Install and license OpenFlows CONNECT Edition products without an internet connection

Product(s): WaterGEMS, WaterCAD, HAMMER, SewerGEMS, SewerCAD, StormCAD, CivilStorm
Version(s): 10.XX.XX.XX and higher
Area: Installation


How can an OpenFlows product be installed and licensed on a computer without an internet connection, such as on a computer with access to a SCADA system that has an "air gap"? (no internet)

When installing a CONNECT Edition (version 10.XX.XX.XX) OpenFlows application without internet access the installation fails and a screen similar to the following appears:

"Check internet connection and restart the setup"

Or, you may encounter the error message: Setup Failed. 0x80070002 - The system cannot find the file specified


Generally speaking, the OpenFlows product installation executable (.EXE) includes the prerequisites such as Visual C++ runtime redistributables and CONNECTION Client, so no internet connection should be required for those. 

However, the CONNECTION Client requires a certain version of the Microsoft .NET Framework prerequisite (currently 4.6.2 as of March, 2020) which is not included and will be downloaded from Microsoft's website if it is not currently installed. When it is detected that internet access is not available the above errors may appear.

Also, license activation requires a connection to the internet unless the license is checked out.

To determine which versions of .NET Framework are required for each version of the OpenFlows product, see: Platform Compatibility

Solution - Installation

1. Access a computer that has an internet connection.

2. Download the appropriate Microsoft .NET Framework and Visual C++ runtime redistributable offline installers (and Microsoft Access Database Engine, if needed). Click here for a list of required .NET versions for each OpenFlows product version. For VC++, the required versions vary, so consider downloading and installing all of the ones mentioned below.

Note: currently the latest available versions of FlowMaster and CulvertMaster require .NET Framework 3.5. This is not enabled by default for Windows 8 and Windows 10, so Windows may need to download information in order to enable it as part of the installation process. In this case you may need to temporarily connect to the internet in order to enable .NET Framework 3.5 if the offline installer cannot be located.

3. Transfer the above files to the computer without internet access. For example using a USB flash drive or burned DVD

4. Install the VC++ redistributables, the required Microsoft .NET Framework version and the Access Database Engine

5. Install the Bentley OpenFlows product.

Note: you could also consider downloading the latest CONNECTION Client version (from Bentley's Software Downloads site on and adding it to the USB drive. (in case there are important updates to the version included with the product version you're installing)

After installation, the CONNECTION Client itself requires an internet connection (to sign in), and is required to activate the license as of version 10.02.XX.XX and greater. See below for more.


If there is a requirement for extended offline scenarios beyond the offline period of the products (I.e. usually 7 days), both Subscription Entitlement Service and SELECTserver provides the capability to reserve or check out licenses.  For computers without internet connectivity, license files can be generated from the administration website by the Administrator from an internet-connected machine. 

For versions that use the Subscription Entitlement Service Licensing (10.02.XX.XX and greater), you can temporarily connect to the internet and check out a license, or the administrator can download a check out license file, transfer it to the computer in question (for example using a USB flash drive) and import the license file into the Bentley Licensing Tool. For more information, see: How to check out licenses from Entitlement Management

For versions that use SELECTserver licensing (below 10.02.XX.XX), to license the software without an internet connection, check out the license from the license server (, save it to an XML file, place that on an external drive (such as a USB flash drive / thumb drive), connect it to the computer that does not have internet access, then import the XML file in the License Management Tool. 

Note that license usage will always be 100% of the time, when it is checked out.

See more details here: 

Admin Check In and Out Instructions for XM and Higher

Importing a Checked Out License (XML file) for XM and Higher

OpenFlows product features that require Internet Connectivity

The following feature rely on an internet connection:

  • CONNECTION Client (to activate)
  • CONNECT Advisor
  • Connected projects
  • ProjectWise integration
  • Bing Maps
  • Access to hydraulic models stored on a company network folder location
  • Access to other background layers stored on a company network folder location
  • Online help

If you are connecting to your corporate network using a VPN and experience connection problems or slow connection speed, the above features can be impacted. For example a background image may take a long time to load or may fail.

See Also

Working From Home With Your OpenFlows Software

Downloading OpenFlows / Hydraulics and Hydrology Software