License keys are the new authorizations as from STEP 7 V5.3. With the new license keys we are implementing a new concept in the licensing of SIMATIC software. Whereas the authorizations up to and including STEP 7 V5.2 were valid only for a specific version of the software, the license keys as from STEP 7 V5.3 are automatically also valid for the earlier versions of the same software. This validity however is restricted only to the programs that are licensed with the license keys. For programs licensed with an authorization only the authorization valid for the version continues to be valid.
Another new feature is that license keys can be stored on a network driver and can then be used by various computers (floating license). The options that the SIMATIC world makes available to you with this type of licensing are described in Entry ID 19021092.
You can tell from the license number whether a program is protected by an authorization or by a license key. The license number is shown in the Automation License Manager (ALM). An authorization license number has ten digits, a license key license number has twenty digits.
Whereas there were earlier only authorizations and emergency authorizations, there are now the following different types of license keys.
||Unlimited use on any one computer.|
||Unlimited use on any one computer or via the network.|
||Limited use as stipulated in the rental contract.|
||Limited use (max. 14 days) for tests and for validating (with disclaimer).|
||An Upgrade License converts a license for an earlier version x to a license for version >x+... .|
Notes on authorizations:
Authorizations can only be saved and repaired on the original yellow or red floppy disks and installation is only possible on internal hard disk drives and partitions or network drives, but not on USB sticks. To ensure working with the associated software the authorization must be available locally on the hard disk on which the software is installed. Authorizations cannot be transferred via the Internet nor installed on USB hard disks.
Notes on license keys:
License keys cannot be restored on the floppy disks on which they were supplied, but can only be repaired on the PC/PG on which they are actually located. There is no longer an emergency authorization on floppy disk for license keys, because the software is always runnable if a valid license key has already been installed. So if there is a defective license key on the hard disk, working with the software is only interrupted at regular intervals with a message informing you that there is no valid license key available. As from ALM V1.1 SP1 you can also store license keys on USB sticks. A Trial License Key is installed from the CD. It can be activated via the actual SIMATIC application once for 14 days and is for evaluation purposes. You cannot restore or move the Trial License Key.
Software products that are released for utilization with license keys can also use newer license keys. However, if software products are released for utilization with authorizations, you need an authorization. This software products can then no longer be operated with a License Key (for a higher version). More information on this is also available in the Online Help of the Automation License Manager under
- Notes on utilizing "older" software versions.