Network / Floating License Support

Licensing Types - Network License


How it works

Windows Version of Flexera FlexNET only

The UNIX version is not supported for CDS Products

  • CAD Design Software uses the well-established FlexNET license manager from Flexera  Software. Network Licensing allows a license to “float” among various workstations on a network. It is sometimes referred to as a floating license. The software is designed to release a feature license as soon as the command which requires the feature is finished. For example if you finish using a command, your co-worker can use it immediately, as long as you do not use another command which requires the same feature license.

  • Setting up a Network License involves configuring a License Server and one, or more, Application Clients. The License Server is the computer that runs the Network Licensing software. It can be any Windows Workstation or Server machine in a network. It can be, but need not be, the network file server. The Application Client is the computer running the CAD Design Software application. The License Server can also be an Application Client. The Application Client must be able to communicate with the License Server via the TCP-IP protocol. The advantage is CAD Design Software may be installed on multiple workstations on the local intranet.  However, only the number of licenses purchased may use the software at the same time.

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Read the FULL installation guide 

Procedure Overview in Brief:

  1. Download FlexNET tools that includes the CDS Vendor Daemon and extract on selected server to be the FlexNET host.
  2. Use lmtools.exe on the System Settings tab to gather information about license sever (Computer/Hostname and Ethernet Address also know as MAC) and send the information to CAD Design Software's license department at the following e-mail address:
  3. Receive a license via e-mail from CAD Design Software and follow the instructions in the e-mail.
  4. Create, Configure, Start and confirm FlexNET services for CDS is running.
  5. Set Environment Variable on client workstations (Variable Name: CDS_License_File | Variable Value: port@host) See How to Set the Client Variable  
  6. Install CAD Design Software for client workstations.
  7. Run CAD Design Software and verify no license error dialog box appears.

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Download the CDS FlexNET tools and Vendor Daemon 

Flexera FlexNET License Manager Utilities - Tools required for using network version, including the CDS Daemon.  If you have FlexNET from another vendor, you can still use a newer version of FlexNET software because it is forward compatible.  For more information about Flexera FlexNET, visit:


FlexNET v11.14 new install* (CDS.exe and lmgrd.exe 11/02/2016)

x86 Download FlexNET 11.14. 32 bit Zip File

x64 Download FlexNET 11.14  64 bit Zip File

*NOTICE: The newer FlexLM v11.14 (daemon and lmgrd) depends on the newer C++ Redistributable to be installed on the system. Both the 32 bit (x86) an 64 bit (x64) are required to be installed in the SERVER computer.

Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributables:

or download here:
64 Bit:
32 bit:

FlexNET v11.14 upgrade* (CDS.exe and lmgrd.exe 11/02/2016)

For Existing Customers Only:

x86 Download Upgrade 32 Bit FlexNET 11.14 Zip File

x64 Download Upgrade 64 Bit FlexNET 11.14 Zip File


  • Open the LMtools.exe in the \CDSFlexLM\ folder.
  • Pick the the CDS License Service from the list of services.
  • Pick the Start/Stop/Reread Tab and pick the Stop button.
  • Exit the lmtools dialog box.
  • Open the Upgrade Zip File.
  • Pick the Extract button and extract the contents to the existing \CDSFlexLM\ directory.
  • When prompted, overwrite ALL existing files.
  • Open the LMtools.exe and Start the CDS service.
  • Verify System = CDS: UP v11.14

*NOTICE: The newer FlexLM v11.14 (daemon and lmgrd) depends on the newer C++ Redistributable to be installed on the system. Both the 32 bit (x86) an 64 bit (x64) are required to be installed in the SERVER computer.

Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributables:

64 Bit:
32 bit:


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Installing a Network Variable for clients
  • If the license server is also a workstation that will be using CAD Design Software, the same Environment Variable must be set on it as well.

  • Verify that the license server Vendor daemon status is UP running 

  1. Open the System Settings at Control Panel\System and Security\System and pick the Advanced System Settings option.

  2. Pick the Advanced Tab, then pick the Environment Variables button.

  3. In the System variables area:

  4. Pick the New button and the New System Variable dialog box appears:

  5. In the Variable Name edit box, type CDS_LICENSE_FILE
  6. In the Variable Value edit box, type the port@hostid information.
  7. Note, CDS uses the default port of 27000 when licenses are coded. Users can use another port if needed by changing in the PWD file.
  8. Pick OK.
  9. The variable is now set. 
  10. Pick OK on the remaining dialog boxes.

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Troubleshooting Network License

"Bad message command"

This message means our FlexNET daemon CDS.EXE needs to be updated to latest version. You may be using updated EPD software but the server that hosts our vendor daemon CDS.EXE and the lmgrd.exe are older. Have your Admin update the 2 files (see the Upgrade)

“Number of licenses exceeded”

Means all licenses are in use and plus a Valid connection to the Host server and CDS FlexNET is Up and running.


“Flex Message: Cannot connect to license server system. The license server manager (lmgrd) has not been started yet, the wrong port@host or license file is being used, or the port or hostname in the license file has been changed.”

Means there may be something blocking a connection on your computer like Windows Firewall or no/limited LAN connection. Try to restart your computer. May need to set an exception rule on corporate firewall to allow pass through. Also may be the server is down or the CDS FlexNET service has stopped on the server and needs to be started.

If accessing from multiple DNS or intranets, use the full DNS name in the license file on SERVER line and set Client Environment Variable to same full DNS name. ex. SERVER <server name> and also try to use a "Time Out setting environmental variable" to set and allow time to connect: FlexLM_Timeout = 10000000

“License server is down or not responding…Hostname: server name”
Means the local settings may be wrong like a spaces after semicolon; in variable setting.

"FLEXlm Error -96. Server node is down or not responding."

The initial settings of the firewall are set to block the communication between your local client machine and the FLEXlm license server. This means you will not be able to get a license without configuring the firewall. This can also mean the license service is Down or the Port that was set in the license is being used by another process. Check the LOG file on the server to see if any message is stated.

The Windows or Anti-Virus software may need to allow EXE to pass through:

License Server:
Select Start->Settings->Control Panel.
In the Control Panel window, select Security Center and then Windows Firewall.
From Windows Firewall, select the Exceptions tab.
Under Exceptions, press the Add Program button and then browse to lmgrd.exe in the \CDSFlexLM directory. Then, press Add Program again and browse to cds.exe in the \CDSFlexLM directory.

Client Computer:
Select Start->Settings->Control Panel.
In the Control Panel window, select Security Center and then Windows Firewall.
From Windows Firewall, select the Exceptions tab. Add the ACAD.exe or bricscad.exe that EPD was installed to to allow passing.

"The Desired vendor daemon is down"
First make sure that the CDS.EXE vendor daemon is running on the license server:

  1. Open lmtools.exe
  2. Pick the service to view (CAD DESIGN SOFTWARE)
  3. Pick the Server Status tab
  4. Pick the Perform Status Enquiry button

Scroll down to the line Vendor daemon status (on server)

If running: CDS: UP (lists current flexlm version)

  1. If the vendor is DOWN, it will read cannot connect to license server.
  2. Make sure no other services are using PORT 27000
    CAD Design Software issues network license files with the default port of 27000. 
    1. To check other services, return to the Service/License File tab
    2. Pick a service 
    3. Pick the Server Status tab
    4. Pick the Perform Status Enquiry button.
    5. On the line License server status: port@server showing the current port assigned.
    6. If it shows 27000@server, this would be the conflict.
  3. You may change the port number in your CDS.PWD license file to a new port (see PWD note)
  4. Open the CDS.PWD using notepad (see above).
  5. On the server line   SERVER server name mac address 27000
  6. Change the port 27000 to another port that is free (example 27010) and then save and close the PWD license file.
  7. Open lmtools.exe
  8. Select the CAD DESIGN SOFTWARE service
  9. Pick the Start/Stop/Reread tab
  10. Pick the Stop Server button
  11. Pick the Reread button (may say reread failed)
  12. Pick the Start Server button
  13. Pick the Perform Status Enquiry button
  14. On the line License server status: 27010@server showing the new port assigned.
  15. Scroll down to the line Vendor daemon status (on server)
  16. Should now state UP

    CDS: UP (lists current flexlm version)

  17. Update the Environment variable on each client's computer to the new port number.

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Network CDS.PWD license information
  • The CDS.PWD license file can be found in the \CDSFlexLM directory on the Host computer or use Windows>Search.

  • You may view the CDS.PWD file with any ASCII text editor (Recommend Notepad).

  • You may change the PORT in the license file and save the license (clients will need to know new port for their workstations).

  • You may change the path to the DAEMON but you must use our CDS.EXE vendor daemon that comes with the Flex LM zip package available from the link above Flex LM License Manager Utilities

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