License Server License Server

License Server introduces a dynamic way of licensing callas products where local activation is no longer necessary! It grants permission for processing jobs based on process cartridges or credit cartridges. This type of licensing caters for capacity-based processing environments, environments with peak moments and pay per use environments.

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Product information

License Server introduces a dynamic way of licensing callas products. Unlike the traditional licensing model, local activation is no longer necessary as they can now ask License Server permission to process jobs. This makes true failover for business-critical processes possible! License Server grants permission based on the cartridges loaded into it. There are two types of cartridges:

  • Process cartridges are loaded with one or more parallel processes. Each process allows a callas product to process one file.
  • Credit cartridges are loaded with a number of credits. Each credit corresponds to one second of processing time. When a callas product requests permission to process a file, License Server will keep track of how long it took to process that file and will then subtract the equivalent number of credits from its credit cartridge.

License Server can be used in capacity-based processing environments, as the only machine that always needs to be running is the machine hosting the License Server – everything else can be fully dynamic. License Server also caters for environments with peak moments. Sometimes there are huge processing peaks on certain times of day, certain days or in specific times of the year. With License Server, you can combine process cartridges for base load and credit cartridges for peak moments. Furthermore, using License Server with credit cartridges is ideally suited for pay per use environments. There is an initial cost for the License Server and after that each processed file uses up some credits from the installed credit cartridge.


  • Avoid local activation
    Because License Server itself has to be activated on a machine, any other callas product doesn’t have to be activated. They simply ask License Server permission to run.
  • Tackle peak production
    A combination of process cartridges and credit cartridges on the License Server handles base processing needs (using the process cartridges) and peak processing needs (using the credit cartridges) very easily. This solution is both very flexible and cost effective!
  • Implement real fail-over
    Using the traditional callas licensing model, callas products always have to be locally activated, and that is not a fully automated process. This makes it difficult to provide true failover for business-critical processes. Using License Server, real failover is possible! The License Server itself is not a bottleneck for true failover as it can work in a cluster of three License Servers that provide backup for each other.
  • Floating desktop licenses
    Because License Server also works with pdfToolbox Desktop and pdfaPilot Desktop, it can be used to implement floating licenses. Desktop products ask for permission to run on startup, which removes the need to activate the product on each machine it’s running on. This provides a flexible environment for schools, universities, organizations with large teams using desktop products …

Key features

  • Runs on all standard operating systems
  • Runs as a standalone (one single License Server) or as a cluster of three License Servers that provide failover for each other
  • Supports process cartridges that dynamically allow other callas products to process files on any computer. Each process in a process cartridge allows processing one file at a time.
  • Supports credit cartridges that allow other callas products to process as many files in parallel as necessary by simply deducting processing time from the number of credits in the cartridge
  • Runs on real hardware as well as virtual machines
  • Works with all pdfToolbox and pdfaPilot flavors, including the desktop versions to provide floating licenses

Release notes

1.0.007 28 June 2019


  • License Server-based licensing allows pdfToolbox to run without being activated locally
  • Process Cartridges and Credit Cartridges available
  • Failover functionality (by using multiple License Server)
  • Support for cloud-based environments
  • Various possibilities for logging and monitoring


Pixartprinting is up in the ‘Cloud’s

Alessio de Zotti & Conrado Camacho
Alessio de Zotti & Conrado Camacho

Pixartprinting specializes in providing a range of online print services: small format items (magazines, catalogues, postcards, stickers, labels, flyers etc), large format objects (high resolution prints, indoor and outdoor posters, banners, display stands etc), packaging and much more. Today, Pixarprinting has over 900 000 customers across Europe, receives an average of 12 000 orders a day and boasts the largest range of cutting-edge equipment in Europe. How did they become the leading web-to-print shop in Europe?

A changing e-commerce landscape

At Pixartprinting, they are convinced that the e-commerce landscape has been changing dramatically. They had to cope with a growing product range, bigger volumes, geographically dispersed markets, distributed manufacturing and – on top of all that – demanding customers. Conrado Camacho, Director of Technology at Pixartprinting, illustrates this: "We have to cope with quite some challenges: we need to scale to rapidly increasing volumes, build flexible processes that can pivot on the market’s feedback and adapt to new printing technologies. In the meantime, we must be conscious about costs to maintain Pixartprinting’s profitability." Alessio de Zotti, Manufacturing Software Manager at Pixartprinting, finishes his words: "Luckily, cloud-based computing and partnering with companies that understand these opportunities gives us the chance to scale based on our business needs."

Enter License Server

Since 2012, Pixartprinting appeals to pdfToolbox for their production workflows. They have been managing a number of servers on the premises that helps them managing their peak volumes, even though the demand is not stable during the year. With the arrival of License Server, they could finally migrate to a cloud-based infrastructure where they are not bound by a specific set of servers that runs pdfToolbox. Now, they can add or remove servers at will based on the workload.

With License Server, we can quickly adapt to peaks on demand as well as making an optimized usage of our pdfToolbox licenses.

"With this move, we expect to migrate to a system that can automatically scale up or down, based on the needs on that specific moment. This should provide many advantages, such as cost optimization (we only pay for computing power used). With License Server, we can quickly adapt to peaks on demand as well as making an optimized usage of our pdfToolbox licenses", says Alessio de Zotti.

Pixartprinting has always been investing in automatizing its business processes to be able to serve its customers as best one can while maintaining competitive prices. "We are excited to enforce the partnership with callas software, as their automation technology can help us improving the quality of our support towards customers." With License Server, they can now offer their customers quick and easy access to the best printing solutions.


Self driving PDF - The Future of Workflow Automation

The total dimensions of printed paper is shrinking, whereas the number of pages and files that are printed is increasing. This was only economically viable, because at the same time workflow automation was on the rise. PDF software has to support highly flexible automation rules to navigate and adjust files not only according to the job settings but also as required by the specifics of the file. Is prepress finally on its way from handcraft to industry? In this keynote, Dietrich plans to give a (vendor neutral) overview about recent software developments for PDF automation. Furthermore, he will provide a personal view on what may be the next challenges for us as a PDF vendor and for the industry as a whole.


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The sense and nonsense of standardization in print

The Ghent Workgroup has been active in the 'standardization for print' arena since 2002, so for more than 17 years. But why was the group started? Where did it originate and with what purpose? And more importantly, does the effort spent on standardization - both by the GWG workgroup and local user associations - pay off? In this session, you’ll learn more about these topics and you’ll hear where the Ghent Workgroup stands today and what we believe are the biggest challenges we’re still facing ...


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A look inside the License Server

In this video, you get to see how License Server works in practice. We’ll explain how to work with cartridges, move a License Server, handle failover, combine pdfToolbox Desktop and License Server, and much more!

00:17 - Why License Server?
03:05 - License mechanism for License Server matches your project or not?
04:10 - Install License Server
06:20 - Activate License Server
08:25 - Get License Server’s status
09:55 - License Server’s REST interface
11:30 - Install and activate cartridges
12:18 - Demo on cartridges
14:42 - Usage of License Server on pdfToolbox Desktop
19:30 - License Server running on Amazon cloud


Did you like the video? Then you might want to have a look at related videos in the following playlist!

System requirements

Four Pees