I don't know why, but I have seen the same behavior.
I bet restarting the explorer.exe process after they go off line would release the license.
Working off-line doesn't actually disconnect you from the DataBase (and therefore free a license). When you go Offline (without Logging out first), if you are still connected to the network you will find that you can still Check Out / In files, this allows you to 'prepare' for being totally offline before actually disconnecting from the network. .
To free up a license you would either need to break your network connection or more simply just log out of EPDM after going Off-line.
(Killing "Explorer.exe" has the same effect as a log-out)
Customer Support Manager
I see completely different results on my end when i am in off line mode.
For one, when I click Work-Offline, I can immediately see my license in the license manager get released. (when i click to work on line the license is taken by me again. I literally watch this happen in the license manager. I've been using off-line mode with all of our users to free up licenses and it works.
As far as being able to check files out when i am working off line, I cannot even see files in the vault that weren't already checked out before i go into off line mode. The only files I see are the files i had already checked out.
I am running EPDM 2015
Einar, I see you have not yet upgraded to 2015. This feature is no longer available through the interface. No more automatic log off button.
To set this up now you have to follow a 30 some odd step procedure, create files, edit files and so on and so forth. They made this extremely difficult to set up in 2015. However, I did take the hour and set it up. It simply does not work well anyways. What EPDM classifies as being inactive I don't exactly know, but just having the window open allows users to retain a license. After I set this up i did not see a bit of difference in the license manager.
I have this setup in a test environment and it appears to be working (2015 sp2). It now uses the SolidWorks license manager which means you have to setup an "options" file to set the timeout increment (in seconds). Not as a nice a "check box" i agree, but its not terribly difficult to setup.
I checked the log and after 1800 seconds (30 min) it releases the license. This actually works better than the older function as its adjustable (Set the time from 15+ mins.) and it actually releases the license after that time giving you a better snapshot of actual usage, The older function only releases license after 30 mins if you run out.
Nice to know....
Still 2014SP5 here.