By staff

How to License Server-based Software

Consider your options
The usual licensing strategy for server software is to lock it to a physical host. This provides some degree of protection from installing and running on multiple hosts, but it does not necessarily represent the optimal approach in terms of maximizing your revenue or customer satisfaction.

What’s missing?
First, there’s the notion of scaling. Do you really want to charge the same price for every site? You need some way to charge more when your software is used more.  Perhaps you can sell multiple node locked servers to larger sites, or even charge relative to the number of cores on the machines, the rationale being that there is the potential to get more use from machines with more horsepower.

Float your server licenses

If you want your customers to have the flexibility of installing and using your server on many machines without having to license them separately, perhaps you should use a floating license manager that ensures that no more than a predetermined number of concurrent server copies can run at the same time. With floating licensing, you issue a license key with a count, and lock only the license server, not each user node.

Size matters
Another approach could be licensing by some other scaled metric: how many records can be maintained in the database, a count of named users, etc.  Each of these metrics can be encoded into a license key, allowing the server software to know when it starts what level of service to enforce based on the license key scaling parameters. A single version of your software could then enforce the appropriate size limits on a site by site basis.

Using a license manager, such as RLM, could also give you even more control of how your software behaves within a virtual machine.  You could even license by platform or by the site’s timezone.

In any case, using a license manager gives you the freedom to change with your license policies.

IO Methodology Licenses the Reprise License Manager (RLM)

IOMethodologySummary: Reprise RLM fit IO Methodoloy’s needs. It is not only easy to integrate, but is also flexible enough to allow fine licensing control of product features to fit their customers’ requirements.

RLM Customer Story:

IO Methodology Inc. ( is a start-up EDA company specializing in simulation modeling tools and services. Its SIMDE (Signal Integrity Modeling Development Environment) tool helps customers, especially big semiconductor vendors, to develop accurate, IP protected and industry-standardized models.

Simulation modeling development and validation is a niche market, but it is critical for chip vendors who are looking to deliver their devices to high-speed system vendors. SIMDE is currently the only product focused on this type of solution.

IO Methodology, Inc. struggled to pick the right licensing tool for SIMDE. Reprise RLM fit our needs. It is not only easy to integrate into our tools but is also flexible enough to allow fine licensing control of product features to fit our customers’ requirements.

As a small company, IO Methodology believes that providing responsive, reliable support to its customers is the key to its success. Reprise Software’s RLM helps IO Methodology to represent that high level support commitment to its customers.

HighTec EDV-Systeme GmbH Licenses the Reprise License Manager (RLM)

Summary: Automotive and industrial customers have worldwide locations requiring a flexible and stable license manager. Innovative features like internet based activation, trial licenses and maintenance period management convinced HighTec that the Reprise License Manager was the proper fit.

RLM Customer Story:

Our product PXROS-HR is a real-time operating system for embedded targets with unique safety and security features.

The operating system manages the so-called memory protection unit (MPU) of a controller to encapsulate data, stack and communication between different processes.

Apart from PXOS-HR we offer customized version of GNU based compiler with integrated development environment in Eclipse.

Key features of PXROS-HR:

  • Integrated MPU management
  • No additional interrupt latencies
  • Tasks reloading and debugging capabilities
  • Unique safety and security functionality

Since our automotive and industrial customers have worldwide locations, we need a flexible and stable license manager. Innovative features like internet based activation and the excellent support of RLM convinced us that the integration of a license manager in our products would be simple and safe.

The Reprise License Manager gives us more flexibility in providing potential customers our tools with limited duration trial licenses. We also needed functionality to enforce our maintenance period and we now do this by the “version number” in the RLM license.

Cortona3D Licenses the Reprise License Manager (RLM)


Summary: RLM provides enough flexibility to adapt to continually evolving licensing ideas. Reprise also successfully supports Cortona’s evaluation software program with a “no-touch” license model, in which downloads are activated over the internet to encourage later sales.

RLM Customer Story:

Prepared by Vee Baker, Cortona3D

Cortona3D software assists equipment manufacturers to efficiently and cost effectively deliver customer focused technical publications that guide users through the support, maintenance and training of their products. Headquartered in Dublin, Cortona3D sells worldwide through a network of specialist resellers who consult, advise and support customers through the product selection process and their successful implementation through the application of industry best practices,

The Rapid family of tools has specific packages to generate manuals, interactive parts catalogs and learning materials such as computer based training. Traditional technical publications processes involve the re-creation of engineering data by either re-drawing or taking ‘snapshots’ of the data. With Rapid tools users establish a direct connection to the changing engineering data design – so updates are captured automatically ensuring consistency with latest designs, and as there is no re-drawing errors are significantly reduced. Elimination both these practices significantly decreases the time taken to create the materials – speeding the product time to market and reducing costs.

Cortona3D have been using Reprise Software licensing for over 3 years now, and were one of its early adopters. Initial selection was made on the basis of the technical ability of the package, but the costing model was also very competitive. The tool provides flexibility as our licensing ideas are continually evolving, currently node-locked and site-wide versions of the tools are available. Reprise also easily delivers changes for customers – adding incremental licenses after the initial purchase, upgrading from locked to site-wide, migrating locked licenses from machine to machine, etc.

Reprise also successfully supports our evaluation software program. Cortona3D offers limited capability evaluation copies of our Rapid tools direct from In order to offer this without license management overhead a no-touch license model was essential, so these evaluation version downloads are activated over the internet as are the product sales.

Cortona3D remains committed to licensing with Reprise Software as it offers a flexible, cost effective, easily manageable solution for both us and our customers.

CPFD Software Licenses the Reprise License Manager (RLM)

Summary: “The integration of RLM helps us not only provide floating license capability, but also allows us the ability to license new modules separately, such as the new chemistry module,” explained Scott Thibault, CPFD Software’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing.  “Responding to market conditions, to our client’s detailed technical needs, is the heart of our business.”

About CPFD[]:
CPFD Software’s Barracuda

CPFD Software’s  Barracuda v14.3 Allows Simulation of Particle-Fluid Flows with Full Thermodynamics and Chemical Kinetics

In the fourth quarter of 2009, CPFD Software LLC, the creators of the Barracuda simulation package for particle-fluid systems, released the latest version of their sophisticated engineering software for modeling 3-dimensional chemical, thermal, and flow dynamics in gas-solid and liquid-solid systems

Barracuda v14.3 Includes:

  • NEW Chemistry Module for modeling the homogenous & heterogeneous chemical reactions inside fluidized bed reactors.
  • Gas Release of an entrapped gas or liquid within a solid.
  • Liquid Injection Module that simulates liquid spray coating of particles such as fluidized-bed cokers.
  • Wear Model that allows component wear to be reported on annualized basis.
  • Reprise License Manager to allow floating licenses and full usage reporting

Barracuda is used by major oil & gas, chemical, petrochemical, and power equipment manufacturers for simulating, understanding, and optimizing the operation of fluidized systems.  Common applications are FCC (fluidized catalytic cracking) reactors and regenerators, fluidized chemical reactors, and CFB (circulating fluidized bed) burners in coal-fired power plants, and both coal and biomass gasification reactors.

These critical gas-particle and liquid-particle systems are key elements in moving from a batch process to a more profitable continuous manufacturing process.  When added to the detailed fluid/particle flow and thermodynamics, the new full chemistry modeling in this latest Barracuda release completes the simulation package, providing an important enabling technology for designers and operators of this equipment.  Barracuda is capable of modeling this equipment at lab scale, pilot scale and full production scale with detailed chemistry at every stage.

“The integration of RLM helps us not only provide floating license capability, but also allows us the ability to license new modules separately, such as the new chemistry module,” explained Scott Thibault, CPFD Software’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing.  “Responding to market conditions, to our client’s detailed technical needs, is the heart of our business.”

Scalable Graphics Licenses the Reprise License Manager (RLM)

Summary: We have chosen to use RLM both for its pricing and for its ease of use, as compared to its competitors. Moreover, since RLM “looks like” a famous competitor widely in use by our customers, they feel comfortable in using it. We also appreciate the great responsive support from Reprise.”

About Scalable Graphics:[]
A Leader in 3D Visualization Software

Scalable Graphics ( is an international leading company specializing in fast parallel rendering and parallel computing for 3D visualization applications. Our mission is to help our customers visualize and analyze bigger datasets at higher frame rates by aggregating multiple graphics and computing resources. Scalable Graphics is operating worldwide and focusing in vertical industries like Oil & Gas, Automotive, Manufacturing, Simulation, Scientific Research and Life Sciences.

Our major product, Direct Transport Compositor, is middleware that enables any number of graphics cards and processors to concentrate their effort on a single display. Leading automotive companies, such as PSA Peugeot-Citro?, use Direct Transport Compositor to boost the performance of their Virtual Reality systems for digital prototyping.  The delivered performance gain improves design review sessions, which can translate into improved collaborative work and better decision-making.

We also provide services (consulting, tailored developments, training, systems integration) in the field of high performance computing and visualization. Our general expertise in multi-core and multi-GPU architectures, including GPGPU computing (CUDA, OpenCL), allow our customers to considerably reduce the execution time of their computing codes.

Licensing Customized to our Needs
Licensing for us was a very important issue, and we have been using RLM since 2007 with great success. Our software Direct Transport Compositor is a cluster application, running on multiple nodes in parallel. It supports two kinds of nodes: the Display Nodes, which are connected to the displays, and the Rendering Nodes, which are in charge of the actual computation of the image. The way we charge our customers depends on the number of Display Nodes and Rendering Nodes they want to use at the same time on their system(s). We have chosen to use a centralized license server from which Direct Transport Compositor comes to check out dynamically the requested number of licenses. This allows our customers which have multiple systems to share and distribute the Display Nodes and Rendering Nodes licenses when they do not use all systems at the same time. This very flexible approach is very appreciated by our customers.

Why RLM?
We have chosen to use RLM both for its pricing and for its ease of use, as compared to its competitors. Moreover, since RLM “looks like” a famous competitor widely in use by our customers, they feel comfortable in using it. We also appreciate the great responsive support from Reprise.

EXA Corporation Licenses The Reprise License Manager (RLM)

Summary: Exa Corporation, a leading worldwide provider of fluids simulation software and services for product engineering, has licensed the Reprise License Manager (RLM).

”Exa chose RLM for several reasons: RLM produces unencrypted, but authenticated, plain text report logs that we can use to bill customers based on actual license usage, RLM is a very cost effective solution for both Exa and our customers, and RLM includes all the general features that we need in a licensing solution,” commented James Hoch, Vice President of Software Development for Exa. “We are also very pleased with our relationship with Reprise and the support they have provided. Our transition to RLM has been very smooth.”

“Reprise is especially pleased to welcome Exa Corporation to the growing and diverse list of companies in the design and simulation space who are using RLM,” stated Matt Christiano, founder and CEO of Reprise Software. “By selecting RLM, Exa Corporation has further validated our overall product and marketing philosophy of providing increased openness, simplicity and value to the software licensing marketplace.”

Reprise recently shipped the eighth major release of RLM, now in beta and expected for general availability later this winter. The company was founded in January, 2006. Over 190 independent software vendors (ISVs) have adopted the Reprise License Manager to help ensure compliance with the terms of their license agreements in the field, making Reprise Software the fastest-growing provider in the license management marketplace.

With its built-in web server for administration and a published spec for its report log output, RLM helps lower costs for enterprise end users of software as well.

About Exa Corporation
Exa Corporation, based in Burlington, MA, USA, develops, markets, and supports simulation software for the fluids engineering marketplace along with a full suite of engineering consulting services. Exa’s products and services enable engineers to create competitive designs, while shortening product design cycles and improving time-to-market. Exa prides itself on offering products and services that fundamentally improve and enhance engineering design processes.

Exa currently employs a highly-educated team of over 150 people that is culturally diverse, with offices in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea and worldwide distributors.

Why Experience Matters in Software your Software Vendor

We've been lucky enough to be around software licensing for 20 years; combined, we have over 70 years of software licensing experience under our roof. It's safe to say that in that time we've seen it all, and then some. Whether it's enterprise end users wanting the best tools to maximize the usage of their valuable software assets, or software vendors wanting that next creative approach to licensing and selling their software, we've been there and done that.

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