Hello, everyone. My name is Brent Edmonds, and I’m the Director of Operations for the Mathcad business unit at PTC.
To satisfy our valued PTC Mathcad customers, we are continually striving to make changes to the way we interact with our users. Sometimes these changes are small and incremental, and might only have a negligible impact on any one user, and sometimes these changes are more significant. Such is the case with the new licensing process rolled out with Mathcad 15.0, and which will be further improved upon with the upcoming release of Mathcad Prime 1.0.
Well, let’s start at the beginning. After PTC acquired Mathsoft, the software itself needed to be integrated into PTC systems and processes. There just wasn’t any way around that fact, given the size and structure of PTC. However, PTC’s systems and processes are designed for larger enterprise software implementations, and licensing this software was typically done by experienced Systems Administrators familiar with all the lingo and nuances of FLEXnet, server-based licenses, and what’s known as ‘configuration options’. All this technical jargon usually left Mathcad’s bread and butter customers, the individual user, a bit perplexed.
So we undertook a redesign of how Mathcad asks for, and gets, an Individual license file from PTC. First and foremost, all required information from the user is now entered in Mathcad itself, in what’s known as the Mathcad License Setup wizard. Simple questions are asked, and only a limited amount of information is expected back from the user. For your reference, detailed instructions on this new process are included when you purchase Mathcad 15.0.
Here’s the first screen in the wizard:
Users are given the option to request a license file over the internet, configure Mathcad to use an already existing license file on the workstation, or configure Mathcad to use an already existing license file on the server. The second two options are straightforward – if selected, the user is then asked to browse to the license file, and off you go. Note that by selecting one of these 2 options, the location of the license file should be known. When the first option is selected, the second screen provides additional options:
Here the user indicates what type of Mathcad software is owned and requires a license. Two options (Educational – Student and the 30-day trial) will retrieve the license file automatically from this point, and the user is off and running. For the first two options, a bit more information from the user is required:
Those choices are selected on the third screen in the wizard:
Newly purchased licenses are retrieved using the first two options – the first option is for the main license to be installed on the work computer, and the second option is for the Home Use license for the home computer. The Home Use license is a great additional benefit of being on active maintenance.
Active maintenance customers simply moving up to the latest release of Mathcad, and just needing to refresh their current license file, should select the third option – ‘I want to retrieve a copy of the existing license for this computer’. This assumes, of course, you are installing Mathcad 15.0 on the same computer where you have Mathcad 14.0 installed. If not, you’ll need to select the fourth option, ‘I want to transfer the right to use an existing license from one computer to another computer’.
And that’s essentially it. For the Professional – Individual, Educational – Professor, and Home Use requests, the license file will be emailed to your PTC basic web account email address (which you provide at the conclusion of the wizard – be sure to use an active e-mail account that you check often). Follow the instructions included in the email, saving the .txt file to a .dat file on your workstation, and run the wizard again (by opening the Mathcad application) to configure using an existing license file:
At the completion of the licensing process all the information specific to your order, your hardware, and the software you’ve installed is captured. This allows you to have complete control over your license file – you can move it from machine to machine, you can request the license file be regenerated, you can track all the licenses in your organization, and many other actions through our self-serve tools.
Look for more licensing improvements as we develop Mathcad Prime 1.0, coming this winter. We’d love to hear from you about your software licensing experiences – what applications do you like the best and why? Please comment!
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