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On Center On-Premise Enterprise License Manager - Overview - ELM

Views: 127 Last Updated: 09/21/2020 03:04 pm 0 Rating/ Voters
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For Licensing OCS-Classic Product versions released before 1/1/2018 only.

Enterprise License Manager is a server utility that allows multiple users to share a pool of licenses stored on your server instead of using individual activation codes for each user/workstation.

Review the ELM User Guide and ELM-Virtual Server Edition User Guides for detailed information on System Requirements, Installation, and Configuration.

Do You Need ELM (for physical servers) or ELM-Virtual Server Edition?

The only thing that is really different between Physical and Virtual editions of ELM is where the License Manager is going to be installed - this has nothing to do with where the products (OST/QB) are installed. Just because OST or QB are installed in a virtual environment doesn't necessarily mean you need ELM-Virtual Server Edition!


ELM must be installed on a physical server - meaning, one that you could put your hand on, that is physically at your facility, and that is not a "Hosted" server. The physical edition also cannot be installed on a server acting as a HOST to virtual machines (it cannot be running Hyper-V, VMWare, Parallel's, Citrix, Terminal Services, etc.)

ELM-Virtual Server Edition must be installed on a virtual server - meaning, one that is being hosted by either Microsoft's Hyper-V Server software or VMWare-ESX (or ESXi) virtualization technology*. A virtual server does not mean a Cloud-based server or one hosted by a third party - the hosting and virtual server must be within your domain. The virtual server must be network-connected to a physica machine (either the Host Server or an appropriate physical box within the Organization). There is an 'anchor' created using LMBind that prevents the virtual server from being replicated - this cannot be bypassed.

Why use Enterprise license manager?

There are a few good reasons:

  • You want to run any of our programs on in a virtual environment such as Citrix, Parallels, VMWare, Remote Desktop, or Windows Terminal Server platform ("Local" licensing tab is disabled, by design)
  • You want to centralize your license inventory to more closely control who is using licenses
  • You want to ensure users cannot lose or misplace their license codes
  • You want to simplify license management for a large number of users (rather than managing hundreds of individual activation codes you just need to manage two or three used by ELM)

System Requirements

System requirements for Enterprise License Manager (ELM) vary depending on which edition of ELM your company uses. Resource utilization is very low - the service runs in the background and uses little hard drive, RAM, or processor cycles. You need a supported Windows server, on the same domain as your end users that meets Microsoft's system requirements for whichever operating system is installed. System requirements are version specific, the links below are for the current/shipping version of ELM, if you are using an older version of ELM, check your User Guide for a link to the system requirements for that version.

Carefully review the Requirements for your specific environment (provided your server meets the minimum requirements for a supported operating system, the hardware should be sufficient for the license manager).

  • Memory, CPU, and disk space requirements are minimal - you can even install the license manager on some networked workstation as long as other users can communicate with it and it meets the System Requirements.
  • The license manager requires a standard, unrestricted Internet connection to activate codes against On Center Software's licensing servers. Once these licenses are retrieved, the license manager no longer requires Internet access unless changes are made to your company's licenses (On Center releases a product/version upgrade or you make changes to license count). External communication is over port 80, which is the same port Web browsers use for Internet access.
  • Internal communication is done over 2 distinct ports - the first is assigned by the license manager and is between 27000 and 27009 (first available when utility is started), the second is dynamically assigned by Windows and could be any port. If you need to configure your security systems with a specific port, you can assign Custom Ports in the utility - see the license manager User Guide for more information.
  • There are a few services that must remain running at all times to service licenses - these are detailed in the ELM User Guides.
  • Workstations must be able to validate their network license via the Internet each time a license is floated or borrowed.


It may be necessary to reboot your server to complete the license manager installation so it is best to schedule installation during 'off hours' when you will not interrupt your end-users work.

Instructions for installing and configuring the license manager are contained within the User Guides. The process is not difficult, but it does require someone familiar with Windows Server operating systems and whichever (if any) virtualization technology your company employs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I install ELM on a MACĀ®

You can install ELM (the physical version) on a physical Windows partition created by Bootcamp provided it meets the above System Requirements.

You cannot install ELM-Virtual Server Edition v1.1 on a MAC-based virtual machine (Parallels, for example).

Can I activate Enterprise License Manager without an Internet connection?

No, an active Internet connection is required to activate licenses. Once activated, the connection is no longer needed until changes are made to the license inventory (version upgrade, license count changes).

Can I float or borrow a license from Enterprise License Manager if my PC doesn't have an Internet connection?

No, each workstation must be able to validate the license they retrieve from Enterprise License Manager to On Center's licensing servers. If a license cannot be validated, it is revoked from the user's computer and returned to the pool of available licenses on the server.

What are the most common reasons Enterprise License Manager fails to activate license codes?

  • TYPOS - Typing in the wrong activation code - check the e-mail you received from On Center Software and copy and paste the code(s) if possible
  • No Internet connection or something blocking Internet access such as a Firewall, inconsistent connection, restricted access, or the server is behind a Proxy
  • Installation performed out of sequence - the installation instructions must be followed in order
  • Insufficient rights to the folder where ELM is installed (usually "C:\Program Files (x86)\On Center Software\Enterprise License Manager") or the System Registry
  • Virus Protection software blocking the writing to or creation of the local LIC files (stored at: "C:\Program Files (x86)\On Center Software\Enterprise License Manager")
  • Server requires a reboot to finalize installation of ELM or one or more Windows Updates
  • One or more ELM components is unable to communicate with one or more ELM components (for example, the vendor daemon (oncenter.exe) is unable to communicate with the binding agent (lmbind) in a virtual setup)

What are the most common reasons workstations are unable to pull licenses from ELM?

  • Firewalls on the local workstation, server, or within hardware devices such as switches or routers are blocking communication between the workstation and the server (ping may work, but your software may not be able to communicate with the server)
  • Virus protection software is preventing writing of the license information to the workstation
  • User does not have sufficient rights to their "Current User" Registry hive where licensing information is stored
  • License manager is down or a component has stopped responding - license manager must be restarted
  • The license cannot be validated with On Center's servers - no Internet access on workstation or the activation code has been revoked/replaced/activated on a different server
  • The license manager was moved to a different server without properly returning and reactivating codes
  • There are pending Windows Updates on the server which have disrupted network connectivity - a reboot is likely required.

See Related articles for help with activating/troubleshooting using licenses from ELM.

Terms and Conditions

  • The server on which license manager runs and the workstations accessing licenses must be on the same domain.
  • Licensing over a VPN connection to the license manager may be possible, however On Center Software does not provide technical assistance with configuring your environment or troubleshooting issues involved with licensing over a WAN.
  • Continued use of Enterprise License Manager and/On Center Software applications implies acceptance of the End User License Agreement viewable when the product is installed and any successors.
  • All license manager licenses (networked licenses) must remain 'On Support' or all are considered 'Off Support'.
  • On Center Software reserves the right to audit license usage at any time.

Product documentation (user guides) describes functionality in the latest version of each major release and may not match the functionality in the version you are using. Please check the Product Information and Downloads pages by clicking one of the product buttons above.

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