This article discusses the Player Licensing option for Progressive Web App (PWA) deployments. Progressive Web Apps can be run as a webpage or as stand-alone apps.
Exclusively for webpage deployments, there is an alternative licensing option: Views Licensing.
NOTE: Only Platform Enterprise accounts can deploy experiences with Player licensing.
What is "Player Licensing" for PWA deployments
Intuiface users have the option of deploying experiences as a Progressive Web App (PWA), running either in a browser or as a stand-alone app. With Player licensing, each webpage instance loaded in a browser, and each stand-alone app run on a device, consumes a Player license.
The Player license consumed by a webpage/stand-alone app deployment is identical to the license used for in-venue deployments. In fact, Intuiface accounts just have a single Player license pool for both in-venue and PWA deployments.
Both annual and month-to-month Player licenses can be used.
Player Licensing vs. Views Licensing
Player Licensing and Views Licensing have unique advantages. In addition to the items listed below, be sure to review the experience performance differences imposed by the two licensing models.
By using Player Licensing, webpages can be transformed into stand-alone apps. In addition, all PWA deployments can run offline for a predefined duration - known as the "retention duration" - and, once the retention duration is over, can continue to run as long as the webpage/PWA is open and has internet access. This means a PWA deployment can operate like a kiosk.
With Views Licensing, web deployments can never be offline, and PWAs cannot be created.
Deployments with Player Licensing can only scale as high as the number of available Player licenses in an Intuiface account. This means you should only use Player Licensing if you target a well-known, finite number of devices.
With Views Licensing, you don't need to know the size of your audience or the location of devices. Rather, you can support any number of views up to your Intuiface account's views quota. When targeting an audience of unknown size - and thus an unknown number of devices - you should use Views Licensing.
How does Player Licensing work?
Whenever a PWA experience is loaded as a webpage or as a stand-alone app, a Player license is automatically assigned to the experience by the Intuiface License Server. The Player license with the latest renewal/expiration date will be selected. If a Player license is unavailable, the PWA will fail to load, and an error message will be displayed.
The Player license is retained by the PWA until 1) the associated URL's retention duration expires, and 2) the associated PWA is closed or goes offline. When this happens, the license is automatically released by the Intuiface License Server and made available to new deployments. Even if the retention duration has expired, the experience will continue to run as long as the device remains online.
The entire licensing process is automated. It is not possible to specify which Player license will be assigned to a PWA, or to limit how many can be assigned.
- The same URL opened in multiple tabs of the same browser will only consume one Player license, but the same URL opened in multiple browsers on the same device will consume multiple Player licenses.
- When creating a stand-alone PWA, the webpage used to create the stand-alone app and the stand-alone app itself share a single Player license.
- A trick for controlling which and how many Player licenses are available for PWA deployments is to place the experience(s) in a Secondary Account and transfer only desired Player licenses into that account.
- The PWA attempts to connect with the Intuiface License Server every 20 minutes. For retention durations longer than 20 minutes, failures to connect with the license server are ignored until the retention duration has expired.
- Expiration of a retention duration may occur sometime within a 20-minute period. As a result, the PWA may continue to run offline, past the retention duration, for a few minutes.
Player license selection and configuration
Before creating an experience URL, you must first specify whether you wish to use Player Licensing or Views Licensing. Select the "Display as webpage" tab for any experience in the Share and Deploy console. You will then see the "Use Player Licensing" section.
Now you can create a URL by clicking the "Create URL" button at the bottom of the screen. This URL will exclusively use Player licensing, no matter how often it is loaded in a browser. The same experience can have both Player Licensing URLs and Views Licensing URLs simultaneously.
See our article "Deploying experiences as a webpage" for details about the URL creation and configuration process.
Tracking Player license use
At the bottom of the "Use Player Licensing" tab are metrics for Player usage across all experience URLs.
The "Retained Licenses" section identifies the number of Player licenses currently used across all in-venue and PWA deployments.
The blue bar represents the number of Player licenses used by all PWA deployments for this particular experience; the gray bar represents the number of Player licenses used by all other in-venue and PWA deployments for this Intuiface account. The number to the bottom-right of the bar represents the total number of Player licenses in the Intuiface account.
In the image above, the current experience has one published PWA using a Player license. All other in-venue and PWA deployed experiences in this Intuiface account use three Player licenses. (Hovering your mouse over the blue and gray bars will display their value.) That's a total of four retained licenses, leaving 57 out of the 61 Player licenses available for use. (Hovering your mouse over the empty part of the bar will display the number of available licenses.)
The "Experience URLs" section - below the "Retained Licenses" section - displays each URL for the currently-selected experience and lists the number of Player licenses currently retained by each. In the above example, the first URL has been loaded as a PWA somewhere in the world, while the second URL has not been loaded anywhere.
Releasing a license before expiration of the retention period
To release a Player license before expiration of the retention period, delete the underlying URL. Any PWA derived from that URL will release its license upon the next license server check (the check that automatically occurs every 20 minutes).
To accelerate the license release, manually reloading the PWA will force a license server check, causing the license to be released immediately.
NOTE: You cannot single out a particular device for license release. Only delete the URL if you intend to release all associated licenses.