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Parent page: Altium Infrastructure Server
For organizations that require their Altium software installations to remain offline – isolated from the internet – the convenience and flexibly of on-demand software licensing can be provided by a localized Altium Infrastructure Server (AIS), rather than from the internet-based Altium Licensing Service. The freely downloadable AIS provides a Private License Service (PLS) that becomes accessible over the local or company-wide network system.
The Infrastructure Server, installed on a PC connected to the company LAN/WAN, is set up by an administrator to acquire the company's Altium licenses and then using its PLS, serve these over the network to Altium software installations. When initially acquired from Altium's web-based license service, the licenses are converted to Private Licenses for localized access.
In a similar arrangement to using a license from the Altium License Service portal, a seat (instance) of a PLS-hosted Altium license can be 'leased' by workstation software when it is in use, and then 'revoked' (returned to the available pool of licenses) when no longer required. With the Altium PLS, licenses can also be served on a Roaming basis, where the license seat is leased to the target machine for a specified time – this allows the software's host PC, say a laptop, to 'roam' freely while isolated from the network. Also, Altium Servers connected to the network may be licensed by the AIS.
The Altium Infrastructure Server (AIS) and its PLS offer the flexibility required by companies that host multiple Altium software installations, with the bonus that the license and seat usage can be configured, monitored and controlled from a centralized AIS – which in turn is hosted on a local LAN/WAN that may be isolated from the internet.
If it's not already in place, the first step in using the Private License Service is installing and licensing the Altium Infrastructure Server.
The Altium Infrastructure Server's functionality, including its Private License Service capabilities, becomes available when the AIS has been licensed by the addition of a suitable Infrastructure Server License. This is done by signing in to the AIS using the default
admin/admin credentials, accessing the Licenses page (ADMIN » LICENSING) and adding the license files supplied with the AIS installation download. The server is 'self' licensed from imported
alf license files, or AIS licenses acquired from the Cloud, if available – in both cases, it licenses itself.
Once installed and licensed, the AIS can acquire licenses for Altium software from the online AltiumLive License server via the AltiumLive portal. This is performed through the server's License Manager page (ADMIN » LICENSES), by selecting the From Cloud option of the button menu.
Note that the AIS needs to be configured to connect and sign in to the Altium License service portal, so that the licenses purchased by your organization can be initially acquired – it may be offline once this is complete. Alternatively, all the required licenses could be acquired via a separate Server, which is connected to the internet, and then transferred to the local AIS as individual license files.
Once the Altium Infrastructure Server (AIS) and its Private License Service (PLS) has been installed and licensed (as above), licenses that are acquired from the AltiumLive Licensing service such as Server, Client Access (CAL) and other Altium software licenses, can then be served over the local network by the PLS.
In the default PLS configuration, acquired licenses, which are set for All Users access by default, will be made available to Altium software installations hosted on the network. The Infrastructure Server itself is 'self licensed' as outlined above, through imported
alf license files.
For the default PLS settings and acquired license configurations, any connection to the PLS from Altium software will be granted access to the available licenses. The simple arrangement is ideal for a using a central licensing server (the AIS) to license several Altium software workstations that have identical licensing requirements – say, from a single multi-seat license. See below for how Altium software, such as Altium NEXUS, connects to the PLS.
To access the PLS settings, select the License Manager options page in the AIS browser interface – ADMIN » SETTINGS – License Manager.
The License Manager options on the browser Settings page are as follows:
All Usersgroup. The served license will be accessible to all workstations that connect to the AIS, regardless of any Role group a workstation's User profile is assigned to. Note that license assignments may be edited, as described below. When the option is unchecked, an acquired license is not assigned to any user group and therefore not accessible over the network.
The default setup, in practice, means that when an Altium software workstation connects to the AIS License Server (PLS):
From a software users perspective, it simply means that suitable licenses are available and may be used (leased).
Licenses that have been configured and exposed by the Private License Server can be accessed by Altium software installations on the network, which act as clients to the PLS.
To access an Altium Designer license provided by the PLS for example, use the Setup private license server option on the License Management page to first establish the connection. Set the Server name and Server port fields to match those of the AIS in the Private License Server Setup dialog. Once Altium Designer is connected to the Infrastructure Server and its PLS, the 'Available Licenses' area of the License Management page will be populated with the list of private licenses provided by the PLS connection, under the category Private Server – Connected to xxx, where 'xxx' indicates the name of the AIS that is serving the licenses.
To lease a license for the Altium NEXUS installation, select the desired license from the list and click the Use button. Alternatively, a license hosted by the AIS may be set to Automatic Leasing mode, so that no user intervention is required in the client software – beyond establishing the initial connection to the AIS. Note that Altium NEXUS will retain the PLS connection settings and attempt to re-establish the connection when starting.
The status of the selected license will then change to indicate that it is used by you. Note that its Assigned Seat Count field will change to reflect that a seat of the license has been taken.
When the license has been leased, by either automatic or manual selection in the client software, the Infrastructure Server's Licensing page (ADMIN » LICENSES) will indicate that a seat of the License is in use – shown as an incremented User Count for that license. The license is immediately released if the workstation disconnects from the PLS, the user closes the software, or the license lease is forcibly revoked by the AIS admin using the associated button.
– See Automatically generated User profiles for more detail on the Automatic user creation option.
To control license availability for Altium software users, the Altium Infrastructure Server (AIS) can be configured to associate specific licenses with defined user Roles (groups of Users). In practice, when a workstation connects to the AIS, the License Server (PLS) will offer only licenses that are assigned to Roles that include the workstation's User profile as a member.
Licenses acquired by the AIS are assigned to 'All Users' by default, but can be reassigned to any available Role. Similarly, Users can be added to any available Role.
Before managing license distribution in this more specific way (by user Role membership), there are a number of Infrastructure Server conditions that should be in place:
With the AIS User accounts and Roles established, acquired software licenses can be assigned to Roles as needed.
In the case shown in the below image, two workstations (
ENGINEERING-3) have connected to generate matching User profiles (
Narelle). Two Roles have been added (
QA), and the users added as members of those Roles (
Bruce is a member of
Narelle is a member of both
Select the licensing list (ADMIN » LICENSES) to access the licenses that have been acquired by the AIS, which can then be assigned to the desired Roles. In the example shown below, two Altium software licenses have been added to the AIS, and are initially assigned to the default
All Users role.
To change a license assignment to a more suitable Role, select its button to open the License Edit page, and then the License assignments edit button () to access the Assign to role menu options in the Edit Assignment dialog. In this example, the license has been reassigned to the
The license assignment options include:
To collectively view and edit the existing license Role assignments, select the Roles view in the License Manager (ADMIN » LICENSES – Roles tab). Click on a Role name in the Roles column to see its User members, and on the right, its assigned licenses. For the Users, Roles and License assignment in this example, this aggregate view shows that user
Narelle is a member of the
QA role, which has access to the 15-seat license, as assigned above.
This view also allows license assignments to be added to Roles, via the button. To assign a license to the
Engineering role in this case, and therefore to the user profiles
Narelle, select a suitable license from the License drop down menu in the Add Assignment dialog, and the change.
Here, a 5-seat license has been added to the
Engineering Role and its member workstations. For details about the assigned license, select the expand option ( ) associated with its entry.
Note that in this case a new license assignment has been added to a Role, rather than an existing assignment being reassigned from
All Users to a specific Role (as outlined above). This means that, as in the example shown here, while a 5-seat license has been added to the
Engineering Role, the license is still assigned to the default
All Users Role as well – and therefore, exposed to all workstations that connect to the License Server.
Deleting the license's additional
All Users Role assignment will leave the license only assigned to the
Engineering Role, rather than both, and thereby exclusively available to the
Engineering group of Users. To delete an existing license assignment use the button associated with its entry.
As a result of these example license assignments:
ENGINEERING-2will be offered the 15-seat software license. This is because in the AIS:
Bruceis a member of the
EngineeringRole has the 15-seat license assigned to it.
ENGINEERING-3will be offered the 15-seat and the 5-seat software licenses. This is because in the AIS:
Narelleis a member of the
EngineeringRole has the 15-seat license assigned to it, and the
QARole has the 5-seat license assigned to it.
The AIS based Private License Server offers a range of administration features for managing license allocation and usage, including the ability to forcibly release a leased license and closely monitor how licenses are used.
For situations where a license has been in use by an Altium software installation but not correctly released, the PLS provides a means of terminating that lease and returning the seat to the pool of available license seats. This can occur when the user's PC has lapsed into standby while software is active, or through some form of software crash that has prevented a clean exit. In practice, that license seat is still registered as being in use and therefore denied to another user.
To locate the license of concern in this situation, go to the Licenses list in the AIS web interface by selecting ADMIN » LICENSES. Within the list of licenses shown under the Licenses tab, the leasing information for each entry is available by expanding the license entry with the button – use this to find the user that still retains the license seat.
The license leased to that user can be terminated, and the seat returned to the license pool, by clicking the button associated with the user entry and then confirming the action in the Release seat dialog. Altium NEXUS, for example, will notify the user that the license has been forcibly released by an administrator.
Note that the notification will only apply to network-based user clients, and not to a software user that has leased a license on the machine that also hosts the AIS – that is, when using Altium software that is installed on the same PC as the Infrastructure Server.
The Altium Infrastructure Server (AIS) includes a range of license usage monitoring and reporting features that can be used to audit how Altium software licenses are used within an organization. This is useful for ensuring that the best use is being made of the available license seats, for anticipating future license requirements and to determine the usage of individual Users.
The AIS license usage features are accessed through the administrator menu under the Reports tab on the License Manager page (ADMIN » LICENSES). This offers a range of reporting options that are accessed by specific tabs within the Reports view. Depending upon the type of information that's required for each report, the associated reporting filters can be applied to tailor the results to include specific Licenses, Roles, Users and time periods.
To filter the usage reporting results to show the license activity of a particular set of Licenses for example, select the licenses of interest from the Licenses drop down menu and click . The filtering action of the options remains in effect while each reporting style tab is selected, allowing you to see usage reports that are constrained to those licenses.
The Report page also offers the option to export the current report to disk in CSV format – compatible with Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet applications – for administration and accounting purposes. Select the desired report results using the appropriate tab and filtering for your needs, click the button and nominate a location to save the file to disk.
When working with Altium software, a user can receive a range of pop up Error dialogs from the Infrastructure Server in response to User Account, License and Seat allocation issues.
The text for the error codes presented in the dialogs can be modified by editing the contents of the
errors.xml file, which is located in the
LicenseManagerService directory of the AIS installation – typically
C:\Program Files (x86)\Altium\Altium Infrastructure Server\LicenseManagerService.
For example, the XML entry for the default error message generated when the PLS cannot create a synchonized User profile – say, because the PLS Automatic user creation option is disabled – is:
<Error code="4" text="Unable to connect to License Manager. User %USERNAME% has not been found and could not be created because of the server policies. Please contact License Administrator"/>
This might be edited to produce the following Error dialog. Note that CR/LF codes (
) and key parameters such as the related User Name (
%USERNAME%) can be included where needed.
Along with licensing Altium design software such as Altium NEXUS, the Altium Infrastructure Server (AIS) can also be used to license an Altium Server. In this configuration of servers, the AIS acts as a central licensing manager to all Altium products including any Altium Servers on the network, such as those used for design data management in individual engineering departments.
This type of installation is suited to a large enterprise, where each company department (Engineering, QA etc) might use multiple Altium software installations, and a local department Server for design data management purposes. Both the Altium Servers and Altium software installations are licensed by a central, dedicated Licensing Server such as the License Manager (PLS) in the Altium Infrastructure Server (AIS).
– See the diagram below for a schematic representation of this multi-server arrangment.
Assuming that a departmental Server already has its local User accounts set up, all licensing for the department can be managed by the central AIS when:
When correctly setup, an Altium Server on the network will automatically lease an available license from the AIS, so no further configuration is needed in the AIS itself – the licenses can remain assigned to the default
All Users group, and the assignment's Auto leasing option does not need to be selected.
While an Altium Server is generally licensed through its own self-licensing capabilities, in a similar way to the AIS, in this case the central Licensing Server (the AIS) will be providing the Server license. To change the Server setup so that it will lease an available license over the network from the AIS, first select the External PLS mode in its License Manager setup (ADMIN » SETTINGS – License Manager).
In this mode, the (department) Server will attempt to obtain its licenses from the server PLS address and port specified in the PLS url and PLS Port fields. Enter the network address/port of the AIS that is acting as a central Licensing Server. The network address of the 'external' AIS in the above image, and therefore the target for the department Server's external PLS service connection, is
http://sydpc016 – this is the network
computer_name of the AIS-based license server's host PC.
The Server also needs to be switched over from seeking its own licenses from its internal PLS, to accessing these from the specified external PLS service – the AIS Licensing Service. This is achieved by simply unchecking the Use local license manager for vault licensing option, as shown above.
The configured department Server will now lease its licenses from the central AIS, which will show (at a minimum) that a server license seat User Count has incremented, and the occupied seat is registered to the remote Server's internal
System user. In this example case, the remote Server is hosted on a PC named
In larger multi-server systems, as described above, a departmental Server provides normal data management services to its local workstations, but its internal licensing service (PLS) is 'switched over' to use the license service in the central AIS. This means that licensing for both the department Server and the local Altium software that uses it will be provided by the central PLS service.
With this arrangement the users of department workstations simply sign in to the 'local' Server as normal, using their existing User accounts. Since the Local Server is set to External PLS mode, signed in Users will have access to licenses that have been 'redirected' from the central Licensing Server (the AIS). When signed in from Altium Designer for example, its License Management page will automatically list any compatible licenses offered by the central AIS.
Part of the mechanism involved in granting a User access to remote licenses via the local Server, is the creation of a 'synchronized' user name in the central Licensing Server (the AIS). This is a function of the Automatic user creation option in the AIS License Manager (PLS), which must be enabled to successfully license software workstations that sign in to a Local (department) Server.
By way of example, the below image shows a department server (
SONY) with two registered User accounts;
Stan. These represent accounts for local users that sign in to the server to access its data management services. This server represents one of the local department Servers illustrated in the above multiple server image, where all licenses are sourced from the central Licensing Server AIS.
If the licenses offered by the central AIS are set for the default
All User access, these will be redirected through the Server to all local Users that sign in. Once a Server user has signed in, even if a license has not been leased, the License Service in the central AIS will automatically create a 'synchronized' User account.
In the below image, user
Keith has signed in to his account in the local server
SONY, which is set to source licenses from the central licensing AIS (
sydpc016). Here, the Altium software is using a seat of a license offered by the central AIS, which is regarded as leased by
Keith SONY – this is the
First Name + Second Name entries of the automatically generated User account in the AIS License Server.
As shown below, two AIS accounts that correspond to the Local Server accounts have been automatically created as the Users have signed in to their local server. Local Server account
Stan becomes AIS account
SONY:Stan, and Server user
SONY:Keith in the central AIS. Note that the Server name is
Once these User accounts have been registered in the AIS they can be edited as needed. Connectivity and Role associations are bound to the account User Name only, so other parameters may be changed to suit. A First and Last name entry change to the AIS account, for example, would be reflected in the name accociated with a license leased by Altum software when signed in to its Local Server.
User names that have been synchronized to the central Licensing Server in a multi-server setup can be added to Roles, just like any other user profile in the AIS. When a User then signs in to a local (department) Server, the licenses that are available from the central AIS will be determined by the Roles and License assignments configured for that synchronized User profile in the central Licensing Service.
For the examples used here, the synced user
Stan user synced from the local department server,
SONY) in the Licensing Server might be added to a
QA Role, which has a particular Altium software license assigned to it. When user
Stan signs in to his local Server, the specified 5-seat license will become available by virtue of the associated user Role and License assignment configuration in the Licensing Server (the central AIS).
These user Role and License assignments would be generally implemented by the Licensing Server administrator, once a Local Server user has signed in for the first time (thereby instigating the User sync process in the AIS).
If your software is not able to connect to the Infrastructure Server's PLS, or licenses that you have acquired and configured in the AIS are not seen as available by the software, there may be system or server settings that are preventing access.
When troubleshooting any issues, consider the following:
9780by default when transferring licensing data on the network. Check that this port has been opened in the host PC's firewall during the AIS installation.
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