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VWA 10 Serialization.



Katie, et al,

I already called up and bitched about this but I figure the more avenues the better. We have 5 VWA seats and 1 Renderworks seat. We have never really used Renderworks. In fact the only times we have have been to prep the file for Artlantis export (setting textures, etc.). However, over the years we have kept the one license active. So with the 10 upgrade we wanted to do the same thing-- update 5 seats plus 1 renderworks. No problem. I was installing 10 today and discovered a problem with that scheme. What I would like to do, and always have done, is install VWA10 on my CAD machines and then enter all 5 serial numbers. That way, of course, I don't have to track which number is where when I have to rebuild machines, etc. The problem is that RW is now built into one of my serials. Even if I don't install the RW module VWA10 will not allow me to enter the five serials-- I have to do one and then put the other four on our other CAD machines. I think that your serialization scheme should be smarter than that. I understand the reasoning by NNA, however, all I really want to do is keep the license active. I don't actually want to even install or use it at this point. With the current scheme that is not possible. Anyway, please kick it up the ladder because it is a somewhat annoying change.

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The new serial number system allows you to have only one serial number for whatever you buy. Some people had up to 4 serial numbers before, making it a daunting task to keep up with.

The license agreement even states that you can only install one serial number on a machine at a time.

When installing, the serial numbers unlock the products defined in the serial number for installation. Because of this, you need to keep track of the computer that has RenderWorks installed and use it on that computer only.

VW 9, you had to install RW on only one machine if you only had one RW license. So, there's really no change in the method used in 9 vs 10 - only the serial number.

If I misunderstood something, please explain.

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Only in that we don't have Renderworks installed. I guess that we will just have to get our renderworks refunded. Fie on license agreements. They are all written by nasty lawyers. One of the nice things about having network serialization schemes is that you don't have to worry about which license is installed on each machine. So answer me this Katie, if the license says you can only install one license on each machine why does the VW allow you to enter more than one license? As you just said, with the new serialization scheme there is only one number required... I think we both know why.

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The serial number that is for VW and RW, should be used when installing from the CD so you have VW and RW on a specific computer.

The serial number has a secret code in it which tells the installer which components to install.

If you don't use the serial number for VW AND RW, then of course RW isn't going to install.

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You misunderstand. Even though the serial may allow you to install RW, you don't have to. You can uncheck the box in the install dialog. With a VW+A+RW serial number I can install and use _only_ VW if I want to. BUT, I cannot combine that serial with a serial for VW+A, even though I don't have RW installed on the machine. The point being that there is no longer a way to maintain an independant, unused Renderworks license like there used to be. I understand the reasons, I just don't think those reasons are very well thought out.

I ask you again, if the license says you can only install one serial per machine, why is there a box that allows you to "Add" licenses? That really wasn't a rhetorical question. It would seem to me that NNA is, by design, encouraging the end user to violate the license agreement. Do you think that is good policy? We all know that there are folks out there that fudge on licensing the correct number of seats. That is a shame, especially for a company like NNA, because I think, and have always (since we started with MC4+) thought that you guys provide an good value. And I can appreciate that you need to attempt to foil any piracy. I can appreciate all of that. I just don't think that this change was properly thought through.

With the ability to netboot and the like within a computer lab, or even a business it is clear to me that there should be more thought into how NNA deals with licenses. My impression from your comments (and no, I have not read the license agreement) is that it would be against the agreement to run VW off of a netbooted client. That doesn't make sense, since your serialization scheme has the ability to prevent an abuse of the seat limit.

Anyway, like I said, you should kick it up the line for more discussion. It doesn't effect our workflow, we only have 3 CAD machines after all, but it is a pain in the ass. And anything that makes it a pain in the ass to use, maintain, and install VW is not good.

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Hi Austin,

I understand your point of view. We made a tradeoff in functionality with which you don't agree.

From our point of view, the current system is in many ways better, but even in the case you mention, the new system puts RenderWorks on a single predictable machine. In VW9 and prior, If RenderWorks serial numbers are installed on all machines, RenderWorks is available to those workstations which launch VectorWorks first and unavailable to those which launch after the licenses are used. Annoyingly unpredictable behavior.

You make a vaild point that the configurations of your machines are different, and this increases your administration burden. We are aware that maintaining a site with numerous VectorWorks seats is not as carefree as we'd like it to be - for the reason you cite and others - but it has not yet outweighed other quality and feature issues in our development priorities.

Our license agreement allows the installation of our products on one machine per serial number. Our serial number system allows those users who own multiple serial numbers to enter them on all workstations to ease their administrative overhead. The fact that our serial number enforcement system allows you to violate the license agreement doesn't diminish the agreement. There are plenty of ways to violate the agreement which require no assistance from us.

Having said all this, the appropriate people for you to be talking to are in our sales department. Tell them your situation and they will work with you to come up with a mutually agreeable solution.


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