FlexNet Licensing Service [What Is It and How Does It Work?]

Many independent software vendors and end-user organizations use a software license management tool to track where and how software products are running. Flexera Software is a company that offers FlexNet Publisher. In this article, we will discuss this FlexNet licensing service and how it can benefit your company.

Flexera Software offers its FlexNet licensing service through the FlexNet Publisher. It is a software license manager that offers floating licenses to multiple end-users of the software. It is ideal for end-user organizations.

Read on to learn more about the FlexNet licensing service and how it works.

FlexNet Licensing Service

flexnet licensing service

Flexera Software offers its FlexNet licensing service through the FlexNet Publisher. The latter is a software license manager that provides floating licenses to multiple end-users of the software. FlexNet licensing is ideal for end-user organizations.

There are various ways you can get a license for the software. For instance, a license to use a software product may be connected to a specific machine, allowing such software to run only on that machine.

In other cases, an organization has an option to buy a bulk of floating licenses. These licenses are then dynamically allocated to machines. For example, a license is checked out when an employee starts using the software, and then it checks back in when an employee finishes using it.

In essence, an organization may buy a bulk of 50 licenses to support more than a hundred users. This is possible for as long as there are only 50 users at a time.

How the FlexNet Licensing Service Works

The FNP Licensing Service of the FNPLicensingService.exe refers to the 32-bit license authenticating service offered by FlexNet Publisher. Also, this FlexNet licensing service is not a standalone process and is packaged with software tools that recommend or require license activation.

In some cases, this file has to be run only once, which is during software installation. Other times, the file has to be run each time the software is used.

Convenience Offered by FlexNet Licensing

The FlexNet licensing service supports a vast range of monetization models. These include the following:

  • Node-locked,
  • Time-limited,
  • Pay-for-overage,
  • Pay-for-use,
  • Metered,
  • Capacity,
  • Subscription,
  • Named-user, and
  • Floating, among others.

It works in various ways, such as across all platforms, as a flexible web services framework, as a software development kit (SDK) built into an application technology, and as a standalone. This product allows you to configure compliance models conveniently. 

Among the things that you can do conveniently with the help of the FlexNet licensing service are the following:

  • Differentiating products by adapting efficient licensing technology
  • Quickly changing licensing and pricing options to be compatible with market demand
  • Conveniently switch features on and off electronically
  • Being able to address the needs of customers promptly
  • Creating several product options for customers

Benefits of the FlexNet Licensing Service

what is flexnet licensing service

Aside from what we have already mentioned, let’s further discuss the benefits of using the FlexNet licensing service. These include the following:

  1. Allows Usage-based Compliance and Monetization Models
  2. Prevents Revenue Losses
  3. Offers Strong Application Protection

1. Allows Usage-based Compliance and Monetization Models

With the help of the FlexNet licensing service, you get to gain insight into the products being used by customers. At the same time, you get to identify the extent of customer usage.

Among the things you can do with the help of FlexNet licensing are the following:

  • Compliance management
  • Gathering of actual user information
  • Detection of over usage
  • Implementation of monetization models

2. Prevents Revenue Losses

The FlexNet licensing service can help your business prevent revenue loss. Also, FlexNet will help you ensure that only credentialed and licensed users have access to your products. Your software licensing terms can be enforced without usability being affected as well as customer satisfaction.

3. Offers Strong Application Protection

With FlexNet licensing, you will stop worrying about fraud as it offers layers of application protection. Also, you even have the option to include the tamper-resistance feature in your code.

FlexNet licensing allows you to install safeguards and prevent unauthorized access to your software product. Moreover, you have the option to use secure activation mechanisms. And at the same time, identify the occurrence of hacking and over-usage.

FlexNet Licensing Key Benefits

Flexera Software offers its FlexNet licensing service through the FlexNet Publisher. It is a software license manager that aims to offer floating licenses to multiple end-users of the software. Moreover, it is ideal for end-user organizations.

In essence, the FlexNet licensing service will assist you with the following, among many other things:

  • Enhancing customer experience by making it more convenient for them to activate and manage software features
  • Efficiently changing pricing and licensing terms for consistency with market demand
  • Protecting and monetizing all your internet protocols without hurting usability
  • Growing revenue by extending support to the full software monetization spectrum, starting from strict implementation down to usage

Features of the FlexNet Licensing Service

In this section, let’s talk about the following FlexNet licensing offerings:

  1. FlexNet Embedded
  2. Publisher
  3. ID Dongle

1. FlexNet Embedded

FlexNet Embedded works hand in hand with FlexNet Operations. It is a small footprint software development kit (SDK) that runs with software applications in any implementation. This implementation includes the following:

  • Mobile,
  • Virtualizes,
  • Cloud, or
  • On-premises.

At the same time, it also works well with embedded software products on devices.


  • FlexNet Embedded License Server
  • Faster Development Cycles with XT SDK
  • FlexNet Cloud Licensing Service
  • Broad Platform Support
  • Efficient In-Product and Volume License Activation Support
  • Usage Capture
  • Software Tampering Protection
  • Failover Support
  • Virtualization Support
  • Trusted Storage

2. Publisher

Publisher-FlexNet is undoubtedly the standard for certificate-based software licensing. It offers an approach to license and protects applications in a simple and non-complex manner. Yet, the protection it offers is of the highest quality.

It is capable of supporting different monetization models. It also provides advanced tamper-resistance protection. Lastly, it efficiently tracks usage and offers the highest availability support.

Also, it is capable of running as a standalone solution. But it can also run efficiently with FlexNet Operations.


  • High Availability
  • Trusted Storage
  • Platform & Programming Language Support
  • Software Protection
  • Virtualization Support

3. ID Dongle

The FlexNet ID Dongle is a state-of-the-art software-based licensing service that most suppliers use. Compared to any other hardware-based approach, suppliers believe in the flexibility of the FlexNet ID Dongle.

However, this product is not yet flexible and is only an effective solution for several use cases. What this product does is restricts or locks software access to the system.

The FlexNet ID Dongle works with either the Publisher or the FlexNet Embedded licensing software products. This dongle further improves security as a type of hostID. It is a hardware key with a corresponding serial number that can be attached to a USB port. This automatically makes your software supported as a valid hostID under an application enabled by FlexNet licensing.

FlexNet Licensing Service FAQs

flexnet licensing

Can the Flexnet Licensing Service Be Disabled?

The FlexNet Licensing Service is required to work whether it is standalone or not. Even if it runs, it will not affect a network license. So, it is not necessary to turn it off or disable it when not in use.

The service is owned by FlexNet Publisher and is not recommended to be turned off or deactivated.

However, it is possible to disable or deactivate the service. Here are the steps to do so:

  • Open Windows Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc
  • Choose the Service tab and click on the Services button located in the lower right corner.
  • Find FlexNet Licensing Service and double-click on it
  • In case the service is running, stop this by clicking on the Stop button
  • Edit Startup type to Disabled and click on the Apply button
  • Click OK to close the FlexNet Licensing Service Properties dialog window on your computer

What Software Uses FlexNet?

Among the software products that use the FlexNet licensing service are the following:

  • Petrel
  • IBM
  • AutoCAD

Can I Delete FlexNet?

Simply deleting FlexNet in the Task Manager will not remove your FlexNet application permanently. So, you have to find a way to uninstall the FlexNet Licensing Service application forever.

If you merely delete it from the Task Manager, it will come back when you restart your computer. Also, if you merely disable the service, it will be re-activated on your next reboot. What you need to do is to disable the Acrobat Assistant from working.

It is the one responsible for re-activating the FlexNet Licensing Service. Once the Acrobat Assistant is deactivated, start uninstalling your FlexNet Licensing Service.

Optional Way to Remove the FlexNet Licensing Service

There is another way to remove the FlexNet Licensing Service from your computer completely, but it is a risky method. You have to repair the Master Boot Record. However, if you don’t have a vast knowledge about doing this, you better not try it. This is because it might lead to an unbootable system.

What Does Flexera Software Do?

Flexera Software is an international leader in software asset management and software license optimization solutions. It enables organizations to gain visibility and control of their information technology assets. At the same time, it lowers ongoing software costs and conveniently maintains license compliance.

What Is FlexNet Connect Software?

The embedded software agent of FlexNet Connect allows software producers to come up with electronic connections with their customers. It directly delivers applications, messages, updates, and patches to users or administrators. These are done while collecting anonymous usage data simultaneously.

How to Install FlexNet Licensing as a Windows Service?

Here are the steps for installing FlexNet licensing as a Windows service:

  1. Access LMTOOLS from the “Start” menu by selecting Programs > Abaqus Licensing > Licensing utilities
  2. Verify that the “Configuration using Services” feature is enabled on the Service / License File tabbed page before selecting the “Config Services” tab
  3. Type in the “Service Name” text field “SIMULIA FLEXnet License Manager.”
  4. Identify the paths to the lmgrd.exe file, the license file, and the debug log file.
  5. Hover over “Use Services” so that the “Start Server at Power Up” becomes available
  6. Toggle on the “Start Server at Power Up” feature, then click “Save Service.”
  7. Click the “Start / Stop / Reread” tab, and then click “Start Server.”
  8. Select “File” from the main menu bar, then “Exit” to close the dialog box

To do this, you must ensure that you are logged in as the Administrator. That way, you can effectively install FlexNet licensing as a Windows service.

Brief History of FlexNet Publisher

FLEXIm was initially a joint project of Highland Software and GLOBEtrotter Software in 1988. In 1994, the GLOBEtrotter acquired the rights of Highland to FLEXIm. But Highland continued to be a reseller.


The Macrovision acquired GLOBEtrotter in the year 2000. Then, Macrovision combined the features of FLEXIm and the Safecast protection system. FlexNet then features executable wrapping and product activation. It has since then supported the floating licensing model and the node-locked licensing model. During this time, Macrovision decided to rename FLEXIm to FLEXnet Publisher.


In 2008, Thoma Cressey Bravo bought the Software Business Unit of Macrovision, a private equity firm. This included the FLEXnet Publisher, which was eventually relaunched as the Acresso Software.

A little over a year, the brand name Acresso Software became Flexera Software. Whereas the FLEXnet Publisher became FlexNet Publisher.


The Teachers’ Private Capital decided to acquire a major stake in Flexera Software in 2011. Currently, Flexera Software is the company that markets FlexNet Publisher.

Issues Involving Bootloaders

There are restrictions on how the digital rights management (DRM) works in FlexNet Publisher. This then affects bootloaders or the software responsible for booting a computer. 

Unfortunately, this makes FlexNet Publisher conflicting with several drives encrypted with TrueCrypt. At the same time, it doesn’t allow Linux-based systems to boot.

According to TrueCrypt developers, the incompatibility may result from the inappropriate design of the third-party activation software.

Conclusion – What Is FlexNet Licensing Service?

Flexera Software offers its FlexNet licensing service through the FlexNet Publisher. It is a software license manager that aims to offer floating licenses to multiple end-users of the software. It is ideal for end-user organizations.

As discussed, the main benefits of the FlexNet Licensing Service include the following:

  • Allows Usage-based Compliance and Monetization Models
  • Prevents Revenue Losses
  • Offers Strong Application Protection

Undoubtedly, Flexnet Licensing Service offers convenience and efficiency to organizations and other users. It brings peace of mind to software developers and businesses.

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