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June 3, 2022

About Network Licenses

With the lowering barrier of entry, Network licensing has proven to be a popular option with our clients, both small and large. It is also widely available across the products we support.  The follow applications have a network licensing option available:

Autopath

BricsCAD

Civil Site Design

Spatial Manager

Stringer Topo

Why would I want a Network license?

There are two main reasons that clients look at Network license options:

  1. Lower Cost. Network licenses allow you to share a seat of the application across multiple users, which can work out a lot cheaper compared to dedicated licenses. The typical rule of thumb is that a network license will become the cheaper option when a seat is shared with two or more people.
  2. Simplified Management. As the number of users increases in an organisation so does the IT support time taken to manage their applications. With dedicated licenses IT needs, to maintain a record of who has what license. Licenses also need to be managed at the individual machine level, requiring IT access to that   machine to move licenses around. This often leads to lost licenses, or users stuck on older software releases. Network licenses frees you from this problem, as     the license is maintained in a centralised location, separate to the actual application on the user machines. There is generally only one license to manage, and only one place that you need to go to manage it. This can significantly reduce the time IT spend supporting an application.

Why wouldn't I want a Network license?

Network licenses aren't suitable for everyone. If you're a small organisation without ready IT support, then dedicated stand-alone licenses are generally simpler and more flexible. For users requiring unfettered, dedicated access to an application not being able to access a network license could be frustrating. Users that frequently need to work remotely to the office without a network connection, may find a network license impractical.

A Typical Network Arrangement

The requirements to run a network license of the CAD applications we support is quite low. Generally, most offices already have the necessary equipment in place for this.

For a typical office setup, the key equipment required is:

  1. A Network, either hardwired or Wi-Fi. If you connect to the internet via office Wi-Fi, or can print to a printer within the office, then you have a network.
  2. A License Server. This is a dedicated machine in your office that will host the network license manager and server licenses to users. Typically, the license manager would be installed on your office server, but it is possible to install on any machine connected to your network. The main requirement is that it is a machine constantly available on your network. The license manager software requires minimal resources, meaning that it will run on pretty much any machine you have     available. With BricsCAD it is even possible to run the license manager off a NAS box, provided it has an Intel x86 chipset.
  3. VPN (Optional). For remote use you need to have a VPN. This allows users to connect securely back to the office via the internet when working remotely.

There are other configuration options you can use a Network license in, such as via remote desktop.

Feel free to contact us if you want to discuss in more detail. In many cases, we can arrange for a trial of a network license to allow you to test whether it will work for your organisation before you commit to purchase. 

If you want to compare pricing options, then you can use our cost comparison spreadsheet available from the resources section. This includes a planning tool to help you estimate your likely network license requirement. 

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