With a Full license you can use the fully functional Graphisoft product with unlimited usage. You will be able to run older versions as well. (with some technical limitations for more details see: Protection Key)
Solo licenses for Solo Archicad versions are available in the UK, USA, Brasilia, South Korea, Hong Kong and in Japan. Solo version has the exact same functionality as the Full version except it doesn't include TeamWork, Cinema 4D rendering engine and Hotlink/X-ref capabilities.
Pay-per-use license - PPU
Pay-per-use license type offers prepaid licenses for Archicad, you can buy hours of Archicad usage in advance. When you start Archicad the counter starts and when you quit the program it stops to count. In Help menu/License information you can check the remaining number of hours. Time counts only when Archicad window is in focus, it is the active window. So if you have Archicad open on your computer but for a while to switch to work in another program, time is not counted as long as you work in that other program.
Pay-per-use license option is not available on certain markets.
With the rental option you can buy a license for a certain time period (1, 3, 6 months). Within the purchased time period you can use Archicad without any limitation e.g. running multiple sessions all day. The usage of this starts when you first start Archicad using a rental license - so not on the day when you purchase it. When starting up Archicad you will be prompted with a dialog stating the remaining days of your license availability. You can also check the remaining days in Help menu/License information.
Archicad will launch in Demo mode if the hardware or software protection cannot be accessed or there is no free license available. Save, Copy, and TeamWork functions are disabled, but it is still possible to print.
Educational (EDU) License
Education version is a fully functional version that can be installed with a serial number.
The first step of registration gives you a personal temporary serial number and a download link. The process at this level is completely automatic, so you will receive your serial number and the link immediately after you register. This temporary serial number will give you 30-days usage. After your registration your given credentials go through an approval stage, where Graphisoft's local representative sends you the final serial that will be valid for 1 year. When the 1 year license expires you can renew it for free of charge.
File Format and Compatibility: EDU and commercial project files will have the same file format (.PLN), but EDU files have an irremovable logo at the top right corner. This logo will be present on all printouts. EDU project files can be opened with a commercial version of Archicad, in which case Archicad switches to EDU mode and the logo will be present. Commercial project files can be opened with an EDU version of Archicad. In this case the logo is added, and cannot be removed later. Saving in the EDU version will prevent the file from opening in the Commercial mode. Besides 'Open', no other data exchange (copy, paste, merge, hotlink…) is allowed between EDU and commercial project files.
A Trial License can be used to run a fully functional version for 30 days. The license works with a serial number that can be obtained with a simple registration.
File Format and Compatibility: Files written by the trial version are encrypted and can only be opened on the computer where they were created. After the 30-day period, the save function is disabled, but it is still possible to print. The files can be converted to full files by purchasing a Full license (or to Solo files by purchasing a Solo license) and opening with the protection key on the computer they were written.
Note: Only Full and Solo versions convert Trial files, START Edition do not have this feature.
Note: To be able to convert the file the Full/Solo version should have the same language version as the Trial license.
Archicad STAR(T) Edition is based on the industry leading Virtual Building technology of Archicad but its feature set is tailored to the needs of small architectural practices. For details of the features in the current version see START Edition.
EcoDesigner STAR is based on Archicad’s built-in Energy Evaluation feature, but provides significantly extended capabilities and data settings. In order to access these extended functions you must have Archicad 17 build 5019 or newer and have an EcoDesigner STAR license key. Apart from inserting hardware protection key or downloading software protection key, no additional installation or download is necessary. Please contact your Graphisoft Partner for further product information and purchase details.
File compatibility between different License types
Full Version The license validity of Full version of Archicad is indefinite. You can open and save Full, Start Edition and Solo files in the Full version. The Trial files can be also opened with this version but only on the same machine they were created. Educational files can be also opened and saved in Full Archicad but once you open it, Archicad will be switched into educational mode and a permanent watermark will appear on the layouts. Teamwork functionality is available for Full version.
The license validity of Demo version of Archicad is indefinite as well. You can open and view any file format of Archicad except Trial files. There is no save, copy or teamwork functions in Demo version.
The license validity of Trial version is only for 30 days. You are able to open and save only Full, Trial and Solo files and only on the same machine they were created. The teamwork function is available for projects shared in Trial version on the same computer.
The license validity of the Educational version is for a year which is renewable. It is also to obtain an educational license for 30 days without proof of student status. With the Educational version, you are able to open and save any file version except Trial and Start Edition. Please keep in my mind, opening Full and Solo file versions in the Educational version, converts those files to the Educational version which means a permanent watermark will appear on all the layouts. Teamwork function is also available for all the projects shared in Educational mode.
The license validity of Solo version is also indefinite. Users are able to open and save Full, Start Edition and Solo file in Solo version of Archicad. Educational files will be opened in Solo version as well but Archicad will be converted to educational mode. Nevertheless, Trial files can only be opened on the same machine they were created. Solo version doesn't contain any teamwork functionality.
The license validity of Start Edition version of Archicad is indefinite as well. With this version, you are only abler to open Start Edition file types and just like Solo version, teamwork functionally is not available for this version of Archicad either.