ArcGIS Pro license check out override by ArcGIS Online administrator

11-03-2014 12:06 PM
Status: Open
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New Contributor III

When a license is checked out for offline use in ArcGIS Pro, and something happens to that machine (possibly a hard drive crash, etc.) the ArcGIS Pro license is not recoverable as it has been checked out and is now associated with that machine. 

There needs to be a method for an ArcGIS Online administrator to force revoke that license from the machine so that it can be recovered and used again by that person.

This does need to be put in place.

If there is a scenario where a machine fails, is upgraded, or the user (unbeknownst to the ArcGIS Online license admin) installs ArcGIS Pro on a different machine & then checks out a license, the license admin should have the ability to "force check in" the license back to the license pool.
Would this create a situation where a user could check out a license then take a machine off a network, then have an admin do a revoke. Perhaps open to abuse?

robaly a timed checkout, whereby it might have 1, 2, 4 days etc... before needing re-checkout might mitigate this?
This situation is the same as when your IT folks grab a machine that has standalone ArcGIS Desktop and wipe the machine without first deauthoriing ArcGIS.  There are legitimate reasons for IT to wipe machines and there is a mechanism for the ESRI Help Desk to reinstate the license.  Can the same sort of thing be done for ArcPro

There should be a possibility to limit offline use for a period of time or to restrict it even. I work at a university and we want to restrict students to take licenses offline. We work with Portal for ArcGIS and host the licenses ourselves, but the same applies to AGOL, I think. We have to manage 100 ArcGIS Pro licenses for a lot more students, so we want to limit or better restrict the offline use. Students are tempted to take it offline at home or on their laptops and then come to the university lab and ask themselves (or me) why they cannot work at the university’s computers and are then unproductive that day unless they return home and check in that license to the Portal. If they check out that license at the university and forget at which machine they sat (there are many computer pools and machines) it gets even more complicated because by default the workstation alias in ArcGIS Pro is named sth. like "ArcGISPro_123" and with this information you cannot relocate the machine where the license is locked. (To solve this we now created a group policy that changes the SessionName entry in the computer's registry to the computer name).


While the new option to disable taking ArcGIS Pro licenses offline, it really needs to be able to be restricted for a certain user level, not all or nothing. I too am at a university and there are many reasons for a faculty member or graduate student to take a license offline while doing field work in remote areas. But I don't want just any student to be able to take a license offline. Right now I have a handful of licenses that were taken offline back in October (3 months) by students in a class that ended in early December. ArcGISPro_232 doesn't help me figure out where it is (and I doubt the students know where they were sitting on October 12. 

It seems I've lost that seat until we renew our site license at the end of June. Please add the functionality we had in 10.x license server to limit the checkout to a certain # of days.


Another issue that I am running into is that I can't see what machine I have the license checked out on.

Like most users, I have many machines (including one at home) that I occasionally use for Pro.  If I use my AGOL named account to check a license out for offline use, then go to another machine and try to login to AGOL for a license, I get the message that the license is already checked out by another machine for my user, but it does not tell me which machine. This can be if the machine was destroyed/rebuilt, but just as bad if you can not determin which machine needs to check it back in. 

I also did not see anything in the "Manage ArcPro Licenses" for which machine it is checked out to, although it does tell me that it is currently checked out and can not be reconfigured.

The time-out can help, but will not fully eliminate the issue.  

Restricting all offline use would work, but does not help in flexibility.

Having a little more fine-grained control as Mark Jackson mentioned again would help, but would not solve my situation.

Managing the license is getting better with each release, but still needs a bit more admin control for organizations.


There is no easy way to retrieve a license from a machine that is no longer accessible.  Allowing an administrator to recover the license without communication with the client machine opens the door for clients to take advantage of the situation like Mark eluded to.  With that said, we intend to provide the solution you guys mentioned:

   1.  Prevent users from taking licenses offline.

   2.  Provide an option to restrict number of days for licenses taken offline.

   3.  Improve details on which machine took which licenses offline.  

Due to scale and complexity, this will be completed in phases.  The first part was completed.  The current version of ArcGIS  (AGOL) provided the administrator an option to enable and disable license borrowing.  The next phase will allow administrators to set a certain time frame for licenses to be taken offline.  After license expiration, AGOL will recover the borrowed licenses automatically.  And the last issue which Rebecca mentioned is the option to determine which machine took the licenses offline.  This capability is actually available in AGOL.  However, it may not be very useful  which is why I used the term "improve" in my list.  When you log into your organization, go to the Licenses tab.  Navigate down to the user in question.  The user should have a red indicator next to it to indicate the user took licenses offline.  If you click on the date under Last Used column, it will provide the alias of the machine that took the license offline.  Again this may not mean much unless you manually changed the Workstation Alias with ArcGIS Pro.  There is an enhancement request to use a better or more meaningful indicator such as the hostname of the machine as the alias upon install.  We are looking into various options.  The ideas is to do so without infringing on client privacy laws.  

Basically, we are aware of the issues and we intend to address them.  


Thanks for you response Amnoy Am‌ - it is good to know that esri has these issues on their radar. In the mean time, this is how I've been managing things. 

  • I have disabled taking licenses offline,
  • I create a single use provisioning file for those who legitimately need to have access to ArcGIS Pro while offline.
  • We have set up web-accessible app virtualization using Citrix and NVIDIA GRID. We tested it last semester and have expanded it this semester. 
    • This has drastically reduced the requests for ArcGIS Pro on personal machines. They can run ArcGIS Pro a vGPU with huge amounts of memory (variable depending on the current load - never less than 4GB per user). 

It's working well right now, but I would be very happy to be able to offer 7 - 14 day offline options rather than issuing a single use license. 

Thanks again for keeping us informed.