Site Standards - Automate Licence Key Distribution

[This content is obsolescent. Bentley's licensing mechanisms are changing, please refer to the Licensing Wiki for up to date information.]

Here is an often overlooked time saver. How many times have you walked around the office punching in activation codes?

Use Windows Group Policies to remove that tedious task. Just enter your select server name and activation key into the Group Policy Management Editor and all your users will receive their activation key when they login for the first time.

This Wiki, Group Policy Administration (ADM) files, includes links to an Explanatory video and downloads for old style .adm files for Windows Server 2003 (what you're still using that version?) and the newer .adml and .admx files for Server 2008 and later.

If you or your IT team already know about Group Policies just go straight to the download links, using them will be obvious (except for one change, covered in the video, that needs to be made if using an old style .adm on Server 2008, but I can't see any reason for doing that now the .adml and .admx files are available).

Advantages of using Group Policies:

  • Set the policy, apply to the Windows Organizational Unit(s) that use Bentley applications, job done. No manual entry of activation keys ever again.
  • If your activation key changes for some reason, just update the policy, no further intervention required. For instance, it's an easy solution if you think your activation key is being misused.
  • Activation Groups: Another often overlooked feature. In your SELECTserver management interface you can create additional activation keys and specify the applications that can be used by that key, e.g. a group could be created restricted to using PowerDraft. The activation key for that group can then be applied to an Organisational Unit containing the appropriate users.
  • If you are concerned that users may take a note of your activation key and use it outside your organisation, the Group Policy Template includes an option to hide the Activation Key (also covered by the video).

Windows Group Policies are an immensely powerful tool that can save you days over the course of a year, well worth investigating. Ask your IT team or consultants what you can do with them.

Obviously this technique is only available to networks with a Windows Domain Controller.