you had setup offline mode in advance.

10- In offline mode, can other sessions be opened on other PCs?

Offline mode basically locks the license to that machine. You can uncheck Offline Mode from the profile menu (if you regain a web connection) or you can wait for the 30 day period to lapse. Note, 30 days is the longest period for offline mode. When this lapses the user will be asked to login properly and could then take the license offline for a further 30 days. The license cannot be reassigned or revoked by an Admin during offline mode either, so if an employee leaves the company during this period, the Admin would have to wait until the 30 days has expired.

11- Why would I see multiple login screens when using online licensing?

The login screen will most likely be different, with the first being the login to SOLIDWORKS using the SOLIDWORKS ID, and the second being more of a local login for systems such as SOLIDWORKS PDM or SOLIDWORKS PCB- these logins will be completely unrelated to SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing.

12- Can a user mix an Online License product with other traditional product types?

Yes, for example SOLIDWORKS (CAD) could be online enabled, but have a SOLIDWORKS Composer installation using activation based licensing and SolidNetWork Licensing (SNL) for accessing their PDM software.

13- What if I am reassigned an online license to a “higher level” product, but my PC install is not yet setup for this?

Online licensing is purely the means to validate your access to the software. The local install must coincide with this to allow you to use the installed modules. So let’s say early in the year you have SOLIDWORKS Standard installed and you are actively using it. Later, you are assigned a higher level and therefore more feature-rich product like SOLIDWORKS Premium (or you have your software upgraded). It is not enough to just reallocate the license to you and have the login facilitate access to the Premium features, you would have to modify your local machine install(s) to ensure that Premium products are installed on the local hard drive. If there is any expectation this could happen, then it may be best to install the highest level product your company has as a matter of cause. This is all done via Control Panel > Programs and Features and you can find SOLIDWORKS in the list and Change the install.

14- Does online licensing mean I am using SOLIDWORKS in the cloud?

No, online licensing is purely the means of validating your access to use the software- everything is still locally installed and used.

15- Can I jump on to any machine (a colleague, or company I am working with as a contractor) and start using SOLIDWORKS with my login?

With some set up yes, but by default no. A local install carries a serial key, and behind the scenes in the Admin Portal that serial key will be set to be online enabled or machine based activation. Therefore the PCs you can use your login on would have to have their SOLIDWORKS product installed with the serial key assigned to you. This can be modified by using the Control Panel > Programs and Features and modifying the SOLIDWORKS install to take on your serial key.

16- I get this error when launching SOLIDWORKS and logging in- what does it mean?

To see this message SOLIDWORKS would have determined the serial key used for the install version of SOLIDWORKS must be Online enabled as you would have been asked to login, so the issue here is that your login account has not been attached to the SOLIDWORKS license properly. As the message suggests you would need to ask the person who controls things in the Admin Portal to help you out. To find out who this may be, you can login to MySOLIDWORKS and click the Admin Portal link from your profile menu- this should tell you your Admin user’s details.


17- Can I assign two users to an online license so they can share it?

No, only one user can be assigned to an online license and the login information cannot be shared.

18 - Is there a cost to use Online Licensing?

No this is available to any customer that currently has a SOLIDWORKS 2018 product or newer, as 2018 is the first year to support online licensing.

19 - Must I enter my login credentials for each session of SOLIDWORKS- I am worried about automated tasks that close and reopen the software like Task Scheduler?

No, you would login once and then would only need to login subsequently if you use the “Logout” option in the profile menu, or if an alternative machine takes on the license which would have forced you to logout on the original.

20 - I have multiple online licenses assigned to me- can I run one product on one machine and the other on an alternative?

It is true some SOLIDWORKS products run independently from one another i.e. SOLIDWORKS CAD and SOLIDWORKS Composer are two separate applications. However online licensing is all based on user accounts, so all of your online licensed products follow where you login. To prevent misuse, you cannot have an active login on more than one machine so unfortunately multiple online licenses assigned to you cannot be split up.

21- For the SOLIDWORKS Admin Portal, who becomes the default Administrator?

This would be the first person to access the account. Further Admin users can be promoted and then once there is a 2nd admin the first can be demoted. If the sole Admin user leaves the company, contact us and we can ask SOLIDWORKS to reset things to allow another Admin to be designated.

22 - I see some “External Members” that I cannot delete and they are no longer part of my company?

Contact us and we can have SOLIDWORKS remove these members.

23- We deploy our SOLIDWORKS installations using Administrative Images- can this work with Online Licenses?

Yes, in the 2018 Options Editor for Admin Images you can create a machine name for the user and set whether their license is online ready. This will set things up for their first login to the program.

24- Do resellers see our Admin Portal information so they can help me?

We do not see this as default- of course we can use our screen sharing tools to help you out, but things like deleting old Admins etc. must be done by SOLIDWORKS, but we as the reseller can put this request in.

25- Can I be Admin or a Member across multiple company accounts?

Yes - contractors for example may have their own personal copy of SOLIDWORKS as an online license, but also be granted a separate online license for Simulation by the company they are working with. As a result this person would be a member across two accounts. You can only be assigned one serial key per flavour of product, otherwise the login wouldn’t know which to use. So only one SOLIDWORKS CAD product could be assigned to you. For Admins, you can administrate multiple accounts too as it may be you are the CAD or IT Manager for a group of companies and so want overall control of license issuing.

If you register as an Admin for more than one account you will see a "Change Company" option when logged in so you can switch to manage whichever you choose.

Thanks for taking an interest in SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing and the Admin Portal. Hopefully you have enough information to make a decision on whether to utilise these two new but optional tools. If you have any further questions not covered in these blog posts then please contact our support team.

You may also find some useful information on the official SOLIDWORKS Help file on this subject.

By Adam Hartles

Group Technical Manager

PREVIOUS BLOG <<<<<< 03 Using SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing


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