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Network licenses - which license is used when you have both suite and non-suite licenses

Posted by MaxStation, 24 August 2012 1:05 pm

This post is about which network license is used by 3ds Max, it also applies to other Autodesk applications as the Autodesk License Manager technology is the same across the products (standalone licensing is simpler: the application uses the license it was activated with).

Cheapest first

By default 3ds Max will try and use the cheapest network license it can run off. That is independent of the media you've installed it from!

So if you have both 3ds Max and Entertainment Creation Suite (ECS) licenses 3ds Max will first try to obtain a 3ds Max license, if those aren't available it will try to get an ECS license.

Running multiple applications at the same time

If you're running 3ds Max (which uses a 3ds Max network license) and also start Mudbox it will try to get the cheapest license. In the same situation as above with 3ds Max and ECS licenses the cheapest license to run Mudbox with is the ECS license. So now you have two network licenses in use: one 3ds Max and one ECS license.

Within a minute the licensing technology switches 3ds Max to also use the ECS license and the 3ds Max license is returned to the server.

If you exit Mudbox 3ds Max will keep running off the ECS license, there isn't a mechanism to release the ECS license and get a 3ds Max license instead. So if you need to make the ECS license available to one of your colleagues you'd have to exit 3ds Max and start it again so that it uses a 3ds Max license.

Suite specific licensing as with the Extension for 3ds Max 2013

After installing the Extension for 3ds Max 2013, 3ds Max will still try to obtain the cheapest license when you start it.

Only when you use a feature that requires a Suite license will the license technology obtain an ECS license and return the 3ds Max license.

Same as when running multiple applications at the same time there isn't a mechanism to get 3ds Max to release the ECS license and get a 3ds Max license: you'll need to exit 3ds Max and start it again so one of your colleagues can use the ECS license.

An example with 3ds Max Design

If you have licenses for 3ds Max Design and for one of the Product Design Suites that includes 3ds Max Design  3ds Max Design will first try to obtain a 3ds Max Design license, if those aren't available it will try to get a license for the Product Design Suite.

Sequence in which 3ds Max looks for a license


The sequence in which 3ds Max looks for licenses is hard coded, it's not possible to change the sequence in which it tries to obtain a license.

You can use use the options file to reserve licenses for certain users or include/exclude users from certain licenses and in that way control who can run which applications. The details on how to do that will be the topic of a future blog post.

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