Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What is cascade licensing?

This can be a difficult topic and when you include all the different version's of Autodesk programs and each versions little differences it can be very confusing.


In a nutshell: Cascade licensing allows a program to check out/obtain a “feature code” (or license) that is assigned to another program/product.


Now, let’s change our way of thinking. No longer think “license” instead, think “feature” or “feature code”. This is important. When you view your license file you will see all kinds of feature codes.


Let’s start with the basic “How network licensing works”:





  1. You install your program as a network version and in doing so it knows what “feature code” it has encoded. We have installed AutoCAD 2011 and the feature code is 85536ACD_2011_0F.


  2. The license manager is configured for a license file that has a feature code in it.


  3. When you run AutoCAD (feature code: 85536ACD_2011_0F) it will ask the license manager if it can have 1 of feature code 85536ACD_2011_0F. The license manager will check its database and if that feature has a seat available it grants it and the program runs. However, if it doesn’t have any available you receive a message.

How cascading works:
You install your program as a network version and in doing so it knows what "feature code" is has encoded. We now have AutoCAD 2011 (feature code: 85536ACD_2011_0F) and AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2011 (feature code: 85623REVITS_2011_0F) installed.

The license manager is configured for a license file that has a feature code in it (most likely many feature codes). We've combined out AutoCAD and AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite licenses/Features together so we have both feature codes available n our license file.

Wehn you run AutoCAD (feature code 85536ACD_2011_0f) it will ask the license manager if it can have 1 of feature 85536ACD_2011_0F. The license manager will check its datbase and finds that feature code is not available, now it ill look for (cascade to) another feature code in the license file. So, now it asks the license manaager for an AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2011 feature code (85623REVITS_2011_0F) and if it's available it is granted. Otherwise it continues down the cascade list of feature codes until it obtains a license or gives a message that no licenses are available.

Note: Cascading is available in the Autodesk 2007 programs and newer, 2006 and prior cannot cascade.

Autodesk Support has done a great job in posting Technical Solutions about the cascading and feature list.


  • To see the Cascade list for 2011 programs, click here or copy/paste this address: http://usa.autodesk.com/getdoc/id=TS14885918


  • To see the Feature list for 2011 programs, click here or copy/pate this address: http://usa.autodesk.com/getdoc/id=TS15224763
You can also search for “cascading” or “feature code” and come up with the other versions lists too.

Again, this is not an easy topic to conquer, especially if you’re new to network licensing. I hope this helps, if not, give us a call in the National Support Center. 800-808-7645. Remember, contract holders are answered first, then the 1 time free support incident callers.

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