Installation & Licensing

For the activation and installation of your licenses, there are a few things to consider to ensure that HiCAD and HELiOS run smoothly and perform error-free. We will be happy to support you in this. To make it easy for you to get started, we have compiled the most frequently asked questions below.

Please note that you will need a new license key when updating to a newer version. Before you download the new update, please request a new license key.

General questions about licensing

How do I apply for a new license?

To apply for a new license, please contact our respective sales offices. Contact details can be found here.

How do I perform a license update?

Please note that you will need a new license key when updating to a newer version. Before you download the new update, please request a new license key via our Online Update Request link. Just click on the link for your country and let us guide you through the form step by step.

Where can I find the new versions?

New versions of HiCAD and HELiOS can be found here in our download area.

What has to be taken into account in case of adaptations I have received from the ISD (e.g. customer-specific programming)?

Please contact your responsible sales representative who will discuss the further procedure with you.

Who can I contact if I have questions about licenses?

If you have questions regarding technical problems with activation or deactivation, please contact our Support.

Bei sonstigen Fragen, wie beispielsweise Falschlieferungen, kontaktieren Sie bitte den zuständigen Vertriebsmitarbeiter.

Why does the product/license need to be activated?

Product activation is a form of copy protection. During product activation, no personal data is transferred, but the software is bound to the hardware of a server or workstation computer. The ISD has used product activation since the HiCAD/HELiOS Version 2010. Until then, the activation of licenses was carried out via a dongle.

I still have a license with a dongle. What do I have to do in case of an update?

Starting with the newer HiCAD versions, the activation is carried out by means of a software license and is no longer bound to a dongle but directly to the hardware of a server or a workstation computer. If you want to update from HiCAD/HELiOS Version 2008 (or older) to a newer HiCAD version, we recommend an installation carried out by the ISD. After an update (from Version 2008 or older) to the newer HiCAD and HELiOS version, you have to return your workstation dongle to the ISD. After that you can no longer use the old HiCAD and HELiOS version.

What are the licensing / activation options?

HiCAD/HELiOS can be activated using the following license types:

Standalone licenses (local licenses)
If you choose local (workstation-bound) licensing, the activation is directly linked to the hardware of the workstation on which you work with HiCAD and HELiOS Desktop.

Network licenses
If you choose network (server-bound) licensing, the license is directly linked to the hardware of the server that centrally manages the HiCAD and HELiOS licenses. These licenses can be used by any workstation in your network that is connected to this server.

Commuter licenses
Commuter licenses offer the possibility of using network licenses even if there is no network connection from the workstation to the server.

How does the activation/licensing take place?

Since HiCAD/HELiOS Version 2010 the activation has been carried out by means of a software license and is no longer bound to a dongle but directly to the hardware of a server or a workstation computer. One distinguishes between local (workstation-bound) licensing and network licensing (server-bound).

The principle of local (workstation-bound) licensing
If you choose local licensing, the activation is directly linked to the hardware of the workstation on which you are working with HiCAD and HELiOS.

You will receive an E-mail from the ISD with the Entitlement ID for local licenses (standalone). You need these numbers for activating and deactivating the network licenses or the software modules. Please keep the Entitlement ID! Without this number you cannot activate or deactivate licenses. In case of a defect, no reconstruction of the licenses can be done without Entitlement ID. After the installation of HiCAD/HELiOS you activate the licenses with the License Activator in the ISD License Manager.

The principle of network (server-bound) licensing
If you choose network (server-bound) licensing, the license is directly linked to the hardware of the server that centrally manages the HiCAD and HELiOS licenses. These licenses can be used by any workstation in your network that is connected to this server.

You will receive an E-mail from the ISD with the Entitlement ID. If you have several network servers, e.g. at different locations, you will receive one Entitlement ID per network server. You need these numbers for activating and deactivating the licenses or software modules. Please keep the Entitlement ID! Without this number you cannot activate or deactivate licenses. In case of a defect, no reconstruction of the licenses can be performed without Entitlement ID. For activating/deactivating network licenses the License Activator in the ISD License Manager is available.

Individual licenses can be checked out from the server and bound to a workstation inside or outside the network (commuter license). This means that you can continue working at another location without being connected to the license server (unless your HiCAD installation requires a connection to a Database Server). To do this, you define a certain period of time during which the license should be available on the selected workstation. During this period the license will be locked on the license server. After this period has expired, the license is automatically available on the license server again. It is also possible to manually return this license to the server before the defined period expires if the workstation is connected to the server. Licenses for a workstation can be checked out for at least one day, with the day's count starting at 01:00 o’clock on the day following the check-out time.

If you want to replace/exchange your license server, all licenses must be deactivated before.

How do I request licenses?

When you purchase a HiCAD/HELiOS licence, you will receive an E-mail from the ISD with the Entitlement ID for the local licences (Standalone) and one for the network licences (Network). If you have several network servers or local licences, e.g. at different locations, you will also receive several Entitlement IDs. You need these numbers to activate and deactivate the licenses or software modules.

After the installation of HiCAD/HELiOS you will find the ISD License Manager in the Windows start menu at ISD Software and Systems > Administration. Please note that some functions require administrator rights to be executed.

The range of functions of the ISD License Manager depends on the activation of the option License Administration Tools during installation. The information about this setting is entered in the registry and can be changed there later. (Please contact the hotline).

To activate/deactivate network licenses, always start the ISD License Manager (x32 Server) from the Windows start menu at Programs > ISD Software and Systems > Administration. Activate the License Activator tab and enter the Entitlement ID, your E-mail address, and your password. New customers receive the password from the ISD hotline. With this password you can also access the download area. After entering the data, activate Login. The ISD License Manager connects to the ISD server and the purchased licenses are displayed. This process may take a few minutes. Afterwards you can activate the licenses.

Important: Please keep the Entitlement ID! Without this number you cannot activate or deactivate licenses. In case of a defect, no reconstruction of the licenses can be done without Entitlement ID.

How are licenses activated?

After successful login, each module will be preceded by the number of free licenses and the number of purchased licenses. Select the modules to be activated and start the activation process with Activate.

With a server license the modules are already selected! After successful activation you can log out and work with the HiCAD/HELiOS modules. You will also receive an E-mail with a description of the activated modules. With network licenses, all modules are always activated or deactivated.

How are licenses deactivated?

A deactivation of all module licenses is necessary in the following scenarios:

- Exchange of hardware or change of the hard disk partitioning
- Update of the operating system e.g. from Windows 8 to Windows 10
- No deactivation is necessary for updates within one version
- Transfer of local modules from one workstation to another
- Purchase of additional modules or return of rental licenses
- Conversion from local licenses to network licenses

Basically, all workstations that have modules with the same Entitlement ID must be completely deactivated before the module licenses are redistributed.

After starting the ISD License Manager, the activated modules are highlighted in colour. Click on the Deactivate button to undo the activation of the modules.

It is not possible to make a selection because you have to deactivate all modules, no matter whether local or network license.

Important: The deactivation must not be interrupted, e.g. by logging out or closing the ISD License Manager!

Is it possible to restore licenses in case of a disconnection or after accidental deletion?

Since all licenses are backed up on the ISD server, you can restore all licenses by logging in with your Entitlement ID if the connection is interrupted or if licenses are accidentally deleted. The restore only works if the hardware has not been changed (see How are licenses deactivated?).

What do I need to consider when replacing hardware on the license server?

If another computer is to be used as the license server or if hardware (hard disks, network card, motherboard, etc.) is to be exchanged at the license server, the network licenses must be locked before the exchange. The following requirements must be met:

- All licenses on the server must be released again. To do this, make sure that no application running regularly under this network license is running.
- All computer licenses must be checked back in.
- The license server (service) must be running.

What do I do in case of a hardware exchange or a change of the partitioning of my hard disk?

In this case you have to deactivate all module licenses and then - after exchanging the hardware or changing the partitioning - activate them again.

My company uses a network commuter license. Can I transfer a license to my laptop to continue working at home or on the road?

Yes, provided that HiCAD or HELiOS is installed on your laptop. A detailed description of such a use case can be found here.

What should I do if my workstation is stolen?

The user is responsible for ensuring that the HiCAD and HELiOS workstations have appropriate theft insurance. We will be happy to tell you the replacement value of your software. If a workstation is stolen, you will need a new license.

After such a case, first send us a copy of the police report of the theft. We will then provide you with a temporary license and make you an offer for a new license. After clarifying the case with your insurance company and after payment of the licence fees, the ISD Group will send you a new licence.

How are network licenses activated on virtual machines (VM)?

To use, activate, and deactivate network licenses on a virtual machine, you need to follow these steps:

  1. A static MAC address is required.
  2. A static IP address is recommended or required when using the commuter licenses.
  3. Before copying or modifying a virtual machine, deactivate the network licenses because the copy process changes the UUID (Universal Unique IDentifier) of the virtual machine and cannot be deactivated later. This also applies when starting the virtual machine on another host.

Questions about installation and update procedures

Where can I find detailed information on how to perform the update?

Detailed information can be found in the respective information on installing HiCAD or HELiOS.

Which steps do I have to follow when updating to Version 2020?

- You either receive new versions on an installation medium or download the required data from the ISD Download Portal herunter.

- In case of a server license, the license server software as well as the license management tools need to be updated, in case of local licenses the new version needs to be installed.

- In general, the licenses previously used for older HiCAD/HELiOS versions must first be locked.

- After confirmation of the locking, you will receive one or more Entitlement IDs by E-mail and can activate the new licenses together with your E-mail address and password.

- Licenses can be deactivated at any time (by entering the Entitlement ID, mail address, and password) and without personal contact to the ISD via the License Activator in the ISD License Manager, i.e. they can be "temporarily parked" on the ISD Server. Afterwards the activation can be performed on any other computer, i.e. the licenses can be transferred to this computer. With server licenses this can only be done for the entire "license pool“.

What are the specific steps to follow when updating to a current HELiOS version?

When updating to a current HELiOS version, you should carefully read the notes on HELiOS installation in advance, as there are some important changes. Users of the SOLIDWORKS and Inventor interface should contact the ISD prior to an update to discuss the procedure for the update.

Is product activation still valid after an update of the operating system?

Yes, if it is an update within a version. In all other cases you have to deactivate your licenses and activate them again after the update.

Can the HiCAD/HELiOS installation be done via a network connection?

The installation can be done via a network connection. In this case, however, no network drives should be used during installation, but the installation should always be carried out via UNC paths.

Extensive information on installing and licensing of Version 2020 can be found here:

Extensive information on the installation of HiCAD can be found in this Whitepaper.

Extensive information on the installation of HELiOS can be found in this Whitepaper.

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