My appreciation goes out to Element 14 and to Keysight for selecting me to participate in the BenchVue RoadTest. I am still in awe at how great a program Road Test is. Really valuable and useful stuff for free in exchange for your honest review of the product. Wouldn't it be great if other websites had similar programs, like say Ferrari, or your favorite airline?
A special thank you to rscasny for informing me of the selection and sending out the e-mail that contained the Keysight documents necessary to start the license installation process. I emphasize process, because it turned out to be more involved than it should have been and in this short blog I'll describe why. The licenses for the Pro applications I will be using in my BenchVue review (Spectrum Analyzer, Multimeter, Waveform Generator, and Frequency Counter) were installed successfully yesterday, but the journey to that accomplishment was not entirely linear. Here is how the process unfolded.
Day One: Peeling back the layers
First, rscasny kindly sent me a congratulatory email which contained an attachment in the form of an email from Keysight that contained another two attachments. The attachments in the Keysight email contained what Keysight calls certificates, which must be redeemed for actual licenses using a Keysight service called KSM. Okay, I understand. Keysight uses a redemption system where, under normal circumstances, a user would purchase a license, then, upon payment, Keysight would issue a certificate which allows the user to redeem a license from their license server. Other sites simply let you download a license directly following purchase, but I'll accept the extra layer added by Keysight, because, after all, I'm about to receive free licenses for what I expect will be pretty awesome capabilities.
So, I open the first Keysight email. Inside is another Keysight email, this one generically addressed to Dear Valued Customer. It contains a PDF attachment, which I dutifully open. The PDF is a Software Entitlement Certificate which contains two important numbers, a Keysoght Order Number and a Keysight Certificate Number. The certificate is evidence of entitlement to one BV0005A BenchVue Spectrum Analyzer Pro Software License. I make an assumption that the other Keysight email will lead me to a certificate for the other licenses, and after a few more double clicks, it does. To recap; to this point I have had to open six documents to find the actual useful bits that will allow me to retrieve the licenses.
At the bottom of the entitlement certificates are a few lines of instruction on how to redeem the licenses. I read the instructions. The first step is to download BenchVue from Keysight. I already have BenchVue installed, but I thought I should check for updates and download the very recently released application that supports Counters (BV0011A). I start BenchVue and ask it to check for updates. An update is available, so I ask for it to be installed. I don't know why, but the download was painfully slow. It took over 20 minutes. I have a nominal 20 Mbit/s Internet connection, which works well for streaming Netflix movies, so I don't think my connection was the bottleneck. Once BenchVue and all the applications I'll be using were brought up to date, I logged in to Keysight with my account credentials and navigated to the software manager. Well, it turns out I had not yet added Keysight Software Manager to my account, so I clicked through to request addition of this service. Turns out the servers were down. Argh! End of day one.
Day two: Trial and Error
So, I finally enable Keysight Software Manager on my Keysight account. I click on Add a New Certificate and I'm presented with a couple of text boxes to enter the aforementioned Order Number and Certificate Number. I cut and paste from the PDF to preserve fidelity. I am then asked to enter a Host ID, which I take to be some unique identifier for the PC upon which I am installing the licenses. Fine. Not an unusual request for this sort of license. But, how do I get this Host ID? I click on the help icon and up comes a page of help text that suggests I click on a hyperlink if I don't have my Host ID. The hyperlink takes me to another page of help text that, I kid you not, links back to the first help text page without actually telling you how to find your Host ID. So, time for some trial and error clicking around to see what I can find. I remembered seeing something about a HostID within BenchVue itself, so I started poking around in BenchVue. I clicked on the gear icon in the upper right, which drops a menu that has a Licensing selection, so I try that. The Licensing window has a Redeem section. That looks promising, but there is no HostID shown. There is, however, a button that says Offline Redemption. Hmm, I wonder what that is for. Click. A line of text pops up saying I will need the HostID below to complete my redemption, and there it is in a text box. Well, the path to the HostID was, to me, NOT intuitively obvious. I copy and paste the host ID back into the Keysight Software manager and assign one copy of each license to the HostID (2 licenses are provided for each application). Are we done? Nope, not yet. Keysight sends me an email with a 2 kb attachment that contains the actual license file. Once this file is stored in the C:\Program Files\Agilent\licensing folder BenchVue nearly instantly informs me that Pro versions of four applications have been enabled. Wow, and yeah, but mostly --wow.
So it took two evenings, but I'm set up now.
I'll describe what I plan to do to test the Pro applications in a followup blog.