Creating an Options File for SOLIDWORKS SNL Servers

The SolidNetWork License Manager (SNL) can utilize an options file to allow more control over how your licenses are used and distributed to users. This is possible due to the SNL being built upon the FlexLM licensing software, which grants the ability to customize how products are licensed. The options file can be added, removed, and updated as needed, providing great flexibility for license management.

Uses for an Options File

Here are a few examples of what an options file can be used for:

  • Create groups of users
  • Reserve licenses for specific users or groups
  • Prevent certain users or groups from using a specific license type
  • Adjust the timeout function to automatically return licenses when idle

Creating a New Options File

  1. Open the SolidNetWork License Manager Server from the Start Menu.
Image showing SolidNetWork License Manager Server from the Start Menu.
  1. On the Server Administration tab, select the Modify button.
Click the server Administration tab, select the Modify button.
  1. Choose Activate/Reactivate your product license(s) and click Next.
SolidNetWork License Product Activation.
  1. Check the box for Options File and then select Edit. If you already have an options file, you can click Browse and point it to the file location.
SolidNetWork License Server Information
  1. If a license file already exists, it will open for editing. If a license file does not already exist, you’ll be prompted with the following dialog box. Selecting Yes will make a new options file that will open for editing.
If a license does not already exist a dialog box will appear. Select yes to create a new file.
  1. After all edits have been made to the options file (see later sections for options file syntax and features), click File > Save in the Notepad document and close.
  2. In the SolidNetWork License Manager, click Next.
  3. On the Activation page, click Select All, enter a contact email if required, and click Next.
Activate/deactivate SOLIDWORKS Product
  1. The licenses will re-activate, and the options file will be applied. Click Finish on the final page.

Constructing the Options File Syntax

Most lines of the syntax in an options file involve a feature (indicates what license), a function (indicates what action), an identifier (indicates what user or group it applies to), and sometimes a quantity (indicates how many licenses). The following tables break down each of these variables.


The following feature names are used to signify the various products. All feature names are case-sensitive.

3D Design

Feature NameProductAvailability
solidworksSOLIDWORKS StandardCurrent
swofficeSOLIDWORKS OfficeLegacy
swofficeproSOLIDWORKS ProfessionalCurrent
swofficepremium SOLIDWORKS PremiumCurrent
swofficepremium_cwadvproSOLIDWORKS Premium with Simulation PremiumCurrent
catiatoswtransCATIA V5-SOLIDWORKS TranslatorLegacy
edrwSOLIDWORKS eDrawings ProfessionalCurrent


Feature NameProduct Availability
cae_cwstd SOLIDWORKS Simulation StandardCurrent
cae_cwproSOLIDWORKS Simulation ProfessionalCurrent
cae_cwadvproSOLIDWORKS Simulation PremiumCurrent
cae_cosmosfloworkspeSOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Current
cae_cosmosfloworks_hvacSOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation HVAC ModuleCurrent
cae_cosmosfloworks_elecSOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Electronic Cooling ModuleCurrent
swsustainabilitySOLIDWORKS SustainabilityCurrent
plastics_proSOLIDWORKS Plastics StandardCurrent
plastics_premiumSOLIDWORKS Plastics ProfessionalCurrent
plastics_advancedSOLIDWORKS Plastics PremiumCurrent
cae_cosmosmotionSOLIDWORKS MotionCurrent


Feature NameProduct Availability
visustdSOLIDWORKS Visualize StandardCurrent
visuproSOLIDWORKS Visualize ProfessionalCurrent
visuboostSOLIDWORKS Visualize BoostCurrent

Product Data Management (PDM)

Feature NameProduct Availability
swepdm_cadeditorandwebSOLIDWORKS PDM Professional CAD Editor & WebCurrent
swepdm_contributorandwebSOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Contributor & WebCurrent
swepdm_processorSOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Processor LicenseCurrent
swepdm_viewerSOLIDWORKS PDM Professional ViewerCurrent
swpdmstd_cadeditorSOLIDWORKS PDM Standard CAD EditorCurrent
swpdmstd_contributorSOLIDWORKS PDM Standard ContributorCurrent
swpdmstd_viewerSOLIDWORKS PDM Standard ViewerCurrent
pdmworksSOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDMLegacy
pdmworks_saSOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM ContributorLegacy
pdmworks_asSOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM for SOLIDWORKS ExplorerLegacy
swmanagepro_contributorSOLIDWORKS Manage Professional ContributorCurrent
swmanagepro_editorSOLIDWORKS Manage Professional EditorCurrent
swmanagepro_processorSOLIDWORKS Manage Professional Processor LicenseCurrent
swmanagepro_viewerSOLIDWORKS Manage Professional ViewerCurrent


Feature NameProduct Availability
elec2dSOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic ProfessionalCurrent
elec3dSOLIDWORKS Electrical 3DCurrent
elecproSOLIDWORKS Electrical ProfessionalCurrent
pcbaltiumSOLIDWORKS PCB Connector for AltiumCurrent

Technical Communications

Feature NameProductAvailability
swcomposerSOLIDWORKS ComposerCurrent
swcomposer_checkSOLIDWORKS Composer CheckCurrent
swcomposer_playerpro SOLIDWORKS Composer Player ProCurrent
swcomposer_sync SOLIDWORKS Composer SyncCurrent
swcomposer_syncenterprise SOLIDWORKS Composer Enterprise SyncCurrent
swinspection_proSOLIDWORKS Inspection ProfessionalCurrent
swinspection_stdSOLIDWORKS Inspection StandardCurrent
swmbd_stdSOLIDWORKS MBD StandardCurrent


Feature NameProductAvailability
draftsightpremiumDraftSight EnterpriseCurrent


Feature NameProductAvailability
camstdSOLIDWORKS CAM StandardCurrent
camproSOLIDWORKS Inspection ProfessionalCurrent


GROUPDefine a group of users.
HOST_GROUPDefine a group of hosts.
EXCLUDEDeny a user or group access to a feature.
EXCLUDEALLDeny a user or group access to all features served by this license server.
INCLUDEAllow a user or group to use a feature.
INCLUDEALLAllows a user or group to access all features served by this license server.
RESERVEReserves a specified number of a feature for use by a specific user or group.
TIMEOUTSpecify idle timeout for a feature, returning it to the free pool for use by another user.
TIMEOUTALLSet timeout on all features.

Note: A complete list of functions can be found in the FlexNet Administration Guide.


USERUser name of the user for whom the function applies. User names are case sensitive and cannot contain spaces.
GROUPGroup of users for whom the function applies. The group’s users must be defined before the group name can be used with another function.
HOSTComputer name or IP address for whom the function applies. Host names are not case sensitive. The IP address can also contain * as wildcards.
HOST_GROUPGroup of computer names or IP addresses for whom the function applies. The group’s computers/IPs must be defined before the group name can be used with another function.

Syntax and Examples

SyntaxGROUP <> <username1> <username2> <username3>
ExampleGROUP Engineers john.smith don.johnson kevin.miller

Tip: To prevent issues with case sensitivity in usernames, add a line at the top of the options file with the function: GROUPCASEINSENSITIVE ON

Host Group

SyntaxHOST_GROUP <> < or IP> < or IP>
ExampleHOST_GROUP Engineers


SyntaxEXCLUDE <feature> <identifier type> <identifier(s)>
ExampleEXCLUDE swofficepro USER bill.johnson
#prevents Bill from using a SOLIDWORKS Professional license

Tip: Optionally include a # at the start of a line to disregard all text in that line, allowing a comment to be added.

Exclude All

SyntaxEXCLUDEALL<identifier type> <identifier(s)>
ExampleEXCLUDEALL GROUP marketing
#prevents all users in the marketing group from using any licenses


SyntaxINCLUDE<feature> <identifier type> <identifier(s)>
ExampleINCLUDE edrw GROUP shopfloor
#allows all users in the shopfloor group to use eDrawings licenses

Note: EXCLUDE functions supersede INCLUDE, so conflicts between the EXCLUDE list and INCLUDE list are resolved by EXCLUDE taking precedence.

Include All

SyntaxINCLUDEALL <identifier type> <identifier(s)>
ExampleINCLUDEALL USER dan.phillips
#allows Dan to use any available licenses

Note: The INCLUDE/INCLUDEALL functions aren’t needed in order to access licenses. If no EXCLUDE functions are present, it’s assumed that all users can access any license.


SyntaxRESERVE <quantity> <feature> <identifier type> <identifier(s)>
ExampleRESERVE 3 solidworks GROUP engineering production
#reserves 3 SOLIDWORKS licenses for the engineering and production groups


SyntaxTIMEOUT <feature> <time period in seconds>
#returns SOLIDWORKS Standard licenses automatically if left idle for one hour

Note: If a license is returned due to the timeout function and the user then comes back and starts using the software again, it will automatically pull the license again and the user won’t experience any interruption. If, at this point, there are no licenses available for SOLIDWORKS, the user will be allowed to save their work before SOLIDWORKS closes.

Timeout All

SyntaxTIMEOUTALL <time period in seconds>
ExampleTIMEOUTALL 1800
returns any license automatically if left idle for 30 minutes

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Meet the Author

Evan Hicks

Evan doubles as GSC's Technical Support Engineer and CAD Mentor of the GSC-sponsored Pewaukee High School Robotics team, Paradigm Shift. Evan enjoys coaching the students through their robot development and competition. He graduated in 2020 with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

view all posts by Evan Hicks

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