Suggestion: retire eLicenser

Please hear this suggestion from someone who is a big fan of Dorico. I don’t mean this to be rude; it’s serious feedback. Dorico is an excellent piece of software overall and beats the socks off of other notation editors.

I’m aware the eLicenser server has been down since early Friday morning. This is preventing me from using Dorico, even though I have had a properly installed and activated license for months. I can’t “repair” the license because the server is down. Now the eLicenser user experience wasn’t exactly great when it was working properly, but this is a serious problem.

I was a long-time user of Finale and switched to Dorico because it is far superior in almost every way. However, this DRM implementation gives me serious pause about recommending it to anyone. I am a software engineer and understand some of the tradeoffs and business problems in licensing software. Piracy is obviously a problem. But users of desktop software expect that their properly-purchased programs will be usable offline. When I discover that a desktop editing program I purchased a while ago suddenly stopped working due to some web server going offline, and that furthermore that server is offline for 18+ hours and based on past issues described on the internet I can expect this outage (of my desktop software) to last several days… frankly, that is a very unpleasant experience, and it casts a shadow on an otherwise wonderful program. And as I build up a personal library of Dorico notation files, it is sobering to realize that if Dorico 's license server went dark for any reason (e.g. heaven forbid, Dorico’s authors went out of business), all of my notation files would be rendered unreadable.

Once Dorico has been properly activated, it should not require internet access to function. I strongly recommend replacing eLicenser with some licensing scheme that allows Dorico to work offline indefinitely.


I think you are beating a dead horse here: Steinberg is already working on a replacement technology for the eLicensers. Yes, it is a shame this breakdown occurred before the replacement was ready, but you are preaching to the choir at this point.


I don’t think there’s any horse left…. Just some old bloody sticks left over in the corner of the pasture. :zipper_mouth_face:


Merely an observation, but the fact that the elicenser replacement has been discussed ad nauseum (which it has) and that we’re tired of talking about it (which we are) doesn’t preclude a user from coming here to share their concerns.


Has there been any indication we’d get some kind of multi-instances, like simultaneous use of two licenses, one on a desktop and another on a laptop, anybody heard anything to this effect?

I think it’s been mentioned, though not in the official post.

Yes, that is on our list for the new system.


Fantastic news Ed! That’s such a great feature as I frequently have to move between computers, as many people do also I imagine, and pulling dongles is just a pain.

Second one is for studio owners. I have a sound designer working for me and occasional assistants, so being able to grant access to a license (grant a Steinberg account) would be necessary now that the dongle won’t be supported. Presently I give them the dongle, which isn’t a great solution as it can get lost etc.

I assume you have that on the list but just to make sure!

True, but here (as in other cases) a search of prior posts could prevent starting another thread and would assure the OP that progress was being made.


That is good news!!
Sorry for the repeat; I did search the Dorico forum before posting but didn’t see this announcement. Perhaps it would be good to include a link to it in the outage announcement that is printed above the Dorico forum. Anyway, count my voice in support of this change.

That announcement has now disappeared. Let us hope that means the eLicenser is back up and running.

But you may want to be aware of this announcement about downtime for an August 3, 2021 Server Maintenance.

EDIT: The announcement is back up with a revised message (at least in the update link).

If a license server is down it will affect any method unless it will be license free… :roll_eyes:

Btw I worked perfectly with two machines all the day, yesterday…


I just saw a post from around 2013 asking for it… So I for one will never exhaust of talking about it until they actually deploy the solution. In the meantime, I will presume (as any person without evidence should feel just) that all of the talk is as rhetorical until the solution is launched. After all, this isn’t just software or hardware, but a policy-enforcement implement, and as a policy-instrument, I will treat it as I treat policy & politicians. :wink:

(Though I admit my perspectives are cynical… they are hard-earned).


What progress?

Daniel has said they’re making real progress on it, so yes. Of course we’d all like a firm date.


Once the licence is active on your elicenser, Dorico / elicenser shouldn’t need to contact the server again. You shouldn’t lose your files just because the server stops working, and Dorico is not normally dependent on an internet connection.

Needing to repair the licence while the server was down is an unlucky coincidence. Hopefully, the new system will be much better.

As @benwiggy says, once licenced Dorico does not need to contact the server to work. And files are not rendered inaccessible. So what was going on with the OP? Strange.

Once the licence is active on your elicenser, Dorico / elicenser shouldn’t need to contact the server again.

Nonetheless, that is what happened. There were no changes on my end, but the license was suddenly marked as damaged or expired somehow. It wasn’t until the server came back online and I upgraded the eLicenser version and ran the maintenance/repair command successfully that it started working again.

If the licenses expire and have to be renewed, then it does require the license server at least sometimes, which is not a good design. If not, then it’s a nasty bug. Either way, I’m glad they’re replacing eLicenser!


There are developers that have been stating something is around the corner since mid-2018 and it still isn’t here.

I prefer to go by what I experience, not what someone says.

I’m out of benefits of doubts.

They probably didn’t say it will be around the corner, but you inferred that because they’re working on it. This kid of thing would be a very large, multi-year project and given the announcement yes, they probably started it back then in planning.