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The Signed License Key and the License Enabler File

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The Signed License Key and the License Enabler File

When purchased, our Qlik products are delivered with a 16-digit license key (LEF) and/or the Signed License key (SLK). What key is applied may differ depending on your requirements or the version of the product.


You’ll have two activation options:


  • The Signed License key (SLK), available for Qlik Sense Enterprise, QlikView, and ABDI.
  • And a combination of the 16-digit key, a control number, and the License Enabler File (LEF)


Note: These license activation methods cannot be mixed. A license activated with an SLK cannot also be activated using the key + control number method.

Customers who have been using Qlik the longest are likely familiar with the LEF method already, while the SLK may not be as widely known yet, which is why we frequently get questions around it.

In this blog post, we will cover the differences between the two activation methods, as well as what benefits the Signed License key brings to the table. Details on how to activate them will follow in the second post to this short series.


What is a Signed License Key (SLK)?


  • The SLK is an encrypted JSON web token used to activate Qlik Sense Enterprise or ABDI. It contains product information, available access types for users, and any applicable product add-ons or limitations.
  • The SLK is to be used for activating Qlik Sense Enterprise on Windows licenses using the Professional/Analyzer user model. Qlik Sense Core Based and Token based licenses should use the legacy LEF activation method.
  • You cannot change from an SLK activated system to a LEF activated system.
  • The SLK requires online connectivity to our licensing server for both activation and continued operation.
  • For information on how to apply an SLK, see How to Apply a Signed License Key
  • The time (Subscription date, Analyzer capacity reset) is on UTC


The SLK is mandatory for:

  • The use of Qlik Sense Analyzer Capacity licenses
  • Any deployments using Qlik Sense Enterprise on Kubernetes or Qlik Sense Enterprise on Cloud Services, as well as Multi-Cloud (a combination of Qlik Sense Enterprise on Windows and Cloud offerings)
  • Unified Licenses, which combine Qlik Sense and QlikView
  • See Qlik product licenses for more information.


What is a License Enabler File (LEF)?


  • Every license has a LEF. Each 16-digit license number that you get can be translated into a LEF, regardless of the method used to activate the license. The LEF itself contains all the instructions for the Qlik Product, such as license level, numbers of users, access types available for assignment, as well as all the limitations or add-on.
  • When applying your license using the license number and control number, the LEF will be downloaded to the product during activation­. It will be updated with each refresh request.
  • The first line of the LEF is always your 16-digit license number and it ends with a checksum so that an unauthorized alteration of the content is impossible.
  • It requires a control number for activation
  • You can change from a LEF activated system to an SLK activated system (but not the other way around). Always use LEF activation if your license has tokens.
  • The LEF can be activated offline and used offline, see How to license a QlikView or Qlik Sense server without Internet access for details.
  • The time (Subscription date) is on UTC


The LEF activation method is currently required for:


How do I get an SLK?


  • Your signed license key will be sent to you in the license delivery email.
  • If you did not receive your SLK via email, please contact Customer Support. Please make sure to provide the corresponding 16-digit license key and the Support team will be able to get the SLK for you.
  • There is no way to get the SLK from the Support Portal at this time.


Benefits of using an SLK


Using the Signed License Key makes more product and deployment options available to you.

Examples of these are:

  • Multi-site deployments, such as connecting a Qlik Sense Enterprise site with a QlikView Server deployment using Qlik Sense Enterprise license options. This is enabled by accepting a Dual-Use offer for each QlikView deployment that should be enabled for a Unified License scenario.
  • Multi-geo deployments, such as having Qlik Sense Enterprise sites in different locations using the same list of users.
  • Qlik Sense Enterprise for Kubernetes and Qlik Cloud Services. Either stand-alone or in a multi-cloud setup.
  • Consumption-based licenses, such as Qlik Sense Enterprise Analyzer Capacity. This additional user license is possible to use in a single or multi-cloud scenario.

All the above is enabled by the use of the Signed License Key. This is made possible by the local deployment syncing all entitlement data (assigned users access, etc.) with all available deployments sharing the same SLK. The synchronization is done using the Qlik Licensing Services and our license backend hosted in Qlik Cloud.

If you are curious about more information around the Qlik Licensing Service, see the Qlik Licensing Service Reference Guide.


How do I get a LEF?




And this is it for an overview of our available license types and activation methods. We’ll follow this up with part two soon, detailing the move from a LEF activated license to an SLK. Until then, give this post a like if you found it helpful! And please let us know if you have any questions or feedback in the comments.

Labels (2)
Luminary Alumni
Luminary Alumni

Hi, is there a limit to a maximum number of geo locations I can use one SLK for? We have one user directory which is shared by multiple locations and think of at least 4, possibly more geo-sites. Could we use one SLK for all?

Digital Support
Digital Support

Hello @RadovanOresky 

We have no known limit to the number of servers the SLK can be activated on. As an example, I believe one of our customers is currently running off somewhere between 10 and 15 locations (if that adds additional reassurance for you).

Partner - Contributor
Partner - Contributor

Hi. Regarding SLK: how Publisher should be taken into account? Is it coming automatically from present LEF information and no "extra" steps are needed.

Just noticed that Publisher is not mentioned here regarding SLK, but instead Qlik states that "This (PUblisher) license is perpetual, and is activated using a license key composed of a serial number and a control number."

Thanks in advance!

Digital Support
Digital Support

Hello @Dimi 

If you have a unified license key that is valid for both QlikView and Qlik Sense (or one to the previously sold QlikView signed license keys), then you can review the license definition to see if it includes a Publisher.

The tag is: qds_nodes

It includes a value indicating how many engines it allows (QDS nodes).

You simply apply that license and the Publisher is fully licensed! 🙂

Kind Regards, 


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Last update:
‎2022-03-22 07:00 AM
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