Setting up a SuperPro Network Key

This article covers the following topics relating to the installation, configuration, and management of a SuperPro type FRED Network License:

  • License Server Setup
  • Client Setup
  • Optional Client Computer Parameters
  • Server Dongle Authorization Update
  • Sentinel License Monitor
  • License Log

License Server Setup

FRED Optical Engineering Software uses USB Super-Pro key dongles provided by Thales to implement its software license protection strategy. The license server computer only needs to have the Sentinel Protection Server installed and is not required to have a full installation of the FRED Optical Engineering Software.

Sentinel Protection Installer version 7.7.1 supports the following platforms:

  • Windows XP (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 8.1 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 10 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 11 (64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2012 (64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2016 (64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2019 (64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2022 (64-bit)

The following steps should be taken to install or update the network license services running on the server computer:

1. Make sure that the SuperPro USB dongle is NOT plugged into the server computer.

2. Retrieve the most recent version of the Sentinel Protection Installer executable, which is used to install the Sentinel Protection Server.  The package can be retrieved from one of the following locations:

a. Package hosted by Photon Engineering: Sentinel Protection Installer (v.7.7.1).  Note: Unzip the package and then run the setup.exe file to begin the installation.  Thales provides PDF instructions for installation, which are included in the ZIP package, but can also be found here: Sentinel Protection Installer 7.7.1 Read-Me

b. Retrieve installer executable from an existing FRED installation in the following directory: <FRED installation  path>\Utilities

c. Download from the Thales website (Sentinel Protection Installer version 7.7.1)

3. Proceed through the Sentinel Protection Installer and choose the "Complete" setup option when prompted.  This will install three services required to host the network USB dongle; the Sentinel Keys Server, Sentinel Protection Server and the Sentinel Security Runtime. If for any reason the install fails, download and run the SSD Clean-up Utility, restart the machine, then run the Sentinel Protection Installer again.

4. Verify that the services from (3) above are running on the license server by checking the Windows services list as shown below.

5. Check that one of the following ports is open for network communication:

  • For TCP/IP protocol, UDP port 6001
  • For IPX/SPX protocol, SAP messages are sent over 361 Hex
System administrators should verify that no other applications are using port 6001 by issuing the "netstat -a -b" command.  After allowing the command to fully execute, check the output for [spnsvnt.exe] running on UDP port 6001.  The network key communication will fail if any software other than the sentinel software is using that port (LabView is a common conflicting software.
6. Plug the USB dongle into the license server.
7. Open the Windows Device Manager and check the Universal Serial Bus Controllers group for a device labeled "SafeNet USB SuperPro/UltraPro"

NOTE: Firewalls or virus software may interfere or block port settings. Try temporarily disabling these as a debugging method.

Client Setup

The procedure below should be followed to set up a client computer for use with a SuperPro network key.   If you do not have an up to date FRED installation or have not received a download link to the current release version, please email FRED Technical Support at for more information.

1. Install FRED Optical Engineering Software.  None of the optional installation components are required on the client computer.

2. Add a new Windows System environment variable by opening the control panel and selecting the System group option.  In the resulting dialog, select Advanced System Settings (requires Administrative Privileges). Press the Environment Variables button in the resulting System Properties dialog to access the system environment variables list.  Use the "New" option to create a new System environment variable.

a. The System environment variable should have the name, NSP_HOST

b. The value of the environment variable should be specified as one of the following options (server name or IP address recommended):

Environment Variable Value Description
server name, IP address, or IPx address This is the fastest and most efficient access mode for locating the server. This value allows a maximum of 63 characters. Designating the server name is the most reliable since the IP address can change in some cases.
RNBO_SPN_BROADCAST Broadcasts a request over the local subnet to find a server with an available license. 
RNBO_SPN_LOCAL  Looks for a hardware key on the local computer (standalone mode using a local server). 
RNBO_SPN_DRIVER Looks for a hardware key on the local computer (standalone mode without a local server).

3. Start FRED on the client computer.  If the user is presented with the Dashboard, the acquired license information will be displayed in the top right of the Dashboard view.  If the user is presented with the License Search Strategy dialog, this indicates that no license was acquired.  In that case, pressing the Results Dialog... button on the License Search Strategy dialog may provide additional information as to the license acquisition failure.  The "Licensing Technology Search Strategy" option on the License Search Strategy dialog must use either "Superpro only",  "Superpro then Sentinel", or "Sentinel then Superpro".

Optional Client Computer Parameters

A set of additional parameters can be applied to the client computer that will govern how the client searches for a network key. With the exception of the NSP_HOST_CONFIG option (see below), the parameters must be used IN ADDITION to the NSP_HOST environment variable. The optional parameters can be specified by either additional environment variables or by startup parameters on the FRED desktop icon.

Sentinel Client Configuration File
The Sentinel software allows for the designation of a configuration file (sntlconfig.xml) to be used to control the license search method according to the Safe-net Sentinel documentation. This file can be designated for use by specifying the following system environment variable:
Variable Name: NSP_HOST_CONFIG
Variable Value: Path to configuration file (ex. "C:\MyDocuments\sntlconfig.xml")

Example XML configuration file: sntlconfig.xml

Specifying License Search by Environment Variables

Environment variables can be set in Windows by going to Control Panel > System > Advanced: Environment Variables. At a minimum, the NSP_HOST variable must be set. Then, additional environment variables or startup parameters can be specified to provide further control over license access.  The following optional environment variables can be specified to refine the network license search:

System Environment Variable Variable Value Description
NSP_HOSTKEYSERNUM Key serial number in decimal form (ex. "1B2" in hex = 2*16 0 + 11*161 + 1*162 = 434) Designates a specific SuperPro key on the license server from which a license must be acquired.  This option requires that the designated key serial number is known. This environment variable takes precedence over the NSP_HOSTKEYTYPE variable.
NSP_HOSTKEYTYPE standard, optimum, or mpc Specifies the FRED license type that must be acquired (FRED, FRED Optimum, or FREDmpc)

Specifying License Search by FRED Startup Parameters

Rather than designating a specific hardware key by serial number using NSP_HOSTKEYSERNUM or a specific version type using NSP_HOSTKEYTYPE, these settings can be issued as FRED startup parameters. The value for /HostKeySerNum is the decimal representation of the target key's serial number. The value for /HostKeyType is either "mpc", "optimum" or "standard".

Example Description
fred.exe /HostKeySerNum=256 A license is acquired from a SuperPro key with serial number 256 (in decimal), or no license is acquired.
fred.exe /HostKeyType=optimum A license of FRED Optimum is acquired, or no license is acquired.

NOTE: No spaces are allowed in the entry of the startup parameters.

These startup parameters can be issued at the command line or by editing the FRED startup desktop icon "Target" entry (ex. "C:\Program Files\FRED\Bin\Fred.exe" /HostKeyType=optimum). 

Server Dongle Authorization Update

Updating the license authorization codes for a network key can be performed from any client computer connected to the server within FRED.  This procedure only needs to be performed one time and the key will be updated for all clients.  The procedure for updating a network license is as follows:

1. Start FRED on a client computer that can acquire a network license from the key being updated.  If more than one FRED SuperPro dongle is hosted on the license server, use the environment variable or startup parameter options described previously to force the client to acquire a license from the specific key being updated.

2. In FRED, open the license authorization dialog by navigating to Help > License Authorization. (note that if the FRED license is expired, this dialog will open automatically upon starting FRED)

3. Enter the license authorization code strings into the dialog box and press "Authorize Key".

4. A dialog box will be presented indicating the success or failure of the license update.  The FRED License Status information at the top of the dialog should update to display the new authorization codes.

Sentinel License Monitor

With the Sentinel license server software installed, a license monitor running as a JAVA applet is available through a web browser interface. The license monitor can be viewed by opening a web browser and entering the address: http://localhost:6002.  Note that many web browsers and security policies will block this applet from running, but Internet Explorer has been found to be most flexible in permitting access to the license monitor.

License Log

The "loadserv.exe" utility located in the ..\Program Files\Common Files\SafeNet Sentinel\Sentinel Protection Server\ folder can be used to specify log files for usage and errors. The following steps should be taken to setup logging for a network license:

1. Run loadserv.exe

2. In the Server and Command line option section, click Configure.

3. Select the "..." browse button in the Usage Log File section and designate a *.log file for collecting license usage information (typically in the same folder as the utility).

4. Select the "..." browse button in the Error Log File section and designate a *.log file for collecting license error information (typically in the same folder as the utility).

5. Click OK on the Server Options dialog.

6. Click Quit on the Sentinel Protection Service Loader dialog.

7. Restart the Sentinel Services from the Control Panel.

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