ArcGIS 10.1 Licensing in a restricted environment.

Moving between licensing types in ArcGIS is normally done using the ArcGIS Administrator.

There are three license levels, Basic (previously ArcView), Standard (ArcEditor), or Advanced (ArcInfo). These license levels share the same core applications, user interface, and development environment however the higher the level the greater the functionality.   This is why it’s important to have the ability to move between license types. 

To be able to do this the user requires local administrative rights as
changing the license level makes changes in the registry and so edit
permissions are required. 
Having these rights can be problematic when working within a restricted environment.

A workaround for this is to set a user environment variable to allow individual users to change to the license type of their choice.  This can be done using Batch files.

In Notepad copy one of the following expressions into a text file:

Set Basic license level:

set path=%path%;C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.1\bin

Set Standard license level:

set path=%path%;C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.1\bin

Set Advanced license level:

set ESRI_SOFTWARE_CLASS=Professional
set path=%path%;C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.1\bin

It will look like the following:

bat101Change the extension to .bat and save it to the Desktop.

Double clicking on the bat file will change the license level for users who do not have administrator privileges.

There is further information in ArcGIS 10.1 help for Concurrent and Single Use  licensing.

Kerry H

6 thoughts on “ArcGIS 10.1 Licensing in a restricted environment.

    1. Kerry H. Post author

      It does work in 10.2. You just need to replace 10.1 with 10.2 to make sure it’s pointing to the right folder.

  1. Jay B.

    Thank you for the post.

    Is there a variation of this technique that will allow you to switch between a single use basic license and a concurrent use standard license?

    1. Kerry H. Post author

      Hi Jay
      The function you want is not possible in a restricted environment. To do what you ask would require a complex scripted workflow to emulate ArcGIS Administrator. The ArcGIS Administrator modifies the registry variables whereas the batch file works by using a alternate workflow, modifying the Environmental Variables for Concurrent Use Licensing. It does not override the registry configurations. This is because ArcMap will ignore registry configurations if an Environmental Variable exists for Concurrent use licensing. It will not switch between Single and Concurrent Use Licenses.

  2. Kyle

    This .bat file works great. Thank you. I do have a question about when you launch ArcMap using the .bat file, and then go through your start menu and launch another instance it loads at your default license level (Basic for us). Do you know if this consumes two licenses, one advanced and one basic? Thanks again.


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