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Licensing On Center Classic Products - OST DPC QB

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Applies to all supported versions of On-Screen Takeoff, Quick Bid, and Digital Production Control.

If your company owns multiple products, your company will be issued up to four License Keys or Server Codes to activate the licenses you want for your installation (one for OST (Takeoff), one for Quick Bid (Estimating), and possibly two for DPC (one for Foreman, one for Project Manager).


Review these articles regarding product end-of-life:

Product End of Life Plan (aka Sunsetting Policy) - OST QB DPC

End of Life Plan for On-Screen Takeoff 3.95 / Quick Bid 4.97 and earlier versions

All versions of On-Screen Takeoff/Digital Production Control older than 3.96 and all versions of Quick Bid older than 4.98 are no longer distributed or supported.

If you need assistance with licensing your software, first, review the Common Reasons for Licensing Issue at the bottom of this article. If you still have trouble, please contact Support.

Do you have License Key?

License Key looks like this: 

"OST+a0fe3-d4848-3840b-6a6c8-fe068" (25 characters, separated by hyphens, with a Product Prefix). 

License Keys are multi-seat keys, meaning your company will be issued one Key for each product you own and that key allows multiple people to license their software with it. Each License Key supports a single product, so if you own 10 On-Screen Takeoff, 10 Quick Bid, and 10 Digital Production Control PM licenses, you are issued three keys.

Remember, you need to activate (and return) a separate License Key for each application feature (OST, QB, DPC).

Do you have a Server Code?

A Server Code looks like this:

"OST@98A8PGZA493Z" (shorter, no spaces or hyphens, with a Product prefix and an "@" symbol).

A Server Code is a cloud-based license manager for a single product. All your licenses for a single product would be setup under one Server Code - so if you own three products, your company would be issued three Server Codes so you can control who is able to license which Products.

Remember, you need to activate (and return) a separate Server Code for each application feature (OST, QB, DPC).

This video explains how to license your software using a license key or server code. The screenshots are from On-Screen Takeoff, but the process is the same for Quick Bid.

If you need assistance with licensing your software, please contact Support.

What's the difference?

  • A License Key is validated over the internet with our servers each time you open the product, but the license itself is "consumed" by your computer until you decide to return it. Even when you close the program, that license remains on your machine, unless and until you return it manually.
  • A Server Code is used to "float" a license while the program is open. That means, when you close the application, the license you were using is returned to the "pool" of licenses in the Cloud and someone else can consume it. However, even with Server Codes, you can "Borrow" a license for up to seven days - it is then available only to you until it expires (or until you return it manually, whichever comes first).

License Keys and Server Codes are retrieved from your company's portal, MyOnCenter.com. See PTL - 05 My Software Licenses for details on viewing your company's software licenses.  If you do not have access to the portal, please contact the Billing or Technical contact at your company for assistance - On Center employees cannot provide you with your company's License Keys or Server Codes.

Server Codes work like our previous License Managers for the most part. When you open the product and request a license, your license is applied to your Device (your machine/user combination). When you close the program (assuming you have not "borrowed" the license), your license is checked back into the server. If you are using a multi-tenant system such as Citrix or Terminal Services, each user gets his or her own, unique license from the Server. If your computer or the program crashes and doesn't get the opportunity to check in your license, you simply have to re-open the program and shut it down normally and your license will be released. If the machine is lost, the license is simply restored to the pool after 7 days.

The screenshots below show On-Screen Takeoff, however activating Digital Production Control and Quick Bid follow the same steps.

Activating Your License

When On-Screen Takeoff or Quick Bid are not authorized (you have not activated a License Key or Server Code), a message in the bottom right corner of the program shows "FREE PlanViewer Mode" (OST) or "Free Quick Bid Viewer" (QB). After activating a license, this area shows which licenses have been applied (OST, DPC_FM, DPC_PM, or QB).

Anytime you open the product when it doesn't have a license, you will be greeted by the Welcome prompt:

select activate a license or continue using unlicensed version
On-Screen Takeoff and  Digital Production Control
select activate a license or continue using unlicensed version
Quick Bid

Select Activate License, or, if the program is already open, click File > Check Authorization to open the licensing screen.

enter a License Key or Server Code

Enter your License Key or Server Code in the box.

Click Validate

If this is a License Key, your license is activated automatically and you can close this dialog box.

Server Codes - Additional Step

If this is a Server Code, you will be given the option to "borrow" a license for offline use. You may borrow a license for 7 days, but remember, that license is then unavailable to any other users, even if you close the program.

Click Activate.

After Activation

Once Activated, features such as On-Screen Takeoff and Digital Production Control Project Manager along with product maintenance are displayed.

when using a Server Code or the on-premise license manager, you are allowed to borrow the license and disconnect from your network for up to 7 days

To see details about a license, click the little plus sign next to it (shown in the screenshot).

Click Close to close the Check Authorization dialog.

When you close the Check Authorization dialog box, your activated Features display in the bottom right of the application (the Status Bar) - this indicates that the program is properly authorized and ready to use.

Returning Your License

You can "return" your license, removing it from the current machine, anytime you like. This makes the license available to other users (and to you on another machine).

For example, let's you activate your license on your work computer, and then need to use it at home over the weekend, or a coworker needs to use it for some time. You "return" your license from your work machine and then you can use it at home - just be sure to return it from your home machine before you go back to the office. 

To return a license, open the Check Authorization dialog again (click File > Check Authorization) and hit the Return button next to the license detail in the lower section.

You must return each license feature separately (just like you have to activate them each separately). So, you could return your DPC-Foreman license and retain your OST license, if you like.

Server Codes

If you are using a Server Code and have not borrowed the license, when you shut down the program, your license is returned to the pool automatically (the program does this in the background). The next time you open the program, we attempt to get a license for you from the same server, automatically. If that fails, you see an error message with the reason why a license cannot be pulled (such as no seats available, or no internet connection).

If you borrow a Server Code license, or if you want to run the program in "Free - Viewer" mode, you can return the license manually, as long as you have an internet connection. Just follow the steps above to return it.

Reactivating Previous Licenses

The programs store the last few License Keys, Server Codes, and License Managers that were successfully activated on this machine.

click the drop-down to see your recently activated License Keys and Server Codes

In OST they are grouped by Feature (OST, DPC_FM, DPC_PM). Just select whichever license you want to use and click "Validate", like usual.

Common Reasons for Licensing Issues

  • Incorrect License Key or Server Code (we recommend you copy/paste - rather than trying to type these in - if possible).
  • No Internet connection (always required to activate License Keys or Server Codes).
  • Firewall blocking network communication (see Related Articles for more information on configuring your firewall).
  • Attempting to activate a License Key or Server Code for the wrong product (you cannot activate a Quick Bid license through On-Screen Takeoff and vice versa).
  • Attempting to activate an old "Activation Key" that was used prior to 12/31/2017. Check MyOnCenter.com for your up-to-date keys.
  • Attempting to activate an expired license or one that is for a version that does not support the version of the software you are attempting to license.
If you open an "interactive" Bid while one or both products is unlicensed, you will break the interactive connection.  Please see Quick Bid's  User Guide for instructions on reconnecting bids.

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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