What is a Floating License?

Learn what a floating license is and how it is different from a standard software license.
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So, what is a floating license and how is it different from a standard software license? In short, a standard software license is for exclusive use whereas a floating license is for shared use.

You buy a floating software license when you want to share the use of software amongst a group of users.

If you buy a standard license, the software can only be installed on one computer and it is accessible to one user only. BUT, when you buy a floating software license, the software can be installed on a network of computers allowing access to multiple users.

In other words, a standard software license allows only one user, but a floating license will allow a group of users to access the software.

Floating License vs Standard Software License

Floating license for one user

For example, let’s say you buy a TIA portal which is the PLC programming software from Siemens. The TIA portal product description states that you have purchased a floating license for one user.

Now, what does that mean? It simply means that you can install this software on your office or home network and then all the people who have access to that network can use that software.

BUT, here’s the catch…

There can only be one user at a time. That means if you are using the software and another colleague wants access, they’ll need to wait until you are done and signed out.

Why can’t your colleague access the software while you’re using it? Because this is a floating license for only one user. It is a shared license, not an exclusive license.

Floating license for multiple users

If you want the software to be used by two users at the same time, you need to buy a floating license for 2 users.

In this case, a colleague can also use the software even if you are using it. Why? Because this is a floating license for 2 users.

If you want more users to be able to access that software at the same time, you just need to buy a floating license for more users.  

Floating License for more Users

Which version should you buy?

Hopefully, we’ve answered any questions you may have had about a floating license. But, you may still have a question about when a floating license is needed instead of a standard license.

Well, let’s say you have four PLC programmers in your company that need to use the TIA portal but not all at the same time.

In this case, instead of buying 4 standard licenses, you can buy a floating license for one user which is always less expensive. The software can now be shared among these four PLC programmers.

When a Floating License is Needed Instead of a Standard License
Where can you order a floating license for STEP 7?

Use the links below to order a floating software license for STEP 7 Basic and STEP 7 Professional:

– SIMATIC STEP 7 Basic V16 – Floating License

– SIMATIC STEP 7 Prof. V16 – Floating License

If you’re a beginner and would like to get lifetime access to STEP 7 Basic, you can order this PLC starter kit.


A Standard license is for the exclusive use of the software, and a floating license is for the shared use of the software which is often more cost-effective.

If you have any questions about floating license, add them in the comments below and we will get back to you in less than 24 hours.

Got a friend, client, or colleague who could use some of this information? Please share this article.

The RealPars Team

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