Isolated Feature Restricted Licensing | Deployment guide

What is Isolated Feature Restricted Licensing?

Isolated Feature Restricted Licensing is a method of licensing Adobe Creative Cloud apps on computers that are segregated from networks to protect critical data and systems. In this method, the licenses are installed directly on the computers along with the apps using an Isolated activation package. The package is self-contained, and includes the licensing information specific to the computers where it is installed.

How Isolated Feature Restricted Licensing works

Admin workflow

For an Isolated Feature Restricted Licensing package to include licensing information specific to a computer, include the activation code for the computer when generating the package. You can generate activation codes for each computer using Adobe's Licensing Toolkit. After you have generated client codes, create an Isolated Feature Restricted Licensing package in the Admin Console, and deploy it on a user machine.

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The Isolated Feature Restricted Licensing option appears in your Admin Console only when Adobe entitles your organization to use this type of licensing. The option does not appear by default.

User workflow

Launch an application on your computer. The license activates automatically.

Licensing

To license the Creative Cloud apps on user computers, run the Adobe Licensing Toolkit on each computer. The tool provides a CRC32 checksum of the computer’s machine ID that Adobe uses to issue a corresponding license. CRC32 is not a machine ID, device ID, or any device identifiable information.

The license expiration date is the organization's contract end date.

Admin tasks

Create packages

After you've generated the activation codes, perform these steps to create an Isolated Feature Restricted Licensing package.

  1. Log in to the Admin Console, and navigate to Packages > Packages.

    The history of all packages created by all admins in your organization is displayed.

  2. Click Create a Package.

    Create package

  3. Choose Feature Restricted Licensing, and then click Next.

    Feature Restricted Licensing option

  4. Choose Isolated Activation, and click Next.

  5. Enter the activation codes that you generated using the Adobe Licensing Toolkit.

    OR

    If you created a CSV file for multiple computers, upload the CSV file.

    OR

    To create a product-only package, leave the Activation Code box empty and don't upload a CSV file. Use this option is if you want to create install media and licenses separately.

    Enter activation code

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    Ensure that you enter the correct license code that you generated using the Licensing Toolkit. This procedure does not check the validity of the error codes that you enter in this step.

    However, if you enter invalid license codes, your end users will experience issues when using the associated apps.

  6. On the Entitlements screen, select the required entitlements and then click Next.

    Select entitlements

  7. On the System screen, select or enable the required options and then click Next.

    • Choose a Platform: Choose the operating system and the processor support.
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    • It's necessary to create separate packages for macOS (Intel) and macOS (Apple Silicon) devices.
    • It's necessary to create separate packages for Windows 64-bit, Windows 32-bit, and Windows ARM devices.

    A package made for one operating system and architecture type, cannot be deployed on another.

    • Language: Select the language in which you want to create the package.
    • Use OS Locale: Enables you to create a package that deploys in the OS language of client machine. In which case, the OS language is the default fallback language in which the package is deployed.
  8. On the Choose Apps screen, you can choose to create one of the following types of packages:

    Type of package

    Description

    How to...

    License-only package

    Create this package if the client machines already have Creative Cloud apps installed. Later, you can simply license the installed apps. For example, apps were previously installed using another licensing method. And you want to now license those apps with a Feature Restricted Licensing - Isolated license.

    From Available Applications, add only the License File to Selected Applications.

    Apps-only package

    Create this package if the client machine is already licensed with a Feature Restricted Licensing - Isolated license. Then, install apps on the machine.

    To generate an Apps-only package, on the Activation Code screen, click Next without entering any challenge code.

    Package containing apps and license

    Create this package to install and license Creative Cloud apps on a client machine. For example, if you have not previously installed Creative Cloud apps on a machine.

    From Available Applications, add applications and the License File to Selected Applications.

    Choose apps

    Select Show older versions to display a list of previous versions of the apps. Enterprise admins can view more versions that don't receive security or feature updates by selecting Available application versions in package preferences (Admin Console > Packages > Preferences). For more information, see Packaging apps using Admin Console.

    To know what versions are supported for your Creative Cloud plan, review the Creative Cloud Support policy

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    If you add a product that has dependent products, the dependent products are added automatically. For example, if you add Photoshop, the dependent products Camera Raw and Adobe Preview are added automatically.

    After you're done with your selections, click Next.

  9. On the Options screen, select the required check box to enable the corresponding options, and then click Next.

    • (Not currently available for Windows ARM devices) Create a folder for extensions and include the Adobe Extension Manager command-line tool: Enables you to create a subfolder in your package folder. In this folder, include extensions that you want to install with the package. For more, see Manage Extensions in packages.
    • Install package to custom install directory: Enables you to install the apps in this package to a custom directory. The directory is defined in the Packages > Preferences tab in the Admin Console. For more, see Preferences.
  10. In the Name box, enter the name of the package and then click Build Package.

    You can also review the included applications and configuration for this package before building the package.

    Build package

    It displays the building status of the package in the Status column on the Packages page.

    Build status of package

    If the package is built successfully, it displays the Download link in the Availability column of the respective package row.

    If you want to check the remaining time for the existing packages to download, click the row item for the package. It displays the package details.

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    If you are creating macOS packages, the Adobe Package Downloader is downloaded to your computer. Open and run to complete download of package. For further details, see here.

  11. To download and distribute the package later, click Download.

Packageinfo.txt

The package that you download, contains a Packageinfo.txt file. This file has the information such as the following about that package:

  • Package Name
  • Package Type - FRL Isolated Package
  • Platform
  • Locale
  • Creative Cloud Desktop application version
  • Package Configurations
    • Remote update manager - Enabled or Disabled 
    • App Panel - Enabled or Disabled
    • Beta App Download - Enabled or Disabled
    • Browser Based Auth - Enabled or Disabled
    • Files Panel - Enabled or Disabled
    • Market Panel - Enabled or Disabled
    • Use OS Locale - Enabled or Disabled

The PackageInfo.txt file is for informational purposes only.

Deploy packages

After you create the feature restricted license package, set up the end-user machines with the license:

  • Install by double-clicking the package file. For details, see this document.
  • Use third-party tools.
  • Deploy using command line on Windows computers. For details, see this document.

For details on troubleshoot Creative Cloud apps installation and uninstallation errors, see this document.

Update licenses

If your organization renews the contract, and you require to relicense your users. To get the latest apps, deploy a new package that includes the apps. Deploy a new package to update the apps following a contract renewal. You can either create a package or update a previous package, by performing the following steps:

  1. Log in to the Admin Console and navigate to Packages > Packages.

    The history of all packages created by all admins in your organization is displayed.

  2. Click the expired package you want to update.

  3. In the package details pane, click Update Package.

  4. Download the updated package and deploy to user machines.

Remove licenses

Remove single license from a computer

You can remove a license from a computer in the following scenarios:

  • The package is a license-only package.
  • The package includes the license and apps, and the apps are uninstalled using the OS-specific procedures (for example, Add-Remove Programs on Windows).

Use Adobe's Licensing Toolkit to remove a license. Adobe Licensing Toolkit is a command-line utility that is used to activate or uninstall licenses. It is available in the licensing package that you download from the Admin Console. Alternatively, you can download it directly from the Admin Console under Packages > Tools.

To remove a license, run the following commands with admin privileges:

Windows:

adobe-licensing-toolkit.exe --precondition --uninstall --filePath <absolute path of the .json file>

macOS:

sudo ./adobe-licensing-toolkit --precondition --uninstall --filePath <absolute path of the .json file>

For more information, see these steps.

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The .json file can be found within the Isolated Feature Restricted Licensing package that was downloaded from the Admin Console and deployed to the user machine. The file contains the licensing information.

Remove all licenses from a computer

In the scenario where multiple licenses have been installed on a single machine, run the following commands with admin privileges to remove the licenses:

For Windows:

adobe-licensing-toolkit.exe --precondition --uninstall --all

For macOS:

sudo ./adobe-licensing-toolkit --precondition --uninstall --all

 For more information, see these steps.

Uninstall products and licenses

Besides removing licenses from a user's computer, you can uninstall the license and the products. By using the Feature Restricted Licensing packages, themselves.

Read the details on how to uninstall packages from a user's computer.

Frequently asked questions

When generating activation code, only the CRC32 checksum of the computer’s device ID (Sha 256) is shared with Adobe. The information shared is not device-identifiable.

Isolated Feature Restricted Licensing supports Adobe Acrobat DC and all Creative Cloud apps, except:

  • Adobe Premiere Rush
  • Adobe XD
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Creative Cloud
  • Lightroom
  • Adobe Dimension

Every package is bundled with a license file. To create a license-only package, skip adding any applications to the package.

Create license-only packages to deploy on client computers where applications are already deployed but without licenses or with trial licenses.

Isolated Feature Restricted Licensing licenses expire on the date the contract ends.

Following a contract renewal, the admin can choose to relicense their users by:

  • Creating and deploying a license-only package.
  • Creating and deploying a package containing both the apps and license, if they want to update the apps to the latest versions in addition to relicensing.

Isolated Feature Restricted Licensing does not support Adobe Applications in virtualized environments.

When the admin removes a feature restricted license for an isolated activation package, the license count will not be updated on the Admin Console. It is because there was no communication with the Adobe licensing servers after the package was deployed.

The Adobe License Decoder is a command-line tool that tells you about all the feature restricted licenses on a computer. This tool examines globally-installed license files and provides the following information:

  • The apps associated with each license file
  • The packages the apps have been installed from
  • When the apps were installed and their corresponding license expiry dates.

Use the Github repository to download the tool and for detailed documentation.

To identify the activated packages on a client computer, follow these steps.

1. Use the Adobe Licensing Toolkit and run following command on the client computer.

  • For macOSadobe-licensing-toolkit --licenseInformation
    Short form: adobe-licensing-toolkit -l
  • For Windowsadobe-licensing-toolkit.exe --licenseInformation
    Short form: adobe-licensing-toolkit.exe -l

This command displays the licensing information for all the apps installed on a computer.
SAMPLE OUTPUT:

Adobe Licensing Toolkit (0.1.5.57)
License Details
 
NpdId          : MWVjZGNlMzMtZGU2Yi00ZmNlLTkzZTktY2MxMjBhZmFiZjg1
AppId          : Photoshop1
DeploymentMode : FRL_ISOLATED
CacheExpiry    : 03/06/19 20:01:56 India Standard Time
LicenseId      : 511F26523959D15EBD9B
LicenseExpiry  : 03/06/21 20:01:56 India Standard Time
 
NpdId          : YjZiOGU0ZTItYTkxNy00NTFlLWFkOTItZTljNTc2M2U2OTgx
AppId          : Animate1
DeploymentMode : FRL_CONNECTED
Operation Successfully Completed

2. Find the package on the Admin console

  1. Sign into the Admin Console and go to the Packages tab.

  2. In the Search box, enter the NpdId of the package that you got from running the Licensing Toolkit command, above.

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    The search is case-insensitve. Also, you can make a partial search. Which means that you don't need to enter the entire NpdId when searching.

  3.  

    In the filtered list of packages, click the package. The details of that package are displayed on the right.

    The Package License ID on the Admin Console corresponds to the NpdId on the Licensing Toolkit command, above.

    Use this to identity the packages installed on a client computer.

    Package details

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    The Package License ID is only available for packages created on or after 7/24/2021.

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