Cloud Zoo License Management Available in Rhino 6

Exactly - it’s not interchangeable. The Rhino account concept is the most important to push, as we want (require comes later, I expect) every single user to have an account to manage everything that is Rhino related in one place. Many, many people will only have one license to manage, the concept of “Zoo” won’t mean a lot to them and may be confusing… (a zoo with one animal?)


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Hi @aj1 ,

Do you have any plan on making the Cloud Zoo available for third party plugin as well, as we are able to do with the Zoo?

That would be great!


Yes. @aj1, @brian, and @dale can tell you more.

@qlabrosse yes, we definitely do. It is technically already possible, as we designed the system to be used by third parties from the start. The spec is not final, but preliminary documentation for the server side is available here.

There are also some very minor changes that need to be done at the plugin level, which shouldn’t take more than a few minutes of programming work.

Great then, I will follow this!

Hi AJ,

I think that now CloudZoo being a production-ready licensing approach for a released version you should consider being logged in into your rhino account as a way to validate access to downloading installers, if your login gives you access to license usage.

Right now if I go to find the installer for Rhino WIP I encounter this:

That requires me to know the email and license key used. This is a bit of a hassle but of for my personal case. But anyone in my team of licenses will be prevented from downloading a version because they do not have this information. Another approach is that you let them in, if they go to the downloads page from their logged in page in Rhino3d/licenses.




@gustojunk yes, we are working to smooth this process out.


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Hi @aj1,

Do you have any news or time schedule about Cloud Zoo for third party plugin?


hi @qlabrosse Cloud Zoo was designed from the beginning to support third parties. Currently there isn’t a lot of documentation available, but here is what you would have to do from a high level:

  1. Pass the correct information to Rhino from your plugin telling it that you support Cloud Zoo (this part is trivial).
  2. Host a relatively simple REST server to respond to validation calls from Cloud Zoo. The details can be found on this doc.

I’d just like to add that I find Cloud Zoo to be an excellent solution to the perennial issues of sharing a personal license across two computers never used concurrently.

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Hi Scott, I suspect all resellers are meeting this much anticipated end-user resistance. What is confusing for customers (and confusing for me), is given that all three licensing options discussed at indicate that “License Available Offline” [YES], customers want to know which option will support them best when they hadn’t planned to be offline. For example, if in your normal Rhino operation, Rhino requests a license (requiring an internet connection) and you are off-line (but hadn’t planned to be), then you are stuffed - you can’t access Rhino. If you are using Zoo 6 and hadn’t checked out a license, you are similarly stuffed. And the single computer option is not really an option if that was not the computer you had planned to take with you. So, it seems, trips away require pre-planning to make licenses available off-line. Have I missed something? The advice to customers using Zoo Cloud that “Work online or offline. No need to check out licenses, so you should not be caught out on the road without a license.” just doesn’t seem to ring true. Or have I missed something? Currently I am faced with a customer who is thinking of exercising the 100% satisfaction guarantee on ALL his upgrades as a consequence!

Hi @tim.3danz

For example, if in your normal Rhino operation, Rhino requests a license (requiring an internet connection) and you are off-line (but hadn’t planned to be), then you are stuffed - you can’t access Rhino.

I think we’ve done a poor job explaining this. It is true that when you start Rhino for the first time you need an Internet connection, but Cloud Zoo allows you to run Rhino offline without you having to worry about checking out a license. The last thing we wanted to design was a system that required constant internet access.

When you start V6 with an Internet connection, your off-line lease is renewed.
You can always check it:

The thing to watch is if you have a laptop for traveling and are going to need Rhino in a place with no internet connect, be sure to start Rhino on the laptop before you leave to refresh your off-line lease.

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… AND make sure that you have logged into your Rhino account “lately”.

[I just wonder if it would be possible to make it so that using Rhino on the Cloud Zoo equals logging into the Rhino account.]

Yes. For a certain segment of users - those who have a single Rhino license used by multiple computers and who travel or do not have a constant internet connection - the days of “my license will always be there, I don’t even have to think about it” are behind us.

Of course, it one absolutely has to be guaranteed a license will be available no matter what the conditions, there is still a solution - albeit a bit more expensive… Simply buy one license for each machine, install the licenses locally and forget about the cloud zoo.

Or, as my customer says, I am not 100% satisfied with Rhino anymore. All solutions above require an adaptation to routine where you need to premeditate your need for Rhino outside of the office before you leave the office. I am familiar with the solution suggested by John Brock. And I tried it long ago. But even when I was away from internet access and needed to use Rhino 6, guess what? My offline access had expired and I couldn’t use it. The embarrassing thing was that coincident with this, I received a support call from the particular customer who is in the same predicament and highly frustrated.

I’ve read in more than one response in different threads of the reseller discourse the rather glib suggestion that a customer can always get around this by buying a license for each machine he uses (on and off-site). It’s this attitude that leads customers to saying that they are no longer 100% satisfied. I sympathise with these customers. They have upgraded many times as long and loyal customers of McNeel products. Indeed they are one of the 5% who have upgraded. They are familiar with the “single user” concept, not the single computer concept, And most certainly not the but you can do that if you must premeditate your need for Rhino.


So the change in behaviour we expect of our customers is to premeditate their need for Rhino. Else, you have designed a system that for frustration free usage in on/off site scenarios requires constant internet access. You knew this change of behaviour was going to be hard. When customers tell me they are no longer 100% satisfied, we have failed them and it is likely to cost us.

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It is expected for users to be frustrated at the rapid changes in the software industry. It is inevitable for some longtime users to be frustrated at the fact that we have changed how we enforce our license agreement.

Our goal is to design a system that minimizes this frustration and that, for 99%+ of users, requires ZERO “premeditation”. We will keep learning at what works and what doesn’t work at time goes by.

It is imperative for us to explore alternative license enforcement mechanisms separate from a “standalone license key” system we’ve been accustomed to. As you may very well know, modern software uses lots of different licensing methods that the old “standalone license key” system simply isn’t compatible with.

As @Helvetosaur suggested, users can always install a license standalone as before. The difference is they can only use it on one machine. This would eliminate any need for “premeditation” by 100%. The reason we decided not to allow a standalone license to be installed on multiple computers is simple: We have reasonable proof that many were being used concurrently, which seemed unfair to us.

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I am one of your frustrated users. I run a one-person-show laser cutting business and have two computers: one to prep files and conduct daily business and the other to open files and run the laser. Being a good customer, I recently spent $400 upgrade to Rhino 6 and now realize that both computers cannot run the same version of the software without purchasing another license. I don’t feel that my additional installation if Rhino 5 was ‘unfair’ to the Rhino developers. It seems like a reasonable trade for the cost of license, especially given how many people run their lives from multiple computers these days. Also, It’s simply ABSURD and extremely short-sighted to assume that users will always have access to the internet to be able to open the software!!! This is a major violation of basic UX common sense!!! I am shocked. Rhino needs to reward customers who actually choose to buy licenses (as opposed to resorting to other illegal methods) rather than punishing them for trying to do the right thing.