RG030 – How to install and activate RES Licenses

By Max Ranzau

 

The purpose of this entry level article, is to explain how to activate a license within a RES Product. For this excersise we will use RES Workspace Mananger as the method is very similar to that of Automation Manager. The VDX stand alone component will eventually be  licensed seperatly, so I will cover that in another article later. For the excersise at hand, I have invented a fictacious company, called Ranzau Engineering Services for which we will install and activate licenses for. And yes, the pun is totally intended :-) In the following article, RG031 we will then proceed to create an account on the RES Support portal.

Before you can follow this article step by step, you will need to have a license file ready. You do not receive a license file just by downloading the software, as you don’t need one for the first 60 days in eval mode. You can however receive one of the following licenses per agreement with RES Software:

  • A purchased license. You are a customer and have bought X number of licenses.
  • A NFR license. You are a new partner. You are entitled uppon signing and certification to receive a non-expiring NFR license for a limited number of users, intended for use in your lab/demo environment.
  • An IUL license. As a partner you can purchase licenses for internal use in your production
  • An extended eval license. When you initially install Workspace Manager out of the box, you get 25 users for 2 months of eval time. After eval license expiry users won’t be able to log in. As installing the products takes less than 15 minutes, 60 days should give you ample opportunity to take the software for a spin and kick the tires. There may however be exceptional situations, where RES can generate extended eval licenses for any number of users for any time limit. The extended eval license is installed and activated just like all of the above.

Regardless of license type, you receive it as an email from RES Software’s Backoffice. This is the busines unit that handles all license transactions. The email contains 3 files per product you’ve purchased licenses for

  1. An .XML file which you can import into the console of your RES product (this is the machine-readable license file)
  2. A copy of the XML file renamed to .XM_. We send you this in case your email program doesn’t like and henceforth blocks the .XML file.
  3. A PDF certificate is included which is your official document that you have purchased/received a licensepack from RES Software. This document looks like shown on the right

Once you have obtained a .XML licensefile to install, you need to follow the procedure below to activate them. You can click on all the screenshots below to view them in full size. Use left+right arrow keys to cycle through the screenshots.

  • First, go to the license management node. You will find this in the console under Setup | Licensing. Here you will note that you are currently running on an eval license (license key is 0000-0000…). The console will also show here how many days you have left on your eval period.
  • Hit the License Wizard button in the lower right hand corner to start the wizard. After the initial welcome screen the wizard will prompt you to either Add, Register or Activate licenses. You typically only use the Register+activate option when you’ve just added licenses and then cancelled. This gives you a grace period of 30 days to register/activate.
  • Select Add RES Workspace Manager license. You will now be prompted to browse for the license .XML file. Once you open it, the licensing wizard will parse it and show you the contens. Here you can see when it was issued, verify license count, edition, activation deadline and much more. Hit Finish to start the import process.
  • Once complete, you will get prompted if you want to register and activate now. If you answer no to this, as mentioned above you will have a grace period of one month to do it later. If the graceperiod expires users will no longer be able to login through Workspace Manager.
  • Answering yes, you will now be prompted if you want to register as an end-user, or as a consultant for a partner/reseller who’s onsite at the customer. It doesn’t really matter which one you chose as you will be prompted for both enduser and reseller info anyway. It is just a matter in which order the input forms are presented.
  • Selecting the “my company” lets you enter your company information and contact details. All fields marked with a red * (asterix) is mandatory. There is fortunatly not any field validation going on.
  • Since we chose to register the customer company first, we then get prompted for additional contact information, specifically sales info and technical contact info. The last fields are the most importat ones; to which email address(es) should RES send the activation keys.
  • Once that has been taken care of you will need to enter the resellers information. This is the same deal as before. Company name, address, phone and fax.

 

  • Next you will have to enter your Site Name. This is important, since what you enter here will be shown at the top of the management console from hereon afterwards, so choose carefully.
  • Now you get to select your method of activation, you can choose between Web, Email and saving to a file. Let’s discuss these options. Web means online activation. Provided the computer where you are using the console is able to open a SSL (tcp/443) connection to a license server at RES Software, you can activate straight away and be done with it. If online, this is my weapon of choice.
  • Email means using an existing MAPI connection on the computer where the Workspace Manager console is running. In other words, if you have Outlook installed, the console will automagically use that MAPI connection and generate an activation email. As this is a legacy option, it is probably not used very often anymore.
  • The Save to file option is  for environments where there’s no direct access to the Internet. This can be high security installations or quite simply if your internet connection is unavailalbe, this is the way to go. As there are a few more steps involved , I decided to document this method in more detail below.  Again, use the Web option above if you can. Then you can skip the rest.
  • If you are curious to what the activation request file contains, I’m sorry to say you may be a bit disappointed, as it’s all encrypted. This file contains all the information you’ve supplied below. All you have to do is to email the file as an attachment to activation@ressoftware.com. Once received within european GMT business hours, you will shortly after receive an email from the RES Backoffice.
  • The email you will receive, will look like the one shown here on the right. It is the attachments that are interesting. RES used to attach two files; an .XML and copy of it, renamed .XM_. These days they are added into a .zip file. These files are not to be confused with the original license email you received, described previously.
  • As mentioned, the .XML file is the file we need to proceed. Go back to your Workspace Manager Console. Since we haven’t registered yet, the console will most likely fling a reminder in our face when we go back into the Licensing node.
  • Hit the Licensing Wizard button in the lower right corner of the Licensing Node. This time we need to choose the “Activate RES Workspace Manager license(s)…” option in order to import the resact*.xml file.
  • You browse to the XML file and voila, if everything checks out, you receive a confirmation pop-up that the licenses have been successfully activated.

 

  • Once you finish the wizard and return to the Licence node, you will notice that your licenses are now marked as Activated and the total license count has been updated. Note that any remaining evaluation licenses that may be active are removed once you replace them with licenses that can be activated.

Should you wish to add more licenses in the future, you can simply follow the above procedures again and the new license pack will be added to the list in the License node, and the total license count will be updated. Note that more complicated license operations, such as splitting licenses into more than one pool requires substantially more work, as new licenses have to be cut, your existing licenses must be invalidated and there is also some paperwork to sign to make it happen.

Now that you have activated your first licenses, you can go ahead and register yourself for access to the support portal. Please see article RG031 for information on this topic. For further information on licenses, I would recomend you to have a look at Paulina’s licensing article over on the RES Blog. This article contains a FAQ on license issues and useful contact information as well.

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