Controlling license access to prevent unintended usage

Applies To
Product(s):WaterGEMS, SewerGEMS, CivilStorm, StormCAD, PondPack, WaterCAD, SewerCAD, FlowMaster, CulvertMaster
Version(s):CONNECT Edition, V8i
Area: Licensing
Original Author:Mark Pachlhofer, Bentley Technical Support Group


If your organization has a Bentley SELECT OpenAccess subscription, all possible Feature Levels will be available to you (such as number of pipes, ponds, inlets, and whether the license includes AutoCAD integration.) To prevent unintended overages / QTL / Term licenses, you may want to limit end users from selecting the wrong products or product feature levels.

Subscription Entitlement Service (CONNECT Licensing)

Starting with CONNECT Edition Update 2 (December 2018 onward), OpenFlows products use a new license method called the Subscription Entitlement Service, which has several features to help prevent unintended overages. See: Subscription Entitlement Service (CONNECT Licensing | Feature Level Selector

This is Bentley's latest license methodology for product activation, enhancing users' digital workflows and improving licensing capabilities with features including License alert notifications when you are approaching a custom usage threshold. Note that the threshold cannot be set to zero (to alert on any usage). General Access settings can be used to prevent certain users from being able to use certain products or product feature levels. Note that currently the Feature Level Selector will still display all feature levels available to your organization, regardless of whether your access is enabled or disabled (but you will be prevented from opening the application if your access is set to denied.)

Lastly, as of version (and greater) of the CONNECTION Client, administrators can set the license feature level via command line as part of an installation script when pushing out the software on client computers. This can help control license usage if you want to ensure that a specific feature level is set (so that the user is not prompted to select something). See more here: Setting the Feature Level via command line for one or more Windows accounts

Video overview/demonstration: Benefits of the Subscription Entitlement Service for OpenFlows Users

See alsoMonitoring License Usage - Subscription Entitlement Service (CONNECT Licensing)

SELECTServer Licensing: Custom Activation Groups

NOTE: this section applies to older, SELECTserver licensing-enabled versions (below 10.02.XX.XX). Starting with CONNECT Edition Update 2 (December 2018), OpenFlows products use a new Licensing, which has several features to help prevent unintended overages. See above, and here: Subscription Entitlement Service (CONNECT Licensing) | Feature Level Selector

To limit end users from using the wrong (or inappropriate) feature levels or products, use Custom Activation Groups (CAG). These will allow you to generate a separate license activation key that is filtered down to specific products and feature levels. When using the new key on a particular computer, the user will be limited to only those products and features that you chose in the CAG. IMPORTANT: when using CAGs to expose only owned feature levels (licenses purchased), be sure to confirm which exact feature level is owned. For example PondPack's "pond=unlimited" is technically a different license than "pond=unlimited|mstn=yes", and the latter will be your license feature level when purchasing an unlimited ponds license.

Note that the ability for end users to quickly switch to higher feature levels or different products is one of the benefits of SELECT OpenAccess. If a project requires an elevated feature level (high number of pipes for example) or the use of an enhanced product (such as WaterGEMS instead of WaterCAD for example), the end user can simply select that higher feature level in the Municipal License Administrator, or open the other product, and immediately begin using it without needing to wait for procurement. With SELECT OpenAccess, you will then only receive a quarterly term invoice for what you use.

Of course, taking advantage of this benefit requires some care when selecting feature levels and a basic understanding of the SELECT OpenAccess program. When working on a project, consider the maximum number of hydraulic elements your model will likely contain, and either set the feature level to the next highest limit, or to an owned feature level higher than that number. For example if your WaterCAD model is expected to contain less than 100 pipes and you will only use the Standalone platform, you would likely want to set the feature level to 100 pipes, Standalone (no AutoCAD). However, if your company owns a license seat of WaterCAD 250 pipes with AutoCAD for example, and you know that no other users in your organization will be using it, then you would want to set that as your feature level. End users can contact their site administrator for help with this.

Site Administrators can also set the license feature level on client computers during installation. Note that the end user can later change this, and the Administrator will need to be signed in as the particular end user, as the setting of the feature level is stored on a per Windows user profile basis. The following article has further information explaining how to properly set the feature level in the Municipal License Administrator tool on the client computer to reduce unexpected overage:

Setting the correct feature level in the Municipal License Administrator

If your end users will not have a need to change feature levels or if you still require them to only see particular feature levels, the aforementioned Custom Activation Groups feature can be used.