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How to license cameras offline in Milestone XProtect

In another of our Milestone XProtect series of how to blogs, I’ll take you through how to license new cameras whilst not connected to the Internet.

Why might you want to licence a camera offline?

Any manager of a security system needs to make decisions about how that system is connected to the network. We encounter XProtect-based security systems of all sizes and configurations. Some are connected to the Internet and some are not. XProtect’s mobile server capability would require an online connection, but if you have no need for this feature or tie your network down tightly your XProtect server may be operating offline, and in this case you’ll be licensing cameras offline.

How easy is the licensing process?

In general, it’s very easy. Once you have XProtect installed, your online Milestone account set up and your SLC added (you may have followed our XProtect installation guide), it really is extremely easy to license cameras online. All you need is the username and password for your online account and the process is a couple of clicks away.

That is, of course, if you have an internet connection. If not, it’s a little more involved, and goes like this:

  • 1) Export license request file
  • 2) Upload file to Milestone online
  • 3) Receive license file by email
  • 4) Import license file

Note that an internet connection will be required to complete the process, but the final step can be done on any machine that is connected, not necessarily the machine running your XProtect management server.

Step 1 – Export the License Request File

So I will pick up at the point where I have added a camera in an unlicensed state within the licensing grace period (see image below). As mentioned above, you would normally just go to File -> Activate License Online. However, having no Internet connection means this process cannot be used.

Camera license view screenshot

The method to use involves generating a License Request File (.lrq) to be uploaded to Milestone later. To start the process go to ‘File’ -> ‘Manage License Offline’, then select ‘Export License for Activation’, as shown.

Export license request file

Next, you will see the following window.

License select dialog

This screen lists the devices you have added on your system and whether or not they have used a license (i.e. have previously been activated). My screenshot shows two unlicensed cameras. I will need 1 license for each camera so I simply choose ‘Ok’.

You will then be asked to save a file with the extension .lrq. Save this onto a USB stick so you can upload it from a machine with an internet connection, as below.

Browser for license request file (.lrq)

Step 2 – Submitting the license for validation

Now I have the license request file for the cameras, I need to submit this to Milestone online to manually license the cameras. This is done through your online account.

Log in to your online Milestone account via their ‘Software Registration Service Centre’ and click ‘Current SLC’s’. Depending on how many SLC’s you have you may need to select from a list. Select the link for the correct SLC you want to add the camera to.

Select SLC for camera to license offline

On this page you will see the link to ‘Upload License Request’. Use this option to import your .lrq file from your USB stick.

Upload license request file

On the following screen you can browse for the file and add it to be uploaded.

Browse for license request file

You also need to supply an email address for Milestone to email you a license file (which will have the extension .lic). Once input, hit ‘Upload’.

You should then receive a message stating that the email has been sent successfully.

License file successfully uploaded, email sent

The file is sent for the Milestone team to manually license your cameras. You will receive an email with the license file attached for import into your system (it took approximately 30 minutes for my license to be returned for this HOWTO). Put this file onto your USB stick.

Step 3 – Importing the Validated License

Open up the XProtect management software and go to File -> ‘Manage License Offline’ then ‘Import License’.

Import validated XProtect camera license

Browse for the license on your USB stick and import it. You should now see that your previously unlicensed cameras have now fully been licensed as below.

Network cameras are now licensed

Job done and your cameras are now fully licensed and will no longer be operating under a grace period. If you’re adding further cameras offline at a later date, just repeat those steps.

Network Webcams / NW Systems Group is a Milestone Advanced Certified Partner. More info on Milestone XProtect VMS software.

Published on October 18th, 2012 by Kevin Bowyer

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