Frequently Asked Questions
What is my Download ID and what does it entitle me to download?"
Your Download ID is the concatenation of your Rockwell Order Number and Sold To Business Partner ID. This entitles you to download the current version of all software products on your order from the date the order was processed, plus any older versions that are still available for download.

Why do I need to agree to the "End User License Agreement"?"
"End User License Agreement" is required to download any of Rockwell Automation products. This ensures that you are aware of the rules and regulations required when downloading, installing, and activating Rockwell Automation products.

When I enter my serial number and company name I am told that I do not qualify for an update?"
Your serial number may be out of support. Please contact technical support to make arrangements for a new or extended your support agreement.

Which web browsers and operating systems are supported by the download manager ?"
The download manager fully supports Internet Explorer version 6.0 to 10. If you have IE11, add 'rockwellautomation.com' to the 'Compatibility View Settings' under Tools menu. If you are using Chrome with Java 7 Update 51 above , please Start (click) => Control Panel (click) => Java (click) => Security, adjust Security Level to Medium and add http://download.rockwellautomation.com to Exception Site List. The download manager also supports Firefox version 3.0 and higher, and can be installed on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 operating systems. At this time downloads are not supported on mobile devices.

Can I download multiple products simultaneously?"
Yes, multiple products can be selected using the check-boxes on the left side, and will download together when the "download now" button is clicked.

Will my existing license and activation work with newer versions of software?"
Generally speaking yes. Most of our older activations will work with newer versions of our software products.

How long or how many times can I use the download link in my email?"
There is no limit to the amount of time or number of times you can visit the download page with your Download ID. The download page is the one place where you can always go to download the product(s) you purchased, plus any updates, patches, firmware, add-ons, etc. for your product. Note: Product updates may require a support agreement.

Are all products available for download?"
No, not all software products are available for download. From time to time, some products may be removed from the download site on a temporary basis.

Why is the "type ahead" performance so slow when I search for text or catalog numbers in PCDC?"
Your firewall may be slowing it down. Add "compatibility.rockwellautomation.com" to your firewall's exclusion list.

What do I do if my web browser or operating system version is not supported?"
Media kits are available for all products. Please contact your local distributor or Rockwell Automation sales representative for more information.

Why are some items marked as Not Available?"
Items selected from a download page or Product Compatibility and Download Center will almost always be available for download. If you are clicking a link from within some other web page, or have stored a download URL and clicked it later, you may encounter items that are marked as "Not Available". This indicates that the item has been disabled from being downloaded for some reason. You will be able to download only the "Available" items.

Do I still have to activate my software after downloading?"
Yes, downloaded product media images will require activation after they are installed.

Can I download software to more than one computer?"
Yes, you may download software that you purchased more than one time and to more than one computer. However, you may only install and use the software in accordance with the Rockwell Automation End User License Agreement for the number of activations purchased.

Can I download an older version of a software product?"
Older versions of our software products are available on the download page for as long as they are supported. The number of supported older versions may vary from one product to another.

What languages are supported by the download manager?"
The download manager user interface will be displayed in English unless the Windows operating system is set to one of the following languages: Chinese Traditional, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish.

Can I queue multiple downloads?"
Yes, once the download manager is running, another download can be started, and will be placed in a queue. After the first download is complete, the next will start.

How do I activate my software?"
You can register and activate your software using the FactoryTalk Activation Manager that was installed along with your product or by visiting our activation website at https://licensing.software.rockwell.com.

Will I continue to receive my software products on disk?"
Yes, for a period, Rockwell Automation will continue to ship physical media for all software orders in addition to making products available for download. In the future, physical media may become an option that can be specified on your order.

Is the software I download identical to the software I would receive on disk?"
For most products, the software on the download page is the same build that ships on disk. Larger products that ship with multiple disks may, in addition to the full product download, offer a smaller "Lite" download option that doesn’t include as many extras.

How do I install the download manager?"
The download manager can be installed via ActiveX control (Internet Explorer) or XPI (Firefox). In addition, the download manager can be installed via Java or exe. Note: Administrative privileges are needed to install the download manager on your computer. Please contact your system administrator if you are unable to install the download manager with one of these options.

Do I have to remove my activation first before I update my software?"
No, updates can be installed to an already activated product without the need to re-host the activation.

Can I download patches, firmware, product add-ons, etc. from the download page without downloading the product?"
Yes, these items can be found under the "Optional Download" section of the download page. These items can be downloaded individually by clicking on the item description.

What is the default download folder?"
The default download folder is the current user’s “Downloads” folder, which varies by Windows operating system version.

Can I activate with a master disk?"
No, Rockwell Automation no longer supports master disk based activations.

Are the optional downloads I select and download with my product installed automatically?"
No, at this time optional downloads are provided with their own installation programs and must be installed individually.

Can I change the download folder?"
Yes, the download folder can be changed even as files are being downloaded.

What is the difference between Managed Download and Direct Download?"
Direct download allows you to download one or more files without needing to install or use RA's download manager. Files will be downloaded into your browser' default download folder. Managed download is the preferred method because it is secure, verifies file integrity, and will handle a wide range of communication problems. Managed download will place the files into a predictable folder structure.

What extra steps are necessary with direct download?"
Each direct download will display instructions at the top advising you what to do. Some files will require no action at all. Typically, larger direct downloads come as file sets, where there is a single .exe and one or more .rar files with similar names. Simply double clicking the .exe is all that is necessary to extract all the files into a folder on your PC. You do not need to double click the .rar files.

What do I do if there are many files to download?"
Each file link needs to be clicked, and each file needs to be downloaded separately. Use managed downloads, a third party download manager, or reference Answer ID 603590 in the Rockwell Automation knowledge base for instructions on how to use the free WGet utility to automate direct downloads.

What is the "CheckSum" for?"
When the file is downloaded, you can use a tool like md5sum to generate a checksum of the file, and compare it to the checksum provided in the direct download page. Managed downloads do this comparison automatically.

How do I find my files after the download is complete?"
When the download is complete, the dropdown menu on the "Close" button contains a selection to open the download folder.

Why can’t I see files being downloaded to the download folder while the download is in progress?"
Files are first downloaded to a temporary location prior to being decompressed and extracted to the specified download folder.

How do I know when the download is complete?"
When the download is complete, the button in the lower left corner of the download manager window will change to "Close".

How do I know if there were any errors during the download? What do I do if an error occurs?"
The "Status" column in the download manager user interface will display any error messages. If the error condition can be corrected, you can restart the download by returning to the download page or clicking on the original download link. If you cannot correct the error condition, please contact Rockwell Automation Customer Support for further assistance.

My product was downloaded to a folder with some sort of a naming convention. How do I interpret the folder name?"
The download manager will create a folder for each product downloaded, as well as a sub folder for each media image downloaded. Customers who wish to keep all of their product images stored in the same location can, therefore, build a library of Rockwell Automation software products over time by downloading to the same location. The media folder naming convention includes the product version, product name, language (other than English), platform (other than protected), special build indicator, and media type.

Do I need a third-party program to decompress or extract the files I download?"
No, the download manager will automatically decompress and extract the files downloaded and place them in a folder structure by product and media image. You will then be able to copy the media image folder to another location, burn it to a disk, or run the installation program.

What does "click here if you are using a third party desktop download manager" mean?"
If your corporation requires you to use a specific download manager, the content of this link can be used to help. This link is provided for your convenience only, as no third party download managers are tested or supported by RA. Reference Answer ID 603590 in the RA knowledge base for instructions on how to use the free WGet utility to automate direct downloads.

My download is slow. How do I make it go faster?"
Rockwell Automation download images are stored on a global high-speed network of servers. In most cases the files you download will come from a server in the same country or even the same city. Slow downloads could be the result of your Internet connection speed, firewall restrictions, virus scans, etc. Please contact your system administrator.

How do I restart my download after a lost network connection, power failure, or some other problem?"
The download manager can automatically recover from short or intermittent network connectivity issues. However, if your download is completely interrupted you will have to restart it by returning to the download page or clicking on the original download link. Note: If the download manager finds partial files from a previous download it will resume the download from that point.

How do I stop a download already in progress?"
The download can be stopped in one of three ways: (1) By pressing Alt-F4, (2) By clicking the "Close" button in the upper right corner of the download manager window, or (3) By clicking the download icon in the upper left corner of the download manager window and selecting "Close".

The computer I want to install my download on does not have an Internet connection. How do I move my download to another computer?"
After the download is complete, you can navigate to the download folder and copy the media image to a remote computer or removable storage device (i.e. flash drive, memory card, CD, DVD, etc.)

Help Tips

The computer or device that an activation file is locked to, for example, the computer's ethernet address, hard disk serial number, or a dongle. A unique ID that identifies the hardware device is associated with an activation file that activates the software.


The computer or device that an activation file is locked to, for example, the computer's ethernet address, hard disk serial number, or a dongle. A unique ID that identifies the hardware device is associated with an activation file that activates the software.

Glossary
Activation file
A text file that contains all of the activation information that is required for a software product to properly function. While the file is simply plain text, the contents of the file are protected by a signature. Copying an activation file to another computer will not activate software on that computer, because the signature held in the activation file is associated with a specific piece of hardware — an Ethernet address, a hard disk serial number, or a dongle.

Activate
To make a Rockwell Software product active so that it can be run, or so that it can be run without the limitations imposed by demonstration mode. Without activation, some Rockwell Software products will not run, some will run with diminished functionality, and others will run for a limited period of time and then shut down with or without warning.

Activation host
The computer or device that an activation file is locked to, for example, the computer's ethernet address, hard disk serial number, or a dongle. A unique ID that identifies the hardware device is associated with an activation file that activates the software.

Borrowed Activation
A type of concurrent activation that expires after a specified amount of time (borrow term). A borrowed activation is retrieved from a pool of available activations managed by an activation server, but it does not require a continuous network connection to the activation server. Once a borrowed activation is checked out to a particular computer, the computer can disconnect from the network. When the time limit of the borrowed activation expires, the software is no longer activated on the computer where the borrowed activation resides, and the activation automatically becomes available again from the server's activation pool. Borrowed activation is not supported by all products nor is it supported by terminal services. See your product documentation for information on what types of activation it supports.

Activation server
An activation server can be any computer that hosts concurrent activations. The computer acting as the activation server manages the activations, sharing them with other configured computers on the network.

Borrow term
The specified length of time that an activation is borrowed from the activation server. When the time limit of the borrowed activation expires, the software is no longer activated on the computer where the borrowed activation resides, and the activation automatically becomes available again from the server's activation pool. Use the FactoryTalk Activation Manager to configure the borrow term for an activation file.

Concurrent activation
A type of activation that allows multiple computers across a network to use Rockwell Software products at the same time. By contrast, a node-locked activation can only be used on one specific computer (or computer to which a specific dongle is attached). Following are the two kinds of concurrent activations:
  • Floating Activations: which "float" from an activation server to any computer that needs them, and
  • Borrowed Activations: which are retrieved from a server for a specific period of time before expiring and returned automatically to the pool of available activations on the server.


Date-Expiring Activation
Date-expiring activations are mainly used for "Try Before You Buy" software, which uses node-locked activation. After the activation expires, the software will not be activated and the activation will appear dimmed in the list on the Find Available Activations page of the FactoryTalk Activation Manager. In contrast, borrowed activations become available from the server after they expire. In the Try Before You Buy software program you will receive a Serial Number and Product Key to activate the software. Follow the instructions for node-locked activation to activate the software.

Default activation file locations
Following are the locations that activation files are placed by default:
  • Windows 2003 and Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Shared Documents\Rockwell Automation\Activations
  • Windows Vista: C:\Users\Public\Documents\Rockwell Automation\Activations

    Where C: represents the system drive. The wording of the path may be different on your system especially if you have a non-English operating system.
       Tips
  • Activation files can have any unique, descriptive name, but must end in the extension .lic.
  • We recommend that you save activation files in the default location.


Dongle
A hardware device used for security or copy protection that must be connected to the computer while the program is running. Programs that use a dongle query the computer port at start-up and at programmed intervals, and terminate if the dongle does not respond with the expected validation code. FactoryTalk Activation supports a specific USB dongle that can be purchased from Rockwell Automation. When you use the dongle's serial number as the Binding ID, you can use the same activation file on a number of computers. The activation file must be copied to each computer that will use the software product. Only the computer with the dongle attached to it can operate the software.

End User Options File
An optional plain-text file that contains options that affect how an activation server manages concurrent activations. The options file is called flexsvr.opt, and is located in the default activations folder.

FactoryTalk Activation Manager
Software program that manages activations for the Rockwell Software products installed on the computer. Run the FactoryTalk Activation Manager from the Windows Start menu: Start > All Programs > Rockwell Software > FactoryTalk Activation> FactoryTalk Activation Manager.

FactoryTalk Activation Manager data file
The data file (default name for the file is FTAManagerData.xml) stores Binding ID information for computers. If you plan to get a new activation for a computer without an Internet connection, you can use FactoryTalk Activation Manager to write Binding ID information to the data file.

FactoryTalk AssetCentre
Formerly known as RSMACC (Rockwell Software Maintenance Automation Control Center). FactoryTalk AssetCentre Audit Server offers a centralized repository (FactoryTalk Audit Log) and complete audit trail for plant-wide maintenance information associated with change management and asset health. FactoryTalk AssetCentre software detects and records altered electronic files required to meet regulations, such as the U.S. government's 21CFR Part 11 Specification. To use the FactoryTalk Audit Log, purchase and run FactoryTalk AssetCentre software.

FactoryTalk Audit Log
A central repository for plant-wide maintenance information associated with change management and asset health. To access the FactoryTalk Audit Log, use FactoryTalk AssetCentre software.

FactoryTalk Diagnostics
A FactoryTalk Services Platform service that routes messages to logging destinations, including the Diagnostics Local Log, Diagnostics ODBC Log, and FactoryTalk Audit Log. The FactoryTalk Activation Manager uses FactoryTalk Diagnostics to log events, information, warning and error diagnostic messages.

FactoryTalk Services Platform
The FactoryTalk Services Platform includes:
  • FactoryTalk Directory provides a common address book, which automatically finds and provides access to plant-floor resources, such as data tags and graphic displays.
  • FactoryTalk Security offers centralized security services.
  • FactoryTalk Diagnostics collects and provides access to activity, status, warning, and error messages generated throughout a FactoryTalk system.
  • FactoryTalk Live Data manages connections between FactoryTalk products, data servers, and tag alarm and event servers.
  • FactoryTalk Administration Console an optional, stand-alone tool that configures, manages, and secures applications.


Floating activation
A type of concurrent activation that allows multiple computers across a network to use Rockwell Software products concurrently. An activation server manages a predetermined number of activations in a pool, and makes these activations available to any configured computer on the network. When a computer connects to the network and runs a Rockwell Software product, it automatically "checks out" an activation from the pool of available concurrent activations. When the product shuts down, the activation is automatically freed and returns to the activation server's available pool. Checking out activations from the pool and returning them to the server happens automatically, without any user intervention.

Binding ID
A Binding ID is an identification (ID) code that uniquely identifies a hardware device. FactoryTalk Activation uses the Binding ID to "lock" each activation file to a specific hardware device such as a stand-alone computer, a computer hosting the activations or a dongle. For a computer, the Binding ID uses the primary hard disk drive or Ethernet card to identify the computer. If the computer has more than one hard disk drive, only the Binding ID for the drive that is used to boot from will appear in the Binding ID Selection dialog. For FlexNet Publisher, only the Binding ID for the system drive on Win32 will appear.

      Tips for selecting an appropriate Binding ID
  • To prevent activations from failing unexpectedly at runtime, do not lock activations to virtual network adapters, such as those used for virtual private networks (VPN) or virtual machines. Instead, lock activations to the Binding IDs of fixed devices such as hardware network adapters or hard disk serial numbers.
  • For a laptop running in a docking station, both the computer and the docking station may have active network cards. In this case the Binding ID box lists an Ethernet address for the network card in the laptop and a separate address for the card in the docking station. If you want your software activated for any laptop that uses the docking station, choose the docking station's Ethernet address as the Binding ID. If you want the software on the laptop always activated, whether the computer is docked or not, then choose a Binding ID that is always present on the laptop, such as the disk serial number. Use the FactoryTalk Activation Manager, both when the laptop is docked and undocked, to find a Binding ID that is available in either case. You can see a list of Binding IDs on the Get New Activations page.


Log file
The activation server log file is regenerated each time an activation server is started or refreshed. You can use the log file to gather activation information and troubleshoot activation issues. For example, you may be able to determine why activations are being denied by looking at the log file. When you restart the activation server, the server log file is overwritten. If you need to keep a copy of the server log file, save it with a new name before you restart the server. You can determine the following information from the log file:

      Activation information
  • Location where license files are located
  • Binding ID that licenses are tied to
  • Type of license: concurrent or node-locked
      Activation server information
  • TCP/IP port and whether the activation server has been started
      Activations being used
  • Who has checked out or borrowed activations
  • Who has returned or stopped using activations
  • Type of license: concurrent or node-locked
      Errors
  • Borrowing errors
  • Exclude errors
  • mobile activation


Mobile activation
Mobile activations are locked to a dongle rather than to the computer itself. Activation "moves" with the dongle. The software will be activated on any computer to which the dongle is attached. This is most common with node-locked activation, but can be used on the server for concurrent activation as well. See Use a dongle to move activation frequently and Set up a backup activation server for more information on implementing mobile activation.

Node-locked activation
An activation that is locked to a particular piece of computer hardware and is used only on the computer to which it is locked. Examples include an Ethernet card, a hard disk, or a dongle. By contrast, a concurrent activation is served by an activation server, and can "float" to, or be borrowed temporarily by various computers on the network. See also mobile activation.
Node-locked activation is not supported by all products. See your product documentation for information on what types of activation it supports.


Options File
An optional plain-text file that contains options that affect how an activation server manages concurrent activations. The options file is called flexsvr.opt, and is located in the default activations folder.

Rehost an activation
Rehosting an activation associates an activation file with a different Binding ID. Rehosting deactivates and deletes the activation file on the computer that is hosting it, and creates a rehost code that can be used to generate a new activation file for use on another computer. Rehosting is intended to be used only for unexpected or infrequent events such as a computer upgrade, a computer failure, or a change to the system – not for moving activations frequently. If you must move activations frequently, use a dongle. If you are rehosting an activation on a computer
  • with an Internet connection, then rehosting uses FactoryTalk Activation Manager, and rehost code is automatically created and sent to the Rockwell Automation Licensing website.
  • without an Internet connection, and you will use another computer to connect to the Rockwell Automation Licensing website, then FactoryTalk Activation Manager records the rehost code in a file named FTAManagerData.xml.
  • without an Internet connection, and you do not have another computer to connect to the Internet, then FactoryTalk Activation Manager displays the rehost code in a table. Print or copy the rehost information displayed in the table before you contact Rockwell Automation Technical Support.


Rehost code
The rehost code is generated by the FactoryTalk Activation Manager when you rehost an activation. Rehosting an activation file deactivates and deletes the activation file on the computer that is hosting it, and creates a rehost code that can be used to generate a new activation file for use on another computer.

Rockwell Automation Technical Support
You can get additional support by contacting technical support by phone or from one of the Rockwell technical support web sites.

Web site support
Phone support

If you cannot connect to the Internet or find answers to your questions in this help file or on the Technical Support Web sites, you can get support by phone. To get information about contacting your local support organization:

  • Select
  • Click Phone/OnSite Support



Phone support in North America
440-646-3434, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

      Have the following information available when you call:
  • The product version number
  • The type of hardware you are using
  • The exact wording of any messages that appeared on your screen
  • A description of what happened and what you were doing when the problem occurred
  • A description of how you tried to solve the problem


Shared activation
See concurrent activation.

Signature
The unique key to each activation file that protects the contents of the file. The signature is generated by Rockwell Automation, and is based on machine-specific information that you provide when you install the software.

Stand-alone computer
A computer that is not connected to a network

TCP/IP port address
A number to identify a unique logical channel or channel end-point in a network communications system. Specify the address of a TCP/IP port using the syntax: [port]@[host]