Annoying e-licensing

I was working on a score in Dorico 2 today and have to admit, I was a bit careless in terms of saving regularly.
But that’s how it goes, when ideas are coming up and wait to be notated … So I didn’t save for almost 2 hours and all of a sudden I got an alert, that my e-license has to be updated, because: … “this engine and that something” couldn’t read the license anymore. So I tried to save my work, but I couldn’t because there were tons of alerts blinking up and Dorico froze completely. Because of all those alerts, I couldn’t even make a decent screenshot. I had to force quit and lost all my work. That’s why I’m pretty upset.

My request to the team is, that the program shouldn’t under any circumstances be allowed to ask for license updates, while running!
It’s OK for me if Dorico is checking the license on start up or even after saving a score, but NEVER out of the blue, with no warning and ability to save the work beforehand!

Please excuse my harsh tone, but this was just too much

Check your Autosave folder. If it’s empty now, that’s because you’ve already reopened Dorico. In future, if you have to Force Quit, check your Autosave folder before you reopen Dorico, and you may find a copy of the file that’s only a few minutes old. Save it somewhere else before reopening Dorico.

These sorts of problems are not down to Dorico itself, unfortunately. The eLicenser is a completely separate system over which Dorico itself has no control. Dorico is simply a client of the licenses available in your eLicenser. In theory the eLicenser subsystem should never try to e.g. perform maintenance or update itself while an application is running that’s using one of its licenses, but unfortunately these things aren’t perfect. We are all looking forward to the future in which we no longer need to worry about the eLicenser, of that I’m sure.

Thanks Leo for the profound help here. But alas I indeed did open Dorico already …
And thanks to Daniel too, it sounds to me that there is hope that a better solution is planed.

Besides the licencer asked me for Dorico 2 Elements too like in this post:
But after an update now everything runs OK, but I’m saving every ten seconds :wink:

… and sorry again to the Dorico Team, you are welcome to pass my complaint to Steinberg.

Once again the E-Licencer is causing unexpectedly big problems. Completely without reason and out of the blue, it reports that Dorico SE has a problem with the slot and that I have to plug the licenser somewhere else. But that doesn’t help at all the message gets stuck and the program is no longer licensed! I cannot even save my work anymore. The message remains even if I terminate Dorico with command+option+esc by force! I have to restart the whole computer and then everything works as before. I have never installed Dorico SE on this computer since I work with the pro version, nor can I repeat this error or say what did provoke it. It will happen again sometime in the near future even if there is no other program running in the background. This licensing story is a big, big annoyance and every time a certain part of the work is lost, even if the automatic backup function is activated. With the restart of the computer I loose easily a quarter of an hour. So please Steinberg offer us Dorico-users a solution, that works! The “future” Daniel has spoken above has to take place soon for me. Don’t ruin a magnificent app with those superfluous and really frustrating licensing problems …

Is your dongle somewhat recent ?
I had the same kind of troubles on my iMac until I bought a new dongle a year ago. Then all my problems vanished. The dongle I was using before was more than 10-year old.

Well, I never thought of that before, but the dongle is from 2017 - the year I bought Dorico. Actually, I’d be willing to pay for a new dongle if that helps, but actually it would be up to Steinberg to offer me a replacement if that’s really the problem …
Anyway, thank you for your creative suggestion.

I had a bad day with a dongle once (though the software at the time was Sib.) When it died, it was painful recovering licenses and sometimes explaining to various software vendors what happened to get them all back. If you think its wonky at all, I’d real quick be sure I had the instant zero down time replacement insurance, or whatever they call it.

J_Woodtli, regardless of the date of purchase, is it a new style or old style eLicenser? The old one is longer than the new one.

The one on the left is old; the one on the right is new.

This isn’t a “creative suggestion” - there’s plenty of evidence that old style eLicensers are becoming incompatible with new computers (and new USB port drivers).

I know that saying it will not solve anything, but I’m really frustrated by this unpredictable piece of plastic. Even after the latest eLicenser software update, it continues not to see the key when launching Dorico (or any VSL software) one each two-three times, and it sometimes breaks my work in Dorico saying that the key can’t be found.

Newest version of the key (end of 2016), old and tested Mac, old OS (High Sierra). I run maintenance each time I update the software.

Just imagine a car switching off while you are driving, or refusing to start…

I think we don’t deserve this kind of punishment.


Thanks Leo for the clarification
Alas, I’m running the short (therefore new) dongle. So an exchange won’t be of any use, I suppose …
But the point I took s I started this post was that:

the program shouldn’t under any circumstances be allowed to ask for license updates, while running! It’s OK for me if Dorico is checking the license on start up or even after saving a score, but NEVER out of the blue, with no warning and ability to save the work beforehand!

So again I agree completely with Paolo:

I think we don’t deserve this kind of punishment.

It’s not asking for license updates; it’s ensuring that you haven’t plugged the dongle into one computer, launched Dorico, then unplugged the dongle and plugged into another computer, launched Dorico, then unplugged the dongle and plugged into another computer.

Where might this happen, you may ask. In a school!
I loathe the existing licensing system. I also recognise a) why it exists and b) that the Dorico development have absolutely no control over it whatsoever. It’s an entirely different department at Steinberg.

Thanks Leo
for your always supportive and positive answer …
But at the moment I am working on a big choir project and always on the same computer. For the last six months I have never unplugged the dongle (unless I was forced to by the error warnings) or changed the computer. I understand how it works or how Steinberg thought it would work. But for me it gets in the way of work and even worse, the whole computer gets paralysed without prewarning. Moreover, it even asks for Dorico SE, which I never installed. I realize that it’s not the Dorico team’s fault, but I hope that they will discuss this annoying license story directly with the mother company Steinberg and put pressure on them, because the current situation is untenable for me.
And it also damages the excellent reputation of Dorico.

Forget the SE thing. There’s only one Dorico app. It runs as SE, Elements or Pro dependent on which license it can find. If it can’t find your Elements or Pro license it looks for an SE license. That’s all there is to it.

Off topic, but I’ve literally had this happen before. And what part caused the mid-drive switch off on my way to work, you might ask? Why, the anti-theft system, of course!

A shoddily designed 2 cent wiring connection between the security fob in the key and the car’s computer would fail, and since said connection lived somewhere accessible only through several hundreds of dollars worth of labor, the price of the design flaw was essentially subsidized by the end user. Definitely a safety hazard with a car, but I can’t say I’d be tremendously pleased if I had to likewise deal with it with my notation software. My condolences :wink:

After quite a lot of research I am now slowly becoming a pro at dongle errors. On the website of Steinberg there are countless variations of what could go wrong. But most of the errors are concerning Windows computers. I have already tested all USB connections on my Mac and I have also tried to connect a hub in between. Also software updates are of no use. But the error is still unpredictable and random and I can’t see any regularity. So obviously I will have to live with it or “drive in a car, that’s switching off while driving” as “ptram” put it right on the spot. Out of pure frustration here are some thoughts for Steinberg:

  1. Hello Steinberg, it’s the year 2020 and on my computer there is only USB 3.0! How about a more modern dongle?
  2. There is also software from other companies that only reacts when a dongle is unplugged.
  3. When I look at the many entries on the Steinberg support website about what could go wrong with a dongle,
    I would think about a new licensing system. And at the same time I would also think about how a user can easily license a second computer.
  4. and last but not least: please do not stand in the way of the excellent Dorico team. And if the team has an idea for a more modern license management, then please, please stay open.

After all, almost all Dorico users are not young hackers who want to use the software for free, but many of us work with it professionally and even want to earn money. So it’s not about avoiding the purchase price but about good support and the great community.

I for one am willing to pay a decent price for a good product (and an additional fee for my second Computer), but then I really expect quality and this also in licensing.

I thank all other users for their tips, but I think the ball is now in Steinberg’s court and there is little to add.

If one teacher has 100 students, what proportion of Dorico users are potentially “young hackers wanting to use the software for free?”

In the worst case, 99% of them.

I agree that the ball is in our court and I don’t have much more to add today than I have said in other similar threads. We are actively working on a successor licensing system that will not use any part of the eLicenser technology, and we anticipate that Dorico will be among the first of Steinberg’s products to make use of this new licensing system when it becomes available. However, the eLicenser system is very deeply integrated not only in our software but also in the business processes that we use to create, stock-keep, sell and distribute our products, so it is a big project to migrate to a new licensing system while retaining business continuity and not creating new problems. It will take time, but a team is actively working on it.

In the meantime, Jürg, if you want me to send you a time-limited activation code for Dorico that you can add to your computer’s Soft-eLicenser so that you can try running without your USB-eLicenser for a while to see if that is more stable, I’m happy to do so. Just drop me an email or send me a private message.

Until another system is ready, could Dorico Pro users be given two activation codes, only one of which would be a full licence and allow version upgrades? The ancillary code could perhaps be time-limited.

It would seem eLicenser might be able to handle these requirements.

This is something that I suggested many years ago, but I’m afraid the company’s senior management demurred.