At v10 of ArcGIS Server, from what I understand of the new license model, it is not possible to de-authorise ArcGIS Server (like you can with Desktop)

Clients have visibility over their licences with the handy Customer Care Portal tool.
- From here you can see how many licenses you have authorised and how many you still have available.

Scenario: - Purchase 1 license for ArcGIS Server (license level irrelevant) CCP: 0 Auth, 1 Avail) - Install & Authorise in a dev environment CCP: 1 Auth, 0 Avail) - Roll over to production, install and attempt to authorise = Fails as no license available = No ability to release license, so have to get in touch with ESRI Inc Customer Care to reset the license

This might not be too tricky if your over in States, but what about the rest of the world? Get in touch with distributor --> to get in touch with Redlands/Customer Care --> and then back again = Takes lot of time.

Just wondering if I am either missing something or if there is a better workaround to the above?

At 9.3.1 and prior, it was possible to install using the same ECP several times, and through the online registration process, if Redlands saw that an ECP with one server license was getting authorised lots of times, then the client would get a phone call.
= I imagine the new model tries to take the work away from ESRIs end, but can be inefficient when trying to roll over.

  • I also assume that if my machine died, and I had to reinstall again, still would have to get in touch with Customer Care to reset license?
  • 2
    I think this scenario is one of the many reasons that ESRI introduced EDN. If you have EDN, you have a copy of everything you need for development, so you don't need to use a production license in development and then try to shunt it over to a live system when development is done. Sep 1, 2010 at 14:20

4 Answers 4


This is just about Server licenses; I haven't figured out how to get my EDN license showing up on the provisioning page as well.

I had this issue when I made a mistake and authorized a staging server with the Enterprise Advanced license (it should have been Standard). I just did what I've done on pre-10 servers and authorized it with the right license file. When I looked at the Provisioning page on the customer care site, the Advanced server license showed that it was not available. I figured that I should be able to update it on that page, but there isn't anything.

I contacted customer care and it looks like this is one of those oversights by design. The explanations I got from them over the next week or so were:

  1. There's no way to do it because the developers of the system said no one will ever need to change their licenses. To fix it:
    • Call customer support and ask them to manually change it; this can take from a half to a full day to get done. You can do it up to two days ahead of time.
    • The provisioning system is apparently very buggy, or at least is going through constant revision, and with each revision any manual changes are overwritten in the database. If you call more than two days ahead of the time you need the license changed, your changes may be lost.
  2. Go ahead and use the license on another server. They expect you to have to upgrade and replace machines and they actually realize people in the real world need to run the same license on two machines during a transition. The provisioning system is supposed to allow four months for such a case.
  3. After four months of the same authorization running on two servers, the system will do something to render at least one of the authorizations invalid. I'm paraphrasing here, because they weren't at all clear, but I'm assuming one of the servers will no longer run the ESRI software at that point.

So you can go for a while with two servers on the same authorization for a while, but if you don't take one down, they'll do something. But you still have to call and ask them to update things, and as far as I know it's still a manual process so I wouldn't leave it to the last minute.

  • I also got similar responses from Redlands. However, being in a different country, the process to reset the # of available licenses in the CCP can take significantly longer. However, they informed me that the license model for Server is pretty much the same as 931, its just a problem with how the CCP reports how many available licenses you have. They are working on how to fix this.
    – jakc
    Sep 23, 2010 at 0:36
  • @Simon: That's the impression I got also - they're working on it. I think the new license system is a work in progress and is going to be evolving for some time. Sometimes it's hard to explain to customers who are used to easier licensing with MS Office - which is deployed to many times more users.
    – Tim Rourke
    Sep 23, 2010 at 13:26

The new license mechanism really sucks. I understand that locking a license to a specific PC is ok if you are in a production environment. But I am getting crazy with my EDN license. We have to develop extensions based on ArcGIS Desktop and Server for different releases and configurations. This is only possible if we use virtual PC environments and each developer (everyone has a valid EDN license) has to install e.g. ArcGIS desktop in different virtual PCs to develop and test different configurations. With the new license mechanism this is nearly impossible. As stated by Simon calling the ESRI customer care may be ok for the US guys but we have to take the way and call our distributor who then calls USA.


I have the same information Simon, I have experienced the same issues for ArcGIS Server Basic (ArcSDE), my understanding is that this has been identified to ESRI but no more information available.

If there is anyone else out there looking at this please feel free to let us know how you got around it

  • 2
    Same here with ArcGIS License Manager for concurrent use desktop users. First round of authorizations went okay. Then we purchased some additional arcview and extension licenses. The second batch appeared to authorize okay, but a few days later "just disappeared" from the license pool. I had deauthorize everything and then add them all at once. In the third round, adding another extension license, there was an error message about having exceeded allowable number of authorisations and now I'm playing email and phone tag with ESRI Canada tech support. The new license system is buggy and sucks. Sep 1, 2010 at 15:40
  • 4
    "The new license system is buggy - correct" I raised this issue when Beta Testing ArcGIS 10 last November (2009). ESRI want the feedback but fail to acknowledge the issues are submitted for a fix or improvement.
    – Mapperz
    Sep 1, 2010 at 15:44

I have had to state to customer service before that the licensed machine ws no longer in service and that I would not be utilizing the license on that machine any longer. They then re-issued the license for another machine.

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