Any Bentley CONNECTED application uses dongle-less licensing called Subscription Entitlement Service (SES), sometimes also referred to as CONNECT Licensing. This means you will experience a flexible software usage, as this license system does not require special hardware, like a hardware lock/USB dongle. This will lower the effort for your IT department to manage who can use the software.
When setting up a new Bentley CONNECT Edition license, your organization will have a so-called Bentley Account Administrator. This person (or persons) will have the control to add users to the organization based on the email address and to give these users different roles:
Once given the entitlements to use the software, the user will be able to log in into the so-called CONNECTION Client, which will grant the logged-in user access to use the software if he/she is entitled by the Site administrator.
This means that a user is flexible where and when to use PLAXIS: the user starts the CONNECTION Client and logs in with their email address and then starts PLAXIS. At the end of the session, when the user closes the software, the usage tracking of that license is stopped. See the details how usage is calculated.
This licensing system offers flexible usage with an online centralized management solution. Once a user is given the entitlement for a product, the software can directly be used. For the first usage, an internet connection is required to check for proper entitlements. After that, users can make use of the software while being online and offline. Users can even reserve a license for a certain period, in which the software will be reserved and marked as in use for the complete reserved period.
When there is a sudden need for more simultaneous use of the software, the Subscription Entitlement Service also allows using additional licenses without any lengthy administrative process based on the actual usage. This is referred to as Term Licenses. The Account Administrators still have control: they can set up an information message for the user when the number of licenses goes over a predefined threshold, plus the administrators can be notified. This can be set up in the Configure license alerting pages, where the license alert service (1), license threshold (2) and a clear alerting message (3) can be manually defined, see below.
Figure 1. License alert settings: (1) enabling, (2) license threshold, (3) custom message
Bentley Systems can offer different types of PLAXIS licenses: perpetual licenses and term licenses. The perpetual licenses offer access to a predefined number of licenses, while term licenses will be counted based on peak usage over a period. This also means that the term licenses will be invoiced at the end of e.g. a quarter.
Bentley allows for both types at the same time. This means if you exceed the number of perpetual licenses, you without the need to contact your IT/Account administrator or a Bentley Sales representative to use more licenses when there is a sudden higher demand for the software. This means engineering can continue the engineering work without any delay.
To inspect usage, the Entitlement Services have reporting features as Product Usage Report and Subscription Analytics. These can be accessed via the Subscription Services Portal (https://subscriptionservices.bentley.com/). The Product Usage Report gives you an overview of peak usage per application.
With the license alerting (see above) users can make an informed decision to continue to use the software. This mechanism allows your organization to make an economical decision as well: when usage increases your organization can opt for temporary additional licenses as Term licenses, or it might be more cost-effective to choose for an additional perpetual license. And by subscribing to the Cloud Services Subscription, a more fine-grained solution can be offered, including monthly Term Licenses.
Note: By default, Subscription Entitlement Service allows products to be used offline if a user is unable to sign in. However, users may unknowingly exceed the value set in the license alert while working offline since the computer cannot check with the license alerting service first. To avoid this problem, the Account Administrators can disable offline usage for a product if a product is typically used with an Internet connection.
Important: Enabling or disabling either usage alerts or offline usage requires a policy refresh on the client-side to apply the changes. Client machines automatically refresh their policy files every four hours while signed in or when restarting CONNECTION Client, but changes can be applied immediately by opening the Bentley Licensing Tool and selecting Refresh Policy from the Tools menu. Changes to the quantity field under User In-Application Alerts do not require a refresh on the client end.
Bentley's Licensing Configuration at https://www.bentley.com/en/Licensing-Configuration gives a good overview and provides easy steps to get started with your Bentley Systems CONNECT license. Check it out here.