USB Floating License System



Floating License System

SoniClear software is shipped as a boxed product and uses the SoniClear Floating License System for copy protection. The software license is stored on a special hardware device, called a SoniClear "USB Key" (sometimes referred to as a software license "dongle"). The USB Key is green and looks similar to a USB Flash drive, but does not include any disk storage space.

Each USB Key stores a single license. The user has the option to leave a floating license secured in the USB Key (referred to as a "floating license"), or lock the license to a specific computer (a "locked license"). Some versions of SoniClear include an additional backup license that is stored on the same USB Key that cannot be locked.



Floating License Usage

When the user receives SoniClear, the software license is stored on the USB Key. The software itself can be installed on any number of computers. SoniClear will only run when the USB Key device holding the "floating license" is plugged into the computer prior to running the software.



Locking The License To a Computer

The user has the option to Lock the SoniClear license to a specific computer. The advantage of doing this is that the USB Key device does not need to be plugged into the computer when running SoniClear. This eliminates problems with forgetting, losing, or breaking the key.

Once a license has been locked to a computer, the USB Key will not authorize the software to run on another computer unless there is a Backup license on the key (see below "USB Keys with a Backup License").

The user has the option of Unlocking the license from the computer at any time. Doing so reverts the license back to "floating" status, where the license is stored in the USB Key device. The USB Key can then be used to authorize SoniClear to run on another computer.



Locking and Unlocking Licenses

A license stored on the USB Key device can be Locked to a computer using the Preferences dialog in SoniClear. Select Preferences from the Edit pulldown menu and click on the License tab. To Lock the license, click on the Lock button, click OK, and exit SoniClear. Once the license is Locked on the computer, the USB Key device does not need to be plugged into the computer to run the software, and should be stored in a safe location for Unlocking the license in the future.

To Unlock a license (returning the license to the USB Key), use the same License screen in the Preferences dialog and click the Unlock button.

When Unlocking a license, if the USB Key was not plugged into the computer before running SoniClear, the License Status and Lock/Unlock button will not be shown. If this happens, plug in the USB Key and click the Check for USB Key button. This will update the License Status information and enable the Lock/Unlock button. Keep in mind that Unlocking the license requires using the same USB Key that was used to Lock the license. If the USB Key does not match, the Unlock button will be disabled, and an error will be displayed in the status field.

The total number of licenses included on the USB Key is shown. If no USB Key is inserted, the number will default to one license, which may not match the number of licenses on the actual USB Key device used to Lock this license. If there are two licenses shown, the second license is a Backup License, which cannot be locked to a computer.



USB Keys with a Backup License

Some SoniClear products include a Backup license on the USB Key. When a Backup license is on the key, the user has the option to Lock one license to a specific computer, leaving just the Backup license available on the key. This allows SoniClear to be used with the USB Key when the license is Locked to a computer that has failed. The Backup license can also be used to authorize SoniClear on another computer for archiving and editing features.



USB Keys with Multiple Licenses

For installations involving large numbers of SoniClear licenses, it is possible to purchase SoniClear with a USB Key that holds all of the licenses on a single key. This can simplify the installation process and lower the cost of purchase. This key device supports remote locking over an internal network. With this option the SoniClear licenses can only be Locked once to each computer. Unlocking is not supported. 

Some SoniClear products have been sold in the past with 2-5 licenses that could be Locked and Unlocked from any computer. However, that is feature is no longer supported with the current release of SoniClear.



If a computer has a SoniClear license Locked on it and that computer crashes, the license remains unavailable until performing a recover of the computer. As long as the SoniClear program directory has been backed up and restored during the computer recovery process, the license will remain intact. At that point, the license can be Unlocked from the computer and moved to a new computer, if necessary. 

If the SoniClear program directory has not been backed up, or the computer cannot be restored, the license will be lost and cannot be recovered without assistance. SoniClear Annual Software Support Service includes license recover services. 

Assistance with license recovery is not available for software that is no longer covered by annual service. See the Support Policies Page for details.

Crash Recovery



For additional assistance with license management or crash recovery, contact SoniClear Support.

Technical Support