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Web-activated licensing is our automated licensing system and procedure which gives you full control over your licenses. Once an order is processed, you may immediately and directly license software online, then deactivate, activate, or renew without having to contact


On this page:


For which software does web-activated licensing apply?

ANSWER: Please refer to the Conventional Licensing/Web-Activated Licensing table on the Licensing page.

What is an activation key and how do I obtain one?

ANSWER: The activation key is an alpha-numeric string, emailed to the customer, allowing the customer to activate or reactivate the purchased software through a web-based system.

Your company will receive an email with the activation key, emailed to the address supplied at time of order, once your order has been processed.

How do I license my software using the Web-Activated licensing system and activation key?

ANSWER: The Web-Activated licensing system allows you to license your product directly online. Once you have received your activation key you can enter it during the software installation process or in the license activation tool to generate your software license, which activates the software. The generated license file will automatically be stored and saved to the computer or network. You must be connected online during this process.

How long is the software and its activation key valid?

ANSWER: The software license is valid for one year at a time and can be renewed indefinitely for as long as your product version and level stay the same.

The activation key is valid for as along as the product is still valid (version, level and license type remain the same). Activation key is required for activating and reactivating the software.


Save a copy of the activation key to reactivate the software on a different machine or at a later date.

Does the activation key stay the same?

ANSWER: Yes, the activation key you originally received for your software will remain valid as long as your software is still valid. You will need this activation key to reactivate the software after previously deactivating it.

A new activation key will be provided under the following circumstances:

  • New version – A new activation key will be issued when changing product version.
  • Level change – If you change product levels (i.e. moving between Plus, Advance or Ultimate), you will receive a new activation key.
  • License-type change --If you change license type (i.e. moving between StandAlone and Network), you will receive a new activation key.

Why and when should I deactivate and reactivate my software?

ANSWER: Deactivating and reactivating your software is a new feature available with our Web-Activated licensing system. This allows you to easily move your standalone license or network license by simply deactivating your software on one machine and reactivating your software on another machine using your activation key and the license activation tool.

Software should also be deactivated in the following cases before a new activation key will be issued:

  • Level change – For level changes, such as when upgrading from Plus to Ultimate.
  • License-type change – When changing between standalone and network licensing.

You will be notified by email that deactivation is required before a new activation key is sent for level change/license type change. Once the deactivation is done, the new activation key will be sent automatically.

This new feature gives you the freedom to control your licenses without the need to contact CSI.

License renewal

How do I renew my license?

ANSWER: Within 30 days of expiration or anytime after the license expires, you can renew the license (if the product is still valid) using the license activation tool. You will not be required to enter an activation key but must be connected online. 

  • StandAlone – Instructions to Renew a Standalone license can be found here
  • Network – Instructions to Renew a Network license can be found here.

What is the license activation tool and where can I access it?

ANSWER: The license activation tool allows you to activate, deactivate, reactivate and renew your license. Depending on your license type you can access the tool as follows:

  • StandAlone – For standalone licenses it is called StandAloneKey.exe, and can be found in the CSiLicensing subfolder in the installation folder for your software product (SAP2000, ETABS, etc.). In addition, a shortcut can be found in the Windows Start menu under the product folder.
  • Network – For a network license, the tool is called NetKey.exe and can be found in the Sentinel RMS Utilities (v9.2, 8.6 & 8.5) installation folder. In addition, a shortcut can be found in the Windows Start menu under the Sentinel RMS 8.5 Utilities folder.

Do I need the activation key to renew my license?

ANSWER: The activation key is not necessary for license renewal.

What happens when the license expires after one year?

ANSWER: Thirty days before expiration and after the license has expired, the software will prompt you to renew the license using our license activation tool. You will not need to contact CSI or your dealer to renew your license.

Why is there a one-year expiration if the software is valid indefinitely for that version and level?

ANSWER: Licenses are issued for one year at time for security reasons, protecting our users from unauthorized use. It also allows us to ensure compatibility with the current software and hardware available.

Software evaluation

How do I evaluate the software?

ANSWER: Evaluation versions will become available with the next major release of each software (starting in 2013). Evaluation versions will be valid for use up to one year. The evaluation version is fully functional except limits exporting and printed output capabilities.

A separate Evaluation Portal is available for the download of Evaluation versions. You may register at this portal and download and install the Evaluation version of the software without the need to contact




Please note the Evaluation version is not for professional use and files created in the Evaluation version are not compatible with a professional version (and visa versa). As a result, a licensed professional version cannot serve as a pre-processer or post-processer for work done using an Evaluation version.

Can I have an Evaluation version on the same computer as a licensed version?

ANSWER: No, since Evaluation versions may corrupt the registration of professional, licensed version already installed on the same machine. Thus both versions shall not be installed on the same computer.

Moving software

Does the software still lock to a USB key?

Answer: Software will no longer lock to a USB key or Disk ID, but instead to a Machine locking-code. Our Web-Activated licensing process will determine this locking-criteria using identifiers which are unique for each computer and server. The automated licensing process and installation wizard will not require you to enter the Machine locking-code at any time.

How can I move my software without a USB key?

ANSWER: Software may be deactivated from one computer, then reactivated on another computer by entering the activation key given at the time of purchase. Deactivation and reactivation will be required to move network licenses. If you did not retain the email with the activation key, or if you do not know who received the email, feel free to contact our Licensing Department at

Network license

Which license manager version is required?

ANSWER: Sentinel RMS License Manager 8.5 or higher is required to serve network licensing. Version 8.5 will be automatically installed when installing CSI software. If you need to manually install a higher version or to upgrade to version 8.5 from a previous version, please uninstall an older version of the license manager before installing version 8.5 or higher. Before uninstalling the license manager, ensure all licenses and commuter licenses have been checked in.

Please note Sentinel RMS License Manager 8.5 is unable to serve software with LM 7 licenses. A separate server is be required to run LM 7 network licenses.

How do I install a network license?

ANSWER: To install a network license, the server must be connected to the internet during installation process and when entering the activation key. The installation wizard will install Sentinel RMS License Manager version 8.5. The Sentinel RMS 8.5 utilities will be installed with this license manager, containing tools to manage your network licenses (such as WlmAdmin.exe) and the license activation tool. Workstation installations may be installed at any time and do not require internet connection.

How do I move a network license?

ANSWER: Before uninstalling the license manger/server you MUST first deactivate all network licenses. Your activation keys will not be valid for reactivation on the new server unless they have first been deactivated from the previous network server. Once the license manger has been installed on the new server, you may reactivate your licenses using your activation keys and the license activation tool.


Be sure to deactivate all network licenses PRIOR to uninstalling the license manager.

Commuter license

Can I still use the commuter license?

ANSWER: Changes have not been made to the Commuter license. Please note that commuter licenses are only available with network licenses.

See also