For a company that used to be innovative, Steinberg seems to be the only audio company stuck in the stone age. They are the last to finally get a license manager but haven’t figured out how to merge a license and product manager into a single product.
I posted years ago about having a auto-update to elicenser which they finally were able to do in DA. However, DA has no sync capability to detect what app/vst versions you have installed and what needs to be updated, let alone cannot sync your current licenses. I use various other product managers (Arturia, NI, Waves, Toontrack) and they have all figured this out.
The GUI itself is not practical as there is no search feature and difficult to browse product listings on smaller screens such as laptops. This is what it looks like on a 15" HP ELiteBook:
There should be a way to disable the lower product image as well as the logo and social media links footer.
Most importantly, it needs to be able to detect and list currently installed products (Hosts, Plugins, VSTi, Sound Sets, etc.) then scan for updates and list. There’s kind of an Update tab, but it’s incomplete. Eventually they need to integrate both DA and Activation Manager in one.
That would be a no go for people having their studio machines not connected to the internet.
They only need the activation manager on the system.
Yes, it’s far off from competitors like Native Access, Waves or Softube. Or Bitwig that has a nice download manager in the software itself. Cubase is pretty clunky and very old school in this regard.
With Steinberg’s move to a different licensing model though this might hopefully change if resources are put to lower the barriers of entry for new users.
You can simply introduce an “Offline mode” which would turn off the DA portion but allow for offline activation in the license manger. Activation Manager is a poor choice of a name. The title of the app can be called Product Manager like IK Multimedia does.
Offline licensing should not be rocket science as you can transfer an encrypted key/breadcrumb to the system. Search for how Waves does it.
Updates can be simply managed with an XML file with metadata of apps installed by scanning the registry (Windows) or .plist files/System Library (Mac).
Again, none of this is hard. problem is Steinberg spent to many years throwing money away developing eLicenser. CDN’s have been ubiquitous for awhile along with cloud-based, encrypted license managers.
And yes, offline use is a very important factor for DAWs that never touch the internet, especially in pro facilities. This would not be such a big problem if there weren’t so many bloody updates simply to sell product. No need to update a DAW several times a year unless it’s poorly written. No need to upgrade a DAW annually unless you held back features for 10 years! This is a perpetual license model trying to be a subscription base one.
Remember that Wavelab was created by one guy. I’ve owned it since version 1.0 and it was near perfect at 8.5.
Problem is I’ve been using Cubase since the Atari days and have run clinics on the products for years, so I’m bar far not a new user. Although you bring up a legitimate point. It’s just too difficult to balance a product between beginner/semi-pro/and pro use.