FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

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Fragen zum PreSurfer for Bentley Licences:

General Questions

What characterises PreSurfer for Bentley Licenses?

The PreSurfer ensures that an overusage of Bentley licenses is excluded. Thus, you can reliably avoid non-controllable additional usage fees.


  • All types of BENTLEY software calls are controlled
    (Double click on a DGN in Windows Explorer, call the icon, start an add-on or MDL in MicroStation, SISnet, etc.)
  • Any number of instances of the same product can be run on one and the same device
  • BENTLEY restrictions are observed
    (license release on full hour, 10-minute BENTLEY license lock plus license release on full hour)
What are the unique features of the PreSurfer against comparable products from other manufacturers?

We are the only manufacturer that protects against overusages with OpenRoads products, Speedikon and sisNET, also in combination with Citrix.

Is is possible to block an overusage of Bentley licenses at any time?
  • If the corresponding Bentley products have been reported to the PreSurfer for monitoring, an overusage will be prevented at all times.
  • If you want to use certain Bentley products for a project, you are welcome to do so. In PreSurfer, these products are not explicitly entered so that they are outside the license control of the PreSurfer. In this case, you use the “OpenAccess” concept, while the products configured in the PreSurfer are still under license control which protects from overusage.
Is it possible to use more licenses than having in the license pool?
  • A deliberate violation of licenses is possible. The number of licenses in the PreSurfer must be increased. This allows you to capture short-term project ups without purchasing additional licenses.
Under which operating conditions a protection against overusing licenses cannot be guaranteed?

Only licenses checked out on the SelectServer are out of reach of PreSurfer. Somit wäre dies zu unterbinden bzw. es müsste dahingehend Vorsorge getroffen werden, als das die im PreSurfer Lizenzpool vorhandenen Bentley Lizenzen um die Anzahl der ausgescheckten Lizenzen vermindert werden.

Is MicroStation supported in the 2004 edition and MicroStation XM?

Since the previous versions of the MicroStation V8i are also addressed with a Bentley ID, it is also possible for the PreSurfer to monitor them.

Can other Bentley products still be tested?

You can still evaluate Bentley software products that have not yet been registered

Can PreSurfer be temporarily disabled on a client and thus Open Access be enabled?

With an administrative account the client part of the PreSurfer can be deactivated and Open Access can be enabled. On the client side, the administrator is also able to allow Open Access for certain products, while other Bentley products remain under license control of the PreSurfer.

How is the PreSurfer licensed?

On the PreSurfer server a license file, e.g. for 100 clients, will be generated. Once PreSurfer is installed and started on the client, it is logged into the database. If the 100th client has been installed, the server will not allow any further PreSurfer clients to be added.

These are not floating licenses!

Can the PreSurfer be used on mobile devices or are VPN connections (= Virtual Private Network) supported?

Bentley products only can be launched on notebooks that are either connected directly or via a VPN connection to the corporate network.


Basically PreSurfer supports three operating modes for a VPN tunnel:


  • Site-to-Site – From VPN Gateway to VPN Gateway. Mostly used for networking multiple sites of companies.


  • Site-to-End – From the VPN gateway to the host. A possible application scenario would be the access of an external working sales representative to the company network


  • Host-to-Host – Also referred to as End-to-End. This type is used e.g. when connecting two servers across different sites. Partially also when an external working sales representative accesses and connects directly with a server.
What happens if more licenses are needed than are available in the pool? Who (i.e. user, administrator or other) receives what information?

If no license is available, the respective license requester, i.e. the user, receives a message in the form of a notification window that no more licenses are available. Using the PreSurfer WaveMonitor (see attachment), you can see where licenses are in use and when they are expected to be available again.


A “planned” overusage of your licenses is possible at any time. The number of licenses in the PreSurfer must be increased. Thus, you can capture short-term project peaks without acquiring additional licenses; but in return you will receive an overhead bill (QTL invoice)  from Bentley.

How to deal with future BENTLEY software updates and upgrades?

Corporate Montage is committed to covering the future Bentley software updates and upgrades as well as new software products from Bentley Systems through the PreSurfer. For this, a maintenance contract is offered, via which updates of the PreSurfers can be obtained.

What administrative and service tasks must be carried out on a regular basis?

If the PreSurfer is introduced to you, we ask the first days for the transmission of the PreSurfer log files. This only serves to ensure the quality of the system and to determine the proper functionality of the system.

Is it possible to install Bentley Software updates and upgrades at all time?

If you would like to install new updates and upgrades in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us to ensure a 100% secure license control with the PreSurfer.

How to check the current license usage at Bentley?

You can view your license usage at any time at http://select.bentley.com/selectopenaccessportal/ or connect to your local Bentley Select Server.

Is it possible to switch from the Hosted Server to a Deployed Server?
  • According to the BENTLEY Support of 23.06.2015, a change is only possible in special cases. If you would like to introduce a Deployed Server for operational reasons (works council, etc.), please contact the BENTLEY Support directly:


SELECT-Support Tel. Deutschland: 0800-1818312
SELECT-Support Tel. Österreich: 0800-296442
SELECT-Support Tel. Schweiz: 0800-838452

How does the PreSurfer licensing work togehter with Citrix?

The Citrix licensing relys on the pc-name + user name that are connecting to the Citrix server.

Support and technical questions

What are the technical system requirements?


Windows 7 32bit and 64bit, Windows 8.x or Windows 10
BENTLEY products from version 8i or MicroStation 2004, XM
as well as the CONNECT Edition from Update 2
Microsoft .NET 4.6.1



Windows Server Version 2008 to 2012R2
SQL Server or SQL Server Express as of version 2008
Installed Management Studio

If a new computer hardware is used how can PreSurfer for Bentley Licenses be uninstalled?

1. Stop the service “presurferlocalservice”
2. Uninstall the application “presurferlocalservice”
3. Uninstall the application “runner”
4. Uninstall the application “licensing” or “ilicensing” (if available)
5. Delete the file “zz_presurfer.cfg” from all BENTLEY directories „config\appl“ (these directories are available in every product which can be accessed autonomously)
6. Check or, if necessary, delete the registry entries under: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\ containing entries for BENTLEY EXE files. Such as ustation.exe, rail.exe, inroads.exe, etc.

How does PreSurfer work technically?

The PreSurfer server / client architecture ensures a secure and optimized communication between the PreSurfer server and the connected clients. The PreSurfer is installed in the intranet of the customer and communicates with the clients via the TCP / IP protocol. It acts as the central pool for all Bentley licenses. The PreSurfer must be configured only once after installation in order to register, i.e. the Bentley products used, the number of computers with access to the PreSurfer, etc.

When a user starts a Bentley product, the PreSurfer service checks to see if another instance of the same product on that client is already in use. If this is the case, the server returns the information to the client and releases it again because any number of instances of the same product can be executed on one and the same computer.

If a user does not have an instance of the product in use, the PreSurfer is requested for an available license. If a license is available, it is transmitted. In the event that no license is available, the corresponding client receives a notification and informs the user about it. Thus starting the Bentley product is prevented.

In the event that the PreSurfer has licenses for the requested product, the client is informed accordingly and the Bentley product can be started.

If a license has been issued by PreSurfer, a minute “heartbeat” checks whether the client is still available. If no feedback from the client is made to the server, the PreSurfer assumes that the client is either switched off or is in standby. The license will not be released until the Bentley product has been closed at that workstation.

How can PreSurfer be temporarily disabled?

You want to use a Bentley product on your notebook with a customer, but already know that you can not establish a VPN connection to the company network?

Administratively, the PreSurfer can be disabled on this client.

If it is the pure MicroStation, for example, the following registry entry must be deleted:

reg delete “HKLM \ SOFTWARE \ Wow6432Node \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ ImageFileExecutionOptions \ ustation.exe”

As well as the associated CFG file:

del “C: \ Program Files (x86) \ Bentley \ MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries) \ MicroStation \ config \ appl \ zz_presurfer.cfg”

Please create a batch file to enable or disable preventive protection.

Please be aware that you also have to minimize the number of licenses in your license pool in the PreSurfer database according to the number of temporarily disabled licenses.