Adobe Shared Device Licensing


Previously, I have mentioned that Adobe are moving away from Device Pool & Serial Number licensing.

However, at the time we had very little detail on what the new licensing would be.

Well, earlier today Adobe started to release some details. See below for more information & links to Adobes documentation on this new licensing.

So what changed?

Well at the end of 2018 Adobe announced:

Serial Number End of Life Notification
At the end of 2019, we plan to start decommissioning the use of serial numbers. Once decommissioned, a serial number will not work, and thus the applicable products, applications, and services will no longer work. To continue your use of these products, applications, and services, they must be deployed via the named user deployment method.

Again, I covered the above & some more in my previous post on this.

What’s the new thing?

Adobe call this “Shared Device Licensing” & depending on your Adobe license you might see mention of this when you login to the Adobe Admin Console for your organisation:

So. we just click migrate right?


Please do not click the migrate button just yet!

The issue pertains to the below:

What license methods are available now?

Well, as per this Adobe help page, the following is the breakdown of the various licensing methods available during this transition:

Let’s look the non-legacy license methods.

Named User Licensing

This is your standard licensing, where the Adobe apps are licensed via an Adobe ID through the Creative Cloud Desktop App.

Shared Device Licensing

Historically, Device Pool Licensing or Serial Number Licensing might have come under the term of “Shared Device Licensing” as you would license the device once for all user accounts.

With a typical use case being for Labs.

If we then review this Adobe help page & expand the “Shared Device Licensing” section we see the below:

Device License Expiry

So, the above might make it seem that your Device Pool Licensing or Serial Number Licensing will expire:

Well, some folks have also received an email which looks like the below:

The last section is the most important here, & one that will allow some to breathe a sigh of relief:

So, if you have Serial Numbers which expire 2021 (for example), you can still use them until then with any CC app which supports Serial Number licensing until they expire (which is CC 2018 & before).

Migrating to Shared Device Licensing – Admin Console

Before you jump into the migration, there is yet another Adobe Help document it’s worth reviewing.

Especially the image below, (with the pertinent part pointed out):

So, with this migration folks will need an “identity” to license the apps, every much like the Named User Licensing mentioned above.

This will require licensing using the Creative Cloud Desktop App. So if you are deleting this currently, don’t come CC 2019 deployment.

Also, as each user needs an “identity” to license the apps, it may well be worth looking into leveraging Adobes User Sync Tool. Which can create accounts within your Adobe Admin Console from your Active Directory.

There is also mention of a manual method for this within another Adobe Help document.

Migrating to Shared Device Licensing – Devices

Once you have migrated the licenses within the Admin Console & created any accounts etc as per the above, you can then look to license your devices under this new licensing.

However, remember that the transition on the console side & device needs to be completed within 30 days as per:

But, it’s not quite as simple as just deploying a new license pkg apparently.

Below are the steps which Adobe advise, & have been take from this Adobe Help document.

So, you need to uninstall the old license before deploying the new.

Well, at dataJAR we have numerous customers for which we deploy the Adobe CC suite to their macOS devices.

Over time some have changed licensing, & we’ve normally got away with redeploying the new licensing PKG. So I’d like clarity regarding if license removal is actually needed.

Recommended Reading

Below are the links mentioned above, please read before you do anything.

Recommended Next Steps

Read the above links & reach out to your Adobe reps.

Plan this migration & complete any user creation pre-reqs in advance.

Anything else?

5 thoughts on “Adobe Shared Device Licensing

  1. Gabe Shackney

    2 questions:
    1. Any new info you have on this Ben?
    2. After moving to Shared Device licensing, will it require everyone to waste a ton of time on shared machines with useless Adobe Logins? Sounds a lot like we will just hold tight to 2018 versions for now and wait for the dust to settle.

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