Cetrus Blog

To Trust or Not to Trust: Bentley's "Trust-Based" Licensing

Posted by Cat McGuire on Jun 4, 2018 4:41:22 PM
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Our customers are frustrated with Bentley’s “Trust-Based” licensing. This article explores the problem.


What is “Trust-Based” licensing?

Anyone familiar with Bentley’s application, gINT? It uses “Trust-Based” licensing. Here’s an example of how it works:

An engineer opens gINT on their desktop using a license key, but you only have 5 purchased licenses, and all of them are already in use. Bentley will let the user access another gINT license, but will charge your company for 6 licenses at the end of the quarter.

Bentley advocates this style of licensing because it “…ensures users have access to mission-critical software whenever they need it” (Anderson, 2007). This is true, when users can access the application whenever they need it, you avoid project delays.


The Problem (Well Actually YOUR Problem)

The issue lies in cost efficiency and lack of control. “Trust-Based” licensing often results in huge, unexpected bills at the end of the month, and there is no way to block users from accessing an additional license. This is why companies are so frustrated! Financial executives cannot plan for the expense, and it can be difficult to recoup those additional fees.

In addition, when your number of purchased licenses is optimized, there should be occasional moments where there are no more licenses available. Otherwise, you are wasting resources by buying too many. Bentley makes license optimization more challenging by charging companies for overages, and not allowing them to prevent it from happening.


The Solution

Don’t completely trust “Trust-Based” licensing. You need a way to take back control of your software, so you can actively and effectively manage resources. Our Plug-in ARES (coming soon!) will block applications from being launched if your maximum number of licenses is already reached. Read more at


Did You Know?

Oh, and by the way, Bentley just acquired Plaxis and SoilVision… See their Press Release here.


Frustrated too?

Let us know, and comment (or vent) below!



Anderson, Tom. “About Bentley Trust Licensing.” Bentley Communities, Bentley, 24 Aug. 2007,

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