Contents - Index

5.4.3 Importing/Exporting a Licence


The import facility enables you to operate a Sheriff-protected product on a machine for which you do not have a licence, unless this facility has been disabled by the software publisher.

To understand this topic it is important to appreciate the difference between the source machine and the target machine, since different rules apply to each. The source is the machine on which the licence was originally registered i.e. the machine for which the publisher issued the original licence key. The target is a machine to which you export a licence from the source machine.

To run a Sheriff-protected product on a target you may import a licence from the source provided that (a) the software publisher enabled this facility when defining the licence policy and (b) you adhere to the operational rules set out below.

You can import/export both standalone and network licences. All import/export activity is recorded in the log file (SlsAdmin.log).

NB. If you want to permanently export the source licence you should use the Move facility. For example, if you wanted to export a licence to a laptop for a few days, you would use the export facility but if you wanted to upgrade your file server you would use the move licence facility to relocate the licence to the new server.

Operational Rules

  1. The product must be registered and licensed on the source machine and also registered on the target machine before you can import the licence.

  2. You can define the features of the exported licence, provided these remain within the terms of the licence policy.

  3. When either the users or units have been fully exported the application cannot execute on the source until the licence is imported back from the target.. For example, you have a licence with two users and ten units on the source and you export one user and ten units to the target; what remains on the source is one user with zero units - meaning that the user will be unable to run the application on the source as there are no available units.

  4. A licence can only be imported either to a machine that does not already have a valid licence or to the source machine.

  5. If the licence on the source is modified after a licence is exported, then the exported licence cannot be imported back (reclaimed) by the source machine - Sheriff sees a modified licence as a different licence. For example, if the publisher issues more units to the source machine, then the exported licence cannot be reclaimed.

  6. A licence can only automatically restore on the source machine - there is no automatic restoration on the the target machine. Note that a licence cannot automatically restore on the source if the source licence is modified between the time of exporting and restoration.

Exporting Different Types of Licence

What happens to a licence when it is exported depends on the licence policy (i.e. on the licence's attributes, such as the type of metering in force and number of concurrent users allowed), as set out in the table below.

Concurrent Users The number of concurrent users on the source machine will be reduced by the number exported until the exported licence expires or is imported back to the source machine.
Time Limited
(Metering / Expiry Date)
As soon as an exported time-limited licence expires, the source licence will be automatically reinstated. For example, you can set the exported licence to expire after seven days and when it does the licence is automatically restored on the source machine (a licence cannot automatically restore except on the source machine ).
Unit Metering It is not possible to automatically reinstate a unit metered licence. To recover the unconsumed units in the exported licence, the user has to manually import the licence back to the source machine.



  1. Register the product you wish to use by clicking the Registry button on the toolbar to open the Sheriff Registry (proceed to 1(b) if the product is already registered). Type in the name of the product, the Product ID and select a path for the licence file. Close the Registry.

  2. Import the product by clicking the Import button - the Import Product dialog box displays. Select the product you want to import, then click the import button - an Import Licence dialog box displays a Reference Code.


  1. Click the Export button and the Exporting Licence dialog box is displayed.

  2. Select the product to be exported and click the Export button. The Export dialog box is displayed.

  3. Enter the Reference Code referred to above and define the Licence Policy by selecting the appropriate features (E.g. Expiry Date). Note that the available features will depend upon the attributes of the policy. Click on Generate and a licence key is displayed.


  1. Enter the licence key into the Import Licence dialog box.

  2. Click on Import and the product is enabled.