ArcGIS Pro Licensing – “Fixed” to Named Users

Blog Post created by jrflannery on Dec 19, 2014

ArcGIS Pro licensing is administered via ArcGIS Online.  If you have a license of ArcGIS for Desktop current on maintenance, then you have access to an ArcGIS Online subscription.  One must be a “Named User” in an ArcGIS Online subscription and be allocated a license in order to open ArcGIS Pro and use any extensions assigned to you.


The problem, that I see, is that licenses for the ArcGIS Pro application and extensions are “fixed” to a named user.  Only the Administrator of the ArcGIS Online subscription can go in and assign or redirect licenses.  Those of us used to the allocation of Desktop and extension concurrent use licenses via a license manager are scratching our heads wondering how this new paradigm is going to work in our shop.  I understand and actually like the concept of running the license manager in the cloud – access from anywhere.  However, it seems that there needs to be some sort of mechanism to allow the use of a pool of application and extension licenses by any of the named users much like an on-premise concurrent use license + license manager.  Licenses are allocated to users until the pool runs dry.


Example: We have nine GIS professionals in our shop.  We have purchased 11 - ArcInfo licenses, 5 - Spatial Analyst licenses and 2 - 3D Analyst licenses for day-to-day production use.  All licenses are Concurrent Use licenses authorized on our ArcGIS License Manager server.  We “Share” the Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst extensions since these extensions are not used all day, every day by all staff.  With the new ArcGIS Online license management “named user” model, we would need to purchase enough Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst licenses for every GIS staffer.  The option of having our ArcGIS Online Administrator enable/disable extensions for named users when necessary is an impractical workflow.  I don’t want to believe that this new licensing model is a nefarious scheme by Esri to sell more software.


As ArcGIS Pro and AGOL mature, I hope we see response to user feedback with the implementation of more flexibility using the AGOL cloud license manager.