Can I restrict license usage to checkouts only?

 Applies To 
 Environment: N/A
 Area: Administration
 Subarea: License Management
 Original Author:Jeremy Hoesly, Bentley Technical Support Group

This support solution explains how to configure SELECTserver to prevent activation of a product unless a license is checked out using the Product Activation Wizard or License Management Tool. This article does not explain how to restrict your usage to avoid Quarterly Term Licenses. For more information regarding avoiding Quarterly Term Licensing this article. 


By default SELECTserver is configured to accept usage collected and transmitted by client workstations. Workstations typically transmit usage once a day if communication is possible. This system provides access without checking for license availability since real-time communication with SELECTserver is not a requirement. Consequently, license overuse can become a concern. To help limit license overuse, SELECTserver can be configured to require the "checkout" or assignment of a product license to a client workstation for a specified period of time.

Steps to accomplish

Important: For users of SELECTserver OnLine, Bentley's licensing solution over the Internet, a Bentley login with the Site Administrator role is required to complete the steps below.

  1. Visit the SELECTserver administration site.
  2. Select Site Settings from the Administration drop-down menu.
  3. Locate the Check Out Settings section in the upper left corner of the page that displays.
  4. Ensure that "Enable client to check out licenses" is enabled. To prevent unusually long checkouts, a value of two days is recommended for the Maximum Checkout Interval. This setting ensures that licenses return at the specified interval if not returned early.
  5. Enable the check box labeled "Restrict usage to only checked out licenses."
  6. Click the OK button when prompted. If the OK button does not respond, press Enter on your keyboard as a workaround.
  7. Finally, click the Apply button in the upper right corner to save changes.

What this setting actually does

When usage is restricted to checked out licenses only, products will not activate unless a license is checked out first. However, most Bentley products will still function in disconnected mode for up to 30 days without a license. Consequently, this setting alone is not sufficient for limiting usage. A change in workflow is needed to address this. What the setting does address is the simultaneous usage of licenses in excess of those owned if the following suggested workflow is used.

A suggested workflow

  1. Before using a Bentley product, open the License Management Tool, a copy of which is usually included in the program folder with a name of LicenseTool.exe. For convenience sake, a desktop shortcut of the tool can be created.
  2. Check out a license using the following instructions as a guide.
    Important: If the number of available licenses is zero, wait until one becomes available before opening the product.
  3. If a license was checked out successfully, use the product.
  4. Upon closing the product, return to the License Management Tool, and check in the license. The instructions provided in step 2 provide check-in steps at the bottom.

As mentioned above, simultaneous (i.e. concurrent) usage of licenses in excess of those owned is prevented if engineers use the suggested workflow.

For users of Bentley's hosted SELECTserver,, a round-up rule introduced in Q2 2016 eliminates usage overlaps that could occur when checking in a license from one machine and immediately checking it out on a different machine. The "How is usage calculated" section in the following FAQ provides further details. Users of a deployed SELECTserver should still exercise extreme caution since usage is calculated by the number of machines that used a license in a calendar hour, for example 11:00 - 11:59. When in doubt, wait until the next hour or migrate to Bentley's hosted SELECTserver.

Additional configuration steps for SELECT Open Access users

Bentley's SELECT Open Access program provides unlimited access to the majority of Bentley's portfolio, much like the Enterprise License Subscription often used by large organizations. Because license access is unlimited, however, all products show with a quantity of 500, breaking step 2 in the suggested workflow above. To compensate, SELECTserver's Checkout Restrictions feature can be used to specify license quantities available for checkout. Please perform the following steps:

  1. Open the SELECT Open Access portal.
  2. Click on a product to view the number of licenses owned.
  3. On the screen that appears, note the number of licenses. This is the number of licenses owned.
  4. Visit the SELECTserver administration site.
  5. Select Checkout Restrictions from the Site Configuration drop-down menu along the top edge.
  6. Enable Access Restrictions if they are not enabled already.
  7. Find the product of interest in the list below. Note that it will likely be on another page. Use the page navigation controls at the bottom as needed. To limit the list of products to only the ones you own or want to lease on a quarterly basis, consider using a Custom Activation Group.
  8. Once the product has been found, pull down the Restrictions drop-down menu, and choose the quantity of licenses owned as determined in step 3.

Once the license quantities have been adjusted to owned quantities using the steps above, the suggested workflow above will work as expected.

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