GrapeCity, inc., is the parent company of ComponentOne Studio and all its Editions. For more information, read About the ComponentOne Studio Team.

  • Licenses are per-developer. A developer may install his license on up to three machines.
  • Licenses may be transferred from one developer to another or from one server to another. In this case, the original copy must be completely removed from the original developer's machine (or from the original server).
  • A license entitles you to build applications using our components. The applications you build can be distributed royalty-free.
  • A license entitles you to one year of free upgrades, including bug fixes and new features. After one year, you are no longer entitled to updates, but you may continue to use the products received with your ComponentOne Studio subscription after your subscription has expired.
  • Source code is not included with any products unless explicitly stated in the product feature list. Exceptions to this rule are the source for the Report Designer application, which is included in the ComponentOne Studio WinForms Edition.
  • Volume discounts are available. Please contact sales for details.
  • Commercial OEM License: If you want to use C1 Studio to create your own commercially licensed SDK, choose the Commercial OEM license. Since use cases vary widely, OEM licenses are customized for each customer. Contact us for more information.

Jump to Licensing Sections


Licensing is a mechanism used to protect intellectual property by ensuring that users are authorized to use software products.

Licensing is not only used to prevent illegal distribution of software products. Many software vendors, including GrapeCity, use licensing to allow potential users to test products before they decide to purchase them.

Without licensing, this type of distribution would not be practical for the vendor or convenient for the user. Vendors would either have to distribute evaluation software with limited functionality, or shift the burden of managing software licenses to customers, who could easily forget that the software being used is an evaluation version and has not been purchased.

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ComponentOne Studio has a licensing model based on the standard set by Microsoft, which works with all types of components.

Note: The Compact Framework components use a slightly different mechanism for run-time licensing than the other ComponentOne Studio components due to platform differences.

When a user decides to purchase a product, he receives an installation program and a serial number.

During the installation process, the user is prompted for the serial number that is saved on the system. (Users can also enter the serial number by clicking the License button on the About Box of any ComponentOne Studio Edition, if available, or by rerunning the installation and entering the serial number in the licensing dialog box.)

When a licensed component is added to a form or Web page, Visual Studio obtains version and licensing information from the newly created component. When queried by Visual Studio, the component looks for licensing information stored in the system and generates a run-time license and version information, which

Visual Studio saves in the following two files:

  • - An assembly resource file which contains the actual run-time license
  • - A licenses.licx file that contains the licensed component strong name and version information

These files are automatically added to the project.

In WinForms and ASP.NET 1.x applications, the run-time license is stored as an embedded resource in the assembly hosting the component or control by Visual Studio. In ASP.NET 2.x applications, the run-time license may also be stored as an embedded resource in the App_Licenses.dll assembly, which is used to store all run-time licenses for all components directly hosted by Web Forms in the application. Thus, the App_licenses.dll must always be deployed with the application.

The licenses.licx file is a simple text file that contains strong names and version information for each of the licensed components used in the application. Whenever Visual Studio is called upon to rebuild the application resources, this file is read and used as a list of components to query for run-time licenses to be embedded in the appropriate assembly resource. Note that editing or adding an appropriate line to this file can force Visual Studio to add run-time licenses of other controls as well.

Note that the licenses.licx file is usually not shown in the Solution Explorer; it appears if you press the Show All Files button in the Solution Explorer's Toolbox, or from Visual Studio's main menu, select Show All Files on the Project menu.

Later, when the component is created at run time, it obtains the run-time license from the appropriate assembly resource that was created at design time and can decide whether to simply accept the run-time license, to throw an exception and fail altogether, or to display some information reminding the user that the software has not been licensed.

All ComponentOne Studio Editions are designed to display licensing information if the product is not licensed. None will throw licensing exceptions and prevent applications from running.

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The following topics describe some of the licensing scenarios you may encounter.

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We try very hard to make the licensing mechanism as unobtrusive as possible, but problems may occur for a number of reasons. Here are the most common problems and their solutions.

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Q: How is ComponentOne Studio licensed?

A: ComponentOne Studio and its Editions are licensed per developer per seat. This includes anyone who uses ComponentOne Studio components and controls to create and compile projects in Microsoft's Visual Studio. If someone wants to work with the code that a component or control has created, they need to have a license.

There are no limits on the distribution of applications—unlimited, royalty-free, run-time distribution. The licensing only affects design time.

Q: What is the difference between the Subscription and the License?

A: When you purchase the license, you receive a free one-year subscription that entitles you to the latest version of the software. The license is perpetual and does not expire; the subscription runs year to year. If you choose not to renew, you can still use the software as is; you just won't have access to the latest version.

Q: What is activation?

A: Activation is used by GrapeCity to verify the authenticity of the product key used to license the software and also to ensure that keys are only used to license an approved number of machines. The activation process does not collect any customer-specific information and protects the end user's privacy completely.

Q: Since I have a new (28-digit) license key, how do I use an older version of ComponentOne Studio product?

A: Products are backward-compatible. You can use just the first 17 digits of your serial number to unlock older products. For example, for SE307AC-3G-140062-06-6WNWR1K you would use SE307AC-3G-140062.

Q: What is the difference in the serial numbers?

A: Beginning February 18th, 2008, GrapeCity distributes serial numbers that are 28 characters long. The old ComponentOne serial numbers are 17 characters. The new serial numbers are comprised of an old serial number followed by 11 additional characters. The new serial numbers can still be used with older versions of GrapeCity and ComponentOne products, and vice versa.

Q: Can I still license new controls with an old serial number?

A: Yes. As long as your serial number reflects an active subscription, you can enter it into the activation window and successfully license your controls.

Q: I clicked on the OK button in the activation window and nothing happened. What do I do?

A: Make sure that the file C1Licensing.exe is in your bin folder (for example: C:\Program Files\ComponentOne Studio.Net 2.0\bin). This should happen by default when you run any ComponentOne Studio installers starting with the 2008 v2 release. If this file is not on your machine, you can obtain the latest version from If problems persist, please contact the GrapeCity support team. Information on support options can be found here.

Q: I received an error that my serial number is invalid. What should I do?

A: Click on the About button for the control you're trying to license and identify the version number. If the control is a 2007 v3 control or earlier, then you should only enter the first 17 characters of your serial number. If it is 2008 v1 or later, you should your full serial number (if your serial number is from 2008 v1 or later it will be 28 characters; otherwise it will be 17). If you're still experiencing problems, please contact your sales representative for assistance. The GrapeCity Sales team can be reached at 1-800-858-2739. Your sales representative can determine if your serial number is valid and help you to get a valid serial number or further assistance if your serial number is valid.

Q: I have an expired license on my machine and my controls did not activate properly. What do I do?

A: Run the license removal tool. Files are located here. This removes the existing license. Once this is done, you can activate your studio by pressing the Activate button in the About Box of any ComponentOne Studio control.

Q: The license removal tool did not find any licenses. What do I do next?

A: You will need to manually deactivate your controls. To do this, go into the About box of any .NET 2.0 control, and click deactivate. Enter your new license key into the appropriate boxes and click OK.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of activations I can use for a single license?

A: The limit is three (3) machines per license. Allowed installations include any combination of a primary machine (desktop), backup machine (laptop), build machine, or test machine.

Q: Is any personal information collected/submitted during the activation process?

A: No. No personal information is collected.

Q: What happens if I have used all of the activations I am allowed and I need to activate another computer?

A: You can deactivate a computer from the About box of any installed ComponentOne Studio control. The About box will contain a button for Activate if the controls are not activated, and will contain a button for Deactivate if the controls are activated. Once a computer has been deactivated, you may activate another. If you cannot deactivate any of your current computers, you will need to purchase additional licenses.

Q: I was previously given a multi-year license, what do I do now?

A: You'll need to receive a new license key. Please contact your sales representative for assistance. The GrapeCity Developer Tools sales team can be reached at 1-800-858-2739.

Q: I want to activate products on a machine that does not have an internet connection. What do I do?

A: You can activate by phone, e-mail, or online. All three processes are described here: Once you've completed your manual activation, you'll receive an Activation Code. Enter the serial number of your product and the authentication number you received into the Activation Wizard, and complete the process.

Q: If I am redistributing ComponentOne Studio controls in my application, do my users need to use activation?

A: No. Only the developers who are installing ComponentOne Studio controls for use in development projects need to activate their controls.

Q: The activation wizard completed, but activation was not successful! What do I do now?

A: You can activate by phone, e-mail, or online. All three processes are described here: Once you've completed your manual activation, you will receive an Activation Code. Then enter the serial number of your product and the authentication number you received into the Activation Wizard, and complete the process.

Q: What is the impact of activation on UAC (User Account Control)?

A: Licensing procedures invoked by ComponentOne Studio setups will always request activation so that all controls will be licensed. Running the ComponentOne Studio setup will require Administrative privileges during execution. For Windows Vista operating systems and higher, a prompt requesting Administrative privileges will be given if the Vista UAC is turned on and the process starting the setup program does not already have Administrative privileges.

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ActiveX Edition Licensing

ActiveX Edition licensing is handled transparently by .NET in C#.NET and VB.NET, so special consideration is not required when adding ActiveX controls to a form or user control in .NET. However, if you put an unlicensed version of the control on a form, or you wish to change licenses, you must remove the old control and add it back again to get the new licensing. The behavior is identical to that of a VC++ project using an ActiveX control.

For information on dynamically adding ActiveX controls that require run-time licenses, see the Microsoft Support site. All ComponentOne Studio Editions are designed to display licensing information if the product is not licensed. None will throw licensing exceptions and prevent applications from running.

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ASP.NET MVC Edition Licensing

Please visit the ASP.NET MVC Licensing page for more details on MVC licenses.

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Silverlight Edition Licensing

  1. Once the license is activated on the machine, open the Silverlight project(s).
  2. Remove the attribute c1:C1NagScreen.Nag="True" from the XAML markup of each C1 control.
  3. Rebuild the application.

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LightSwitch Edition Licensing

  1. After licensing the machine, open the LightSwitch project(s).
  2. Open the screen(s) containing C1 controls.
  3. Select the C1 control node (eg. C1FlexGrid node).
  4. Save the screen.
  5. In the Properties window, you should see a green shield icon next to the About C1FlexGrid link. This needs to be done for each screen that contains a C1 control.

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WinRT Edition Licensing

The licensing for WinRT is similar to Silverlight.

  1. Once the license is activated on the machine, Open the WinRT project(s).
  2. Remove the attribute Xaml:C1NagScreen.Nag="True" from the XAML markup of each C1 control.
  3. Rebuild the application.

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More Licensing, Subscription, and Renewal Information

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