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Of Licenses and Seats

June 4, 2019 — Eric Böhnisch-Volkmann

With DEVONthink 3 we’ve introduced new server-based licenses with a seats model and easier-to-use license codes. Now, why should we bore you with talk about … license codes? Whenever you change something questions come up. We’d like to answer them here in a findable place.

The New License Codes

It’s no longer necessary to enter name, organization, and license code together. The code is enough and the application gets all other details directly from our backend. Of course we’ve designed the license checks so that they don’t get in your way. Your MacBook doesn’t have to be online just to open DEVONthink.

Licenses & Seats

While previous licenses were tied to a person, DEVONthink 3 licenses can be used on a given number of computers regardless of who’s at the keyboard. The number of computers a license is valid for is determined by its seat count.

All new licenses always start with a seat count of 2. One seat for your desktop Mac, one for the MacBook that travels with you. If you need more seats, e.g., because your partner wants to use our software too, you can add them from your customer account.

The two seats that you get when you buy a license are part of the license. You’ve not paid for something you maybe don’t need. And, we’re afraid, you can’t sell unused seats separately as they’re tied to the license.


When you enter your license code our software gets your details and the number of available seats from our backend. It then adds an identifier for your computer to the license record, taking up one seat. Multiple user accounts on the Mac don’t use multiple seats so feel free to share DEVONthink with everyone using your computer.

Remove the license when you deinstall our software from you Mac by using the Application > License *) panel. This frees up the seat and you can enter the license into another copy of the application. Alternatively you can list and manage all devices attached to a license from your customer account. Learn more about how to use your user account in last week’s blog post.

*) “Application” is the menu that bears the applications’ name.