Licensing 101

This article details some common licensing questions and troubleshooting tips that users may encounter when using MAPublisher or Geographic Imager.

1 - What is the difference between a fixed license and a floating license?

A fixed license is a single license that is registered to one computer.  A floating license is a license file for a specified number of “seats” (number of users) that lives in a server-type environment.  A floating license allows users to “check-out” an available license regardless of what computer they are using, as long as they can connect to the network hosting the license file.

2 - What is a roaming license?

A roaming license is an option for floating licenses that allow users to check-out a license and leave the host network for a specified amount of time.  At a basic level, it essentially creates a temporary fixed license for the computer being used.

3 - I bought a new fixed license, how do I activate it?

If you just purchased a new license, to activate it using the software, please open MAPublisher or Geographic Imager on the computer you wish to have the license registered to and under the License Management window select Register and follow the steps provided.  In this window, you will need to provide the license key you received (starts with “MP”). Once registered the license file will automatically be created and placed in the appropriate directory. Please do not move this license file as it will cause the software to stop working.  To register the software using the License Management window you will need to ensure you have an internet connection.
If the computer you are using does not have internet access, you can still register your license, but this process will require a few extra steps using an external source that does have access to the internet.  This process, which is often called Manual activation/registration, will require you to visit our website at:
Once here, you will enter the details of your license including, version and license number, as well as the machine ID for the computer you are using.  If this is a new computer to register you will also be prompted to enter in additional details such as name, address and email address. Please ensure the email address is valid as once complete, you will be sent an email with the license file and instructions on where to place it for the computer you registered.

4 - I switched computers, how do I move my license to a new computer?

If you have a new computer and need to move your MAPublisher or Geographic Imager license, please use the links below to request a transfer:
Maintenance subscribers (free to transfer) -
Non-maintenance subscribers or maintenance that has expired (fee associated) -

5 - I uninstalled and reinstalled MAPublisher or Geographic Imager and need to retrieve the license file for a previously activated license, how do I do this?

In the case where you had to uninstall and reinstall the software, or any other scenario where you need to retrieve a license file for previously activated software, you can do this one of two ways.
The first way is through the License Management window (requires an internet connection) within MAPublisher or Geographic Imager.  From this window, click the Retrieve button, and any license files registered to that computer will be retrieved and put in the correct directory.  
If you do not have an internet connection on the computer running MAPublisher or Geographic Imager, the second option to getting your license is to retrieve it manually using an alternate computer.  To do this, please go to the following website:
Once here, enter in the appropriate details including software, version and machine ID for the computer that the license is registered to.  You will automatically be emailed the license file and instructions on where to place it to the email we have on file from when the license was originally activated.

6 - I would like to upgrade my current license to the new major version of MAPublisher or Geographic Imager, how do I do this?

Users who have active maintenance are able to upgrade their MAPublisher or Geographic Imager license for free.  This upgrade process is required for major releases only and is not necessary for point releases (e.g. 9.x to 10.x).  To request an upgraded license please fill out the form found here with the appropriate information:

7 - What are the basic steps to getting a floating license server up and running?

For users that are using a floating license for MAPublisher or Geographic Imager, you will need to ensure you have the following setup:

  1. RLM installed on the computer being used as the server (this may be different than the client machine)
  2. Once installed run the commands found in the link below to obtain the appropriate information (server name, server IP address, and server machine ID) required for the floating license file
  3. Once you obtain the information above, send this information to so that a license file can be issued
  4. Once you receive the license file, place it in the folder containing rlm.exe, avenza.exe and rlmutil.exe on the server.  Please ensure you only have one .lic file in this folder in order to facilitate the correct operation of the software
  5. When the .lic file is placed in the folder on the server, double click on the rlm.exe to start up the RLM server
  6. On the client machine, open MAPublisher or Geographic Imager and go to License Management > Floating > ensure you have the correct server settings entered > click Check Settings and ensure everything verifies properly

There are additional options when setting up the RLM server, such as setting it up as a service and hard-coding the applicable ports if you have a firewall.  For more assistance on this please see the help documentation here or contact our Support Team using the form to the right. 

8 - How does a floating license work with a firewall?

If you have a firewall in place, you will want to ensure that you open the applicable ports in order to allow MAPublisher or Geographic Imager to work correctly.  Alternatively, you can hard-code the desired ports into the license file directly so that your server will also use the chosen ports.  There are 3 ports that MAPublisher and Geographic Imager use - RLM, the web admin portal, and the software itself.  By default, RLM uses port 5053 and the web admin uses port 5054.  If these ports are in use by another software or blocked by your firewall, it may be necessary to change these ports or free them up on your server.  In addition to these two ports, MAPublisher and Geographic Imager use an additional port, this is often referred to as the ISV port.  This port is randomly assigned when the server starts up, and if the server is restarted at any point, this port can change.  For organizations that have strict firewalls, we strongly recommend users hard-code this port to prevent it from changing and causing interruptions in software availability.  For more information and assistance in hard-coding ports, please contact our Support Team who can help set this up and walk you through the process.