How to set your ArcGIS Desktop licensing level when using Productivity Suite

Productivity Suite requires an ArcGIS Desktop licence to run many of its tools. If your organisation has concurrent-use licences for ArcGIS Desktop, you may have noticed that running a Productivity Suite tool will use the highest licence level available on your Licence Manager. This can cause problems if your organisation only has one ArcGIS Desktop Advanced (ArcInfo) licence, and it is required by other users to carry out advanced tasks in ArcMap.

By default, there is no option to check out lower licence levels when running a Productivity Suite tool, as your licence level settings in ArcGIS Administrator are over-ridden. There is a workaround to prevent this from happening, which is to create an Options file and restrict the licence usage of the user or machine that runs the program.

For information on how to set up an Options file, please visit one of the links below depending on what version of ArcGIS Desktop you are using.

Using an Options File, you can prevent a machine from checking out a Desktop Advanced (ArcInfo) licence using the following syntax:


(Replace 'MACHINE_NAME' with the hostname of the machine you want to exclude from using the ArcInfo licence.)

The Options File gives you the ability to prevent a machine from accessing any ArcGIS Desktop licensing level, using the following

  • ARC/INFO - Desktop Advanced (ArcInfo)
  • Editor - Desktop Standard (ArcEditor)
  • Viewer - Desktop Basic (ArcView)