License Server versus other licensing models

The callas License Server is a new way to license callas software products, but it does not replace any of the traditional licensing models.

Hardware-based licensing

Traditionally, all callas software solutions use hardware-based licensing. This means that the software needs to be installed and activated on the machine (real or virtual) on which it is running. This activation binds the purchased license to the computer on which the software is used. This activation model requires:

  • Several manual operations (for the CLI products: create a license request on the console terminal, request activation by email, move the received Activation.pdf back to the host, and use the console terminal again to complete the activation)
  • Static hardware identifier (which does not work well in environments where this ID can change, e.g. Docker, Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure)

It is worth mentioning that the callas License Server itself always uses this traditional hardware-based licensing for itself. To install and use a License Server, it must be activated.

License Server-based licensing

Starting mid 2019, all callas software solutions also support License Server-based licensing. The specific software versions supporting the License Server model are:

  • pdfToolbox: version 10.2 and up
  • pdfaPilot: version 8.2 and up
  • pdfChip: version 2.1 and up

In this model, there is no requirement to activate software on the machine it is running. This allows machines to be brought online or used dynamically, without having to go through the (manual) activation process.