Autodesk Named-User replacing Multi-User Licenses
Posted by Karl Hosking, Last modified by Karl Hosking on 19 August 2020 03:36 PM

Autodesk Named-User Licensing

by Karl Hosking 19th Aug 2020

Over the past few years, Autodesk has been transitioning from legacy licensing methods into Named-User licensing. This new Named-User license method is replacing both Standalone licensing (the license that activates to a desktop) and Multi-User license (the license that operates from a license server running LMTools and an Autodesk Network License File). If it's all a little too hard or confusing, not to worry, as an A2K Technologies Subscriber we'll get you sorted, but it's worth knowing the details below. Put simply, once transitioned, CAD users will now be greeted by an Autodesk Sign In screen to access their CAD software and services.

What does this mean for end users?

Importantly, transitioning users into Named-User Licensing means no more serial numbers. No more activation codes. No more [-15.570] errors (I don't even...), and no more license files(!). Many end-users won't need to worry about this process as they're already using an Autodesk ID to access their Autodesk applications after transitioning over the past few years. Named-User licensing may however be a new experience for users who traditionally have been licensed via a Multi-User Network License. As an end user, an A2K Technologies Customer Success manager and Licensing Consultant, along with this document, will be assisting your CAD managers and IT Administrators with the transition.

What does this mean for CAD Managers?

  1. Become familiar with the Autodesk Manage Portal
  2. Understanding and assigning different management roles, such as Contract Manager, Primary Administrator, Secondary Administrator and SSO Administrator.

  3. Creating and managing Autodesk ID for all of your users
  4. Assigning Autodesk subscriptions to each user (such as AutoCAD LT, Product Design Suite, Collections, etc)

  5. Working with your IT Administrator to configure each CAD workstation for use with Named-User access.

  6. Using the Autodesk Desktop Application (with your users signed in) to check that all CAD Application service packs and hotfixes have been applied.

And I can not stress point 6 enough. Here's a screenshot for what you're looking for and an example of a critical patch;

As unfortunate as it is, from time to time we do see show-stopping bugs preventing Autodesk apps from starting that can be simply resolved by checking the Autodesk Desktop App for any pending updates and installing them. Updates may also be accessed as a download via the Autodesk Manage Portal, under the Product Updates menu - use the search to find the patch that you're looking for;

What does this mean for IT Administrators?

Many Admins will already be familiar with the requirements, especially those who have managed any Autodesk LT products, or previous licenses that have already been switched to term based. However, those IT Administrators who have 100% Multi-network licensed product may be be new to this, so some advice below.

Firstly, plan for a 30 day transition hand-in-hand with your CAD managers,

Week 1:

Named User accounts created for all of your CAD users. Autodesk apps assigned to each user (working with your CAD Manager to find out which users access what apps).

Week 2:

Named-User configuration of all CAD workstations. This is where you may need to reach out to A2K Technologies Support for any errors that get stuck in a cyclic loop, which unfortunately are a little common with the older CAD apps - screenshots of errors are more than welcome when creating a support ticket.

Week 3:

Getting feedback from each user, making sure they're up and running with the Autodesk Apps that they need.

Final Week:

Disarm LMTools, turn off and and remove the Autodesk License Service, and delete the Autodesk multi-user license file.

It's worth mentioning however that LMTools may still be required for other vendor software (such as Ideate), so you won't necessarily uninstall LMTools - but I do suggest deleting the ADSK Vendor File "adskflex.exe".

Another important item worth understanding - put simply, there are two ways to update a CAD Workstation from Multi-User to Named-User that depend on what version of CAD is installed (and also a third point that touches on legacy software);

1. For Software Versions 2017, 2018 and 2019, Autodesk software is configured via an LGS.dat (but consider this info legacy, only relevant for another 2 years).

How to by-pass LGS (Lets Get Started) screen or automate pre-setup license type when running Autodesk products

2. For Software Versions 2020 and upwards, you'll need to become familiar with the Autodesk Licensing Installer Tool Helper, more info here;

Autodesk Licensing Installer Helper tool guide

3. Speak with your users and CAD managers if they're running anything older than 2018, and check that they have an Autodesk Support Case with approval for running anything beyond 4 years from the current release. Understand the fine print here;

Accessing and downloading legacy Autodesk products - Commercial License Only

The Autodesk Desktop App is an important app that you'll need to know of. In some situations, you may actually want to remove the Autodesk Desktop App to prevent users from updating their Autodesk products out-of-step with all other users. The app can also be downloaded and installed by itself too, follow the link below for the install media;

Autodesk Desktop App Install Media

Without the Desktop App, Product Updates may still be downloaded from the Autodesk Manage Portal manually;

And finally, it's worth mentioning that Single Sign On (SSO) is available to purchase via Autodesk Premium Subscription for accounts with 50+ subscriptions. For more information on Autodesk Premium Subscription, please get in touch with your Reseller account manager. More info on Autodesk Premium Subscription here;

Autodesk Premium Plan

Any other general technical tips that I should be aware of?

Yes, a few worth highlighting;

 - Named-Users can install their subscribed software on three computers. Typically a workstation, a laptop and a home computer.

 - Do not share your Autodesk ID password with anyone. Not your IT Administrator, or CAD Manager, Reseller support or Autodesk. A password reset can be arranged via the Autodesk Named-User login if needed. Two Step Verified security can also be turned on or off via the website;

 - The Autodesk Desktop App is installed by default with the majority of Autodesk Software. Use the App to test signing in users with their Autodesk ID and to keep software patched and up-to date. Under some circumstances, the App may be removed by your IT Administrator to improve patch continuity across all users with their own distribution method.

 - Users should only be prompted to log in with an Autodesk ID during the first time they access the software after a new install, unless already logged in via the Autodesk Desktop App. Signing into one app will sign users into all of them on that Desktop.

 - If needing to go mobile, check that the Autodesk ID is signed in, then disconnect the CAD workstation from the internet and continue to use Autodesk Apps for 30 days. After 30 days, the user will be prompted to connect to the internet and re-enter Autodesk ID credentials. Always test this offline work mode feature whilst in the office before leaving.

 - Autodesk Software Compliance is still a thing, so take this transition time to use the Autodesk Uninstall Tool (found in the CAD workstation start menu) to uninstall of legacy Autodesk software, and also take the time to remove any legacy software installation media too. The Autodesk Uninstall Tool will work with Autodesk software up until version 2014, but for anything older will need to be manually uninstalled. If users need continued access of Autodesk Legacy Software (anything beyond 4 years of current release) then make sure you've officially requested this and have an Autodesk Case referral number.

 - Windows 7 is no longer supported by Autodesk. Please be sure that your CAD workstations have been transitioned to Windows 10 (you can check the build version via the "WinVer" app found in the Windows Start Menu). Legacy software that requires Windows 7 is typically virtualised if it's still needed. 

 - Named-User licenses are supported within a VDI environment, but be aware that Autodesk caches the user login data under the Windows %appdata% folder and that it's tied to both MAC address and SID, meaning if the session is flushed after the user logs out, and the hardware reset upon the user logging back in, the user will need to also log in again with their Autodesk ID for each new session.

In Summation;

Autodesk Named-User accounts are here to stay, and Multi-User licensing is on the way out, soon to be discontinued. These changes can be a lot to take onboard and process, so if you have any questions or concerns then please do get in contact with the A2K Technologies Customer Success team, who if needed can arrange a support representative to assist with your technical enquiry.



Phone: 1800 223 562

Autodesk Press Release and References

Transition To Named User (press release)

Transition To Named User (Technical Steps)

Retired Autodesk Products

Autodesk Named-User Management

Uninstall LMTools

Autodesk Licensing Helper Tool Guide

Desktop Configuration For Named User License