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DataCAD X3 Softlock

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:09 am
by Mark Toce
DataCAD X3 Softlock

Beginning with DataCAD version 13.06.00, we offer a software-based license management option, referred to as a “softlock,” in lieu of the hardware-based USB license key, or “hardlock.” Each DataCAD softlock-protected license you purchase can be activated on only one computer at a time. This method of copy protection requires a connection to the Internet in order to activate and validate your license.

Universal Installer

DataCAD X3 is now available as a single, downloadable file with a universal installer. It can be run in demo mode for 45 days, activated as DataCAD LT X3, or activated as DataCAD X3 Professional. You may purchase an activation code for either DataCAD LT X3 or DataCAD X3 Professional at any time. If you purchase an activation code for DataCAD LT X3 and later wish to convert it to DataCAD X3 Professional, you simply purchase a new activation code to enable the professional-level features. Since the following license activation instructions relate to either DataCAD LT X3 or DataCAD X3 Professional, we refer to them both as “DataCAD.”

Installation

When you install DataCAD X3 Softlock (version 13.06.00), the default location is C:\DataCAD X3\. The universal installer always looks for a prior version of DataCAD, and will do nothing destructive to the old version. It even checks for an earlier version of DataCAD X3 Hardlock. If it finds that DataCAD X3 Hardlock is already installed, it simply updates it with the latest fixes and enhancements. The universal installer will not replace the hardlock-protected version of DataCAD X3 with the softlock-protected version. If you want to replace DataCAD X3 Hardlock with DataCAD X3 Softlock, you must uninstall DataCAD X3 Hardlock before installing DataCAD X3 Softlock.
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Evaluation

When you run DataCAD for the first time, you are presented with three options: Purchase DataCAD X3 Online, Activate DataCAD X3 or Evaluate DataCAD X3. The option to evaluate is only available if you have not previously purchased and activated a license on this computer. Once you have purchased and activated your license, the evaluate option is no longer available, even if you deactivate the license.

The first time you pick the option to Evaluate DataCAD X3, it starts a 45-day counter and the DataCAD X3 Test Drive will run. Once the 45-day evaluation period has started it cannot be stopped or extended, so make sure you have the time to complete your evaluation before you pick the evaluate option and start the counter.

At any time during your evaluation of the DataCAD X3 Test Drive, you may select “Activate” from the “Help” pull-down menu to purchase an activation code for either DataCAD LT X3 or DataCAD X3 Professional. Even after the 45-day trial period has expired, you can still purchase an activation code for either DataCAD LT X3 or DataCAD X3 Professional.

Purchasing

If you have downloaded and installed DataCAD X3 but have not yet purchased it, use the Purchase DataCAD X3 Online option to access the DataCAD Online Store. You may purchase either DataCAD LT X3 or DataCAD X3 Professional in the store, and then you will be sent a License ID and a Password that you can use to activate your software on a single computer.

Activating

After you have purchased DataCAD, we will send you an e-mail with your License ID and Password. You will use this information to activate the DataCAD software license on your computer. Activating DataCAD on your computer requires an Internet connection, so make sure you are connected before you begin. Click on Activate DataCAD X3 to begin the process. Type the License ID and Password into the appropriate fields and then click Continue. The information will be sent to the DataCAD License Server for validation.
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Once the DataCAD License Server validates your License ID and password, DataCAD will be activated on your computer. Click Continue to begin using DataCAD. Each subsequent time you run DataCAD by double clicking the Desktop icon, the software will start without the activation screen.
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If the DataCAD License Server is unable to validate your DataCAD license you will see an error message stating that the activation failed, and you will not be able to run DataCAD. License activation can fail either because you entered the License ID or Password incorrectly, or because you entered a License ID and Password for a DataCAD license which has already been activated on another computer.
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If you receive an error stating that activation has failed, double-check to ensure you have entered the information correctly, and that your license is not currently active on another computer. If you need further assistance, please call DataCAD Technical Support at (860) 677-2829 or e-mail techsupport@datacad.com.

Moving your DataCAD license activation to another computer

When you purchase a single license of DataCAD, it can be activated on only one computer at a time. However, circumstances may arise where you want to run DataCAD on another computer. Perhaps you activated DataCAD on the desktop computer in your office, but you want to run DataCAD on your laptop to take with you to a customer site, or to work on a project at home. You can do this, but you need to “move” the license activation from one computer to the other by first deactivating it on the desktop computer, then activating it on the laptop.

Like activation, deactivation requires an Internet connection so DataCAD can communicate with the DataCAD License Server. Please verify that you are connected to the Internet before you begin the process.
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To deactivate your license DataCAD must be running, but all of your drawing files need to be closed. Close all open drawing files, and then select “Deactivate this computer…” from the “Help” pull-down menu. DataCAD will ask you to confirm that you wish to deactivate the license installation.
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Once deactivation is successful, you may activate your DataCAD license on a different computer. You may activate and deactivate your DataCAD license as often as necessary.

Converting DataCAD LT to DataCAD Professional
You can convert your DataCAD LT to DataCAD Professional at any time after you purchased and activated DataCAD LT. Simply purchase the activation code for DataCAD Professional, and enter the new License ID and password to activate the Professional features.


You may download a PDF of this document by clicking this link.

Re: DataCAD X3 Softlock

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:31 pm
by David Porter
I could go for this method. But, the one change I would like to see, if possible, is to not have to deactivate before activating on another computer. I can see that getting to be as problematic with a fading memory (fading what?) as trying to remember to take the dongle home to be able to use it on my laptop for my "night shift" of working on DCAD drawings. If I leave the office and forget to deactivate DCAD, then I won't be able to use DCAD on my home laptop at night or the weekend.

I would prefer, if it is possible, to have the activation function automatically deactivate any other operating DCAD programs on any other computer. That eliminates the forgetful memory problem. When I go home to use DCAD and I have forgotten to deactivate my office copy, by my activating DCAD on my home laptop, the process would automatically alert me that there is another copy already activated and ask me if I want to deactivate that copy and activate the copy on the current computer.

Re: DataCAD X3 Softlock

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:42 pm
by Miguel Palaoro
David Porter wrote:I could go for this method. But, the one change I would like to see, if possible, is to not have to deactivate before activating on another computer. I can see that getting to be as problematic with a fading memory (fading what?) as trying to remember to take the dongle home to be able to use it on my laptop for my "night shift" of working on DataCAD drawings. If I leave the office and forget to deactivate DataCAD, then I won't be able to use DataCAD on my home laptop at night or the weekend.

I would prefer, if it is possible, to have the activation function automatically deactivate any other operating DataCAD programs on any other computer. That eliminates the forgetful memory problem. When I go home to use DataCAD and I have forgotten to deactivate my office copy, by my activating DataCAD on my home laptop, the process would automatically alert me that there is another copy already activated and ask me if I want to deactivate that copy and activate the copy on the current computer.

Very Well, David. A great suggestion.

That would address the most common headache that I can foresee for this new Softlock using mode, for DataCAD.

I'd like to see this implemented.

Thanks,
Miguel

Re: DataCAD X3 Softlock

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:27 pm
by Daniel Kaczor
Mark Toce wrote:DataCAD X3 Softlock

Beginning with DataCAD 13.06.00, you have a software-based license management option, referred to as a “softlock,” . . .


Since you said it is an "option" that means the hardlock will still work. Will a hardlock be available for future versions? I absolutely hate softlocks and discontinued upgrading any software that uses them. Pretty soon we'll have SSA (annual use fees) and Akamai distribution so that our computers can be used as servers so other users can download content in the name of speed and convenience. This is Microsoft Windows there is no such thing as convenience.

Nothing like jumping on the bandwagon of bad ideas.

Re: DataCAD X3 Softlock

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:34 pm
by MtnArch
The "Activate/Deactivate" option is one that the AIA uses for their Contract Document software. It is a bit of a pain to remember to deactivate the desktop/laptop before needing to run it on the other - but it does save the cost of purchasing another license/seat. I can see where a single-license user will have to get into the habit quickly.

It would be nice if we had the option (when installing) to choose either the trusty dongle or the softlock - then you could run DC the way you like it.

Ain't nothin' gonna make everyone happy - but at least DC LLC is trying!

Re: DataCAD X3 Softlock

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:56 am
by ORWoody
A suggestion only: Make remote de-activation possible. One of the big problems with an activate/de-activate requirement is that one might be in a situation where returning to the original site to de-activate couldn't easily be done. If the access is password protected, then location or which computer is active becomes moot.
Woody

Re: DataCAD X3 Softlock

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:40 am
by Mark Toce
ORWoody wrote:A suggestion only: Make remote de-activation possible. One of the big problems with an activate/de-activate requirement is that one might be in a situation where returning to the original site to de-activate couldn't easily be done. If the access is password protected, then location or which computer is active becomes moot.
Woody


You could use a remote desktop connection to log into the computer where you forgot to deactivate, run DataCAD and pick Help/Deactivate. You can the end the remote session and activate on the other computer.

Re: DataCAD X3 Softlock

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:12 am
by ORWoody
As usual, I'm a step or two behind and still don't know where I am. You folks were already ahead of me. :D

Re: DataCAD X3 Softlock

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:01 pm
by Mark Bell
Hi Mark,

Your summary of the proposed new softlock option mentioned DataCAD needed a live internet connexion as it would periodically check the status of the license. When we upgrade to the next release of DataCAD:

1. Will the dongle still be available as a purchase option? (I don't have internet at home and have no need for it, yet do work at home using the second license dongle),

2. How frequent will DataCAD want to check the license using the internet - hourly, daily?

Thanks.

Re: DataCAD X3 Softlock

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:09 pm
by melina
Generally, this sounds great, but I have a similar issue as a previous post regarding no internet connection sometimes. When I go to a client's house/biz/site, I don't want to have to spend-time-setting-up/log-on-to some unknown network just to do a bit of drawing or quick change a model for show. It's a small thing I don't do often, but it packs a punch with the client and I'd hate to lose that capability. So if it remains optional, I think it would make the most people happy - just hope it doesn't make the gang at Dcad's life too miserable.

Re: DataCAD X3 Softlock

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:17 pm
by David A. Giesselman
melina wrote:... - just hope it doesn't make the gang at DataCAD's life too miserable.

Is that actually possible? :wink:

Dave

Re: DataCAD X3 Softlock

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:18 pm
by Daniel Kaczor
David A. Giesselman wrote:
melina wrote:... - just hope it doesn't make the gang at DataCAD's life too miserable.

Is that actually possible? :wink:

Dave


Yeaa!!! until the question is answered. Yes or no. Will hardlocks be usable and available starting w/ 13.06 and forward?

Re: DataCAD X3 Softlock

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:19 pm
by REX PEET
Not sure that I like the softlock option. The dongle has always worked well for me, working with a desktop computer and a laptop on occasions.

As an alternative, would it be possible to allow Datacad to run on two computers. Lots of software has allows installation on two or three computers for one licence.

Re: DataCAD X3 Softlock

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:34 pm
by joshhuggins
Questions that popped up are who is running the licence server, what is the uptime for the server (if the license server has already been running for other software companies) and is there a secondary failsafe if the lience server goes down?

Re: DataCAD X3 Softlock

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:30 am
by melina
Good point, Josh! In essence, this is taking DCAD to the cloud. And though the cloud has it's benefits, being the most important piece of software in the office, should a user have to rely on everyone from their own ISP to the license server's utility company? (BTW, I do have other software that uses the softlock method, but then I don't use that software to sketch at a moment's notice 24/7 when "brilliance" strikes).