Cetrus Blog

Pros and Cons of Token Software Licensing

Posted by Cat McGuire on Mar 6, 2019 7:14:04 PM
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New Blog Series: Informed Decision Making

Cetrus’ goal is to make sure our customers have the software data they need to make informed business decisions. However, part of making these informed business decisions is understanding licensing methods and what works best for your company. Thus, here is the first post in a new educational series about software licensing!

Let’s begin with a simple definition. Token Software Licensing is similar to floating licenses, except that it uses a generic license key, instead of one associated to an individual product. This way the generic token(s) can be used to access any license within a defined portfolio of software.

As IBM states in a whitepaper, “In a token environment, each product consumes a predefined token value, not a predefined quantity as it does in a traditional floating licensing environment. The license key has a pool of tokens from which the license server automatically calculates the tokens being checked in and out across users and products.” (IBM, 2012)


  • Great for companies that have highly variable patterns of software use
  • Variations in project size (that require more software) can be easily accounted for
  • Increased flexibility


  • One can still purchase the incorrect amount of tokens
  • Determining how many tokens to purchase from each vendor can be a drain on time
  • Tokens are typically subscription-based, meaning that they will expire if unused (wasting money)
  • Does not prevent guessing

You may be asking, “Is there a way to avoid the Cons?” That’s where we come in. You can stop the guesswork in decision making if you have the right data. Cetrus Process Meter (CPM) provides application use and licensing data, allowing you to understand what you’re using and exactly how many tokens to purchase for each vendor, every subscription term.

Want to start collecting data today? Get a 30-Day FREE trial here.




Topics: Informed Business Decisions