To run SmartBear's TestComplete requires a physical server to be set up with a license manager: https://support.smartbear.com/viewarticle/72302/

Most companies these days (ours included) are moving away from physical machines; opting instead for self-hosted VM environments, or for Cloud solutions.

As such it seems surprising / short-sighted that a company would block you from using VMs.


Is anyone aware of a legitimate option for hosting SmartBear's TestComplete License Manager on a Virtual Server, or a workaround to allow TestComplete to be used with a valid floating user license without using a physical machine to host the license manager?

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    We've brought this limitation up with them many times. They seem unwilling to change. We work around it by having a physical box on premises and then have a VPN connection between it and our test cloud's vNet (Azure IaaS). – ckittel Jul 19 '16 at 18:07

The reason for this limitation is that SmartBear locks their node-locked licenses to the MAC address of the host computer (https://support.smartbear.com/viewarticle/75290/)

The license activated on a virtual computer will be bound to the virtual computer’s MAC address and to the host computer (the computer on which the virtual computer is currently running). If the virtual computer’s MAC address changes or you move the virtual computer to another host computer, your license will be blocked and you will not be able to use it.

This is common with big box licensed software (and is a whole lot LESS restrictive than some of the other major test automation solutions). If you are unable to work with a physical machine as the license manager server, you will need to follow the advice in the linked article (which may or may not work: License Manager may not install on a virtual system even when configured as described).

The minimum requirements of a possible workaround would seem to be:

  1. Ensure that the MAC address of the VM will not change.
  2. If you can install the license manager on the VM, once it's installed snapshot the VM and ensure that it will never be reverted to a snapshot without License Manager.
  3. Ensure that the virtual machine will never be run on a different host.

If you can do this, you may be able to use a virtual machine as your License Manager host.

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