Licensing updates

Announcing a modern, highly flexible licensing system 

The current licensing system for the CSD has served us well for over 20 years, but it is finally starting to show its age. It ties us in to a yearly release cycle and limits the components that we may individually licence. It comes from a time before virtual machines existed and is not fully compatible with the world of computers that we now live in. As such we are excited to announce a long overdue licensing system upgrade will be rolled out as part of our 2020.0 CSD release this December.

The new system is a modern, secure and regularly updated third-party licensing system which enables both online and offline activation, lets you use any software release as long as you have a valid licence, and allows us to create licences with any time period we choose!

Most importantly this upgrade allows us to play to our strengths and concentrate on delivering continuous improvements in our scientific software and data.

 

What does it mean for me?

For those of you used to entering a site number and confirmation code and registering online with the old licensing system, you will probably not notice very much change - you will instead get an activation code that will similarly allow you to activate online to unlock the power of the CSD on your system. However, unlike previous releases, the new system will allow you to purchase a licence that can last for more than just one year.

Alternatively, you may be starting your CSD subscription part way through the year, in which case your licence will now last a whole year from the start of subscription, rather than finish at the end of the calendar year. In addition, if you extend that licence, this will automatically update your existing activation, which will work with any future software release.

If you are used to the IP-address version of the old licence, or deploy the CSD software for many users, then you will notice that the new licensing works differently, but you will be able to deploy so that the software auto-activates online. Alternatively, site-wide licence holders can use a local licence server, so you don't need to communicate outside of your network at all.

  licence activation

Activation either with an activation tool (left) or at the time of installation (right)

 

What about the existing grace period?

The old licensing grace period will continue to apply for the first 3 months of 2020, giving you time to adapt to using the new licensing, however the new licensing system will no longer provide a grace period, so it will be important to renew your licence before it expires! As mentioned above, simple extensions will be picked up by online systems automatically, so you should not need to re-activate.

This new licensing system will immediately allow us to increase the flexibility of how you access the CSD-System and put us in a good position to enable access to the new and exciting features we have planned for you in releases to come. Other future improvements we have planned will enable access to an online portal to both manage all your licences, and also purchase, extend and upgrade licences too, making access to all the CSD has to offer even easier!

 

If you’d like more information regarding this upcoming release or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our support team at support@ccdc.cam.ac.uk.