5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 28, 2017 5:19 PM by Rose Brookins

    Do I need a Soidworks license for the PDM Server

    Rose Brookins

      We have standalone licenses for each of our Engineering workstations that use Solidworks 2017 to create/edit drawings/parts/assemblies.  We have PDM Enterprise installed on a dedicated Windows 2012 server.  During the implementation, the project leader from our reseller had us install Solidworks (2014 or 2015) on the server.  No one physically uses this server to run Solidworks but I have seen when something gets "stuck" in the workflow, SW will be open on the server.  We simply cancel whatever window is open (usually the save dialog box) and all is well.  Now we have upgraded all of our workstations to SW 2017 and are running into licensing issues because one of the licenses was installed on the server.  Do I really need to pay for a license to sit on the server?


      Also, we hae a shared engineering laptop.  Previously, we were allowed to install the same license on two computers if it was the same user.  Now we have to deactivate the license on the desktop before activating it on the laptop.  The problem is that here are several users who share this laptop and we haven't found a way to change the license without uninstalling and re-installing.  This is VERY time consuming.  Does anyone else have a similar situation?  Have they found a solutions?

        • Re: Do I need a Soidworks license for the PDM Server
          Philip Downing

          Hi Rose,


          I am very surprised that your reseller advised you to install SW on your server. It is certainly not needed on there and I can see no benefit. eDrawings is a perfectly good enough package if viewing files on the server is necessary. So to answer your question you do not need to pay for a license to sit on the server.


          I understand your situation with this "shared" laptop. In an ideal world each user would have a laptop of their own which would make the deactiving and reactivating of license work blissfully. However many people like yourself work in a real world where a "shared" laptop is used by multiple users. In this case you have two options, you can either modify the installation and enter the relevant serial number manually. (I assume you meant modify the install rather than uninstall/reinstall - as you can change the serial number there). Or you can create a batch file to alter the serial number for you (essentially what this does is alter the relevant locations within the regsitry that contain the serial number that you want to use. So for example if John Smith were to use the laptop he would select a file on the desktop for example that says "John Smith" and providing his license has been deactivated on his workstation then he can use SW as it now is using his serial number and so on for the next person). this is easier than it sounds don't worry! I can help depending on what you choose. I hope this helps.



            • Re: Do I need a Soidworks license for the PDM Server
              Rose Brookins

              Thanks for responding.  As for the SW installation on the server, could this have something to do with the workflows in PDM Enterprise?  There are some "tasks" in PDM to convert files to Parasolid, Step, STL, or PDF,  Would these task be done on the server and that is why we neeeded the SW installation?


              As for the shared laptop, we don't have the license from the server to use so I am very interested in using a file to modify the registry.  We are unable to simply modify the installation because we have installed using an admin image.  I've searched for ways to change the serial numbers and cannot find anything other than the modify the installation method.  I appreciate any help you can give me on how to modify the registry.



                • Re: Do I need a Soidworks license for the PDM Server
                  Philip Downing

                  Hi, yes now you mention it that would be a perfectly good reason to have SW installed on the server, I didn't think of that, carrying out these tasks on the server frees up time for the clients I guess.


                  Ok, that’s unfortunate I see why you have to uninstall now then. I may have got my wires crossed in terms of batch files but the principle is still the same, it is just carried out via a registry file that you can create. The serial number for SW lives in a number of different locations in the registry as follows:


                  1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SolidWorks\Licenses\Serial Numbers
                  2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SolidWorks\Security
                  3. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\SolidWorks\Security
                  4. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\SolidWorks\Licenses\Serial Numbers




                  What you need to do is export all of these keys (RMB>Export) and insert them all into one notepad document so it looks like this (you will need to copy and paste):




                  I am using notepad++ by the way. It is just a fancy version of notepad, don't be daunted. All you have to do now is changed the relevant serial numbers for the particular user. I have pointed out with the red arrows some areas to watch out for as the serial number is split into two lines (Do not change any of the format here - only the numbers as it won't work).


                  Then save the file as a txt file i.e. John Smith.txt.



                  Then rename this with the .reg extension = "John Smith.reg".




                  Now all John Smith has to do is double click this file and then confirm the following messages:




                  Repeat this process for each of the users.


                  Just a little note; be incredibly careful in the regsitry! It is not recommended for the average user to go in there as a lot of damage can be done. If you follow the instructions you should be fine. Also be aware if SW is already using Joe Bloggs serial number for example, and John Smith's registry key is selected, both John Smith's and Joes Blogg's license will exist on that machine and Joe Bloggs license cannot be used elsewhere. Make sure that the license that is being used on the laptop is deactivated before activating another license. The solution should this ever happen is to deactivate John Smith's license then activate Joe Blogg's license, then deactivate Joe Bloggs's license, then activate the new license (absolute nightmare!).


                  Hope this helps,



              • Re: Do I need a Soidworks license for the PDM Server
                Philip Downing

                Just another note - if you have a spare license sitting on the server, you could always use it on the "shared" laptop.