Academic Volume License Administrator Resources


Academic Volume License (AVL) servers are managed using NI Volume License Manager (VLM). This document provides steps on how to set up your licensing server as well as links to helpful resources for you or for your software users. 


Set Up Your Academic Volume License Server

Academic Volume Licenses (AVLs) servers are managed using NI Volume License Manager (VLM). VLM is a tool for our multi-seat license programs which allows you to centrally manage your licenses.

  1. Download and install NI VLM on your server computer
    • NI VLM should be downloaded on the computer which will be the licensing server to be reached by the client machines (i.e. end-users like students, educators, or researchers). The server computer must have successful communication with the client machines through the network.
  1. Obtain License File
    • The License File is the file that will rule out what licenses you can manage and how many seats you have based on what you have acquired.
    • The license file should be emailed to you after purchase is complete. However, if you need help accessing this license file, follow steps to Obtain a License File for Server  from NI Agreements.
  1. Install the License File
  2. Configure Server Settings
  3. Add Computers or Users access to the AVL. There are different methods for sharing access depending on your institution’s needs:

Adding Faculty Access

  • Unmanaged Concurrent License—This license type is easiest to manage, but operates as first come first served. If this license type is used, you are unable to reserve seats for individuals. You are able to track license usage numbers, but cannot easily track individual users. 
  • Managed License—This license type reserves licenses for specific individuals or defined groups. Add your end users’ information to VLM to add permissions to grant access.

Adding Student Access

  • [Recommended] Student Install Option (SIO)—Using SIO, you can provide a serial number to students to allow them to activate software on their personal computers for learning purposes. This allows you as the administrator to not worry about tracking students on a server or collecting user information.
    • The SIO serial number updates every year, so students will need to request SIO periodically. Using this licensing method, admins can track overall software usage at any given time but are not able to easily track individual users.
    • SIO license is meant for students, not academic faculty or staff. 
  • Managed License—You can add students’ information to VLM individually to grant access to software. This will allow you to know exact amount of usage and limit access to software if needed. 

Distribute Licenses to Students

Once the license server is set up, students can activate their software. The method that they should use depends on how the license serve is configured. 

Access Online Training

As part of your academic volume license, students and staff can access a variety of online courses. They will need to create and log into their own user account associated with the VLA.  See Access Online Training with a Volume License Agreement (VLA) for detailed instructions for administrators and end users.

Download Software

Web-based AVL software downloads are made available as soon as the products release to provide immediate access. For a list of software included in the Academic Volume License, refer to Software Included in NI Academic Volume License.

It may be beneficial to create a computer image with the AVL software for classroom or lab computers. In these cases, it is possible to include NI licensing when creating a computer image.

For information about downloading software for macOS or Linux, refer to Access Academic Volume License Software for Mac and Linux Users

Support Resources

Admin Support Resources

Student Support Resources

  • For manuals, API references and other product documentation, please visit our Product Documentation Center and search by individual product.
  • Many support questions are answered in articles written by technical support engineers in our KnowledgeBase.

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