As many of you know, if your firm uses network licensing with Autodesk software you need to borrow a license if you are planning on working away from the office. If you’ve ever done this, you may have experienced a limit to how long you can borrow a license. By default, the software limits the maximum time a license can be borrowed to 6 months. For this reason, many firms want to limit how long users can borrow a network license to help control the license pool.
Limiting the maximum time a license can be borrowed is controlled by the option file, but this post is not about setting up the entire option file. A few months ago, we released an option file template on CADD community, see this blog post for more information, which covers most of what you need. Autodesk also has a webpage on setting up an option file here, in the event that you want to set it up from scratch.
This post is about a quirk we found between the option file and the Autodesk software borrow license function. This quirk forces the borrow calendar to not visually limit the days available and provides a cryptic error when a date is selected outside of the limit period.
Option File command
Following the direction on the Autodesk webpage above, you would use the “MAX_BORROW_HOURS” option which has the syntax below:
"MAX_BORROW_HOURS" [product feature code] [Hours]
Autodesk product feature codes can be found on this webpage.
Subscription Scenario (not collection)
You have a subscription to AutoCAD, and you want to limit your license borrowing to 30 days. According to the product feature code webpage the product feature code for a subscription of AutoCAD with multi-user access is “64300ACD_T_F.” Therefore, to restrict users borrow limit to 30 days (730hrs) the option file code would be “MAX_BORROW_HOURS 64300ACD_T_F.”
In our testing, this does not limit the max borrow of a license because licenses are provided to specific products, for example, AutoCAD 2018.
Collection Subscription Scenario
You have the AEC collection and you want to limit your license borrowing to 30 days. However, unlike suites (described below) Collections are deployed as individual “point” products, so there is no feature code for AEC Collection. Limiting AEC Collection products will be the same as limiting for the Subscription Scenario described above.
You have Building Design Suite Premium, and you want to limit your license borrowing to 30 days. According to the product feature code webpage the product feature code for Building Design Suite Premium 2018 with a perpetual license on a maintenance plan would be “85787BDSPRM_F.” Therefore, to restrict users borrow limit to 30 days (730hrs), the option file code would be “MAX_BORROW_HOURS 85787BDSPRM_F 730.”
In our testing this does limit the users to only being able to borrow a license for 30 days, however, the calendar in the borrow screen does not graphically appear to limit users to just 30 days. Additionally, if a user selects a day outside of the 30-day maximum they will receive the cryptic error.
To resolve this issue, you need to use the product version-specific feature codes.
For subscriptions, including collections, you will need a Max Borrow option for each product and version year deployed. For example, to restrict AutoCAD 2018 license to 30-day limit, the line in the option file should read:
"MAX_BORROW_HOURS 86830ACD_2018_0F 730"
For Suites, including Building Design Suite, you will need a Max Borrow for each version year deployed. However, unlike subscription, you do not enter a code for each “point” product such as “AutoCAD.” The suite codes will still be utilized. Therefore, to limit Building Design Suite Premium 2018, the line in the option file should read:
"MAX_BORROW_HOURS 85787BDSPRM_2018_0F 730"
By creating the option file in this method, the calendar in the borrow option file will appear correctly (as shown in the image below).