Upgrading your Licence Server from 9.x to 10.x

ArcGIS 9.3 and 9.3.1 are soon to be retired and we are seeing an increase in support calls relating to customers upgrading their Licence Managers. Some significant changes were made to ArcGIS for Desktop licensing between versions 9.x and 10.x; for those of you planning to upgrade your Licence Manager, this article briefly outlines some key differences for you to expect:


Administration Interface

At 9.x, LMTOOLS was used to administer the Licence Manager. At 10.x, there is a new ArcGIS tool called the Licence Server Administrator for this purpose.

Retirement of the dongle and.efl9 file

If you have been using a 9.x Licence Manager, you will be used to authorising your licences using an .efl9 file. Depending on whether your Licence Manager was "keyed" (required a dongle) or "keyless" (did not require a dongle) the .efl9 file would reference either the attached dongle or the MAC address of your machine. From version 10 onwards, you are issued with authorisation numbers for your Concurrent Use licences, instead of an efl9 file. During the authorisation process, the licences will become tied to unique identifiers of the machine (including MAC address and host name) so it is important that these remain static.


Licences at 10.x are tied to machines and can only be authorised a certain number of times. If 10.x licences need to be moved from one licence manager to another, they first need to be deauthorised using the "Deauthorize" button, which is available on the "Authorisation" tab of the Licence Server Administrator.

My Esri

At 10.x it is possible to view authorisation numbers and associated licensing activity using My Esri. You will be required to log in using an Esri Account that has been linked to your organisation. An Esri Account can be created using the Esri website, which can then be subsquently related to your organisation by an email from your organisations administrator or by requesting access on My Esri. 

A new feature at 10.x is the ability to enable licence borrowing using the "Configure" tab of the Licence Manager. Users can then borrow licences using the "Borrow/ Return" tab of their ArcGIS Administrator. This allows ArcGIS for Desktop to be used whilst disconnected from your organisation's network.


For more information on this topic, please see this Esri Technical Article.