I manage software deployment to the computer labs and classrooms on my campus. I make use of several products to make this A) as easy as possible and B) legal when a limited number of licenses are concerned.
Since I'm dealing with the Mac version of Vectorworks, I'll tailor my comments based on that. I use a product called Assimilator (abandonware) to both distribute new software as well as maintain the contents of workstation hard drives. I install a piece of software once, upload the files it installs to the "Master Image", and the workstations pull it down the next time Assimilator is run. It works great.
However, the Image I maintain serves hundreds of Macs all over campus. To get around the legal problems of having a 10-user license for Widget software installed on over 100 workstations, we also make use of KeyServer (www.sassafras.com).
All other software vendors have been able to work with us to get us single license codes which allow many users instead of many individual codes. Nemetschek refuses to do so, stating that they are somehow incapable of generating a single license code that will allow (in our case) 13 copies of the software to be launched and deny the 14th. They have stated to me that they are only capable of providing individual serial numbers.
Vectorworks 9 for Mac blissfully allowed me to populate its preferences file with all the serial numbers we had acquired and thus install the same copy "everywhere". Since the software prowls the local network making sure no other instance ofitself is running and broadcasting the same serial number, I didn't even have to mess with KeyServer! It was great.
Vectorworks 10 just came. In the box were 13 separate serial numbers, and the new version appears to have no provision for bulking up the prefs file with multiple serial numbers.
So now we're in an awkward position. I have to tell the prof that uses this software for his class that it will ONLY be available on 13 specific workstations (which is a terrible inconvenience to his students who will have homework involving the use of this software). Moreover, I have to actually install this software THIRTEEN TIMES so as to generate preference files for 13 separate workstations. I don't have so much a problem with this as I do with the inconvenience being imposed upon us by the primitive serializing scheme imposed by the software.
I write to PLEAD that Nemetschek realize that not everyone who buys their software installs it in an "office" environment. We're not trying to rip them off or do anything illegal. We simply need more flexibility in the way of installing the software. I either need a single license code that allows for 13 simultaneous uses or a serial-free version that I can lock down with our KeyServer.
I have to belive that whatever algorithm generates the serial numbers is capable of this.
I hope this gets a response.