To use ActiveReports, you need to activate a license key on your machine. To make sure that your machine is licensed, go to the Start page and under GrapeCity, run the License Manager. You can also open it from File Explorer on a path like:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\GrapeCity\Components

Or use \Program Files (x86)\ on a 64-bit Windows operating system Note: Prior to ActiveReports version 9.3.*, the file path was:

C:\Program Files\Common Files**ComponentOne**\Components

If the license you need is activated for the features that you want to use, you're good to go. For example, this machine has a Professional Edition license activated, so I can use all of the features. licenseManager To find out which features are included in each license, see the ActiveReports Editions topic in the online help.

"It's fine on my machine, but when I distribute it, the evaluation message appears!"

When you run your application on your machine, it automatically finds the machine's license. But when you distribute your application, you have to build that license information into the calling application. Otherwise, you can get an evaluation message or errors. Here are some common errors and their causes:



Application cannot run because it was built with no license.

Licensing is not present in the application or the calling application. See below for information on how to license the calling application.

License for XXXX (control name) could not be found.

Ensure that there is a line for each component that you use in the licenses.licx file (and none for components that you don't use). Add (or delete) lines in the licx file and Rebuild the project.

Licensing has not been correctly applied to the application.

Check the three key points below.

Exception (LicenseException)

Check the three key points below.

When you have a license error, here are the three things to check.

1. Ensure that the license file is added to the appropriate project.

The licenses.licx file (the “license file”) contains license information for ActiveReports. It is automatically generated in the project where ActiveReports is used. But if your application is composed of multiple projects and another project calls the reports defined in your class library, you need to register it in the calling project rather than just in your report project. rootLevelApp When you add an ActiveReports web service to a Page report, RDL report, or XML-based Section report project, the licenses.licx file is not created automatically, and the license strings are not added. You also need to manually add licensing to your application if you want to create a control at run time or use the HTTP handlers.

To manually add licensing to the calling application:

Note: In a C# Windows Forms project, the license file is in the Properties folder. In a Visual Basic project, it is in the My Project folder.

  1. In your application that contains ActiveReports components, check that the proper licensing strings are in the licenses.licx file. (See the table of license strings below.)
  2. Copy the ActiveReports strings from the file into the licenses.licx file in the calling application.
    • If there is no license file, from the Project menu, select Add New Item.
    • From the listed templates, select Text file and change the name to "licenses.licx."
    • In the Solution Explorer, double-click the newly created licenses.licx file to open it, and paste in the licensing strings for all components you use.
  3. From the Build menu, select Rebuild Project to embed the licensing.

Note: If your project is a web site, the bin folder has the licenses embedded in the App_Licenses.dll file.

2. Ensure that the contents of the license file are correct.

Depending on which features of ActiveReports you use in your application, the license file may need to contain multiple license strings. For example, you may only need these two lines for your application:

GrapeCity.ActiveReports.SectionReport, GrapeCity.ActiveReports.v9  
GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Web.WebViewer, GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Web.v9

But if your application uses the PDF export, you also need this one:

GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Export.Pdf.Section.PdfExport, GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Export.Pdf.v9

Caution: If you add assemblies to the licx file that you do not use in your project, it causes a "License for xxxx (control name) could not be found" error. When you migrate a project to version 9 that was created in an old version, you can have errors if some of these license strings are missing or in the wrong format (or mention the wrong version). Here are all of the license strings that you may need:


License String

Section report engine

GrapeCity.ActiveReports.SectionReport, GrapeCity.ActiveReports.v9

Page and RDL report engine

GrapeCity.ActiveReports.PageReport, GrapeCity.ActiveReports.v9

WinForms viewer control

GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Viewer.Win.Viewer, GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Viewer.Win.v9

WPF viewer control

GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Viewer.Wpf.Viewer, GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Viewer.Wpf.v9

PRO (some features) PDF export

GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Export.Pdf.Section.PdfExport, GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Export.Pdf.v9

PRO ONLY: WebViewer, HTTP handlers, Web service

GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Web.WebViewer, GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Web.v9

PRO ONLY: End-user designer

GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Design.Designer, GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Design.Win.v9

LICX In the image above, you can see a license file that shows what it looks like if you were to use every ActiveReports component in your solution. You may notice that when the Licenses.licx file is created automatically, the strings are longer, and include additional values, like this:

GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Viewer.Win.Viewer, GrapeCity.ActiveReports.Viewer.Win.v9, Version = 9.X.XXXX.X, Culture = neutral, PublicKeyToken = cc4967777c49a3ff

This can cause issues when you update your build of ActiveReports, as it looks for that specific version of the file. You can safely remove these extra values, and set the SpecificVersion property of the ActiveReports references to False.

3. Ensure that the Build Action property is configured correctly for the license file.


  1. In the Solution Explorer, select licenses.licx (you may need to click the “Show all files” button to see it).
  2. In the Properties window, ensure that the Build Action property is set to Embedded Resource.

There you have it. In almost every case, you can resolve your licensing issues by checking these three points. For more information, see License Your ActiveReports in the product help.

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