SOLIDWORKS Online Licensing

One of the new features presented in SOLIDWORKS 2018 was the ability for “Online Licensing”. In other words; a way to tie a SOLIDWORKS license to a user instead of a specific computer.

With this, there would be no need to release the license from the computer every time buying a new one and the user would never again run into the issue of forgetting to release the license from the stationary computer at the office when deciding to work from home. Online licensing gave users the ability to go to more or less any computer running SOLIDWORKS, launch the application, log in, and – voila! – the license was transferred to the computer through internet!   

From one to three license options 

Sadly, last summer SOLIDWORKS announced that the Online Licensing functionality will be discontinued on February 5th, 2022, meaning this agile way of managing a SOLIDWORKS license will no longer be possible – or will it?… 

For those of you who enjoyed the benefits of Online Licensing, I have some great news! The functionality that came with an Online License has moved to an own type of license meaning there are now three different types of SOLIDWORKS licenses: 

Network licenses 

(“SNL”) where the licenses are distributed through a local network, typically the office network.

StandAlone licenses 

Where the license is tied to a specific computer using a serial number. This is the one that you previously could convert to an Online License.


This is the successor of Online Licensing!  This type of license is from the very beginning an online license, one that comes with some extra perks. For example, the download, installation and activation of SOLIDWORKS is done automatically. No more searching for installation files or serial numbers, navigating multiple installation options, and so on. Simply click once to initiate the installation and it will take care of it all, so you can get to business! 

Another perk – and this one is, well… phenomenal in my opinion – the ability to connect more than just the license to your user! “…uhokay…?” you may ask yourselves but stay with me! The concept is that SOLIDWORKS thought “Hmm… this Online Licensing thing sure is nice, but people need more than just their SOLIDWORKS licenses to do their work. For instance, they need access to their files too when switching between computers. How can we help them with more than just the licensing challenges?” And this is exactly what they’ve done with 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS! 

More than another licensing option

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS is much more than just another licensing option. For example, besides the license, you can now bring your CAD data, documents, images, etc. with you when switching between different computers! And this is not just some basic cloud storage like Dropbox, OneDrive, or such – it’s a full scale PDM system that enables you to (if you want to!) manage revisions of your files, their maturity (i.e. are the files approved or still in work?) and more. 

What I’m trying to say is that this time SOLIDWORKS didn’t just walk that extra mile, they brought an entirely new universe of opportunities and we at PLM Group would be delighted to guide you in how you will benefit from this opportunity!