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Share a Rockwell Automation Software License Between Computers

Share a Rockwell Automation Software License Between Computers

How to share a Rockwell Automation software license between two or more computers with a USB Software Dongle

Working with our industrial automation customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, at times we see customers struggling with managing their software licenses between users. Most Rockwell Automation software licenses are single seat, which means they can only be used by one person at a time. Occasionally, however, there are times when you might not have access to the computer with the activated license or need to share the license with a colleague.

An easy way to do this is by using a Rockwell Automation USB Software Activation Dongle, part number 9509-USB-DONG2. By installing the activations on the USB Dongle, you can have your application software on multiple computers, and the one that has the dongle inserted will run it.

Rockwell software uses a process called "Activation" to authenticate licenses. Activation generates a license file that is tied to a piece of hardware in the host PC, generally the hard disk drive, or a USB dongle. We can use the free license management utility, Factorytalk Activation Manager, to generate these activations, or to return activations back to Rockwell (called "rehosting"), so that you can download them to a different computer or USB Dongle.

    Select Rehost Activations

  1. If the licenses you want to have on the USB dongle have already been activated, you must "rehost" them.
    • Open Factorytalk Activation Manager.
    • Under the "Manage Activations" tab, select "Rehost Activations" (SS1 –rehost).
    • Select the checkbox next to the licenses you would like to rehost.
    • Click "Continue Rehosting".
    • When the "Confirm Activation Removal" window opens, select "Continue".
    • When it says "Rehosting completed successfully", go to the next step.


  2. Select Show Bindings

  3. Insert the USB Dongle
    • Your computer should show several messages about installing new hardware.
    • To make sure the dongle is available to bind activations to, go to the "Advanced" tab and select "Show Bindings".
    • Make sure the FlexNet Dongle is listed, with a binding ID starting "FLEXID=9-xxxxx".
    • If not, follow the steps below -
      • Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Rockwell Software\Factorytalk Activation.
      • Make sure the USB dongle is inserted and double-click on "Install Dongle Driver.bat".
      • Wait for success notification, then check to make sure it is listed in FT Activation manager per the above instructions.
    • If the FlexNet Dongle is listed, proceed to next step.


  4. Click Validate Activation

    Activate Binding Selection

  5. Get New Activations
    • Click the "Home" tab and then the "Get New Activations" button.
    • Enter the serial numbers and product keys of the activations that you would like to tie to the USB Dongle, and click "Validate Activation".
    • If validation is successful, you should see the following screen asking you to select the number of activations you want to download. All products should have a 1 in both the "# to Download" and "Available" columns.
    • Click under the "Binding" column where it should say "This Computer". A square button with an ellipsis should appear. Click this button. (SS 4 – activation change binding)
    • The "Binding Selection" window will open up. Click on the binding for the FlexNet Dongle, it should begin with "FLEXID=9-xxxxxx", and hit the select button.
    • When the binding selection window closes, click on the "Download Activation >" button.
    • You should receive a message "Factory Talk Activation Download Complete!".


  6. Launch Fully Activated Software

  7. Check Activations
    • Click on the "Advanced" tab and "Manage This Server"
    • Click on the "Refresh Server" button. The status bar should change to yellow, and then back to green with "Running" listed
    • Click the "Manage Activations" tab, and "Find Available Activations"
    • At the bottom of the screen, click the "Refresh Activations"
    • Check the serial numbers you just activated. There should be a "1" in the "Total" column.
    • You can now launch the fully activated software. (SS 5 – Activations ready)

  8. Prepare other computers
    • Install the software you wish to run on the remote computers.
    • Insert the USB dongle.
    • Open Factorytalk Activation Manager, and then follow the "Check Activations" instructions above. If a "1" does not appear in the "Total" column, follow the steps above to install the USB dongle driver, and then repeat the "Check Activations" process.

With the USB dongle, whatever computer has the USB inserted has the activated license, this makes moving your Rockwell Software License a breeze.


If you have questions or experience problems during the rehosting process, contact the Rockwell Automation TechSupport Activation Group.


Buckles-Smith Tech Team provides automation, control and power application support for machine builders, end users and contractors throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Posted: Jun 15, 2017,
Categories: Software,
Comments: 0,
Chris Gerbing

Chris GerbingChris Gerbing

Chris Gerbing is one of the Tech Team’s Automation Application Engineers and Product Specialists - Chris can help answer your PLC, HMI, Software, and Ethernet questions.

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