OpenFlows Academic Book Software Installation and Licensing


This information is for those who purchased a recent edition of Bentley’s Stormwater Conveyance Modeling and Design or Computer Applications in Hydraulic Engineering. These books provide you with access to several of Bentley’s OpenFlows products for you to apply the lessons learned in the book with professional quality software. 

This article contains instructions for installation and licensing of the software. The software can only be installed on one machine at a time and is intended for academic and not professional use. A watermark will appear on reports, and you will be limited to a small number of elements.

If you already have access to a University academic license, you should have access to the same products, with higher feature levels (ex: number of pipes) compared to the book license. In this case, you should consider using your University academic license. If you use the book license using this information, you will need to check in the license at a later point if you want to switch back; see note further below.

If you have a company/commercial license and are signed into the CONNECTION Client with your company account, the book licenses accessed using the steps below will be used instead of any commercial licenses, but usage may incur against your company. For example if your company has access to a WaterGEMS 2000 pipe license, using the steps below will cause it to use a 25 pipe, academic license instead, with the check out duration of two years. See important note below! 

For Tutorials and other supplemental material, see this page.

Downloading and Using your Academic Licenses

A unique registration key is included with your book as an insert (separate loose page), with the following format:


If you did not receive your registration key, or if you're using the eBook version, please contact

Completing the workflow below will result in a 2-year license file (with file extension.belic) that will entitle the user to the product(s) associated with the book the key was generated for and will provide the user with download links for the latest version of the products they’re entitled to use. This is also sometimes known as a "check out" or "node lock" license.

1. Using a web browser, navigate to this page:

2. Complete the dialog that appears and click Submit. All fields are required fields with the exception of Company Name. If you had already followed this process before and are trying to re-download the software or license file, click "Already registered?".

Note: It is very important for the machine name entered to match the machine that the user is actually going to use the software on. If it does not match, the license file will not work, and the user will need to contact Bentley ( to reset the key.  We have provided an informational tip in that field that will instruct a user on how to get the correct machine name. Hover your mouse over the blue "i" icon for help.

If you encounter the error "Invalid activation key", ensure that all fields are filled out in the form, that you have entered your own unique registration key from the book (it can only be used by one person), and that no extra spaces were included when pasting in.

After successful registration, the user will be taken to a result page that will provide the download links they need for the product installers and the license file they need to import.

3. First, download and install the provided CONNECTION Client for the architecture of the user’s machine, 32-bit or 64-bit. In most cases you will want the 64-bit version. It is important that the user download the latest CONNECTION Client before importing the license file.

4. Download each of the products you want installed on your computer. The download file will be saved to the default folder for your computer. (It’s best to not Install the product at this point but rather wait until the license file is downloaded.)

5. Save the downloaded license file (*.belic), which is needed in step 6. by picking Download.

The license file will be in the location where all your downloads are saved. There is no need to open the downloaded license file at this time.

6. Import the downloaded license file into the Bentley Licensing Tool. To do this, first open the Bentley Licensing Tool from the Start menu.

Note: if you are asked to sign in and you do not have a Bentley account, you can dismiss the sign-in dialog and proceed with opening the Bentley Licensing Tool.

Open the File menu and choose Import Policy File. Chose the license file that you downloaded earlier and select Open.

After a successful import, you should see a confirmation that the import was successful. Then, click the Entitlements tab and the software products should be listed. Note that the list of Entitlements may be blank initially or may list other Bentley software already installed.

Additional information on the Bentley Licensing Tool can be found here: Overview of Bentley Licensing Tool

7. Install the products that you will be using. Go to the folder where the downloads are stored (from step 4) and open the installation file which will look like the following (using CulvertMaster as an example):


Follow the steps to setup and install the product, then open it.

Warning: if you are signed into the CONNECTION Client with a company email address, please see the important note below

If the user wants to install additional products at a later date using the same registration key, it is necessary to return to the fulfillment center (step 1), pick “Already registered” and complete the dialog below. There is no need to download the CONNECTION Client or license file again.


What if I need to re-download the software or license key?

If you need to download the software installation files or the license file again (on the same computer), use the same link and click "Already Registered?"

What if I need to use a different computer?

At this time there is no way for the user to de-register a machine and register a new one. To accomplish this, please contact Bentley at

What if my company also has licenses of these products?

If you are signed into the CONNECTION Client with a company email address and your company has a subscription with access to these products, the products will always use the feature level of the book's checked out license (which you imported using the steps above). So, even if you try to select a higher feature level in the Feature Level Selector tool (such as Unlimited Pipes), it will still use the book's feature level (which is limited). If you want to use a higher feature level from your company's license, you will need to check in the book's licenses using the steps below.

What if I want to switch back to a University academic license or company commercial license?

When you use the steps above to use the book license, the software will always use the book's feature levels (ex: 10 inlets for StormCAD) for the two year check out duration. To revert back to your company or university license, follow these steps:

Note: currently you can only check in all licenses at once, not specific licenses.

  1. From the Windows Start menu, locate and open "Bentley Licensing Tool"
  2. Click the "Checkout License" tab and note the book licenses listed at the bottom.
  3. Click a book license in the bottom portion, click the "Check in" button above it and confirm that the book licenses will be checked in.
  4. Click Tools > Select Feature Levels and select your company or university feature levels as needed.
  5. Close the Bentley Licensing Tool, reopen the product and confirm the license and status under File > Help > About.

"Invalid activation key" error when trying to enter the registration key

If you encounter the error "Invalid activation key", ensure that all fields are filled out in the form, that you have entered your own unique registration key from the book (it can only be used by one person), and that no extra spaces were included when pasting in.

AutoCAD, MicroStation or ArcGIS integration problems

If you're attempting to integrate with the AutoCAD, MicroStation or ArcGIS platforms and encounter a problem, see the below troubleshooting guides:

Troubleshooting AutoCAD Integration

Troubleshooting MicroStation Integration

Troubleshooting ArcMap / ArcGIS Integration