eway Fixed vs Floating: Understanding the different licence types and finding the right fit

Fixed vs Floating: Understanding the different licence types and finding the right fit

Topics: Digital Transformation, Drainage Design, Flow


Efficient software licence management is crucial for achieving a streamlined and productive workforce. However, the process can be overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers. With a plethora of options available, it's important to choose the right software that aligns with your business or design needs.

Fixed or floating licences: Making the right choice

When it comes to software licenses, you have two main options: fixed or floating. Let's delve into each one to help you decide which is best for you and your team.


What is a fixed licence?

A fixed licence, also known as a standalone licence or a named user licence can only be accessed by a single user assigned to the licence.

For example, if your organisation has 10 users who will require access to the software 10 licences will need to be purchased. The licences cannot be shared and can only be used by the named user. If an 11th user joins the team and they require access then an additional licence will need to be purchased for them. 

Depending on the software, purchasing fixed licences can make things simple from a business perspective. If you only have one user who needs the software, you can just buy them a fixed licence and that’s it. 

However, that is also its biggest drawback: The lack of scalability and flexibility. Most businesses want software that scales as your organisation grows, not one that you become reliant on but eventually becomes a financial burden.

What is a floating licence?

A floating license allows a pre-defined number of licenses to be shared among a group of users on a first-come, first-served basis.  

For instance, Causeway Flow, our end-to-end drainage design solution, operates on a floating licence model. This means Causeway Flow can be used by engineers across multiple teams, offices and countries.

This means if your organisation needs access for 30 engineers but only anticipates 10 using Causeway Flow at once, you only need to purchase 10 licences. This model can save your company significant money, the ultimate flexibility and minimal licence administration. If you find the demand for licences regularly outstrips the number in the pool, you simply need to add more.

A potential disadvantage to floating licences is there may be capacity constraints during peak times, so it's important to plan accordingly. However, it's a small price to pay for the financial savings you are likely to make and the flexibility you will enjoy.

Also check out: See Causeway Flow in action.

Choosing the right fit: Fixed or floating licence for your team?

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If you’re looking for a definite answer for which is better, fixed or floating licence, there is no right or wrong answer – only what is right for your business. Ultimately, you should do a software audit and opt for the licence model that meets your unique business requirements.

Here are three key considerations:


In general, floating licensing is significantly less expensive per user than fixed licensing, especially for larger consultancies and SMEs.

With a fixed licence, you are paying a fee for every potential user of the software however irregularly they require access. If the workload fluctuates, you may end up paying for unused or underused licences.

A floating licence means organisations can make the software available across their entire teams, including light or infrequent users.


If your team grows or if there is a temporary need for more users due to a project or deadline, a fixed licence may not accommodate these changes without additional costs and a complex procurement process.

A floating licence lets you add new users or adjust usage during peak times.


Having a floating licence means your company can have an unlimited number of users who can access the software from anywhere.

This is particularly useful for employees who only need to run the software for a short amount of time each day or have different teams working in different time zones.

Fixed licences might be preferable for companies that need all their employees to access the software at the same time and are not concerned about the cost implications. But when it comes to flexibility, optimising the licence pool and minimising costs floating licences are the way to go.

Discover the freedom of Causeway's cloud-based floating licences

Causeway Flow is our end-to-end drainage design software developed with engineers in mind. We believe in providing our users with powerful yet flexible software for their unique business needs. Hence, we offer a floating licensing model that adapts to your evolving business needs, allowing seamless collaboration and efficient resource allocation. No more restrictive fixed licences that limit your team's mobility and can hinder scalability.

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