Efficient ways of working – Floating Licences

By Stephen Kellett
12 February, 2014

Floating licences allow you to install and use the same licence on multiple machines when you have a number of users all using the software simultaneously. When you have users who may only require the software for a short time each day, floating licences operate within ‘a pool’ – once the user has finished using the software tool the license returns to the pool to be re-assigned as required.

This is a much more economical route to go than buying individual licences and possibly has greatest value to those working in large software development teams working on a wide variety of tasks requiring hugely diverse tools. Imagine that your tools are effectively sitting in a shared toolbox, to be passed around the office and returned to the toolbox for general use when you are finished with whichever one you are using.

In general, larger companies or academic bodies find that floating licences are ideal when the number of users exceeds the number of licenses available. If you think about it, if a software development team is partly made up of contractors who ebb and flow depending on workload or the need for a particular skillset – then it’s an ideal set up. As work comes in and the developer pool grows, there may not be enough licences to go around. Equally not everyone may need the same tools at the same time – hence it provides the ultimate flexibility.

For example, in a team of 20 developers, you may only have and need, 5 floating licences. This means that 5 of your developers can simultaneously use the software. With a simple click of a button, your developer can relinquish the license ready for another colleague to take it up. For them to do this is again either a matter of a simple click of a button in an already running tool or just by the act of starting up the required software tool.The maths is simple and the benefit clear – your team of 20 have the right level of software tools at their disposal without the need to outlay for 20 licenses.

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