Thursday, September 28, 2017

How to Check Out a Revit Network License

If you use Autodesk Revit on a network, and use network licensing, you have to check out a license in order to use Revit when away from the office. Not the most intuitive sequence of steps... this post will show you how.

But first, a little background info... many mid to large sized firms use network licensing to save money. With people in meetings, on vacation and such, you never need one Revit/AutoCAD license for each person. Using a network licensing scheme allows you to have the software installed on as many computers as you want, but only 35 people can use the software if you have 35 pooled network licenses. The 36th person is given a message that there are no licenses available. Of course, you would change those numbers based on the number of  network licenses your firm has.
A little Revit history: before the Autodesk acquisition, Revit licensing was exclusively cloud-based, much like Enscape or Revizto are today. You had to be connected to the internet to use the software.
If you forget to check out a license,
when you open Revit away from the office, you will get this prompt (see next iamge below). In this case, there is no way to open the software (see note on "viewer" mode below)! You either have to go back to the office or use VPN to check out a license (a bit more on the VPN option below).



The following images, with number steps, should be self-explanatory...





Once a license has been checked out, you will get this prompt each time you open the software. To be safe, I have Revit checked out well past my BILT-EUR presentation next week in Denmark!



VPN Option

You can also check out a license via VPN, using your cellphone as a WiFi hot-spot if you have a VPN service in your office and setup on your computer. Our surveyors often use this method so they only pull a license when they need it, rather than having one tied up all the time (a networked Civil 3D license is around $9k). The challenge is they are sometimes in the middle of nowhere without cell tower coverage. In this case, they may have to wait until they find a WiFi hot-spot or go to their hotel, which usually has WiFi, and check out a license there (and for multiple days knowing they do not have access in the field).
Warning: checking out a license can only be checked back in by the computer that checked it out. Or you have to wait until the time has expired... then the server frees up the license and the computer can no longer use the software. If a laptop has a license 

Free Revit Viewer

Revit itself, is a free viewer. If you go to Start -> Autodesk -> Revit 2018 -> Revit Viewer 2018. Using this, you can open Revit and view projects, but you cannot save. I will write another post on this later. The point here, is you can still view files away from the office. You just cannot work on the file and save changes.

This method is basically the same for most Autodesk products, such as AutoCAD, Civil 3D and Navisworks.

Here is some additional information on this subject from Autodesk Revit 2018 help: click here.

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