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Reprise Blog

Reprise Software Blog – Your Hub for Licensing Solutions Insights
Stay informed about our products including Reprise License Manager (RLM), RLM Cloud, and Activation Pro. 


Learn from our customer success stories, understand the intricacies of different licensing models, and keep up with our ongoing service upgrades.

Truth or Fiction: Do I Need a License Server?

In an attempt to clear up some confusion and to provide a little education on the not-quite-fascinating subject of license servers, we’ll review various licensing scenarios and what is involved on the server side.


When Do You Need a License Server?

With most popular license managers, including Reprise Software’s Reprise License Manager™ (RLM), the primary function of a license server is to count concurrent licenses. So, if you want to control how many copies/licenses/seats of your product are in use at a given customer site at a given time, you need a license server.


Generally, other license models including date-based (future expiration date, or “time bomb”), feature-based and demo licenses, do not require a server.


So really, the primary situation in which you need to deploy a license server at your user site is if you’re doing concurrent licensing. Other equivalent names for this include counted, floating and network licensing.


Another license model that requires a server is token licensing. With this model, license rights are expressed in terms of other licenses or products. Obviously, this is a more-advanced topic, but suffice it to say, a server is involved.


How to Install A License Server

Installing a license server is not that big of a deal. It usually does not require much in the way of computer resources and it does not need a dedicated piece of hardware. Other than ensuring the server process is started when the machine boots, and taking a look at its health periodically, not much is involved for the user in running a license server. In fact, many large end-user enterprises are likely already running license servers for other ISVs’ products and won’t be surprised that your product runs a license server.


And lastly, to clear up some further confusion: the server we’ve been discussing here is used while the ISV’s product is in use. Its role in life is to ensure that a maximum amount of usage isn’t exceeded, or is exceeded only when agreed upon.


Another service occasionally used by software vendors deploying products with license management is an activation server. Typically, this server is setup alongside or behind an ISV’s main public web server. The activation server is usually used only when a licensed product is first installed, and allows the ISV to get a record of the machine on which the licensed product is run and then transparently ship a digitally signed text license to it. This text license, also called a license file, is human readable and contains details about the usage rights given to the user by the ISV. It is needed for the ISV’s product to run.


But, again, don’t worry: activation servers are not mandatory when selling products with license management. There are many ways to exchange information with the end user of an ISV’s product; using an activation server is only one of them.

Other Posts

New RLM Release (v16.0)

The latest major release of RLM is finally here! Version 16.0 brings an all new web interface with many enhancements over the previous interface, and fixes multiple vulnerabilities related to the web interface.     New Features Include: All-new Redesigned UI/UX Most server functions now

Put Your License Servers in the Cloud with RLMCloud

Put Your License Servers in the Cloud with RLM Cloud

What if your customer doesn’t want his server in the cloud? No problem, because you can use any combination of RLMCloud-based servers and on-premise servers that you wish.
Peregrine Labs Moves to RLM to Build Better Products

Peregrine Labs Moves to RLM to Build Better Products

Peregrine developed a small toolset for tracking usage internally, but they needed help from a third-party solution so they could concentrate on building better products instead of trying to maintain licensing.

Dealing with Activation Read Timeouts (error -105)

On rare occasions, an activation request will get a read timeout status return (-105). There are several causes to the RLM_EH_NET_RERR (-105) error.   If you can activate from some systems, then the first cause (server down) is unlikely.   More likely is that there

How to Set Environment Variables

Environment variables are flags that you set outside an application that the application reacts to. Applications and libraries like RLM read environment variables that they define. Some RLM environment variables are RLM_ACT_TIMEOUT (adjusts the timeout to the activation server to the value supplied), RLM_QUEUE (enables

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How to License Server-Based Software

We compare licensing options for server-based software including floating licensing and using a licensing manager.

Activation Pro

What’s the difference?

Reprise License Manager (RLM)

Software License Manager

RLM provides runtime checking that verifies that your application is licensed to run and that the current usage of your application is within the limits you have ser every time your application runs.

As a Software publisher, you integrate RLM into your product, and RLM keeps track at runtime of who is using the licenses of your software.

RLM can do this entirely within the client library (linked into your application), or, more commonly, your application makes a request of the RLM Lincese Server to check out a license.

The lincese server runs either on your customers network, or in the cloud if you are using our RLMCloud™ service.

RLM provides runtime checking that verifies that your application is licensed to run and that the current usage of your application is within the limits you have ser every time your application runs.

RLM Activation Pro

Software Activation Manager

Activation Pro is
used once when your customer purchases your software in order to retrieve the license which is specific to that customer.

Software Activation’s purpose in life is to get the licenses for your product to your customers with a minimum of fuss.

Activation Pro also has a server component wich we call the activation server.

Your application contacts the activation server and supplies a short text activation key, and in exchange, the activation server returns the license which enables your product.

Generally, this is done once, right after your customer purchases your software, not every time your software is invoked.