Adobe Installation and Licensing

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Jul 27, 2017

What You Need to Know About the Move Towards Named User Deployment

In the past, enterprise customers have deployed Adobe creative applications using serialized deployment. In this deployment model, software is packaged with an embedded serial number and pushed down to end users’ workstations. The demands of today’s workplace have made serialized deployment a hurdle to productivity, creativity, and efficiency.

We’ve shifted to a named user deployment model which benefits both IT departments and individual employees.


The challenges of serialized deployment

To start, serial numbers are hard to track, can expire without warning, and are a compliance risk if leaked outside of trusted IT staff. When IT deals with different serial numbers for different products, vendors, and contracts, it’s really challenging to stay on top of everything. Because the Adobe agreement is a term license, Creative Cloud for enterprise serial numbers eventually expire and the product stops working. Transitioning to a named user licensing model means IT teams can spend their time, talent, and resources equipping users with critical technology instead of tracking spreadsheets of serial numbers.

In parallel, serialized deployment makes it impossible for creative users to access any Adobe Creative Cloud services such as Typekit fonts, Adobe Stock images, and Creative Cloud Libraries. That’s a huge stumbling block for many designers who need access to the latest creative resources and productivity enhancements to keep up with the demands of your business.


Benefits of Named User Deployment for IT

IT admins manage licenses deployed via named user by accessing a browser-based interface, named the Admin Console. IT can add users by simply inputting email addresses, bulk uploading or connecting to their organization’s LDAP.

Once the users are added to the Admin Console, the IT admin assigns that email with a software entitlement such as Creative Cloud, Document Cloud, or Adobe Stock.

If a user changes roles and needs access to additional software — or no longer needs software— the IT admin can make changes to entitlements and reassign that software license. And if someone leaves the organization, removing software entitlements is quick and straightforward.

Named user deployment also improves deploying work-at-home licenses. Adobe customers have always had work-at-home privileges, but IT admins usually didn’t take advantage of this because of the risks of the serial numbers being shared inadvertently or used without permission.

Named user deployment eliminates those risks because as soon as you remove the entitlement in the Admin Console, the home use license is revoked and there’s no compliance risk for your organization. With named user licenses, you don’t have to worry about leaked serial numbers and you can equip your employees to be more productive, no matter where they work.

After software licenses are assigned to named users, users sign in with a credential — typically an email and password — which activates the software. Adobe supports three identity types for named user deployment: Federated ID (SSO), Enterprise ID, and Adobe ID. This means you can choose the most effective way to manage users, set password requirements, and leverage industry standards to streamline your Adobe licensing.

IT Teams can combine named user deployment with new self-service deployment options that eliminate the need to create deployment packages for every patch and upgrade. These new self-service deployment features can also reduce the number of support tickets. IT can give some users self-service privileges but use traditional deployment for others if needed.


Named User Deployment Benefits for Creatives

Named User Deployment gives Creative teams access to Creative Cloud services. Without it, they can only access desktop applications. A perfect example is Adobe Experience Design (XD). XD is one of the newest apps for designing and prototyping websites and mobile apps, but it doesn’t support serial numbers. Adobe Collaboration services, such as libraries, is only available via cloud services. Thousands of Typekit fonts can only be accessed via cloud services. And Adobe Stock, providing access to millions of images and videos, is only via cloud services.

Recent third-party studies show significant productivity gains for designers using Creative Cloud services. For example, designers using Creative Cloud Libraries are 10x more productive than with traditional sharing workflows, 10x faster using Adobe Stock than traditional stock services, and 4x faster using Adobe Typekit fonts.

By having access to Creative Cloud services, Creative teams will be better equipped to increase productivity and meet the increased demands for more content, more personalization, and more delivery channels. Without cloud services, users are only getting a small sliver of what they could have access to.


Making the Transition to Named User Deployment

The next step is simple: schedule an onboarding call. During an onboarding call, we’ll cover implementation, discuss expiration of serial numbers, and help choose the right identity type for the organization. We’re ready to help plan and manage this important transition for the entire organization, saving IT time and resources while boosting the productivity, creativity, and effectiveness of Creative teams.


Schedule your onboarding call now

Admin Console, Adobe Enterprise Console, Creative Cloud, Deployment Tips, User Management


  • By BW~Merlin - 5:17 PM on September 6, 2017   Reply

    Just to make sure I fully understand correctly, with named license I can make a package that only has the adobe creative cloud desktop apps and Adobe DC using serialisation and deploy that to my fleet as normal.

    Users could then sign into the creative cloud desktop apps client with their enterprise or federated ID and download every application that our organisation is entitled to (Master collection) and that I have enabled them to access via the Adobe Admin console and that these packages could then be downloaded from an internal AUSS?

    The end result being that I give out a computer with only Acrobat DC on, they sign in, download photoshop from the local AUSS or have I misunderstood all of this?

  • By Chris - 3:58 PM on October 6, 2017   Reply

    My Art Department buys 24 *device licenses* for a 24-seat art lab. Everyone who logs in to those computers can use the software. Users have unique AD logins. How would *named license* even work in this scenario?

  • By Adam Pratt - 2:11 PM on November 20, 2017   Reply

    Sorry that I just noticed your message, but that’s all correct EXCEPT that you don’t need to bother distributing Acrobat separately with a serial number. Acrobat is included with the Creative Cloud All Apps plan and also supports named user licensing, so there’s no need to complicate things with two licensing models. This Best Practice Guide will help you understand the basics of self-service deployment:

  • By Matt - 3:39 PM on January 24, 2018   Reply

    So what’s happening to the existing “Device Based” Licenses for Lab Scenarios? i.e. a Lab of 50 Mac’s that has a generic login for “Art Student” that currently has a device based license of the Creative Cloud Suite on it? Do we need to create fake “named users” Lab Mac 1, Lab Mac 2 etc…

  • By Malik Usman - 4:27 AM on February 6, 2018   Reply

    Self-service workflows enable users to download and install apps as and when required. Apps that a user is entitled to get provisioned when users sign in. Other apps can be used as a trial for a limited time. This also frees up admins from creating and deploying multiple packages and updates.

  • By Richard - 11:53 AM on March 7, 2018   Reply

    I too am interested in Chris’s question. I’m not sure why it was not answered yet as well. We are a Public Library with a PC and MAC lab and have hundreds of public users use Adobe CCDA. No public user has any Domain or local account on the computers. Instead there are Shared Domain and Local user accounts, with out, email that are used. How would “named licensing” work in this case? Is Adobe suggesting we give out passwords to the public? Also per the user agreement a Name license must be assigned to a real user not a fictitious shared user account.
    Thank you.