Option File – A Great Solution for Managing Your SNL(s)

Article by Michael Nolte on Jan 02, 2020

When working with SOLIDWORKS Network License(s) or “Floating” SOLIDWORKS license(s), there are times when just installing and activating it isn’t enough for your company. There are times, when a company gets big enough, that licenses need to be managed by which group is allowed to use certain products or control which products are returned faster when sitting idle. This is where the need for an Option File for the SolidNetwork License Manager Server is a great solution.

Scheduled Outage

To get started, first schedule an outage with the SOLIDWORKS users. This is to not cause any unexpected down time for them or in the case of a PDM/Manage products an outage could cause the shutdown of production. I.e. Production floor viewers that are dependent on documents in the PDM vault view folder. Normally this process goes quickly, 10 minutes or less, but I suggest scheduling a 30-minute time slot. Over lunch is a great option for most companies.

Next Step

The next step is to get on to the system that is running the SolidNetwork License (SNL) Manager Server. If you don’t know which server this is for your company, go to one of the SOLIDWORKS Users on a network license. Open the ‘SolidNetwork License Manager Client’ from the Windows Start menu > ‘SOLIDWORKS Tools’ folder. Once in the SNL manager Client, switch to the ‘Server List’ tab, the Port Name @ Server Name will be listed here.

If you also want to take this scheduled outage as an opportunity to upgrade your SolidNetwork License Manager server then reference one of our other articles on how to upgrade for SolidNetWork Licens Administrator Server Upgrade. 

Once logged in to the server, the next step is opening the SNL manager server. Go to the Windows Start menu > ‘SOLIDWORKS SolidNetwork’ or ‘SOLIDWORKS Tools’ folder.  The Server SNL manager Server has 5 tabs across the top instead of the Client SNL program only has 4.

Products Owned and Corresponding Feature Names

Before we can start down the road of creating an Option File we need to know what products your company owns and the corresponding Feature Name(s). The easy way of finding this information is by opening the SNL log (‘lmgrd.log’). Click on the ‘View Log’ button on the ‘Server Administration’ tab. You could also manually opening the log here: “C:\Program Files (x86)\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SolidNetWork License Manager\lmgrd.log”

SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager

In Notepad, go to the ‘Edit’ menu, ‘Find’, and Search for the keywords ‘Server started on’ in the ‘lmgrd.log’. This will then show the name of your server, followed by the Product Feature Name(s) your company owns that are on this server. Copy/paste these out some place to reference back to later. We can then close the ‘lmgrd.log’ log file.

finding your server station solidworks
***There is also a short list of Product Feature Name(s) at the end of this article with the full product names next to them.

Option File – ready to create one

Now we are ready to create our new Option File. We’ll start by clicking the ‘Modify’ button on the ‘Server Administration’ tab.

option file in SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager

On the ‘SOLIDWORKS Product Activation’ window, we’ll select ‘Activate/Reactivate your products license(s)’ option and then click the Next button.

SolidNetWork License Product Activation screen

Now we are going to have the Product Activation window create us the new Option file.  Select the ‘Option File’ check box and click the ‘Edit’ button.

Optional: Change the path before clicking the ‘Edit’ button to put the new Option File in a different location.

SolidNetWork Server Information Screen

The SNL manager will then open Notepad and ask us if we want to create a new Option file; we’ll click Yes.

Untitled Notepad Cannot Find Program

So, what do we want to put in the new Option file? (‘sw_d.opt’) There are a few different variations of options files that you can create. I’m only going to only cover two in this article, with examples. One type might be an Option File that controls the return of a product when it sits idle for too long. A second type might be who gets to use which products.

Timeout Option File

The SNL manager has a default time out of 2 hours or 7,200 seconds. For SOLIDWORKS products, you can set any time out between 15 minutes and 2 hours (or 900 seconds to 7,200 seconds).

For this example, we’ll say you’re having issues with the production floor PDM Vault view users; they are not logging off and closing PDM when they go on breaks or are not actively using it and other people need to use the licenses. You want PDM Professional Viewer licenses to be reclaimed after 20 minutes of being idle. Here is an example of that:

Example 01 – Timeout Option File:

Timeout Option File

Here is another example of a Timeout Option File. This sets your SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium, SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional license to return after 15 minutes of sitting idle so the next person can use them.

Example 02 – Time out Option File:

Timeout Option File Notepad

License Permission Option Files

Let’s move on to permissions of selected products by a group.

In this first example, ‘GROUP’ Defines a group of users ‘ENG_GRP’. The members of the group could be any name so long as it doesn’t contain a space and matches the users Windows log in.

  • By default, ‘GROUPCASEINSENSITIVE’ is ‘OFF’, and user and host names are treated as case-sensitive, so we want to turn this ‘ON’ to remove case sensitivity.
  • ‘RESERVE’ Reserves licenses for a specific user or in the example the ‘ENG_GRP’ group. “1” indicates the number of licenses to reserve.

The product that we are reserving is a combined product: ‘SOLIDWORKS Premium with Simulation Professional’. So, this group will always have a single license of ‘SOLIDWORKS Premium with Simulation Professional’ that the 3 people can share and that the reset of the company can’t use.

Example 01 – Group Option File :

License Permission Option Files

In this next example, the first two ‘INCLUDE’ lines are allowing all users from the ‘SIM_GRP’ to use the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Profession, but the next line ‘EXCLUDE’ prevents JonnyApple from using SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium.

  • ‘EXCLUDE’ supersedes ‘INCLUDE’.
  • The final ‘INCLUDE’ is only allowing the ‘ENG_GRP’ to use ‘SOLIDWORKS Inspection Standard’.

This example of the ‘INCLUDE’, ‘EXCLUDE’ is to help manage who is allowed to use which products.

Example 02 – Group Option file:

Group Option File SolidNetWork

Once you get your information into the Option File, save and close the file, then proceed through the rest of the license reactivate(s). Then test it out to make sure it’s doing what you expect.

Be Sure to TEST

If this seems like more trouble than it’s worth, reach out to our GoEngineer Services implementation team members to have them send you a quote to write one for you.

Another option is to expand your available licenses by buying more seats of SOLIDWORKS or SOLIDWORKS companion products by calling or emailing your GoEngineer account manager.

For additional commands that can be used in Option Files besides the once listed above check out the Full FlexNet guide –  Chapter 13 – ‘Managing the Options files’ pages 149-179 Click Here

Here is another great article from blogs.SOLIDWORKS.com (Reference the section on ‘Managing the Option File’) Click Here

**Short list of common Product Feature Names:

Yes, I realize some of them don’t make a lot of sense as to why they are named the way they are. This is due to legacy product names that still hang around.

cae_cosmosfloworkspe                 SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

cae_cosmosfloworksstd                SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Standard

cae_cosmosmotion                        SOLIDWORKS Motion

cae_cwadvpro                                 SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium

cae_cwdesigner                               SOLIDWORKS Simulation

cae_cwpro                                        SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional

solidworks                                         SOLIDWORKS Standard

swofficepro                                      SOLIDWORKS Professional

swofficepremium                            SOLIDWORKS Premium

swofficepremium_cwpro              SOLIDWORKS Premium with Simulation Professional

swofficepremium_cwadvpro        SOLIDWORKS Premium with Simulation Premium

swinspection_std                             SOLIDWORKS Inspection Standard

swinspection_pro                            SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional

elec2d                                                SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2D

elec3d                                                SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D

elecpro                                              SOLIDWORKS Electrical Professional

plastics_pro                                      SOLIDWORKS Plastics Standard

plastics_premium                            SOLIDWORKS Plastics Professional

plastics_advanced                           SOLIDWORKS Plastics Premium

swcomposer                                     SOLIDWORKS Composer

swepdm_cadeditor                         SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional CAD Editor (Enterprise PDM CAD Editor)

swepdm_contributor                      SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Contributor (Enterprise PDM Contributor)

swepdm_viewer                              SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Viewer (Enterprise PDM Viewer)

swpdmstd_cadeditor                      SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard CAD Editor

swpdmstd_contributor                  SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard Contributor

swpdmstd_viewer                           SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard Viewer

About Michael Nolte

Michael Nolte is a Sr. Applications Engineer at GoEngineer with over 12 years of technical experience in the reseller channel. He received his Dassault Systems Elite Application Engineer status in 2019 and has 20+ years of industry experience. Michael specializes in SOLIDWORKS PDM and SOLIDWORKS Electrical and is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Instructor based out of Arizona.

View all posts by Michael Nolte


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