Basics of Automation Kickstarter

FactoryTalk Activation Grace Period

FactoryTalk Activation SplashWhen FactoryTalk Activation (FTA) was first released, many clients expressed reservations about moving to it. For some it was the fact that the older “Floppy Master Disk” activation would allow the use of the original “Master Disk” as a back-up activation in case the movable activation file was lost or corrupted.

To address this, in CPR9 Rockwell added a FactoryTalk Activation “Grace Period” mode into software products which used FactoryTalk activation. This “Grace Period” allowed customers to install and run the software on a new PC for up to seven days without activation.

In an emergency situation, if the client’s PC crashed and they were in a remote location without the ability to contact Rockwell’s activation group for a reset, this “Grace Period” mode gave them a temporary solution to get back up and running quickly.

Rockwell Software Grace Period Mode Popup 1To utilize the “Grace Period,” clients install their Rockwell Software on a new PC (or virtual machine) that has not previously had the software in question running in “Grace Period” mode. Note that during installation some multi-version products, like RSLogix 5000, do require a valid serial number to run in “Grace Period” mode in the desired version (i.e. Pro, Full, Mini.)

When the software is launched for the first time without activation, the client will be greeted with a pop-up window stating, “The product has not been activated but will continue to run in a grace period for seven days.” This seven day period is from the moment this pop-up first appears, and even if the software is not launched again during this period it will still expire exactly seven days later. The “Grace Period” is also not resettable by changing the PC’s clock back in time, as once the seventh day triggers the end of the “Grace Period” the software will no longer run in “Grace Period” mode no matter how the PC clock is manipulated.

Rockwell Software Grace Period Mode Popup 3Once the “Grace Period” ends, a second popup will be displayed upon subsequent launching of the software. It reads, “Failed to activate (product name.) The grace period has expired.” For those products without a demo mode (like RSLogix) you’ll be asked to activate the product and if you chose not to the product will not launch. For those products with a demo or free mode (RSView, RSLinx) the software will start in that mode.

Rockwell Software Grace Period Mode Popup 2If you activate the software after the “Grace Period” has expired you’ll be greeted with a third pop-up which reads, “This product has been activated. The grace period has ended for (product name.)” The software should now run with the features enabled by the activation used.

You can also find the pop-ups window messages described above in Rockwell’s Diagnostic viewer. This software is found in the Start Menu under FactoryTalk Tools. Below I’ll paste in three screen shots of Diagnostic viewer messages which correspond to the pop-up windows mentioned above:

Rockwell Software Diagnostic Viewer 1

Rockwell Software Diagnostic Viewer 2 Rockwell Software Diagnostic Viewer 3

For more information about Rockwell Software’s “Grace Period” mode, please reference these public Rockwell technotes:

I hope the above information about Rockwell’s “FactoryTalk Activation Grace Period mode” was helpful. If you have a comment on this article please use the “Leave a reply” form at the bottom of the page.

By Shawn Tierney

Rockwell Certified Information Specialist and Microsoft Certified Professional

 

 

 

Basics of Automation Kickstarter

About Shawn Tierney

Shawn Tierney has worked as an automation specialist for the past twenty three years and spends his days helping controls engineers implement automation solutions using Allen-Bradley PLC's and HMI's, as well as Rockwell Software SCADA and MES products.
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