Authorization codes for Mentor Graphics software use a system called Exact Access, which incorporates functionality provided by Macrovision's FLEXlm and Mentor Graphics' MGLS/PCLS software.
What is the reason for Exact Access authorization codes?
In the past, Mentor released software on an annual basis. In-between these annual releases we issued patches to address defects, but all new functionality was held for the annual release. When the annual release came out, a new authorization code was required to run the new release. Based on this model, authcodes could be generated for several years, and whether you were on support or not, you could get the defect releases, but only support customers would get a new authcode for the new release with the increased functionality.
Several years ago, Mentor changed the process for delivering new functionality. Instead of waiting for the "big bang" release once a year, many customers have asked for incremental improvements throughout the year. Since it is possible that we could release one of these updates each month, we looked for a way to release new functionality to our support installed base that did two things:
- Did not require customers to re-license each month.
- Ensured that customers off support could not load monthly releases and take advantage of the new features.
What is Exact Access?
To meet both needs we implemented the Exact Access authcode system. It works like this: when you get your authcode each year, there is an "Exact Access" date embedded that represents the expiration date of your support contract. Every software release has the date of the release embedded in it as well. As long as the "Exact Access" date in the authcode is later than the release date, the release will run with no further authcode required.
However, if the release date is later than the Exact Access date in the authcode (in other words, you are not on support so you did not get a new authcode), then you will not be able to use the release. Of course this means we need to send you a new authcode with a new Exact Access date each time you renew your support contract. This is typically an annual event.
Is there a second date embedded in the authorization codes?
There is also a date for the expiration of the authcode itself embedded inside the authcode. It is different from the date that gives you access to releases. The authcode expiration date is 3 months past your support contract expiration date. This second date was implemented at the request of some of our larger customers to help them manage their assets, and at the request of our Board of Directors to protect our Intellectual Property. With Exact Access, authorization codes are renewed every year subsequent to your support contract renewal. That is, there will be one date for authorization code expiration at your site.
What are the benefits of Exact Access?
Exact Access codes help you manage your software assets more easily by:
- Providing a consistent authorization code mechanism across all your Mentor Graphics products;
- Synchronizing authorization code expiration dates for all Mentor Graphics products at your site;
- Decreasing inadvertent usage of software that results from housekeeping activities like transfers.
- Allowing smoother, more convenient request and delivery of authorization codes.
While your authorization codes are issued yearly when you renew your support contract, you are still entitled to access your software perpetually if you purchased a perpetual license.
Exact Access Date
Since the Exact Access date in the example is 2007.060, this authorization code will work with versions of the product using Mentor's licensing scheme released in June 2007 or earlier.
Expiration Date of the Authorization Code
In the example, the authorization code expires (no longer works to run programs) on September 30, 2007.
We want you to know that we have had few problems with Exact Access licensing. Here are a few of the reasons:
- We quote support 90 days before expiration of your contract, and give you an extra 90 days for your authcodes to expire. That's half a year leeway to get new authcodes.
- Our Worldwide Order Fulfillment team generates thousands of authcode files every year.
- Their committed turnaround time on authcodes is 24 hours. They work extremely hard to assure you are never in a critical "production stopping" situation.
To learn how to download authorization codes from SupportNet, please view this short informative video.
Following are a series of Frequently Asked Questions that provide further explanation about Exact Access licensing.
Exact Access Frequently Asked Questions
|When will my authcodes expire?||Typically 3 months after your support contract expires. The expiration date will be the same for all your Mentor products.|
|Compatibility||Will new authcodes authorize prior releases?||Yes, the new authcodes will support any previous product with Mentor licensing that uses the same authcode name.|
|Declined Product||What happens to my authcodes if I decline support for a product?||If you decline support, we'll send you new authcodes that let you use versions of that product that were released before support was declined.|
|If I decline support for a product, when will its authcode expire?||You will get an authcode that expires on the same date as other supported products at your site. If you have no supported products at your site, your authcode will generally expire every five years.|
|Delivery of AuthCodes||Will I have to request new authcodes before my old authcodes expire?||No. If you have renewed support then the Customer Order Management (COM) group proactively sends out a new license file about 30 days before the current file expires, issued for the appropriate length of time. |
If your authcodes are expiring, and your support contract is still being negotiated, the COM group proactively sends out a 90 day extended file about 2 weeks before the current file expires.
|Environment||Will there be an interruption in my environment to add or change authcodes?||You will have to interrupt your environment to load the new license server and MGLS software. However, after that first time, interruptions should be minimal to add or change authcodes.|
|Expired Support Product||Will I be able to run new versions of a product if my support contract has expired?||No. When your support contract is expired and you are renegotiating, your authcode will give you access to the last version for which support was paid.|
|Will I still get software when a release occurs if my support contract has expired?||Yes. You will get a CD shipment for push releases, or be able to download the release from SupportNet for pull releases, but your old authcodes will not be sufficient to run the new release. If you decline support, CD shipments will stop.|
|Frequency||Will I be receiving and installing codes more often?||Yes. You will receive new authcodes when you renew your support contract. This is usually once a year. You'll also receive new authcodes with new product purchases.|
|Keyword||What is the difference between a "Feature" keyword and an "Increment" keyword||A FEATURE line describes the license to use a product. An INCREMENT line can be used in place of a FEATURE line, as well as to incrementally add licenses to a prior FEATURE or INCREMENT line in the license file. Though the license file keyword will look different since it uses the word INCREMENT, it works the same as the previous license files.|
|Length||Will I ever get authcodes for a period shorter than a year?||Yes. New licenses added to your site will be synchronized with the support contract expiration date for existing licenses.|
|License Server||What license server must I have loaded to use the latest release?||The latest version of the license server must be loaded.|
|Lines in AuthCode||How many lines in an authcodes now?||Authcodes are now two or more lines long. Lines with a backslash ( \ ) at the end of the line are continued on the next line.|
|New Site||If my site is new, when will my authcodes expire?||15 months.|
|Patches||What patches will I have access to?||An authcode that will support a specific release will also support any standalone patches to that release. Service Packs (SPacs) are not considered standalone patches.|
|Perpetual Licenses||What happens to the perpetual license I purchased?||If you purchased a perpetual license to a product, you still have the right to use the last version of that product released under your support contract as long as you wish. We will continue give you new authcodes for that product even if you decline support, but the duration of that authcode will typically be between one and five years.|
|Release Schedule||Will there be more or fewer releases from Mentor Graphics?||Since licensing does not dictate a release schedule, our release schedule remains unchanged.|
|Serial Number||What is the "serial number"?||The serial number represents a unique instance of an authorization code. It allows Mentor to more readily map an installed item in the business database to its authorization code in the licensing system. Please remember the authorization code will be disabled if the serial number is removed.|
|SIGN2=||What is the "SIGN2="?||The SIGN2= field represents a unique signature to authenticate this FEATURE line.|
|Timeframe||When will I get new Exact Access authcodes for my site?||Whenever any authcode at your site needs to be reissued after the latest release we'll take the opportunity to implement Exact Access for all your authcodes. This could happen coincident with the latest release, a license transfer, a new product added at your site, etc.|
|Transfers||Can I transfer licenses at no charge either for declined or active products?||Mentor's standard license transfer policy remains unchanged.|
|Warning||How much warning will I get for authcode expiration?||You'll still get 10 days warning from the system that your authcodes are about to expire.|