Using an On-Demand License

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Altium Designer's On-Demand licensing offers you global floating license capability – within the geographic scope of your license and the conditions set out in the EULA – without the need to implement your own dedicated server. The system provides a flexible, streamlined approach to licensing, allowing you to obtain a license in a matter of mouse clicks, when and where you want it – the true essence of an on-demand system.

To further increase its flexibility, an On-Demand license can be used in two different ways, or 'modes' – On-Demand or Roaming. The choice of how you use your On-Demand license will come down to personal preference and the way in which you work.

For On-Demand licensing, a range of license usage monitoring and reporting features are available that can be used to audit how your licenses are used within your organization. For more information, see License Usage Statistics/Analytics.

Signing In

Before you can access and use an On-Demand license, you must first sign-in to your Altium account through the secure Altium portal – remember, On-Demand licensing is administered by an Altium managed server. For convenience, controls for account access are presented at the top of the Home - Admin - License Management workspace view (DXP » My Account).

On-Demand licensing, as with software updates and the SUPPORTcenter, requires you to be signed in to your Altium account.

Available Portals

When you sign in to your account, you do so through an Altium portal. On the Altium side, a portal is simply a secure connection through to a specific Altium Account Management Server. The default portal is:

  • portal2.altium.com

Account Management

The ConnectionSign in and Portal Server details are all available in the System — Account Management page of the Preferences dialog. This page can be accessed by clicking the Account Preferences link in the License Management workspace view, or by selecting DXP » Preferences from the menus.

Available portals through which connection to your Altium account is made (default assignment shown).

License Availability

Once signed in, all of the On-Demand licenses that are available for you to use will be presented in a grid, within the Available Licenses region of the page.

Only those On-Demand licenses that you are able to use will be listed in the Available Licenses region.

For each On-Demand license, the following information is presented:

  • Product Name – what is being licensed. The name typically reflects a feature set and release.
  • Activation Code – the activation code for the license.
  • Used – reflects not only whether a seat of the license is in use on your installation of Altium Designer, but also who else is using a seat of the license (where the license is multi-seat) and in which mode they are using that seat. Another person using a seat in On-Demand or Roaming modes will display In Use and Roaming respectively.
  • Assigned Seat Count – the total number of seats available on the license and how many of those seats are currently in use.
  • Expiry – the date at which the license will no longer be considered valid
  • Status – the current state of the license. This entry can be one of the following states:
    • OK – license is in-date and seat allocation has not been exceeded.
    • Expired – license expiry date has been reached.
    • No Seats Left – license is still OK, but all seats are currently being used.
  • Subscription Status - details if the license is covered by subscription, or if the subscription has expired.

Click on the plus (+) symbol to the left of a license entry in the grid to expand that license, providing details of individual seat usage – who is using a seat of the license, in which mode they are using their seat, and the expiry date for their seat (especially pertinent when using the seat in Roaming mode).

Mode of License Use

People are unique and, as such, will often have a differing personal preference to the way in which they access and use their licenses. With flexibility in mind, On-Demand licensing has been defined to operate in two distinct modes, detailed in the following sections.

On-Demand

This is the simplest (and quickest) mode of use for an On-Demand license – the perceived default mode if you will. In this mode, a seat of an On-Demand license is acquired by any client computer, only while you are signed in to your account. When you sign out, the seat is released so that another user can acquire it.

To use a seat of an available On-Demand license in this mode, simply click on the license in the grid, then click on the Use option in the area below the grid, as shown below.

From Altium Designer 16.1, you can take advantage of an On-Demand license's Auto-Leasing feature, which forces Altium Designer to automatically lease (use) the license when it becomes available. In Altium Designer's License Manager (DXP » My Account), the normal process of choosing the license from the list and selecting Use is performed automatically. For more information, see Altium Dashboard - Managing Licenses.

Select the required license and click Use.

The Used field for the license will change to Used by me and the Assigned Seat Count field will update to reflect another seat of that license taken. In addition, the 'banner' for the Available Licenses region will change from Available Licenses - Unlicensed to Available Licenses - Licensed to AccountName – reflecting the account to which the license is associated. The text in the lower-left of the region will also update to reflect your license usage.

The Available Licenses region will update to reflect your use of a seat of the selected license in On-Demand mode.

To release your license, simply select the license in the grid and click on the Release option, in the area below the grid. Warning text will appear, alerting you to the fact that you are not using a valid license, and prompting you to select and use a license from the grid.

When using a license in this mode, you can also force-release a seat from another computer (see Releasing a License Remotely).

Roaming

In this mode, a seat of an On-Demand license is acquired for a specified time. You do not need to remain signed-in to your account to use the license in this mode – you can sign out and work offline, in essence roaming freely with your license seat.

To use a seat of an available On-Demand license in this mode, simply click on the license in the grid, then click on the Roam option, in the area below the grid. The Retain License dialog will appear, from where you can define how many days and/or hours you wish to roam with the seat.
 

The maximum time that you can roam with an On-Demand license in this mode, is the life of the actual license itself. This is particularly relevant to timed licenses.

If you are roaming with a seat of an On-Demand license and the roaming period elapses, use of that seat will stop, with no grace period.

Roaming offers the freedom to essentially 'lock' down a seat for your use only - you can sign out and work offline and the seat remains yours for the time you specify.

The Used field for the license will change to Roaming with me and the Assigned Seat Count field will update to reflect another seat of that license taken. In addition, the 'banner' for the Available Licenses region will change from Available Licenses - Unlicensed to Available Licenses - Licensed to AccountName – reflecting the account to which the license is associated. Click on the plus (+) symbol to the left of the license entry in the grid to see details of the seat usage level and confirm the defined roaming period in the Expiry Date column.

The license grid will update to reflect your use of a seat of the selected license in Roaming mode, the expiry column will indicate when roaming time will expire.

The only time you need to sign in to your account when using a seat of a license in this mode, is when you either want to release the license, or extend the roaming period. The latter is performed simply by selecting the license entry in the grid and clicking again on the Roam option. Then adjust the roaming period using the Retain License dialog as required.

As with On-Demand mode, release of a license that is being roamed is performed by signing in, selecting the license in the grid and clicking on the Release option, in the area below the grid. Warning text will appear, alerting you to the fact that you are not using a valid license, and prompting you to select and use a license from the grid.

When using a license in this mode, you can also force-release a seat from another computer (see Releasing a License Remotely).

Working Offline

As detailed in the previous sections, of the two modes of use of an On-Demand license, it is the Roaming mode that enable you to take the license and work offline.

When you sign out, the grid in the Available Licenses region of the License Management page will change from showing the available On-Demand licenses, to showing the On-Demand – Offline license that you are currently using. You will not see any Group or Assigned Seat Count information while working offline, nor will you see any expanded grid details showing other users (for seats taken from a multi-seat license).

A license seat taken in Roaming mode will show as an On-Demand - Offline license when you are signed out from your Altium account.

You can of course sign in to your account at any time while using your On-Demand license in the Roaming mode, but the ability to roam offline is there when you need it.

Releasing a License Remotely

It is possible to force-release a seat on a license that is being used in either On-Demand or Roaming modes. For example, if you forget to release your seat at work when you leave for the day, you can release it from your home computer then use the open seat at home. The extent of your 'release powers' depends on whether or not you have administrative rights to your licenses:

  • Have Administrative Rights – you can remotely release a seat used by any user. The seat they are using will be released and they will lose the license.
  • No Administrative Rights – you can only release a seat that you are using (on another computer). The seat will be available again.

To release a license, simply right-click on the required entry in the expanded Available Licenses grid and choose Release from the context menu.

If you are Roaming and your license has been released remotely, then you will not notice anything until you sign in. If you use an On-Demand license (or if you sign in while Roaming), the My Account page will display a warning that your license has been released remotely. At some point in the next 20 minutes, a warning dialog will appear alerting you to the fact that your license has been released remotely, and asking you to use another license to continue using Altium Designer. You will then have a further 20 minutes 'grace' use of the license, during which time you should select and use another license. After this time has elapsed, a second warning dialog will appear and use of the 'released' license will cease.

Releasing a Roaming License

When releasing a license remotely, and that license is being used in Roaming mode, the Altium Honor Code dialog will appear. The dialog essentially asks for your promise, under the Altium honor code, that you will not use, or allow others to use, the roaming license on that other computer after its release. Read the text in the dialog carefully and, if you promise to honor the terms as stated – both in the dialog and the EULA – type "I Agree" in the available field. Then click the Release button to proceed with the release.

You can force-release a seat of your license that is roaming on another computer, provided you promise that the seat will no longer be used, under the Altium honor code.

License conversion

Converting to a Standalone License – legacy feature

Past versions of Altium Designer provided the ability to convert an On-Demand license to a Standalone license. This process yielded a standalone licensing file (*.alf) that could be managed by the user and can be saved, copied and backed-up as required. For more information see License conversions in the Legacy documentation area.

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