Posts tagged "APTEE"

32767 Days Left, But Who’s Counting?

A significant licensing bug has caused certain installs of CS6 software on Mac systems to begin prompting the Trial screen indicating that the software is no longer licensed but is now in Trial mode. Normally the trial period is for 30 days. But in this case, it states that the trial period is 32,767 days. Just a bit over 89 years. So imagine it is 2102. Your kids and grandkids have long since moved to Mars, but apparently you, the IT admin are still stuck on Earth dealing with the Adobe’s CS6 licensing issues! I joke. Why? Because this is particularly egregious and has been very disruptive for many production environments, school labs, etc. And we have been particularly slow to respond to this issue. I am not saying this as self criticism but rather as a simple fact.

Do we have a fix? Let me jump to the chase (for once) and then explain the root of the cause and explain why our response to this has been sloth-like.

How to resolve the 32767 Days Left licensing issue:

1) Apply the Mac Photoshop 13.0.4 update patch

2) Use AAMEE 3.1 to create a serialization file

3) Run serialization file on affected systems

Details on #1: Photoshop 13.0.4 is available via the Mac version of AAMEE 3.1 in the Update workflow. It can also be applied manually if updates are enabled. The Remote Update Manager (RUM) is also available to apply the updates on the system. The specific command line for this would be:

RemoteUpdateManager –channelIds=AdobePhotoshopCS6-13.0

Details on #2 & #3: Adobe Provisioning Toolkit Enterprise Edition (APTEE) is the command line serialization tool that is included in the AAMEE 3.1 install. It is covered in detail on Chapter 9 of the Enterprise Deployment Guide.

Now, why did this happen and if it hasn’t happened to you why not? The pattern we have seen appears to point at the Photoshop 13.0.2 and 13.0.3 updates as they had impacts to the licensing database. This update caused a synchronization call to the serial entry that would basically cause that entry to become unusable. Therefore the product that had been licensed would switch to becoming trial. Except of course a trial time period is 30 days and these installs would of been past 30 days so it displays that ridiculous 32,767 message.

We initially provided guidance on the Enterprise Deployment forum to use APTEE to un-serialize and then serialize and this resolved the issue for some folks. Same for the suggestion that came up to just use the serialization executable workflow in AAMEE 3.1. But, of course this wasn’t a proper fix because the same synchronization call would occur and then break things. Again. Ugh.

So, what was needed was the Photoshop 13.0.4 update that came out this week to stop breaking things. Then use APTEE to un-serialize. Bam, clean slate. Then use APTEE to serialize. Why not use the serialization executable workflow in AAMEE 3.1? Good question. The guidance from our Engineering Director I got was to stick with the APTEE step of un-serialization. Easier/cleaner to write to a file/entry that wasn’t there vs. one that is and might have been corrupt. Makes sense.

Why weren’t we able to diagnose and provide better guidance in a proper manner is two-fold. We are dealing with licensing that is time and actual product usage based. One would be unable to take the exact same AAMEE produced package with the same volume serial number and reproduce the issue after an install. Trust me, we tried. No, the licensing mechanism we have created is now like a ninja. One that we trained. Then we told it to go out in the woods at night and not be seen by us. Then we had to go out there in the woods to find him. Guess what? Totally hard. I am not sure if that metaphor works but I really like the imagery of a ninja hiding in the woods laughing (silently of course) at me.

In addition we did not want to announce a fix widespread until we had actual validation from customers that this was working. Once again, not a fix that they could validate instantly with any confidence that it had “stuck.”

We have learned a lot from this whole thing and need to do a lot internally to make sure this doesn’t happen with another product update…ever! In the meantime, you are owed an apology for the impact this had on your organizations. We understand that these types of issues are not simply things that make Adobe look back, but if you are an IT admin who manages a lab and the lab stops working the precipitation is that it is your fault. I know this first hand. Many moons ago I managed labs at a college and then when I first came to Adobe ten years ago I maintained Adobe’s training classrooms. I know what it is like to see a classroom of frustrated students and worse an angry instructor rolling their eyes at me or even yelling at me. Not pretty.

I also want to thank the members of the IT community that helped on this by reaching out to us with detailed info of the issue, providing logs, helping us test and validate, etc. Special shout out to the Enterprise Deployment forum posts. This forum has a large visibility internally and issues that get many reports here turn into data that is seen by our executives on a real-time basis. I also want to thank those who reported the scale of the impact to your Adobe Account Executive or your Channel Reseller partner. It is important that you be heard through all these outlets and that we understand the inconvenience and pain this has caused you and your organization.

Jody Rodgers | Sr. Product Manager | Enterprise + Volume | Digital Media | Adobe Systems

Update 1: Please note that if you have systems that have not seen these issues then our recommendation is to simply make sure that you update the Photoshop 13.0.4. No need to unserialize and re-serialize if the PS 13.0.2 or 13.0.3 updates were not on the system. If you have an AAMEE 3.1 package with the PS 13.0.2 or 13.0.3 in it be sure to update the package to include 13.0.4.

Update 2: This entry was changed to clarify that that 13.0.4 is for Mac systems only.

Update 3: For clarity instructions to resolve have been updated. No longer require un-serialize & reserialize. AAMEE 3.1 serialization file takes care of both.

AAMEE 1.2: Best Release Ever!

One of the things the Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition is missing is well, let’s admit it: marketing. It wouldn’t be five names long now would it if someone in Adobe’s marketing were involved? It would be something spiffy like Adobe Spiffy. We don’t have a cool icon or logo. Not likely to see an AAMEE banner ad anytime soon. We don’t even have t-shirts to promote ourselves. If we did, I guess it would have to be XL to fit the words Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition on it. That is why I have taken it upon myself to start marketing AAMEE and I am starting with this blog title. AAMEE 1.2: Best Release Ever! Clearly hyperbole is what we’ve been missing! Before you know it people will be using AAMEE like a verb like they do Photoshop. “I AAMEE’d that package in like 6 minutes.” Okay, probably not.

Jokes aside the AAMEE crew has been hard at work on this release. And it really is the best release. You know why? 100% of the features came from you. Every new feature with the 1.2 release was based on your feedback. Here’s what you get in 1.2:

• Packages can be deployed from mounted DMGs!
This has been requested since Day 1. Or maybe even sooner, like Hour 1. This is a nice time saver that I am glad we finally got to include.

• AIR components can now be excluded on the Mac.
Certain workflows as well as proxy servers that require manual authentication are just a couple of reasons why an IT admin might need to exclude the AIR components during the CS installation process. We have provided instructions in the new Deployment Guide on how the AIR components can be installed via command line. The biggie being the Community Help application aka CHC. I hope to do a whole blog post on this topic in the new year. There’s something to look forward to. 2011 is looking up already.

• Updates are installed directly from ZIP and DMG files.
This is a pretty great new feature. You no longer have to mount your update files. You just select the ZIP (Windows) or DMG (Mac) files directly. You can even open up a folder of downloaded updates, select all via your keyboard and important them all into AAMEE at once. Nice!

But wait, there’s more. If you download AAMEE today we’ll also throw in two other five word name IT tools for free. Yep, the companion tools to AAMEE, Adobe Provisioning Toolkit Enterprise Edition (APTEE) and Adobe Update Server Setup Tool (AUSST) are now included in the install of AAMEE 1.2. Their locations of the installed apps are listed in the Read Me.

So don’t walk, run to the Creative Suite Enterprise Deployment site where you can get AAMEE 1.2, new Read Me and a brand new updated Deployment Guide all for the low, low cost of… free:

One last marketing ploy: Wouldn’t AAMEE 1.2 make a great holiday gift?

Jody Rodgers | Product Manager| Enterprise & Volume | Creative Suite

Adobe Provisioning Toolkit Enterprise Edition

Tanvi Dharmarha and Sanjeev Biswas are engineers from the CS Provisioning team, providing the licensing and activation solution for Adobe Creative Suite 5 and other Adobe products.

In the enterprise world, a license is owned by a single person or company, and the license grants to that person or company the permission to install and use a product on multiple computers. The number of computers allowed is specified as part of the license agreement. In this context, a 24 digit number generated by Adobe used as a key for serialization is called a volume serial number. To silently serialize the product installed on multiple computers with this volume serial number is called Volume Provisioning.

Currently there is no convenient way to provision all apps silently. In addition, it is challenging to handle field deployment issues related to volume provisioning; such as serializing (or re‐serializing) an already installed product.

To address this need we created APTEE (Adobe Provisioning Toolkit Enterprise Edition), a command line utility that can silently provision apps on multiple computers by execution of a single command. APTEE is a single executable which operates silently so that it is easily deployed with enterprise tools. APTEE can serialize apps by executing a single command.

Serialize and Unserialize

Suppose a company has a license agreement for 200 Photoshop users, 200 InDesign users, 200 Illustrator users and 200 who use multiple Design Suite Premium products. It may be much more cost effective to install a single package containing the Design Suite Premium products on all 800 machines; but, it is not acceptable to use 800 Design Suite Premium licenses when the license agreement stipulates only 200. APTEE provides a solution that allows the customer to deploy with Suite media but serialize only specific products.

  • Serializing a single product installed via suite: An enterprise administrator can package only Photoshop using DesignPremium media and install Photoshop on all user machines in trial. She can then serialize only Photoshop by providing the Photoshop serial number. She does not have to purchase the DP Suite Serial Number.


adobe_prtk.exe ‐‐tool=ReplaceSN ‐‐serialize=Photoshop‐CS5‐Win‐GM ‐‐serial=

  • Cross Suite Serialization: An enterprise administrator can install all applications of MasterCollection using MasterCollection media and purchase the license of a cheaper suite, say DesignPremium. The administrator can then serialize using the DesignPremium serial number.


adobe_ prtk.exe ‐‐tool=ReplaceSN ‐‐serialize=DesignSuitePremium‐CS5‐Win‐GM ‐‐serial=

  • Custom Serialization: In the case of customized application deployment, the administrator can package Master Collection media by specifying only some apps like Photoshop and AfterEffects. The administrator can specify a Master Collection serial number to install protected content. After installation, the administrator can unserialize first to remove the Master Collection serialization and then serialize to add PhotoShop and AfterEffects serial numbers separately.


adobe_ prtk.exe ‐‐tool=ReplaceSN ‐‐serialize=MasterCollection‐CS5‐Win‐GM ‐‐serial=
adobe_ prtk.exe ‐‐tool=ReplaceSN ‐‐unserialize= MasterCollection‐CS5‐Win‐GM adobe_prtk.exe ‐‐tool=ReplaceSN ‐-serialize=Photoshop‐CS5‐Win‐GM ‐‐serial=
adobe_prtk ‐‐tool=ReplaceSN ‐‐serialize=AfterEffects‐CS5‐Win‐GM ‐‐serial=

Reserialize and MakeReplacementSN

APTEE also provides a solution for reserializing apps. First a pseudo-serial number is created by encrypting the old and new serial numbers. The pseudo-serial number is then used with the ReplaceSN option to replace an existing serial number. The special pseudo-serial number is only usable on a machine that has already been serialized with the old serial number. Thus there is no concern about the new serial number getting into the wild.

As an example, let’s say an enterprise has 200 machines. Out of those 200 machines, 100 users have Photoshop installed and serialized with a Photoshop Extended serial number. The administrator can reserialize those 100 machines with Photoshop Standard serial number in a simple way without having to worry about remaining machines that were not serialized with Photoshop Extended.


adobe_prtk.exe –tool=MakeReplacementSN ‐‐old=PS Extended SN ‐‐new=PS Standard SN


pseudo-serial number

adobe_prtk.exe –tool=ReplaceSN ‐‐reserialize=product LEID ‐‐replacement=pseudo-serial number

Inventory Tool

Customers currently have no easy, accurate, scalable way to track the actual status of licenses deployed to machines without purchasing third party Software Asset Management tools. The resulting uncertainty in license usage is undesirable for customers and Adobe. APTEE provides a way to read the pcd files and return an XML block containing the complete inventory of a given machine. This is useful for enterprises trying to automate license audits as it helps determine how many licenses are deployed and in use.


adobe_prtk.exe –tool=InventorySN

Adobe Enterprise Deployment Tools Upgraded & Expanded

I am happy to announce the release of the much anticipated Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition (AAMEE) 1.1. This release has the ability to turn our CS updates that come down from in the format of .zip files on Windows and .dmg files on Macs into MSI and PKG files for easy deployment. You can do this singularly or better yet combine them into a big bundle of updates into one MSI or PKG. Want to deploy your CS5 applications and our updates at the same time? AAMEE 1.1 can do that too. Create your own “über-package” of CS applications with their updates and deploy them at the same time with one MSI or PKG. Cool, right?

And if that weren’t enough, we have released two new deployment tools for IT admins: Adobe Provisioning Toolkit Enterprise Edition (APTEE) and Adobe Update Server Setup Tool (AUSST.) Yes, we are continuing our 5 letter acronym spree! Put the three tools names together and you almost have enough letters to play Boggle™. Both new tools are command line based and I believe you’ll find them quite helpful. The Adobe Provisioning Toolkit Enterprise Edition (APTEE) tool allows you to serialize, unserialize or reserialize installed CS applications. The Adobe Update Server Setup Tool (AUSST) allows you to configure a server on your network to become the local location for acquiring CS updates.

We’ll have blog postings that dig further into each of these tools coming soon but I wanted to let you know right away about the three tools so you can download them and their documentation.

NOTE: The Adobe Developer Connection website and new tools on them may be unavailable for a brief time in the near future for a site-based update. So…get ’em quick! Don’t worry, they will return once the revamped site goes online. The tools should be available on LWS as well.

9/13/10 6:43 PM PST UPDATE: The new Adobe Developer Connection website is up and the new tools are once again available. Sorry for anyone who was inconvenienced during the down time.

Jody Rodgers
Product Manager, Enterprise & Volume Customers
Creative Suite