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A floating license allows an application to be used on a network, whereas a node-locked license allows a single instance of an application to run on a specific machine. Determining which type of license to use depends on your end user's needs and the method of software distribution that will work best for you.

The following table lists advantages and disadvantages of using each type of license.

TypeAdvantagesDisadvantages
Floating
  • Your end user can share any number of software licenses between multiple workstations.
  • When your end user closes the application, the license is released back to the central pool so it can be checked out by another user.
  • You have control over the number of licensed copies allowed to run concurrently.
  • Your end user can experience workstation crashes and temporary network outages. Solutions: High Availability Licensing (HAL) and grace licenses.
  • Your end user cannot work on laptop away from the network. Solutions: Borrowing a license and VPN connections.
  • This license type does not work when environment or operating system is blocking socket or network activity (such as with a Linux web server restricted user account). Solution: Use a node-locked licensing instead.
Node-locked
  • This type of license does not need the connection to the license server.
  • An unlimited number of copies to run on a specified host.
  • You need multiple licenses if a customer is using the software on more than one computer.