EPLAN License Activations

So I recently visited my alma mater, you know.. the school of hard knocks, and I thought that I would write this post in the hopes that it might save you some trouble.
I know that this post is very long but this is a fairly complicated topic, if you can find anyone else writing about it more succinctly, you are welcome to post a link to it below.

Single User License

To be clear I am a single license owner with a USB license dongle and I recently became a “subscription” member, if you have a different type of license this information may not apply to you.

In the old days up to and including version 2.7, when you wanted to use EPLAN on a different PC you simply unplugged the license dongle and moved it to the other PC and plugged it in. You could install EPLAN on as many PCs as you liked (including VMs) and so long as you had the license dongle plugged into that PC you could run the application.

License Activations
The license terms were changed recently to limit the number of “Activations” that you can have concurrently with a single user license. This means that as of the date of this post date, you can have up to three “activations” of EPLAN at a time. I think I was vaguely aware of this but I was not really aware of what this meant or how easily you can lose one or more of these activations.

When you “activate” a license you are essentially making a declaration to EPLAN that you want to use EPLAN on a particular PC and important information will be transmitted to EPLAN to uniquely identify your PC. I believe this started in V2.8 which is also when the EID code was introduced.
If you have already activated EPLAN on (3) PCs, and you want to use a license at any additional locations, you must now “revoke” an existing activation so that you can transfer it to a new location. To “revoke” an activation you will need to use a special EPLAN application named REHOST.

Significant Changes

In addition, If you want to make any significant changes to the hardware or OS of an “activated” PC you will need to “revoke” the activation on that PC BEFORE making your updates OR THE ACTIVATION MAY BE LOST. Oh yes.. sad emoji face for sure!

So what kind of changes are we talking about?

  • Formatting the hard disk
  • Replacing a hardware component (?)
  • Reinstalling or upgrading the operating system (?)
  • Changing the computer name
  • Moving a virtual machine or modifying its hardware
  • Activating a different EPLAN license

(Source: EPLAN Help)

Example Time

Lets do some simple math to illustrate an example, I have EPLAN activated on two PCs:

A desktop pc: Let’s call this PC1

A laptop pc: Let’s call this “My Laptop”

So far I have used up (2) of my activations, right?

Now one day I decide that I want to change the name of my laptop from “My laptop” to PC2. I Google how to do it and make the change, it never occurs to me to think about EPLAN..

So how many PCs can I use EPLAN on now?
The correct answer is only (2)..I just lost an activation because I did not follow the proper procedure of revoking the activation BEFORE making the changes.

A few weeks ago I needed to work remotely so I grabbed my license dongle and my laptop and jumped in the car. About an hour later I fired up the laptop and was greeted with a error message that informed me that an “activation” was not available and that I would need to deactivate a previous installation. This is when i was introduced to EPLAN Rehost..

So what is going on? I honestly don’t really know because over the last year or two I have done the following to my EPLAN PCs:

  • I replaced the hard drives with SSDs
  • I replaced one or more small SSDs with larger SSDs
  • I renamed the PC
  • I activated EPLAN on other PCs

At the moment I know that I have (1) activation and I think I may have a second (2) activation but I am sure that I don’t have the ability to use all three.

So why don’t I know what’s really going on? Well it seems that EPLAN does not have a tool that you can use to simply manage your current “activations”. I am told that this information is internally available to some EPLAN employees but that it is not available to the license owners. I think I heard someone mention that you can formally request an “global activation reset” but I don’t know the details of that.

Moral of the Story: Be careful and informed when activating a license and be mindful when making significant updates to your PC, these changes may limit your ability to use EPLAN.

Ref: Activating a single-user license

Ref: Returning a single-user license


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