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Using Floating Licenses

A floating license for a software application is not linked to a specific computer, but can be used by different computers on the network.  A particular floating license can be used by only one computer (or client) on the network at any given time, two licenses can be used by any two clients on the network at any given time, and so on.

In a floating-license environment, one machine acts as the floating license server; its job is to keep track of how many floating licenses are available, how many are in use, and who is using the license.

When a client needs a license, it will contact the server and request a license—this process is called a check-out. If a license is available, the server will assign it to the client, and the license will no longer be available to other clients. If all the floating licenses are checked out, the request for a license is denied.

When a client no longer needs the license, it will return the license to the server—this process is called a check-in. Typically, a check-in occurs when the user exits SpinFire Ultimate. (Note that even if SpinFire Ultimate shuts down unexpectedly, the floating-license server will reclaim the license.)

Server and client are configured through a floating-license file, This file contains the following information:

Server Hostname

The network name of the machine acting as the floating-license server.

Server Host ID

The server MAC address; also referred to as the physical address.

Vendor Name

A name that uniquely identifies the company whose product is licensed—in our case, the vendor name is actifyd. The vendor name is needed to determine the service name.

Number of Licenses

The number of available licenses.

Licensed Feature

feature is any software component that can be licensed; for example, SpinFire Ultimate is a feature. Specifically, any component that gets checked out/checked in is considered a feature.

Borrowing Flag

A flag that indicates whether or not a feature can be borrowed.

Borrowing Time

Specifies how long (in hours) a feature can be borrowed.

SpinFire Ultimate determines if a license "floats" by looking at the configuration code. If the license is a floating license, then the file will include an xml node that is the floating-license text. SpinFire Ultimate will extract the text and save it to disk as a new file, sfpflv2.dat, which is then used by the floating-license system.

Related Topics

Floating License Installation

FlexLM User View

Activation and Registration

Important Note

Important Information


If a floating license server is already installed, you must update it to the latest Floating License Manager in order to be able to use SpinFire 11.7.1 and later releases . Simply follow the instructions here to download and install the latest Floating License Manager.

Note for SpinFire users

On startup, SpinFire Ultimate 11.7.x will no longer copy any existing license files from SpinFire 10.x.x.  Ensure that after the Floating License Manager has been updated with the latest license file that the files are then copied to the SpinFire end user machines or that they use Activate Floating License to grab the new License files from the server. Do not use Activate Online for Floating Licenses, One of the reasons being that it will not take into account any specified ports that has been configured on the Server.

Borrowing/Returning Licenses

The Borrow License command allows a floating license to be used temporarily when a computer is disconnected from the network that runs the license server. This is a useful feature for mobile users.

When SpinFire Ultimate is in floating-license mode, the Borrow License command appears on the Tools menu. A user can borrow the license for one to 45 days, and will not be available to other users until it is either returned or it expires. If more time is needed to run SpinFire Ultimate off the network, consider purchasing a standalone seat of SpinFire Ultimate.

A user can return the license anytime within the two-week borrowing period by connecting to the network that runs the license server and selecting Tools > Return License.

Upon return or expiration, SpinFire Ultimate will no longer operate without a network connection.

Loss of Network Connection

If the network connection between SpinFire Ultimate and FLEXlm (see FlexLM User View) is broken, the floating license will remain checked out for two hours. The license will be unavailable to other users, even if the network connection is re-established within the two-hour time period.

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