When you're deploying Episerver it is very likely that you'll also need to deploy a license file with the files.  The standard Iaas (infrastructure as a service)/ on-prem license is pretty simple.  Make sure that the license file is included with your build, make sure the site's web.config setting is pointing to the right place and boom you have a licensed site!

If you've got a new cloud license, the process is still very simple, just a little less intuitive.  As I've forgotten how to active a cloud license a few times now, I  thought I'd share the process with you, so read on if you have a file and you're not sure what to do with it.

What Is A Cloud License?

Most clients I seem to work with nowadays are moving to the cloud and Episerver has brought out a new type of license, the cloud license.  The difference between a cloud license and traditional license is that with a traditional license, the license is bound to a server (mac or IP) and this can't be changed easily.  Say you had a staging/live set-up, you would have one license for staging and one for live and you need to set your build server up to deploy the correct one.

With a cloud license, you would only need one cloud license which can be associated x number of websites on x number of servers.  

A cloud license can be good to deal with load, for the example above imagine you have a QA environment, can include an additional server into your cloud license allocation, e.g. you can run 3 websites (remember technically you need a license for your QA environment).  If you have a sale day and your traffic spikes, you can activate a new live box in the cloud, activate the QA server temporarily and then re-assign the license from QA to live and bingo, you've scaled... ish. your solution.

Granted, this type of model doesn't fully mimic the true infinitely scalable cloud model like Azure can handle, but it is more flexible.  The down-side to a cloud license is that it costs something like 15-20% more than an on-prem license.

How Do I Activate The License?

To set a cloud license, you can generate one from the license portal.  After assigning the correct number of servers and websites you want to be included with your license, you should be sent a license over email (like a normal website).

If you go to the admin screen now and look in config -> manage websites.  You should see the following scene:

Nothing special has happened yet.  If you now get your cloud license into your webroot, refresh the page and look again, you should now see this screen:

yep, there's now a magic 'cloud license' tab that suddenly appears.  If you don't have the cloud license in your webroot and hooked up correctly, this tab won't display (this is usually the bit I forget).  Next, simply activate your website and boom, you're good to go!