Introduction to Licenses

VSN International Ltd. uses the FLEXlm License Management system to control use of its software products. A valid license key is required before the software can be used; this can take several forms according to the conditions of the license purchased.

In most cases, the license key is not provided with the application. Software installation is followed by a registration process, and the license key is then despatched to the user by email. Trial keys can be used to gain immediate access to the software.

The license system described here was introduced at Release 7.2 of GenStat (7th Edition SP1), and version 2.0 of ASReml and SAMM. The notes are not relevant to earlier versions of these programs, except where specifically indicated (e.g. when discussing upgrades).

FLEXlm and FLEXnet are registered trademarks of Macrovision Corporation. As of version 10.0, FLEXlm was renamed FLEXnet (i.e. FLEXnet v10.0 followed after FLEXlm v9.5). Both names are used in VSN documentation and can be regarded as equivalent.

Individual License

An individual license key is installed on the host computer along with the software. It may contain some security element restricting its use to particular hosts but does not require installation of any other software.

Note that in some cases multiple or site-wide licenses may be provided in this form, according to specific circumstances.

Network Licenses

Network licenses require the installation of license management software on a suitable server host. The license key is validated by the software, which runs constantly in a background mode. Each use of a licensed application will generate a request to the license server, which will grant or refuse permission as appropriate.

This form of licensing is particularly suited for "counted" licenses, where licenses are issued from a limited pool. Any user on the network can have access, until the pool is exhausted. Site-wide licenses may also be provided in this form. Licenses for different software products can be combined so that they are maintained within the one system.

When a network license is provided, the application software can be mounted on a network drive or on individual machines, or a mixture of both. An auxiliary license file installed with the application directs license requests to the FLEXlm license manager running on the server.

Trial Licenses

In addition to the license types described above, individual users can install a trial key. This allows evaluation of the software for a 30 day period. A full license can then be purchased and installed in place of the trial key.

The trial key can also be used to gain access to the software whilst awaiting delivery of an Individual License, but note that they cannot be used for a network installation.

Note that trial keys are not necessarily available for every software product on every platform. Where the facility is provided it will be offered as an option following installation.

See Also