In 2018, Adobe announced a series of changes to their licensing to which many of us have already started adapting. But what are the Adobe licensing changes, which dates should you be looking out for and what do you need to do about them? If you are an IT administrator or a license manager for Adobe software licensing, this post is for you…
What are the Adobe licensing changes?
Spoiler alert: These changes are most likely relevant to you if you have Device-Based Licensing in your environment and/or if you are using one of the discontinued apps. If this sounds like your environment, then these Adobe licensing changes may affect you:
In October 2018, Adobe announced they were going to eliminate Device-Based Licensing to focus on Shared-Device Licensing starting 2019 (if you’re interested in learning about the different types of licenses, skip to this section). This new Shared-Device License is conceptually similar to its Device-Based predecessor but what it does is it brings more personalization to the user experience and more simplification for you which is all around a great thing, although it will take some work on your end to make the switch happen. With this change, Adobe has made it so that if you are looking to move to CC 2019 from CC 2018 and you have Device-Based Licenses in your environment, you will have to switch those over to Shared-Device Licenses in order to use CC 2019.
While you as an admin may not have a choice as to whether or not to move to Shared-Device Licensing, you may be wondering why the extra effort and change. Adobe says they are implementing these licensing changes because their legacy licensing technology is based on a 32-bit application which users and organizations have deprecated in their environments. With the move over to 64-bit, Adobe claims they are providing a much more robust and secure licensing platform. The move also provides a better user experience for labs, libraries, and classrooms because users now will have access to more tools for collaborating, for a more personalized experience (given users will have to sign in to use Adobe Shared-Device Licenses so Adobe will be able to identify each user and customize the experience accordingly), and for accessing creative cloud on the go.
If you have Device-Based Licenses, start making plans to migrate to Shared-Device Licensing by December 31st. Keep reading for resources on how to make the migration.
When do these licensing changes take effect and what are other important dates?
ScholarBuys breaks down the Adobe licensing changes for us in this very informational video:
September 1st: Device-Based licenses will be discontinued
December 31st: Suggested migration of all Device-Based Licenses to Shared-Device Licenses
** Your Value Incentive Plan (VIP) anniversary date is your deadline and actual end of life date**
How do you migrate from Device-Based Licensing to Shared Device Licensing?
Step 1: Every successful migration starts with a proper assessment of the current environment. Before you start adapting to the latest Adobe licensing changes, be sure to know the answers to:
– Which machines do I need to deploy Creative Cloud apps?
– Should I increase or decrease the number of machines with Creative Cloud?
– How many users do I have in my environment needing access?
To answer these questions, you can use a digital experience monitoring tool that can ensure a proper and right-sized migration. Below are some screenshots showing the type of data a monitoring tool can provide.
SysTrack showing a summary of average CPU, Memory, IOPS, GPU use and more per Adobe software package
SysTrack showing the inventory of Adobe software packages installed vs used
SysTrack showing named user vs per-device licensing usage
Screenshots shown above are from SysTrack, a digital experience monitoring solution that helps take inventory of the resources and services currently in your environment, the usage and performance of those, and the details on what user experience is really like so you can look into potentially increasing GPU, retire older devices based on data, or make other optimizations. The software solution is often used in anticipation of upcoming licensing changes like those outlined by Oracle for Java in 2018, Office 365 license right-sizing, and more.
But what do buying programs and license agreements look like for Commercial and Government organizations? For that, Adobe published a series of helpful guides to their buying programs. Below is the overview of their 4 programs and links to the full guides from Adobe.
Products available: Creative Cloud (for teams and enterprise), Acrobat Pro DC (teams and enterprise), Presenter, Technical Communication Suite, Adobe Stock for teams, RoboHelp family, FrameMaker family, Captivate, Presenter Video Express
Products available: Acrobat Pro 2019 (desktop only), Acrobat Standard 2019 (desktop only), Technical Communication Suite, Captivate, ColdFusion family, Flash Builder family, Font Folio, FrameMaker family, FreeHand, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop and Premiere Elements bundle, Photoshop Lightroom, Premiere Elements, Presenter Licensed, Presenter Video Express, RoboHelp family
Start by taking inventory of what you have in your environment so that, once you’re ready to migrate and adjust to the latest Adobe licensing changes, you do so confident in it being an accurate and right-sized environment.