Licensing of 3DVIA Composer

Article by Rob Greer, CSWP updated March 5, 2012


Licensing of Composer is done though a FlexLM license service which is very common in the software industry.  All licenses of Composer are Node-locked to a computer “MAC” address (even Standalone ones).  Activation is common with SolidWorks but not Composer.  Whether you have a Standalone or Network license type, the “Media Access Control” address or “MAC” address ( of the machine that is going to issue the license for the software is needed.  The software license is “locked” to the MAC address provided.  In the case of Standalone, it is the MAC address of the machine that the software will be used on.  In the case of a Network license, it is the MAC address of the license server machine.  If needed, the MAC address can be changed and a new license file created.  There is a form to fill out and submit to SolidWorks.  Please allow at least 2 business days for this.

Standalone licenses are straightforward, simply install the Composer software on the computer and attempt to run Composer.  A dialog will appear asking for a license or offering to submit your computer information to request one.  You will submit the gathered information by email, and fairly quickly an automated response will provide your license file.  You then follow the instructions in the dialog to setup the license.

Network (or Floating) licenses are typically a bit more work.  This is because it is usually undesirable to install Composer on the server machine.  If you wish to use the automated process as mentioned for a Standalone license, you need to install Composer on a computer somewhere to do it.  The download provided on the SolidWorks website for the FlexLM license software (see image below) DOES NOT have the ability to request the license file through the automated procedure.  So what can you do?

One of two things:

  1. Install Composer on a client as if it was standalone and substitute the server MAC ID for the client MAC ID before you send the email to the automated system, OR
  2. You can get the MAC address manually and send it to Javelin’s Support Help Desk and we’ll then submit it to SolidWorks and request a Network Composer license for you.

As you might imagine, the second option takes time to turn around.  I recommend you allow at least 2 business days for this.  Once you have the license file from us, you can then install the license server software and set it up following the instructions included with the install files in a PDF.

NOTE: Never retrieve a MAC address through the use of a Remote Desktop session, if you do it is very likely you will get the MAC address of the machine you are physically touching rather than the machine you are viewing remotely.  In the case of a wrong MAC address, the software will not run and it will delay your being able to use the software until a new license file can be created (once the correct MAC address is provided).  It is highly recommended that you actually go to the machine that will be the server to get the MAC address.

Composer License server download

Steps to retrieve a MAC address:

** Remember do these steps at the machine, not remotely **

  1. Start a command prompt window.  Usually you can go to: Start (button), All Programs, Accessories, Command Prompt.
  2. Type in: ipconfig /all
  3. Press Enter
  4. A list of information should appear.  Look for a heading “Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection”.  Just below that, you should see a line item: Physical Address.  .   .   .: XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX.  Make note of those characters after the colon, that is the MAC address for your machine.  Note: it is possible to use other MAC addresses such as one from the Wireless LAN adapter but be aware that whichever one you choose cannot be disabled or turned off at any time or the E3 license will not work.  It is recommended that you use the hardwire Ethernet adapter MAC address.  In the image below the MAC address is 4D-13-0B-05-A2-D6:




5. Type in “Exit” and press Enter to close the command prompt window.

6. Send the MAC address to us at Javelin using the email address.  Please let us know you are requesting a network Composer license as well.  We will supply the license file to you when we receive it.

Some other IMPORTANT tips:

1) A new license file is needed for every major version of Composer.

2) In the case of a network license, there is a 120 character limit for the folder path to the license file, including the license file name and spaces.  So, it is recommended to create a folder directly on the main drive (C:\).


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Rob Greer, CSWP