Help on Steinberg licence eco-system

Hello everybody,

I allow myself to create a post because I need your help.
I have just switched to Cubase 11 after several years on Logic Pro X. I am a very big fan of the interface and the workflow of Cubase, but I admit to having a big block in understanding the Steinberg eco-system in terms of concerns license managers.

With each manipulation or installation, I am directed to the eLicenser control, which tells me to go through the Steinberg Activation Manager, which itself asks me to enter a Download Access Code on the Steinberg Download Assistant, which itself tells me that my license is to activate or not and to check the Library Manager then my Steinberg account, and also check that my licenses are installed on my USB license key and internally on the SoftLicencer….

With all the love I have for Cubase, updates or plug-ins were installed with a simple click on Logic Pro X and everything worked fine afterwards. So I’m quite confused by the complexity of this whole Steinberg universe. After a lot of research on steinberg web site and on existing forum posts, I am no longer ashamed to say that I understand absolutely nothing about the Steinberg ecosystem.

Would any of you have the courage to make a summary of all its software related to the Cubase eco-system and what is their role in the updates and installation of VST and Plug-in?

  • Elicenser Control
  • Steinberg Activation manager
  • Steinberg Download Assistant
    -Steinberg Library Manager
  • Soft licensor & USB licensor
  • Difference between “Download Access Code” and “Activation Code”

Thank you for your lights

Here is a brief summary of the different items on your list. They are only relevant for products that use the Steinberg copy protection system. You usually don’t need them for third-party plugins, which might come with their own activation mechanisms.

  • Soft eLicenser & USB eLicenser
    These are part of the old licensing system. They’re local storages for your Steinberg licenses. The USB eLicenser, aka dongle, is a hardware device required for most of the Steinberg products. If the dongle isn’t plugged in or if it doesn’t contain a proper license, you can’t use the product.
    Some products also support the Soft eLicenser, a software holding the licenses on your computer. In this case you don’t need a dongle, but the license is “locked” to that computer and can’t be easily used on several ones.
  • eLicenser Control Center
    Software to manage the licenses on the USB and Soft eLicenser. It’s the user interface for the eLicensers. For example, it lists all the licenses on the different eLicensers, and can also be used to move licenses to a different dongle.
  • Steinberg Activation Manager
    This is part of the new licensing system. Here you can activate and deactivate products on your computer. Currently, only Cubase 12 and Dorico 4 use the new licensing system.
  • Steinberg Download Assistant (SDA)
    Software where you can download and activate your products. It supports both the old and the new licensing system.
    If you buy a Steinberg product, you usually get a Download Access Code by email. To add the product to your user account, open the SDA and enter it there.
    Formerly, you received an activation code instead which must be entered in the License Control Center. The newer Download Access Code streamlined the activation and download process a bit.
  • Steinberg Library Manager
    Lists the content for your Steinberg products, like sample libraries, presets, loop and sample packages etc. Here you can also move the content files to different folders and/or drives.

Hi Martin90, it’s was very clear. Thanks so much for take the time to answer me :pray:

You’re welcome. Glad the info helped a little. :smiley:

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