What is Shared Device Licensing

Shared Device Licensing is a licensing model to deploy and manage Adobe applications in labs and shared device setups, where multiple users use the devices and applications. The software license is assigned to a device or computer instead of an individual.  Shared Device Licensing is ideal for computers in your labs or classrooms. Shared Device Licensing is not designed for use on machines used by dedicated users. For dedicated users, we recommend you deploy named-user licenses.

Why Shared Device Licensing

Why Shared Device Licensing
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End-user experience

To use an app deployed on a shared device, end users need to sign in with their credentials. When users launch an app on a shared device, they’re prompted to sign in with their credentials. The apps only launch after a successful sign-in. A shared device license does not directly entitle a user to access any services such as storage, libraries, fonts, or stock, among others. However, if the user account has these entitlements these services are available.

Note:

  • To sign in, users are required to have a valid user name and password. The required credentials depend how you have set up identity in your institution.
  • While shared device licenses do not have specific system requirements, ensure that your end-user machines meet the system requirements of the installed Creative Cloud applications. For details, see this document.

Granular access to apps

IT admins can create packages and deploy the apps to computers. Shared Device Licensing provides several tools that allow you to control user access to apps: IdentityAccess PolicyEgress IP addresses., and Associated Machines. You can use a combination of these options to prevent unauthorized usage of the apps and protect your student accounts and the assets created by them.

Identity

  • Enterprise or Federated IDs are owned by the organization or school and all data is legally owned by the organization. K-12 schools are required to use Enterprise or Federated IDs. You can also use these IDs if you want to exercise tighter control on who can access the apps. To use Enterprise or Federated IDs, if you haven’t already, you’ll need to set up identity.

  • Adobe IDs are owned by the users and any data associated with the Adobe ID is legally owned by the users. K-12 schools are required to use Enterprise or Federated IDs. IT admins don’t have any way to monitor or control data and content associated with an Adobe ID account. 

    For more information, see Supported Identity Types.

Access policy

  • You can choose Open Access to enable anyone to access the apps on a shared device. All users need is a valid account of any of the three types described above, a personal account (Adobe ID) or enterprise account (Enterprise ID or Federated ID). Users can even sign up for a free Adobe ID and use that to access the apps. Use this option for open labs where general public, visiting students and staff, and our students access the labs and the apps. For example, shared machines in your public library or if you use the lab to provide continuing education after hours.

  • Choose Organization user only to limit access to users you have added to the Admin Console. These users could be Adobe ID, Enterprise ID, or Federated ID users. This option is useful if you want to provide limited access to approved students and staff only. For example, a lab at a higher education institution, where users may have either Adobe IDs, Enterprise IDs, or Federated IDs.

  • Choose Enterprise/Federated users only, to restrict access to Enterprise users only. Signing in with Adobe IDs does not enable access to the apps. This option is useful to restrict access to Enterprise users only. For example, in a K-12 lab use this option to authorize minor students to access the apps and services.

Egress IPs

  • Egress IP addresses or ranges prevent access to apps if users connect from outside your approved computer networks. This is especially useful, if you use portable computers and can restrict the apps to run only when they’re connected to a lab or school network. Using the apps from outside your labs or school network is not allowed.

    Use this option to specify external IP address ranges. This is the Internet-facing IP address behind which the workstations are connected. You can use this to prevent access to applications if these workstations are used from a different network. Note that you may have to modify the setting periodically if your Internet connection does not have a static IP address.

Associated Machines

You can use the Associated Machines section to define how to segment groups of machines into different product profiles.

  • Choose By Microsoft Active Directory organizational units to ensure all machines that belong to a listed organizational unit are associated with a product profile. If, for example, your institution has created organizational units based on department, you can create product profiles for each department. Machines that belong to a department will be associated to a specific product profile.

    Note:

    To associate an Active Directory organizational unit to a product profile, it needs to be a leaf directory. This implies that it needs to be the bottom-most directory, with no other directories below it.

  • Choose By LAN IP address range to ensure that all machines within the listed LAN IP address ranges are associated with a product profile. For example, choose this option if your computer labs or shared computers in a library are organized by defined LAN IP ranges.

  • Choose By installed package to ensure that all machines with the selected package(s) are associated with a product profile.

Note:

The associated machine options are applied in the listed order of priority.

Say profile A is configured with Active Directory OU = Library and profile B is configured with Package = Video apps. A machine in the Library OU and with the Video apps package, will be associated with profile A and not with profile B.

Migrate to shared device licenses

Note:

If you're a new customer you can skip this section.

Migrate from device licenses

If you’re an existing Device Licensing customer, Adobe provides you a complimentary upgrade to Shared Device Licensing. The older Device Licensing program does not provide access to the latest version of Creative Cloud apps. For access to the latest version of Creative Cloud apps, you can migrate your older device licenses to the new shared device licenses. Post migration, your older apps will continue to work for a period of 30 days, within which you can set up and deploy the latest apps using shared device licenses. For more information, see Migrate from Device Licensing to Shared Device Licensing

Migrate from serial number licenses

If you’re using the legacy Serial Number Licensing to manage your lab computers. You can continue to use the older apps until the serial numbers become invalid. If you deploy a shared device license package alongside a serial number package, both will continue to work. You can continue to use the older apps until the serial number licenses expire, or you can uninstall the serial number licensed apps and deploy a new shared device license package.

Note:

The above migrations are one way. So, once you complete the migration process from device or serial licenses to shared device licenses, you cannot then go back to either device or serial licenses.

Begin your Deployment

Once you’ve determined which machines you need to deploy Creative Cloud apps to, you can begin your deployment. Depending on your access requirements and current setup you may need to perform some of the following actions. We recommend that you read this document completely before you start the deployment so that you have all the required information ahead of time.

1. Set up Identity

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In most cases, if you haven’t already done so, you’ll start with setting up identity. This step is required for enabling Enterprise or Federated IDs. You’ll need to demonstrate ownership of the domain (for example: @school.edu) to complete this step. You may need to contact the person who manages your institution’s website or emails to complete this activity.

Adobe recommends that you use Enterprise or Federated IDs to provide access to regular students or lab users. These identity types provide your organization better control and monitoring.

For step-by-step instructions, see Set Up Identity.


2. Manage admins

manage_admins

The primary admin for your institution on the Admin Console is a System admin. The system admin has the rights to perform all tasks on the Admin Console. However, it's always a good idea to delegate tasks to other admins. This decentralizes the admin tasks and specialized tasks are then performed by the roles that most fit those tasks.
 

  • Create Product admins to create product profiles and add users to the organization.
  • Create Product profile admins to manage product profiles and add users the organization.

See how to manage admin roles on the Admin Console.


3. Add users to the Admin Console

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If you plan to configure your shared devices to be accessible by Organization users only, you need to add these users to the Admin Console.

You can manually add users, bulk upload users using a CSV file, or set up the User Sync Tool (for large organizations).

For more details, see Manage users.


4. Create packages

Create packages

In the Admin Console, navigate to the Packages tab to create shared device license packages.

For step-by-step instructions, see Create shared device license packages.


5. Create product profiles

create_product_profiles

If you plan to deploy shared device licenses in multiple labs to your institution, you can map each lab to a different product profile on the Admin Console.

For example, you can create a product profile for labs to be unrestricted, so that anyone can use Adobe apps, even users without a school account. Additionally, you can create product profiles for other labs where access to the installed applications needs to be restricted to users with a school account. Also, you can restrict access to the applications installed in these labs based on the access policies defined on the corresponding product profiles.

For details, see how to manage shared device license profiles.


6. Define access policy

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Shared device configurations provide three options to control user access to apps: Access PolicyEgress IP addresses, Associated Machines. You can use a combination of these options to prevent unauthorized usage of the apps and protect your student accounts and the assets created by them.

For more details, see Shared device configuration.


7. Deploy packages

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After you create the shared device license package, set up the devices in your lab with the license.

Choose from the following methods to deploy the package:

  • Install by double-clicking the package file. See this document for details.
  • Use third-party tools such as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), Apple Remote Desktop, or JAMF Casper Suite. See this document for details.
  • Deploy using command line on Windows computers. See this document for details.
  • Deploy using Info.plist file on macOS computers. See this document for details.

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


Post deployment

Add products and licenses

If you are a VIP (Value Incentive Plan) customer, you can now purchase products or additional shared device licenses from the Admin console directly.

In the upper-right corner of the Overview page of the Admin Console, click Add Products.

In the Add Products screen, add products or add licenses to your existing products.

Add product licenses

Recover unused licenses

If you deploy shared device licenses to machines and those machines are no longer in use, the licenses are still consumed and you can't use them on other machine. The machines used displayed on the product card of the Overview tab of the Admin Console indicates the license count.

License count

To recover licenses on unused machines, go to the Admin Console and reset the product profile that is mapped to the unused machines. See this document for details on how to recover shared device licenses.

Frequently asked questions

No. Shared device license packages cannot be installed on virtual machines.

Currently, Adobe's SSO setup doesn't support passthrough authentication. Even if you have set up Federated identity, students have to sign in to the machine and then re-enter their credentials when signing in to Creative Cloud.

Yes. You can set access policies to allow only Federated ID sign in. Read more about access policies here.

Your IT department determines if the users are allowed to do so on the lab machines, by setting the appropriate user access policy.

If the user access policy is set to Open Access, the users can use any Adobe ID to sign in. If they have more than one account, each account's storage is unique.

If your question is not answered here, see the complete Shared Device Licensing FAQ.

And if have more questions, ask them on our community.

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