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“I bought perpetual rights to the software. Why are the authorization codes only for 15 months?”  This is a question I hear often. There are several factors that need to be explained in order to understand the bigger picture.


Customers who purchased perpetual products own perpetual rights to the software. Mentor will ensure you have active authorization codes to run the software regardless of your maintenance contract status.  Here is the process:


  • Generally you will get a quote for maintenance renewal 60 to 90 days before your current contract expires.


  • Once you renew your maintenance, an email with a link to download your new 15 month authorization code file is sent to you.


  • Your current authorization codes give you until 3 months after your current contract expires to load the new authorization code file.


  • These authorization codes include your new contract expiration date, and allow you to run any new version of software released prior to that date.


  • As long as you renew your maintenance contract, you will get updated authorization codes with the latest Exact Access dates every year, ensuring you can run the latest version of our products.


  • Should you lose track of time, many of our products will remind you that the authorization code is going to expire in X number of days.  This will give you plenty of time to download the new authorization code file from SupportNet, or contact us if you need to.


  • If you choose not to renew maintenance for any of the products at your site (which we hope you never do), we will send you 5 year authorization codes that include the date your last maintenance contract expired.  This authorization code file will only allow you to run versions of software released prior to your last contract expiration date. These 5 year authorization codes will continue to be renewed at no charge.


If at any time, you need a copy of your current authorization code file, you can always download it from SupportNet whether you are on maintenance or not.  If you need a new authorization code file, you can contact us and we will send you a new one right away. This is one of the factors that drove us to our 15 month authorization code policy. We found several cases where a new authorization code was requested, and the old one was still being used as well.  We refer to this as License Leakage.  Shorter authorization codes help us avoid inadvertently generating, and help you avoid inadvertently using, more license files than were paid for.


Occasionally our products are sold or given to third parties in violation of the End User License Agreement .  By having shorter term authorization codes we can ensure that at some point we have visibility because unauthorized users will need to ask for new authorization codes.


The bottom line is that the perpetual license is "forever" so long as you are complying with the license agreement. The authorization codes are not forever, but are easily and proactively renewed.


We all wish that authorization codes were not needed, but reality dictates otherwise.  If you feel you have legitimate reasons why you need a longer authorization code, please contact me to discuss what options may be available.  My email is



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Within Mentor Graphics features are created at an atomic level. This allows us to use the same feature in multiple locations, or to group features in order to perform some operation.  Then Marketing groups various features into products to address the various market needs and to help us realize a return on our development investment. Our competition does the same thing.


As a result, license packaging often doesn’t map directly to the software purchased. We have provided two methods to help you sort this out.


First is a License Feature & Part Number Lookup Report on SupportNet that allow customers to look up the license features that map to their site(s) purchase orders:





Second, to make it even easier for customers to understand how the features in their Authorization Code file map to the software they purchased, we added a License Content section at the bottom of each license file.  This content mapping in the AC file is comparable to the content mapping in our competitors Authorization Code files.  We hope that providing this information within the Authorization Code file itself will ease confusion so customers won't have to run a license feature map report on SupportNet.  The License Content section shows the Part Number, Description of the package and its corresponding license features:








I know this is a bit complicated, but then the designs you are completing with our various packages are not a walk in the park either. Let me know what additional questions you have regarding this.



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