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A Guide to ComponentOne License Management

Licensing is intended to protect our intellectual property rights while providing customers and end-users with seamless integration of third-party controls inside their applications. With the introduction of our .NET 5 controls and beyond in the 2020v2 release, we’ve simplified our licensing process by introducing the .gclicx file.

.GCLICX File (Run-time Licensing)

The .gclicx file acts as the run-time licensing for your applications utilizing our newer ComponentOne controls in .NET 5 and later. Once you have an activated license on your machine, you must download ComponentOne controls you’re looking for (either via NuGet or the ComponentOne Control Panel) and drop them from the toolbox onto your form. Once you build your application, a .gclicx file will automatically be created inside your solution. This .gclicx file will be populated with all the information it needs to successfully act as the run-time licensing on an unlicensed end-user’s machine. This file should be included with your project’s distribution, and you should ensure that the “Build Action” property of the .gclicx file is set to “Embedded Resource.”

Licenses.licx File (Design-time Licensing)

ComponentOne .NET Framework controls support the standard licenses.licx file approach supported by the Microsoft .NET LicenseProvider. In most cases, this licensing file is required for applications being developed in .NET Framework 4.8 or earlier utilizing ComponentOne controls, including the 2.0, 4.0, and 4.5.2 versions of the controls. The design-time licenses.licx file is automatically generated when a downloaded ComponentOne control is dragged and dropped onto a .NET Framework application’s form or designer surface directly from the toolbox.

In a C# application, this will be under the “Properties” folder inside the solution.

License Solution Explorer

In a VB application, this will be under the “My Project” folder inside the solution, and the “Show All Files” icon must be toggled above the Solution Explorer.


For each control referenced inside the application, there should be one or more accompanying lines relating to those controls inside the licenses.licx file. For example, when dragging the 2022v1 FlexGrid control onto a blank form in a .NET Framework 4.8 WinForms application, the following licenses.licx file is automatically generated: C1.Win.C1FlexGrid.C1FlexGrid, C1.Win.C1FlexGrid.4.5.2, Version=4.5.20221.548, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=79882d576c6336da

If you believe lines are missing from this file, you can utilize our licensing utilities described in a later section within this blog.

How the Licensing Subscription Works

Each ComponentOne license lasts indefinitely and includes a one-year subscription to free updates. For example, if I purchased a new 2022v2 license, I could use the 2022v3, 2023v1, and 2023v2 controls for free with the same license. When the new 2023v3 control set releases, I would only be able to continue using the latest controls and upgrade to the 2023v3 control set if I renewed my license. However, I would always be entitled to use up to the 2023v2 controls included in my free one-year subscription with my initial 2022v2 license purchase.

Please note that any fixes or enhancements made to the controls will only be available in the latest release. You can check the latest version of the controls that you can use with your currently activated license key by utilizing our ComponentOne Control Panel’s “License” tab and selecting the “View Installed Keys” option directly beneath the “Serial Key” line.

How to Activate the License

There are two ways to activate your new 19-digit license key efficiently. The first is by utilizing the GrapeCity License Manager (gclm.exe) and selecting the “Activate” button next to the edition that corresponds with the version of the license purchased.


For example, a ComponentOne Studio Enterprise license will only activate successfully if you select the ComponentOne Studio Enterprise option within the GrapeCity License Manager. If you don’t already have it installed on your computer, you can download the GrapeCity License Manager here.

The second way to activate your license is via the ComponentOne Control Panel’s “License” tab, which will require some basic information along with the purchased license key. This will also provide a drop-down menu where you must select the type of license you are trying to activate, similar to the ComponentOne Studio Enterprise license example mentioned above.


If you don’t already have it installed on your computer, you can download the ComponentOne Control Panel here: /componentone/download 

Licensing Utilities

Suppose you have issues generating a .gclicx file for the application or involving missing lines from a licenses.licx file. In that case, you can utilize our licensing utilities built-in to Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio 2019. This blog goes into much greater detail on these utilities and is an excellent resource if you're interested in learning more: /blogs/how-to-manage-and-update-your-componentone-license-in-visual-studio

Suppose you don’t have these utilities and would like them. In that case, you can download and install them via the ComponentOne Control Panel’s “Products” tab, “Tools” sub-tab, and selecting “ComponentOne Visual Studio Menu” to install.

C1 VS Menu

If you are still experiencing errors or concerns regarding ComponentOne licensing, please reach out to our support team directly by emailing, and we will work on resolving your issue as quickly as possible.


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