Say you have a team of 4 designers. The team has a total of 3 licenses (2 Standard, 1 Premium). Two of the designers require the standard features, and two utilize the features within the premium license. They are all on the same network domain.
In order to leverage the full extent of the premium license, the license manager can be setup so only those who require the additional functionality have access to it. The process for setting up a system for license allocation uses a feature of the SolidNetWork License Manager (SNL) called the 'Options File'. If an administrator wants to structure how licenses get distributed, this is where to go.
There are many different license options that can be modified through the options file, but of the most common would be the 'Reserve' and 'Timeout' commands. In our quick example, User 1 and User 2 will use the Premium licenses while Users 3 and 4 will use only the Standard license. (If other users want to use the Premium occasionally as well, check out the License Order window of the SNL.) We want the right people to access the proper tools and while maximizing utilization of software assets.
The first step is to create an 'Options File' and a 'User Group'. This is what the network software uses to differentiate users. Let’s name the options file 'SOLIDWORKS'. The group we’ll name 'Prem'. We can use any word processor to create this but it must be saved with an .opt file extension. Note: Syntax is important for the commands and more detail can be found in the licensingenduserguide (located on your local drive, usually here C:\Program Files (x86)\SolidWorks SolidNetWork License Manager\Docs\flexuser). The name of user reflects the Windows user name.
In the second step we can add the command 'Reserve'. This holds the license available so that only those in the group specified can gain access to that package. However, these users can also still access the licenses that are not reserved.
Next we will add a command that can free up the Premium license if it’s idle. Since we have two users sharing one seat of Premium we want to maximize availability. The 'Timeout' command uses “heartbeats” to ping the license for activity. The time is listed in seconds. Here it is set to 30 minutes. Syntax says to separate each command with a # or a new line.
Now we have our options code set. We can adjust this at any time, but it needs to be added to the SolidNetwork License Manager so that it can be read in by SOLIDWORKS. Click on the 'Modify Tab' of the SNL. Then select the 'Activate/Reactivate' radial. From here we can add in the options file we just created. Proceed with activation/reactivation.
This may be a lesser known function of the SolidNetWork License Manager, but it can have a large impact on how your users access their SOLIDWORKS tools. It’s one part of the workflow that they shouldn’t have to worry about, and with the file in place neither will you.
Written by Mike Strand
Mike Strand works with both the Marketing and the Application Engineering team at Alignex, Inc. During the week he attends engineering events, edits YouTube videos and writes posts for the Alignex Blog. On the weekend you’ll find Mike driving ATVs, snowmobiling and building tools like a cantilever lifting hoist.