In last week’s article, Autodesk Licensing Changes – The Basics, we reviewed the major changes Autodesk is putting in place starting February 1st, 2016. In a continued effort to assist clients in understanding these changes, today’s article involves more advanced concepts that include the impacts on license management as well as details about the user experience and how to manage license upgrades.
Impacts on License Management
Last week I explained that you currently have two ways to access the Autodesk toolset: Perpetual Licenses with Maintenance Subscription OR, rental licenses via Desktop Subscription.
Before we go further, let’s clarify some terminology. Autodesk Maintenance Subscription is roughly comparable to what SSI just calls Subscription (for ShipConstructor software). Autodesk Desktop Subscription is similar to what SSI calls the Rental option.
What I’m talking about today is Autodesk Desktop Subscription.
With the introduction of Desktop Subscription you now have a new way of managing your Autodesk licenses. For licenses that you have purchased and are paying maintenance subscription, you will now be asked to use Autodesk Account (formerly known as Autodesk Subscription Center) to access license upgrades for new versions. Through Autodesk Account, you will have access to the Autodesk Application Manager which can be used to gain access to newer versions of the software. Just click on the “downloads” link, as pointed out below.
Note that you can download information for both Perpetual AND Desktop licenses you own. You can also download the new versions or request a new license file for your network license manager. Just remember that your software is always installed and run on the local machines. The process is fairly self-explanatory but if you are confused, Autodesk has more information about using the Application here.
Now that I’ve talked about Autodesk Account, I’d like to deal with a related item that seems to be worrying people when they hear mention of Autodesk licenses and something to do with “the Cloud”.
Managing Desktop Subscriptions
Let’s tackle one of the main misconceptions to the new “Cloud Based Technology.” Directly on Autodesk’s website, they state that “Desktop Subscription software is installed on your computer in the same manner as traditional perpetual-license, software products; it does not run in the cloud.”
The only thing that is running on the cloud is the license management tool, Autodesk Account. It’s the same account that many clients already use for their perpetual licenses. With Desktop Subscription, once you purchase a license, you set up a user to have access to that license. The Standalone Desktop Subscriptions are based on a named-user licenses strategy. That means you tie a user’s name and account to that license.
From an IT perspective, you can install that particular license type on as many machines as you would like. That user, say John Smith, can go to any of those machines and it asks him to login to Autodesk Account to access and use the license. Everything is still running locally, but he needs to go on Autodesk Account to receive rights to use the license.
How Do You Install Desktop Subscription and Get Started?
Installing Desktop Subscription comes down to having access to the licenses. If a license is purchased by an individual for an individual, then the license will be registered under your name.
If you bought the software for your own use: You’re automatically set up as an administrator and user. You can sign in to your Autodesk Account and download and install your software.
If you work for an organization and the licenses are property of that entity, you’ll need to have access by being a Contract Manager or Software Coordinator. These are individuals designated to have access to license information and upgrades. If you are not one of those individuals, you’ll need to have them set you as a named user on a new license.
If an account administrator manages your software: Permissions are assigned to Named Users by the administrator. You need to work with a Contract Manager or Software Coordinator to have software added to your Autodesk Account.
Based on what I have just shared, I hope I have demonstrated that Desktop Subscriptions are not that different from the Perpetual Model that most of us are used to. The only big change is that you HAVE to use Autodesk Account for managing your licenses. Here is a step by step process for downloading the software and setting up new users.
As you can see, the process and software management tool that Autodesk has put in place, called Autodesk Account, is your main resource for all of your software needs. Today, I have laid out the basic steps to help you understand the tool and how to easily get your users set up. I’d strongly recommend that each client start using Autodesk Account even if they are not utilizing the Desktop Subscription model at this point. That will give you the familiarity of the system so that it is a smooth transition if you ever need to add the Desktop license types.
Feel free to contact me, Jason Rose with remaining questions.
Over the coming weeks I will continue to add content that will help answer questions for all clients.