Wish: Remove Rhino 6 license automatically from a Rhino-account, for a local installation

Hi @brian,

today I have done licensing support (for 30 minutes) for one customer, to move his Rhino 6 license from the cloud-zoo to a local installation (because he wanted to use Rhino without internet).

The customer didn’t know what a Rhino-Account/Cloud-Zoo is. So he didn’t know, that he has to remove the license from a Rhino-Account to install it locally. Somehow he has tried to install the license locally. But after starting Rhino, he got always the installation questions from where to retrieve the license. He was trapped in an endless loop by restarting Rhino again, and again, and was always asked for an Rhino-account or a local installation (which didn’t work). As you can imagine, this was a really bad experience for him.

Wish: Customers should be guided much better to remove/switch the Rhino 6 license from their Rhino-account to a local installation, and if possible much more automatically.

Or have I missed something?



This has step by step instructions:

Hi John,

yes, I know.

Why not to integrate these steps in Rhino, to improve this bad user experience?



The decision was made to step the user through creating a Rhino login account and adding their license to their Cloud Zoo Personal licenses in a default, prompted way.
The idea is it gets far more users setup and running than presenting them with options when they just want to run Rhino.
There is some logic to that approach.
From a tech support point of view, it’s bad because you end up with users that have no idea what they’ve setup or why.

A big share of my day is helping users figure out what they have so they can do something different.
This is instead of spending most of my day helping them figure this out initially.

There is pain associated with either approach.
I did not decide on the logic or approach.
I just have to help users navigate through it later.

Yes, its a good decision to suggest first a Rhino account.

Nethertheless Rhino 6 could inform and guide users much better through these licensing processes automatically.

To tell customers to look in wiki pages is a really bad compromise in my opinion.

@Michael_Meyer I hear you. Rhino 6 licensing is more complex than V5, and also more strict. I’d love to see your ideas about how this could be improved.

I presume your customer was trying to get Rhino running on a second computer that was disconnected from the internet? Were they trying to validate offline? Do you recall the error message they got?

It probably makes sense for you to DM the user’s email address to me so I can see our records of what happened. The goal is that we do guide the user through the process of changing things - but maybe this case isn’t one of the ones we offer.

When a license is in a Rhino account, and you’re not logged in, and you’re using a license key on another computer, it may be that we assume the best option is to have the user log in.

Hi Brian,

as I understand it, he installed Rhino 6 on an (another) PC without internet. Then he connected it to the internet, and was trapped in the loop.

Couldn’t it be like this: When he tries to install the Rhino 6 license locally, Rhino 6 should offer him step by step forms to remove the license from his Rhino-account, or even better do this automatically.

I send you in private his license, and e-mail-address.



There’s an issue of security here, too. What happens if a user gets ahold of a license key that is in another user’s Rhino account - should we just automatically remove it from the Rhino account? I’m sure that’s not the case in this situation, but it is not uncommon at all.

In this case, I think the best case option (with the technology we have) is to guide the user through logging into their Rhino account to remove the license, then adding it locally. Did the user know how to log into their Rhino account?

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This is the part that needs to be fixed (the endless loop part). I have experienced that myself when Rhino couldn’t find my online license - there is a post somewhere by me on this with screenshots. It’s very annoying.

Hi Brian,

to avoid the security issue, send an e-mail with a confirmation link to the e-mail-address of the account. (What the customer has to do anyways, when he doesn’t know of an account, and has to reset then the unknown account password.)

Did the user know how to log into their Rhino account?

No, that’s one of the problems. A lot of users don’t know they have an account and even worse they don’t know about a password.

In this case, I think the best case option (with the technology we have) is to guide the user through logging into their Rhino account to remove the license, then adding it locally.

I think thats a bad idea, because users have to deal with Rhino itself and a web browser log-in.

Why not create one ‘rescue’ form in Rhino 6, where you type your license, and your e-mail-address to remove the license from the account to set the license locally?



That’s an interesting idea. I’ve been trying to come up with a good solution that works, not only for rescuing from Cloud Zoo, but also from standalone and Zoo. I’ll ponder that.

I guess we make it too simple to create an account! The user clearly set one up, or they wouldn’t have been able to add their license. Did the user try to reset their password? That should always work.

Did the user try to reset their password? That should always work.

Sure, I’ve explained him every step by step in a 30 minute call. :frowning:

Been there, done that… :roll_eyes:

OK, so I just set up this situation, and here’s the dialog box I see:


When I click “Disable sharing and use this license only on this computer…”

I am taken to this page.

When I visit the licenses page, I’m asked to log in.

I understand that the user doesn’t know they have an account. I also got this email instantly:

Someone is trying to use your Rhino 6 Commercial license (serial number 6-1600-0101-1-41498-XXXXX). Your Rhino 6 Commercial license has been added to the Rhino Account associated with this email address: [brian@_________.com].

To use your license:
1. Start Rhino
2. Rhino will tell you there are no licenses available
3. Click the X to close the Licensing dialog box
4. In the “Rhino 6 needs a license to run” dialog box, click “Logout”
5. Click “Login”
6. Login using your email address [brian@________.com]

If someone is using your license without your permission, please let me know.

Thank you,

  • Brian Gillespie

Robert McNeel & Associates

(In that email, the full email address is included, I’ve redacted it for my own sanity).

Clearly there’s a bias here assuming that the user wants to keep the license in their Rhino account.

Some things I think might help are:

  1. Add instructions to the recovery email that tell the user how to remove the license from the account and add it locally.
  2. Create a “magic login link” somewhere that would get the user logged into their account without having to do the password reset dance.

What else would you change? Where?

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Hi Brian,

when I would get this form, I would get annoyed (as my customer did) and do this:

I would try to fix this as quick as possible. So I would always try the first two possible points, I don’t see another way. The second point “…different” is useless for me, so I have only the chance to click on the first point, what will fail and fail again.

As a lazy (single) user I wouldn’t care about documentation “Learn how…”, where I can read documentations about teams and “Disable sharing”, where I read things about accounts and cloud zoos. What is the difference anyway, I want to use my license now.

I would change the form like this:

After clicking “Disable share…” the next form in Rhino tells, you will get an e-mail to the account e-mail-address with an activation link. After clicking on the activation link, the license is locally installed and Rhino 6 can be used at once.

Have I missed something?



P.S.: Another thing: I would sync the wording of Rhino-account and Cloud-Zoo. I would remove Cloud-Zoo and only use Rhino-account for the future. I’ve noticed some users are concerned, when they hear ‘cloud’, some think rhino, their data, or their license is on a server somewhere, what they don’t want.

I like your dialog box edit to make them all look like things you can do now. I see you can appreciate that there are a lot of options, and that there is no single right option. You’ve removed “Share this license with a team of people…” link, though that also is a frequently requested thing to do.

I logged https://mcneel.myjetbrains.com/youtrack/issue/RH-57702

I agree.

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@Michael_Meyer out of curiosity, why didn’t you tell the user about the benefits of Cloud Zoo/Rhino Accounts and show them how to log in - since they had to do that already? That way, they could use Rhino on multiple computers?

Hi @brian,

of course I’ve told him the benefits. But he wanted to use Rhino 6 on a computer without Internet.



Hi @brian,

today I’ve got a call again from a very annoyed Rhino 6 for Mac customer, who was trapped in an installation loop.

He filled in the registration form three times without being able to finish the registration. (BTW: Why doesn’t the form remember his entries, when something failed?).

After calling here, manually login in his Rhino-Account, and removing the license from it, the local license installation was possible.

Please can you take a look again at this loop mania.



Hi Michael, based on our previous conversation, the bug you describe was fixed. Did the user you were helping have the latest build of Rhino for Mac? Are there other details you can help me understand that would improve the situation?

I understand that both you and the customer were frustrated, but the level of detail in your most recent report doesn’t give me much to go on.

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