ActiveReports Licensing Memoirs

Download the latest ActiveReports (v12) License Manager Here


Licensing is the most important step when using any product in an application/project. The same is applicable for ActiveReports 8. We changed our licensing policy starting from ActiveReports 7 to provide a better and more robust licensing mechanism. Though the licensing is simple, it sometimes appears complex because the correct approach is not used to resolve the problem.There are some issues which are commonly raised by the developers. Through this blog, I will try to discuss some common licensing problems which I can recollect in my mind. This list may not be exhaustive but at least it should provide a step forward when tackling such issues.

Getting Started

Before we cover the different licensing scenarios and problems, it would be good to take a quick look at the "License Manager" which plays a pivotal role when licensing ActiveReports 8 on any machine. So I would strongly recommend you go through this link from our documentation before you actually try to license ActiveReports 8. Typically during application development there could be three different stages an application may come across.

  • Development Machine: This is the machine where the application is designed and created. The machine has to be licensed using the license manager.
  • Build Machine: Many developers prefer having a separate build server. This has its own advantages and some features can be found at this discussion on StackOverflow. Since an application is built on this machine, this machine has to be licensed.Generally, one would not want to install any third party components on a build machine to keep it as clean as possible. When ActiveReports 7 was released, to license the build machine a developer had to install ActiveReports on the build machine. The same approach was carried over to ActiveReports 8. However now you can simply install the "License Manager" on the build machine and license it. The download link for ActiveReports 8 license manager is provided below. Download ActiveReports 8 License Manager
  • Deployment Server: This machine is used to deploy the applications. Most commonly web servers like IIS are used to deploy the applications. It is not mandatory to license the deployment server.

Common Errors

In this section, some common errors are listed which can be observed by users at some specific stage. Let us take a look at them:

  1. "There was a problem with the GrapeCity Activation Service with error code (#8000000A). Please try again later." This error is observed when trying to license a machine and the machine cannot connect to our activation server. This is what the error dialog looks like: ActivationError You can try these steps to resolve this issue: i) Open the command prompt window with elevated permission. ii) Run license manager using the command: "GrapeCity.LicenseManager.exe /GetAuthenticationNumber /Product:"ActiveReports 8", to get the Authentication Number for current machine. iii) In another machine that has an Internet connection, access, then input the product key and the authentication number to obtain the license key. iv) Go back to the original machine and run the below command to complete activation: GrapeCity.LicenseManager.exe /Activate /Offline /Product:ProductName /ProductKey:YourProductKey /LicenseKey:YourLicenseKey
  2. "An appropriate license has not been given to the program" This error is generally observed on the development machine when the licenses.licx file does not contain all the required entries. This is what the error looks like: LicenseErrorTo resolve this issue, check the first point of the FAQ section below as it is applicable here too.
  3. "Invalid License error in license manager" In very rare circumstances, you may experience an issue where the ActiveReports 8 license is shown as invalid in the License Manager. In order to resolve this issue, you should contact support; however it would be nice to run the following tool on your machine which creates a log file called "TraceLog.txt" to save the trace details. You should include this file with your query as it will help in getting details about the reason why the issue was caused. Download AR8 Diagnostic Utility


  1. Why am I getting an evaluation banner upon deployment? Because the project does not contain the required entries in the licenses.licx file. Typically you need to add entries for the components being used in the project. For example, if the project includes a section based report, the viewer control and the PdfExport filter, it should have the following entries: GrapeCity.ActiveReports.SectionReport, GrapeCity.ActiveReports.v8 GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Viewer.Win.Viewer, GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Viewer.Win.v8 GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Export.Pdf.Section.PdfExport, GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Export.Pdf.v8ii It is important to note that the licenses.licx file should be present in the main calling application which calls another application containing the reports.
  2. What is the role of "licenses.licx" file? In the context of the project (.csproj) file, the .licx file is referenced as an EmbeddedResource. During the build process, LC.exe verifies that the machine performing the build has the appropriate license(s) for the component in question, and generates a binary .licenses file which eventually gets embedded as a resource ([AssemblyName].exe.licenses) in the final executable.
  3. I have all the entries in the licenses.licx file but the evaluation banner still appears on the deployed application. There are scenarios when you might be working with services to create reports and these services are later consumed in the main application. To tackle such scenarios, you can use "ApplicationLicenseGenerator.exe". The following steps should be performed: i) Locate the ApplicationLicenseGenerato.exe at the following location on the machine: C:\Program Files\Common Files\ComponentOne\ActiveReports 8 ii) Run the program "ApplicationLicenseGenerator.exe" (as Administrator). iii) Browse to the compiled EXE/DLL of your base solution or the application that calls your compiled ActiveReports DLL. iv) Press the "Generate" Button. v) This generates a satellite *.Licenses.dll vi) Deploy this DLL along with the other DLLs required for your project. vii) The evaluation banner should disappear.

As I mentioned in the beginning of the post this list is not exhaustive since the licensing always works in the same manner but the project structure varies. However, I hope this blog will help users in at least identifying the problem and narrowing it down.


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