Product Licensing & Activation

Network License

Network licenses are managed by one or more license managers running on servers within your company’s network. An administrator registers your Autodesk products and obtains network licenses for your license managers. Network licensed software installed on workstations does not require individual registration and activation. The license managers allocate network licenses when an Autodesk product is started on your network. Each time a license is allocated, the license manager decrements the available seat count for the product. When the product is closed, the product returns the network license to the pool and the available seat count is updated. Network licenses are called "floating licenses," because they are not tied to a particular workstation or user. Most network licensed Autodesk products allow you to run unlimited concurrent sessions of a product on a single workstation while using only one network license.


Licenses can be shared across your company’s TCP/IP network, subject to the territorial restrictions set forth in the applicable Software License Agreement (SLA). In most cases, private connection (VPN) over broadband can also be used to access network licenses. The Software License Agreement (SLA) for most products restricts license usage to a particular “Territory” (as defined in the SLA). For more information, contact your authorized reseller.


Network licensing simplifies software asset management because the licenses are resident on license managers instead of on each of the workstations across the network. The license manager can be configured to log historical usage data. Autodesk includes SAMreport-Lite at no charge to provide basic historical usage reports. If you need more detailed reporting, you may want to consider the Flexera FlexNetManager® reporting tools (available at an additional cost).

Another benefit of network licensing is software asset utilization. When you are not running your network licensed product, the network license is available for another user.

License Borrowing

Most network licensed Autodesk products allow you to use the software while temporarily disconnected from your company's network, such as when you are on business trip or working at a remote location. This functionality is possible with License Borrowing. You can borrow network licenses for remote use for up to 180 days (or 6 months). Your administrator can reduce the maximum borrow period. You can choose a borrow period up to the maximum borrow period. When a license is borrowed, it is unavailable for sharing from the license manager. After the borrow period lapses, the license automatically becomes available on the license manager. Once reconnected to the company network, you can return a license early, making the license available for sharing.

Network licensing allows administrators to control software access and availability. Licenses may be reserved or restricted for individuals or specific computers. License borrowing access may also be controlled. To implement these controls and manage other license manager behavior, an administrator creates a license manager options file. Consult the Network Licensing Guide on your Autodesk product distribution media for information on creating an options file.

Deployment Wizard

While it is possible to install the network version of most products directly from the distribution media, Autodesk recommends using the Deployment Wizard to create preconfigured installation images. Deployments can be configured to be silent. Silent deployments do not require interaction at install time, which helps to prevent overriding the preconfigured choices. Images created with the Deployment Wizard can be installed to workstations by double-clicking the deployment shortcut created by the wizard. Delivery to workstations can be automated using scripts, Group Policies, or Microsoft SMS/SCCM (or similar tools). Refer to the Network Administrator’s Guide for more information.

License Managers

To use network licenses, you must set up one or more license managers and obtain product licenses for them. To set up license managers, you must first select single, distributed, or redundant server models.

  • Single Server
    In the single server model, one license manager handles all licenses. This is the simplest model to implement and maintain. If you already have a single point of failure, such as a file server, the single server option may be ideal for you.
  • Distributed Server
    Distributed servers are implemented by installing multiple single servers within your network and managing a portion of your licenses on each of the license managers. When a network licensed product starts up, it tries each server for a license in the order you specify. The strategic placement of the distributed servers provides fault tolerance of server and infrastructure failures.
  • Redundant Server
    Redundant servers require three colocated servers to run a triad of license managers. To issue licenses, at least two of the three systems must be running and able to communicate with each other. Redundant servers offer the highest level of fault tolerance of server failure but are intolerant of infrastructure failure.

Registration and Activation

An administrator at your company registers your software and obtains network licenses for your license managers. The preferred method of registering and obtaining your network licenses is to use the Autodesk Registration site. If you require assistance, please complete the License Registration and Activation Assistance form or have your authorized Autodesk reseller handle licensing for you.