Creative Cloud in Lab Environments Shared Device Licensing for Education VIP Update

The way we support Creative Cloud in labs and classrooms is changing for the better

Shared Device License

On Jan 28th, we will introduce a new type of license called Shared Device Licensing.

Shared Device Licenses enable students to access the full power of Creative Cloud apps and services in lab environments and deliver an improved license management experience, with greater functionality and deeper insights

With Shared Device Licensing in computer labs, students can take advantage of the full Creative Cloud Platform, including:

  • Creating and sharing rich web prototypes, using Adobe XD
  • Edit and share videos quickly and easily, using Premiere Rush
  • Access to 15,000 Adobe Fonts included free with Creative Cloud
  • Access to Creative Cloud libraries and Files
  • Adobe Marketplace images and vectors.

What is a Shared Device License?

A Shared Device License is a machine license owned by the organization, combined with a user’s services entitlement.

What does this mean for students and labs?

With Shared Device Licensing, you have a couple options to access your profile:

Free Adobe ID

Anyone over 13 can sign up for an individual Adobe ID. It's free and comes with 2GB of cloud storage. Any user with an Adobe ID can use Creative Cloud in the lab without purchasing their own Creative Cloud subscription. Adobe IDs are owned and controlled by the individual (not the school or organization), however, so they are better suited for use in higher education or non-school settings. Note: Adobe IDs cannot be used in K-12 deployments

Enterprise or Federated ID

Institutions can provision students with Enterprise or Federated ID to ensure every student has full access on entitled devices. K-12 schools must deploy with Enterprise or Federated ID to ensure compliance with state and federal student privacy regulations. We recommend putting all students into the Free Spark Premium Group using your Enterprise Admin Console. Adobe makes Spark Premium available to all of our education customers. In the lab, students in the Spark Premium group will have a full Creative Cloud experience which also includes 2GB of storage. Students who are already entitled with a Named user Account can also be added to a Spark Premium group.

To learn more about ID types, please see Adobe & Student Privacy

What Do I Do Now?

Self-Service Migration available upon launch

Upon launch of the Shared Device License, all customers will be able to self-service migrate their active device-based licenses to the new Shared Device License

When you are ready to migrate, you will walk through some steps as outlined below to prepare for migration. K-12 customers will see the following

K-12 Migration Workflow

Higher Education customers will see the following

Higher Education Migration Workflow

Creating a Shared Device License installer package for Labs

When Share Device licenses become available, you will see a tile in the Overview section of the Adobe Admin Console, like any other product.

Configuring & Building a Shared Device License Package

Adobe offers cloud-based package building today and will extend this to building a Shared Device License package in 2019. Click the grid below for a visual walk-thru of setting up a a Shared Device License package.

Adobe provides an easy to follow workflow to build and configure Shared Device License (SDL) packages.

Student Lab Experience

For security reasons, each student must have their own unique log-in to the lab machine. Shared or generic lab machine log-ins propose a security risk.

In order to use Creative Cloud applications and services, students will need to sign into the lab machines. The software will not operate without a sign-in.

The user can simply double-click to launch an app and they will be prompted to sign in. Or, they can sign in via the Creative Cloud Desktop app.

Some lab users may already have Creative Cloud licenses. An interesting aspect of Shared Device licenses relates to software activation.

A typical Creative Cloud membership confers the right to install the desktop software on up to two devices. When a user tries to run the software on a third device, they will be promoted to deactivate one of the other devices. However, a login to a lab machine with a Shared Device License doesn’t increment the activation count.

Bring Your Own Services Entitlement

We’ve designed Shared Device Licensing to work in different scenarios. Let’s look at the possibilities.

Access in Labs with Shared Device License

Full CC Experience for the following:

  • Free Adobe ID Entitlement
  • License Purchased by Student
  • Spark Premium Enterprise ID / Federated ID
  • License purchased by School

Access at Home

  • Free Adobe ID Entitlement = Trial App access, Free services only
  • License purchased by student = Varies by purchased plan
  • Spark Premium via Enterprise/Federated ID = Trial App access, Free services only, Spark Premium
  • License purchased by School = Full Creative Cloud experience

Managing Shared Device Licensing

We have lots of customers that re-image machines at regular intervals. No worries . . . We use multiple machine identifiers so a re-image should re-activate the machine and won’t cause your license count to increment.

Additional Resources

We have a number of resources on our HelpX support page including:

Deployment Guide

Migration Guide

Packaging Guide



Shared Device License will allow you to teach Creative Cloud the way the software was designed to be used, with access to all desktop and mobile apps and services.


Created with images by US Department of Education - "DukeEllingtonJpegSM313"

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