Gain Control of your SOLIDWORKS

Categories // Installation, 3D CAD, Tips & Tricks

Network Licenses with an Option File

Written by: Michael Nolte, Application Engineer

When working with SOLIDWORKS Network License(s) or “Floating” SOLIDWORKS license(s), there are times that installing and activating just isn’t enough for your company. There are times, when a company gets big enough, that licenses need to be managed by either what group is allowed to use certain products, or by 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.

To get started, first schedule an outage with the SOLIDWORKS users as to not cause any down time for them or – in the case of a PDM product – shut down production. That is, if you have viewers that are dependent on documents in the PDM vault view folder. Normally this goes pretty quickly (10 minutes or less), but I suggest scheduling a 30 minute time slot. Over lunch is a great option for most companies.

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 my other article on activating the SNL Manager.

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.

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 can also manually open it here: “C:\Program Files (x86)\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SolidNetWork License Manager\lmgrd.log”

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) that your company owns that are on this server. Copy/paste these out some place to reference back to later and then close the ‘lmgrd.log’ log file.


**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.

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


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


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.


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


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 2 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 Options File:

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

For this example, we will 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:

Timeout Option File Example 01:

TIMEOUT swepdm_viewer 1200


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.

Time out Option File Example 02:

TIMEOUT cae_cosmosfloworkspe 900
TIMEOUT cae_cwadvpro 900
TIMEOUT cae_cwpro 900


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 this example, the ‘ENG_GRP’ group.
  • “1” indicates the number of license 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 the rest of the company can’t use.

Group Option File Example 01:

GROUP ENG_GRP JohnSmith RickHicks KatieAndress
RESERVE 1 swofficepremium_cwpro GROUP ENG_GRP


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 Professional, 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’ and ‘EXCLUDE’ help manage who is allowed to use which products.

Group Option file Example 02:

GROUP ENG_GRP JohnSmith RickHicks KatiaAndress TomBeachum
GROUP SIM_GRP JakeThompson JesseApple JonnyApple
EXCLUDE cae_cwadvpro JonnyApple
INCLUDE swinspection_std GROUP ENG_GRP


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

If this seems like more trouble than it’s worth, reach out to our DASI Solutions Services team to have them send you a quote to write one for you. You can submit a request here [insert link to form]. Another option is to expand your available licenses by buying more seats of SOLIDWORKS or SOLIDWORKS companion products by calling or emailing your DASI Solutions 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

Here is another great article from on SNL options, as well.

**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.

cae_cosmosfloworkspe             SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

cae_cosmosfloworksstd            SOLIDWORKSFlow Simulation Standard

cae_cosmosmotion                  SOLIDWORKSMotion

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 (EPDM)

swepdm_contributor                  SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Contributor (EPDM)

swepdm_viewer                         SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Viewer (EPDM)

swpdmstd_cadeditor                  SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard CAD Editor

swpdmstd_contributor                SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard Contributor

swpdmstd_viewer                       SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard Viewer