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Everything I think I know about Dataton v5 and v6 license keys


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Q. The last time I upgraded some keys, I did physical key swaps.  I presume this is the way we'd go for this one?
A. In some cases, rental houses will opt to hold on to the old style WATCHOUT v5 key and electronically upgrade them.
Why? Because …
an upgraded first generation v5 key is compatible with
v4.5.1 and all v5 variants, electronically upgrading adds all v6 variants.
 i.e. three generations of compatibility
A second generation key (no longer available — superseded 03–Jun–2019) is
   only compatible with v5.5.x and all v6 variants.
 i.e one and a half generations of compatibility.
A new third generation MicroKey (current offering)
only supports all v6 variants, no legacy compatibility. 
durability …
The older style keys are larger and much easier to inadvertently physically damage.
- Keys kept inside the computer tend to last indefinitely (internal USB port)
- keys plugged in on the outside eventually see damage. (external USB port)
The Microkeys, while not impervious, tend to see
 lower damage rates than the older larger keys when used on external USB ports.
If you have working MicroKeys now (yes, there were v5 MicroKeys before v6).
 it makes no sense to swap them for less capable v6 only new MicroKeys.
Working or damaged v5 keys are accepted for v6 upgrade swap,
 bypassing the damaged key replacement fee if your key was not working.
First generation keys (two types)
Original WATCHOUT 5 key – includes 2 Gb nonvolatile storage
 these were more delicate than later offerings
 and some distributors refuse to upgrade the "black keys" electronically and insist they be swapped.
But they can be electronically upgraded if you assume the risk
 (i.e. pay a damaged key replacement fee if the key later fails).
The first metal case v5 replacements remained first generation compatibility
 – includes 2 Gb nonvolatile storage
Second generation silver metal keys
no non-volatile shortage
There are silver metal cased keys with no storage that are second generation compatibility.
They look a bit like the ones pictured above, typically a bit shorter.
<picture not found>
Second generation key / third generation key - MicroKey
no non-volatile shortage
Microkeys all look alike, both the second and third generation MicroKeys can not be distinguished visually.
Use WATCHOUT Production License Manager to confirm if they are either
both v5.5.x and v6 (second generation) or 
v6 only(third generation).



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  • 6 months later...
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WATCHNET requires a license key that is WATCHOUT v5.5.x compatible. i.e. all first and second generation WATCHOUT license keys. A WATCHNET key is no different in appearance or function to a second generation WATCHOUT Microkey. 

Third generation WATCHOUT Microkeys are NOT compatible with WATCHNET.

FYI  You can still purchase WATCHNET license keys, which for all intents and purposes are second generation WATCHOUT v6 licenses. There is an additional cost for the WATCHNET License compared to a WATCHOUT License.

The Dataton Type Number for both the currently available license types:

3160 Dataton WATCHNET License (WATCHOUT v5.5.x & v6)

3150 Dataton WATCHOUT License (WATCHOUT v6 only)


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  • Dataton Partner

Nice explanation Jim!

And I will ask, what about the internal licences of the WATCHPAXes ?

Michael Humash
Digital AV - Israel
Dataton Premium Partner

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  • 2 weeks later...
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On 12/26/2019 at 2:09 AM, Michael said:

Nice explanation Jim!

And I will ask, what about the internal licences of the WATCHPAXes ?

Michael Humash
Digital AV - Israel
Dataton Premium Partner

Depends on the WATCHPAX model.

3360 WATCHPAX were all v5.5.x only, but can be electronically upgraded to add v6 (and you must use v5.5x to upgrade the license to v6 BEFORE upgrading the WATCHOUT software to v6).

3362 WATCHPAX 2 depends on age, some were originally v5.5.x only and some were both v5.5.x and v6.

All other WATCHPAX models (4, 20, 20A, 40, 60A, 60B, 60C) license are v6 only. Note, from a WATCHOUT software perspective, the version at time of the release of the hardware is the oldest version that will run on that model WATCHPAX. For example, WATCHPAX 60s require v6.5 or newer.



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