CAD Manager's Newsletter (#441)

10 Mar, 2020 By: Robert Green

Autodesk Begins Move to Named-User Licensing

Transitioning from perpetual or floating network licenses to named-user licenses will have a substantial financial impact for your firm, so start analyzing your specific needs immediately.

Autodesk has announced that by May 2021, it will stop offering network licensing and maintenance, and there has been a lot of reader interest in the topic. Because so many CAD managers are responsible for supporting Autodesk products, when the company makes a big change to its licensing policies, it is big news for our profession.

In this edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I'll shed some light on what's happening and try to make some sense of the uncertain terrain many CAD managers will find themselves in as they attempt to explain the situation to their management teams. Here goes.

The Basics

Let's start with the announcement itself, which came in the form of a video released on February 24, 2020: Autodesk announced that the company "is moving completely to plans that are based on people, to provide you with an improved experience."

In plain language, this means that Autodesk is transitioning to a named-user licensing scheme, where each individual user must maintain an account (like individual Autodesk subscriptions work now) rather than using a network license or perpetual serial number. This change means that those companies which still have maintenance plans on perpetual licenses will no longer be supported (after the next renewal date or May 2021 at latest), and that those using network licensing (FlexLM) will no longer be supported either.

The news about the end of network licensing is given additional significance by the 33% price increase on multi-user subscription licenses that went into effect on February 7, 2020. The video states that network licensing users will be offered a two-for-one exchange (two named user subscriptions for each network user) at a "similar price" to what they pay now. We'll explore the potential costs in the "Cost Computation" section below.

The Fine Print

If you're like me, you have questions after viewing that video. It turns out a bunch of other people did as well, and Autodesk very rapidly created a FAQ entry in the Autodesk Knowledge Network to address the issue.

I'll let you read the full FAQ on your own time, but the following sections touch on some highlights that should be of particular interest to CAD managers who are determining how the changes will impact them. Read more »

Tools and Resources

3D Systems Offers Guide to 3D Printing Metals
Site visitors who register can download "The Design Guide to Direct Metal Printing," a guide from 3D Systems that discusses how to use Direct Metal Printing to produce parts in a variety of metal alloys. Topics include the factors that in?uence surface quality and how users can handle thermal stresses and avoid shrink lines.

What's New at

Gravity Industries Relies on 3D Printing to Make Jet Suits Real
Rapid iteration and testing are key to creating a wearable human flight system that defies gravity in spectacular fashion. Read more »

Sponsored: Cities Leverage Digital Twin Initiatives to Advance BIM and GIS, Improving the Quality of Life for Their Constituents
Two cities — one in China, one in Portugal — provide examples of how local governments are benefiting from simulating real-world situations, optimizing systems and processes, and monitoring the performance and condition of assets. Read more »

The Best Reason to Adopt Cloud Innovation Software
Don't move to the cloud for the cloud's sake; do it for the business value that cloud solutions offer. Read more »

Herrera on Hardware: AMD CPUs for CAD Workstations — Third-Generation Threadripper Makes Impressive Debut
Three years into the era of AMD's Zen architecture for central processing units (CPUs), the company has climbed into a better position to compete with Intel, equipped with a high-performance workstation-caliber CPU. Read more »

Benchmarks Reveal Common Struggles in Product Development Processes
For manufacturers on a mission of self-improvement, Tata Technologies creates baselines of comparison for evaluating maturity in digital engineering, product lifecycle management (PLM) analytics, and more. Read more »


About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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