SolidWorks Visualize Integration will Cause Activation Headaches

Now that SolidWorks 2017 is in Pre-Release, there’s some confusion about how SolidWorks subscription customers should claim and activate their free seat of SolidWorks Visualize Standard. When Visualize (formerly BunkSpeed) was released alongside SolidWorks 2016 last year, any SolidWorks subscription serial number could be used to download and activate the new rendering tool. Now, in SolidWorks 2017, the Visualize download is integrated into the SolidWorks Installation Manager, but requires a separate serial number. (No, your SolidWorks serial doesn’t work here.)

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So what gives? If your SolidWorks serial worked last year, and it’s more integrated this year, why do you need a different serial number, and where do you get it?

As it turns out, that added integration is the source of the problem. According to Visualize Product Manager Brian Hillner, Visualize 2016 was still hosted on Bunkspeed’s old servers (which is why Visualize was a completely separate download and activation). Because the activation servers were separate, you were able to use the same serial number for two different products. Now, in 2017, however, Visualize activation has been moved over to SolidWorks’ servers. This allows installation and activation to take place through the Installation Manager (above), but also requires a unique serial number. Since it’s possible to buy Visualize Standard without owning SolidWorks, the server needs to know which product your serial number entitles you to.

Ok, great, now how do we get this new serial number? A Visualize Standard serial number will be automatically added to the “My Products” section of the Customer Portal for all Subscription customers when SolidWorks 2017 enters SP0.0 on October 10th. This serial number will work perpetually, though it’s not clear whether the same serial number will be valid for future years’ releases.

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Stay tuned for more info on Visualize, and SolidWorks 2017.

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