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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)





Why do I need to register?

We need to verify that you are a student or faculty member in order to grant you a free license. We do so by matching the domain of your email with the university domain in our database.

I am registered and logged in; still I cannot access the downloads/materials. What can I do?

This means we couldn't identify you as a university member. To solve the issue, please follow these steps:

  • Make sure you used your campus email address when you've registered in the forum. If not, please go to your profile and change it!
  • Make sure your university is already in our database. If not, you can quickly add your university yourself!

I requested license keys, but I did not receive an email. What can I do?

Please check your spam filter. It might be the case that the successful download message was filtered out. We kindly ask you to a) remove the spam filter and b) request the license key a second time. If you used a campus email address, please ask your university's server administrator to check the filter.

For how long can I use ARIS for free? / When will my licenses expire?

The exact expiry date will be stated in the email you receive when downloading the product.

  • Student licenses expire 6 month after the requesting date.
  • Faculty licenses expire 12 month after the requesting date.

How can I extend my existing license?

As long as you are a university member you can request new licenses using the download area four weeks (!) before the expiry date of your existing keys:

  1. Choose the appropriate program from the downloads page and request your new license. You’ll receive an email containing your new license key.
  2. Run the setup for ARIS software (again). As long as it is the same version, there’s no need to download the installation files again.
  3. Choose "update license" and link to the saved ZIP file when prompted

Don't do it before time. Any earlier request for new keys will result in re-sending of the existing keys. You will also get an email notification four weeks prior to expiration.

In fact it's not a prolongation, but a new license agreement. You will receive new license keys with the same duration (6 or 12 months) to overwrite the existing keys, given that the product version has not been updated meanwhile.

That means students can request licenses every six months and faculty members can request licenses every twelve months.There is no other way of extending the licenses. We also do not grant perpetual licenses in this free of charge offering.

What are the recommended hardware requirements?

Name Products Recommended
Number of
ARIS Education Package
- Single User
ARIS Architect
+ ARIS Simulation
+ ARIS UML Designer
≥ 8 GB RAM
≥ 2 CPU Cores
≥ 20 GB HD Space
ARIS Education Package
- Multi User
ARIS Architect
+ ARIS Simulation
+ ARIS UML Designer

ARIS Design Server

ARIS Architect (Client):
≥ 4 GB RAM
≥ 2 CPU Cores
≥ 4 GB HD Space

ARIS Design Server:
≥ 16 GB RAM
≥ 8 CPU Cores
≥ 50 GB HD Space

ARIS Architect:
(computer lab)

ARIS Design Server:

For a more detailed view, please have a look at the platform matrix.

Which operating system does ARIS support?

Client Operating Systems:

  • Windows 7 (32/64 bit)
  • Windows 8 (32/64 bit)
  • Windows 10 (64 bit)

ARIS is officially only supported for Windows. However, if you want to use ARIS on MAC or Linux, you can do so with a Virtual machine.

For Supported Server Operating System Platforms please see our ARIS System Requirements.

How do I install ARIS Architect?

You will receive an email with the following steps after successfully requesting the software.

  1. Download the ARIS Client Setup
  2. Unzip the downloaded file
  3. Start the setup.exe
    • Accept the license agreement
    • Activate both ARIS Architect/Designer and ARIS UML Designer checkboxes
    • Choose whether you want to use a local database system
    • Save the attached ZIP file (this is your license key) to your local system, do not unzip this file
    • Link to the saved ZIP file when prompted
  4. Depending on your system, the installation procedure may take up to half an hour or more.
  5. Launch the program when the installation has finished and enter:
    • User: system
    • Password: manager

For better illustrated instructions (screen shots) to help you through the process, please see our installation guide.

How do I install ARIS Design Server?

  1. Download the ARIS DVD 9.X
  2. Unzip the downloaded file
  3. Start the setup.exe
    • Accept the license agreement
    • Save the attached ZIP file (this is your license key) to your local system (do not unzip this file)
    • Link to the saved ZIP file when prompted
  4. Open “<your server adress>/umc” in your browser to configure users and assign your licenses to users or groups
    • User: superuser
    • Password: superuser
  5. Depending on your system the installation procedure may take up to half an hour or more, do not interrupt the installation.

For more information about server steup and administration see this excellent forum post: Getting started with ARIS 9 - the server side of life.

What is a local server / local database? Do I need one?

ARIS has a client-server-architecture. The normal setup would be like this: an organization (company or university) installs the ARIS Design Server which hosts the database where all models are stored; the users (employees or students) install the client on their local machine and then connect to that server. In that way, they are able to work togehter, contribute and share. To make it short: if you use ARIS as a part of a university course, this is proabably the setup you are looking for. Hence, you choose to install ARIS Architect without the local server.

However, if you want to use ARIS for an individual matter (working paper, project, thesis, just playing around, etc.), you probably want to host your database on your local machine. Hence, you choose to install ARIS Architect with local server.

Where can I find the license keys required for the installation of the ARIS products?

With the successful request of one of our University Relations products, you will receive an email with further download/installation information as well as an attached license key in form of a ZIP file. Please do not unzip the ZIP license key.

During the installation process you will be prompted to specify the location of this ZIP license file. Therefore, please ensure that the license file is in a location that will be accessible during the installation, such as on the file system.


Error "IDS_BADSIGN_ABORT" = "The setup source path contains spaces or invalid characters, such as: '_()[]}\&$%= `.;'. This installation will be aborted." Your install path contains one of these illegal characters.

Please use the install path "C:\" to avoid this error. Do not install in "C:\Program Files" or "C:\Program Files (x86)".

“User ‘System’ has no license for using ARIS Designer or ARIS Architect”

Please check if your license key is still valid. You can find the expiry date of your current license key in the email you received wehn you downloaded the product or in the ZIP file.

If your license key is no longer valid, please go to the download area and request a new license key. If it is still valid, please re-install ARIS and make sure you enter the license key as a ZIP file, not as an xml.

Remark: You can re-use your already installed data by using the “Repair” functionality by opening your system control panel under Windows. Execute the “Software” applet, search for your ARIS installation and execute the “Repair” function. While repairing the program, you will be requested to enter a new license key. The repair function does not delete personal settings/user files on your computer. The repair process takes almost as long as a new installation process.

“Cannot connect to LOCAL server”

If you want to use ARIS Architect with a local databse/local server, you need to change a radio button during the installation process. If the error “cannot connect to LOCAL server” appears, you missed to do so. Please re-install ARIS and ensure to install “ARIS with local standard database system”.

“Illegal character in hostname”

Your hostname contains an illegal character such as an underscore ('_')
Hostname labels may contain only the letters 'a' through 'z' (in a case-insensitive manner), the digits '0' through '9', and the hyphen ('-'). Dots ('.') are only allowed if they seperate two domain parts. Labels must not start or end with a hyphen.
Please replace all illegal characters with hyphens ('-') to solve the issue.

Where can I get help/support?

We offer you a variety of opportunities to review and discuss issues if needed such as the forum, tutorials and the FAQ. We do our best to fulfill all your student and faculty needs. Please let us know about your struggles in our forum, so we can create content that serves your needs. However, please understand that we cannot provide personal premium support in this free of charge offering.

About University Relations / Contact Information