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21/08/2019 16:19:22

By Aristotelis Liakatas, Software Developer and Support Engineer – Flood Modeller, Jacobs

Flood Modeller Pro provides a variety of licence types to best serve the needs of our clients. Apart from the modular nature of the software, where the users can enhance the base package with additional features, there are two major decisions when it comes to licensing:

  1. Standalone licence vs network licence
  2. Lock via USB dongle or software lock

Standalone licence vs network licence

 The first grouping distinguishes between licences available on one machine only at any given time (standalone) and licences being served to multiple machines over the network.

We often find that standalone licences are in great demand, with users having to spend time posting dongles from office to office. Not only does this risk them being lost, it always delays the use of the software when project deadlines are extremely tight.

Networked licences remove the need for USB dongles, making licenses that would originally have been based in other offices (potentially not in use) readily available on your network. This is particularly useful for larger organisations that have modelling teams based across different offices or even countries, allowing different users to access the software across a number of time zones.

Our networked licences are based on WIBU CodeMeter technology which provides a flexible 'mix-and-match' approach to the licensing of different features.

To better understand the benefits of these options, let us present an example. A user decides to purchase two Flood Modeller Pro licences. The standard configuration for each licence includes the 1D solver (1,000 nodes), 1D water quality and 1D sediment transport add-ons, 2D ADI solver (400,000 cells), 2D TVD solver (400,000 cells) and 2D FAST solver (400,000 cells) with each licence providing up to four concurrent instances (simulations).

If the user proceeds with the standalone licences, the products will be available to a maximum of two concurrent users across two different machines. Alternatively, two network licences would enable sharing them across multiple offices, thus allowing up to two different users to access the products, as long as they have access to the intranet of the company.As most modern hardware includes multi-core CPUs, the notion of instances is introduced. Flood Modeller Pro licences offer four instances of the software by default for both standalone and network licences. This means that one licence gives access to four instances of each product enabled to one user on one machine. For standalone licences, the user also has the option to add extra instances in increments of four (i.e. 8, 12, etc).   

Licencing

Lock via USB dongle or software lock

The second categorisation refers to the type of lock used to provide access to the products purchased. The two options available are physical locks in the form of USB dongles (sticks) and software locks in the form of files installed on the user’s machines.

A brief list of advantages and disadvantages for both options is provided below. Despite their respective characteristics, the core functionality remains the same. 

USB stick

Pros
- Can be used on different machines as and when needed
- Minimum configuration overhead (plug ’n’ play)
- Easy access when working remotely or from client offices
- Easily updated by the end-user (without IT support)

Cons
- Must be plugged into the machine
- Not always suitable for virtual machines
- Could become lost or damaged more easily (incurring replacement costs)

Software lock

Pros
- Once installed, the licence is always available to use
- No need for hardware management
- Unlikely to be lost unless the machine is damaged
- Not possible to damage the USB

Cons
- Tied to one machine only
- Sensitive to hardware (virtual or physical) changes
- Requires configuration

Technical Reference

A Flood Modeller Pro network licence enables a single user to run four concurrent simulations using the same network licence, where a single user is defined by a user with the same username, using the same machine (hostname, IP Address, etc) and other limitations placed by the WIBU StationShare methodology (see definitions below).

In practice, each user physically or remotely logged on a machine, acquires one licence and is able to run up to four instances of Flood Modeller Pro with any additional modules (if purchased).

Network licences of Flood Modeller Pro use two licensing models: StationShare and UserLimit. This behaviour is inherited from the licensing system Codemeter provided by WIBU. The definition of these two licence models according to Codemeter documentation is:

  • UserLimit: this is used to control the number of licences issued; for each started instance of Flood Modeller Pro, exactly one licence is allocated. The number of licences available for use under UserLimit is equal to the number of Flood Modeller Pro licences available.
  • StationShare: this is effectively used as a “counter” of the number of concurrent simulations; for each combination of machine+user+session, only four (4) instances of Flood Modeller Pro are allowed and one licence is allocated. StationShare licences cannot be shared between sessions.

For example, one user trying to run three models on one machine will need to be allocated one licence with UserLimit and three licences with StationShare.

In order to clarify the terminology for the StationShare model, the following terms are explained:

  • Machine: any physical or virtual machine that acts as a client, meaning it is requesting licences from a server machine.
  • User: any user of the machine that has a unique login ID.
  • Session: any local or remote access of a user to a machine. Not related to Flood Modeller Pro instances.

There is a caveat for remote sessions. Every time a user logs on a Windows 10 machine using remote session, a different session ID is assigned to them. Any attempt to run a new instance of Flood Modeller Pro will make the software seek for a new set of licence (UserLimit + StationShare), even if any previous sessions of the same user, on the same machine have unused StationShare licences.

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