demystifying viewer, student and basic licenses

by Nate Hekman on August 19, 2008

We have a love-hate relationship with FLEXlm, the licensing utility that is responsible for those USB dongles you have to plug in before you can run GeoStudio. 

On the one hand it’s annoying to have that dongle to keep track of, and a big pain if the automatic license renewal doesn’t work for some reason.  But the nicer side is that it allows you to buy different types of licenses to better fit the way you want to use the software.

Even if you already own a full license, some of the other license types may still be useful to your office.

Viewer License

The Viewer license is free and is included automatically with every installation.  It gives you access to every feature of the software except two: saving and solving.

It’s great as an evaluation tool before buying a new product. 

It’s also great for your manager who needs to review your work but doesn’t do the modeling himself.  He can open your file, look at all the definition data, explore the results using graphs, contours, exporting data to Excel if necessary, all the tools the software provides.  All without spending any money on a license.

Student License

The Student license is also free, and also included in every installation.  It is a very “lite” version of the software, intended to help people learn geotechnical engineering concepts, not to perform real engineering analysis.

You can save and solve, but you are restricted to a small mesh, a small number of regions, and so on.

The Student license is most useful as a teaching aid for undergraduate engineering classes.

Basic License

Basic licenses are the most inexpensive licenses we sell–two different options for $995 each. 

Like the Student license, they limit access to some of the more advanced features, but are much more powerful than the Student license, and definitely powerful enough to use on the more routine geotech problems you’ll encounter.

There are two Basic licenses in the latest version:

  • VADOSE/W Basic is a 1-D version of VADOSE/W and CTRAN/W.
  • GeoStudio Basic is a single license that gives you access to all the products except VADOSE/W.  So for a low price you get SLOPE/W, SEEP/W, SIGMA/W, QUAKE/W, TEMP/W, CTRAN/W and AIR/W.

If your firm tends to do more routine analyses, you may want to consider the Basic license.

Full License

The full license, of course, gives you access to all the features of a particular product.

Picking Your License

You choose between those four types of license from the Start Page, before opening or creating a file.  In the most recent version the options look like this:

In version 6 (GeoStudio 2004) they look like this:

More Information

You can read more online about GeoStudio Basic, VADOSE/W Basic and the Student Edition.  The GeoStudio 2007 Product Details brochure shows which features are limited in the lite versions.

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