What is provisional activation? How do I provisionally activate my software? Follow


BarTender Content Team

This articles applies to BarTender 2019 and newer.

What is provisional activation?

Provisional activation allows you to activate a full BarTender 2019 and newer license on one computer for a temporary period, while your older license remains active in production. You must have an active maintenance agreement with your license in order to provisionally activate.

Provisional activations last for the following number of days:

  • Professional and Automation editions: 30 days.
  • Enterprise editions: 180 days.
Warning messages will be periodically displayed to inform you that BarTender is provisionally activated and will be deactivated after the specified period.

Once the provisional activation period is over, one of two scenarios will happen:

  • If two computers are still hosting the same license, the one that was provisionally activated will now be deactivated.
  • If only one computer is hosting the license and the other one has been deactivated, the activated computer will now become the owner of this license.


What are the uses of provisional activation?

While there is a limit to how many times you can provisionally activate, there are a few key benefits of this type of activation. This is by no means an exhaustive list:

Some uses of provisional activations could be:

  • Rolling out software updates to the new version
  • Testing out printers in a closed environment
  • Temporarily setting up a QA environment

For example, consider the following scenario:

Your production environment runs on BarTender 2016 or earlier. The Licensing Service in BarTender 2021 is incompatible with BarTender 2016 and earlier's Seagull License Server, so the two would need to run concurrently to ensure a smooth transition.

In this case, provisional activation would help with this upgrade cycle without disrupting production. You could roll out updates within the allotted provisional activation time then once the updates are done, deactivate the Seagull License Server. Once the provisional period is up, the BarTender 2021 installation would become the owner of the license.


Where can I provisionally activate?

In order to provisionally activate, your system must meet certain requirements else the provisional activation will fail:

  • The provisional activation cannot be on the same system where the current activation (current owner of the license) is located as you cannot have two versions of BarTender on one system.
  • The provisional activation location should not be a clone or a copy of a VM of the current activation. This may be seen as trying to activate the provisional license on the same system as the current, which will be denied by our activation servers.
  • The provisional activation must be a newer version than the current activation. If you are currently running BarTender 2019, you cannot provisionally activate BarTender 2019. It must be BarTender 2021 or later.

As you cannot move a provisional activation, it is recommended you also choose a location suitable for the entire duration. Once this location becomes the current activation (if you choose to do so), you can move the license normally.


How to provisionally activate

If you are activating during install

  • the Licensing Wizard will pop up immediately.

If you did not activate on install

  • open up the Administration Console to start the Licensing Wizard.

If you are adding a new product key code

  1. Open up the Administration Console
  2. Select Licensing from the left-hand menu
  3. Click "Add a new License"

With any method above, you'll be presented with the Licensing Wizard:

  1. Choose to activate your software and click next
  2. If the wizard populates with a list of License Server, choose to enter a new product key code.
  3. Enter your product key code into the boxes and click Next. activation_-_new.png
  4. Enter the same product key code that is already active on a different License Server and click next.
  5. The wizard will detect the other License Server's active and ask if you wish to activate provisionally. Check the checkbox and click Next. ProvisionalActivation.png
  6. The wizard will inform you that you'll need a stable internet connection for this process. If you do not have one, please see Offline Activation for BarTender. Doing an offline activation, check the box next to "Provisional Activation" before activating the code in your browser.
  7. Once activation is complete, you'll receive a confirmation.
  8. Next you can choose if you'd like the license to be available for other computers on your network. Once you're done selecting your option, click Next.
  9. Register your software then click Finish to close the wizard.

Do you have feedback or questions on this article? We encourage you to post them on our Community Forums