Understanding Adobe Named and Shared Licensing

February 24, 2022

Adobe’s Standard license offers two types of licensing for Adobe software: Named and Shared. Additionally, Adobe offers academic, government, and non-profit licensing options. This article provides a detailed comparison of Named and Shared Licensing for Adobe software.

Adobe is a world leader in creating creative, productive, and digital media solutions deployed across platforms and devices. With this broad spectrum of software.

What is Adobe Named?

Adobe Named licensing is the designation Adobe uses for its direct software licenses. Each authorized user has a unique identity in an Adobe product license with Named licensing. Named licensing is the most common type of Adobe software license.


Adobe Named licenses offer the following benefits:

  • The ability to track individual software usage.
  • The ability to enforce compliance by disabling or revoking a user’s access based on their activity (e.g., policy violations).
  • A scalable solution, allowing you to add more users or computers as needed within the

What is Shared Licensing?

Adobe Shared licensing is the designation Adobe uses for its indirect (“hosted”) software licenses. With Shared licensing, users are not individually identified in an Adobe product license because all users use the same license.

Shared Licensing offers reduced administration costs compared to Named Licensing by eliminating detailed user management and tracking. This benefit reduces overall license compliance costs and the time and effort necessary to deploy, maintain, and track software. In addition, shared licensing makes it easier to deploy Adobe products–all users on a computer or server can access the product after the initial installation only once per installation.

What are the Benefits of Shared Licensing?

  • Less administration time and effort as software can be installed once per site rather than individually for each user.
  • Easier compliance because licenses follow the software, not users.
  • Scalable solution allowing you to add more users or computers as needed within the organization with no additional cost.
  • Adobe applications are deployed for students, faculty, staff, and family. In addition, you can manage temporary workers through a single Shared site license.
  • Adobe Named licensing is not an available option under Shared licensing. The following are also considerations concerning Shared Licensing:
  • If a user works from more than one location, they will need a license for each computer.
  • They cannot track users because they share the same license.
  • Application sharing is only available via Terminal Server/ Citrix or through streaming to thin clients and mobile devices.

What is the Difference Between the Two?

Adobe Named licensing offers several benefits that the Shared license does not. These include:

  • Each user has a unique identity in an Adobe product license, allowing detailed tracking of software usage and compliance with use policies. Therefore, it is imperative if your organization wants to track individual users.
  • The ability to enforce compliance by disabling or revoking a user’s access based on their activity (e.g., policy violations).
  • Ability to deploy licenses to specific users or groups at any time, ensuring you have the appropriate number of licenses.

Plenty of other applications similar to Adobe are available in the market as well in case one goes through a change of heart.

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