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