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Alteryx Knowledge Base

Definitive answers from Designer experts.

Licensing Error: Your computer is unable to access the activation service.

Alteryx
Alteryx

What does this error mean?

 

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As we transitioned to a new licensing system in the 11.8 and 2018.1 releases, we changed how licenses are authenticated. The new licensing system relies on a few additional system requirements, including a number of websites that are used during licensing and require access through your network firewall.

 

What's causing this?

The new licensing system uses a TLS connection with fno.devops.alteryx.com, which is secured with an Amazon-issued TLS/SSL certificate. Alteryx is packaged with a copy of the Amazon certificate. The problem arises when the network has implemented Deep Packet Inspection on TLS/SSL connections, which is a security measure requiring that a network device be able to intercept the connection and “see” the plaintext conversation. To do this, the device attempts to impersonate fno.devops.alteryx.com but uses its own certificate, which is separately installed as a trusted root certificate on the client computer. However, Alteryx doesn't consult the local computer's trust store when authenticating the license connection. Thus, when Alteryx attempts to construct a TLS session, it sees a certificate mismatch, and the connection fails.

 

The "quick-fix"

Since this is a network security restriction, you should have no problem activating if you move onto an external network such as a mobile hotspot, home network connection, or coffee shop.

 

Troubleshooting

 

How to confirm the problem

 

To definitively confirm that they are running into this issue, have them open a browser and go to https://fno.devops.alteryx.com.
It will show a blank screen, but up in the corner is certificate information. Click on the lock to view the certificate details.

 

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This window needs to show this exact certification Path. If there are any extra or different entries, that's when this issue occurs.

 

How to fix it?

 

IT or your security department need to add a bypass on the SSL packet inspector such that https://fno.devops.alteryx.com is not subject to SSL deep packet inspection. After adding the bypass so this traffic is no longer being interdicted, the issue should be resolved and the customer should try to activate again.

Comments
Alteryx
Alteryx

Thank you for sharing this. 

Meteoroid

I'm having this exact issue, so I'm glad to have found this article.

 

It's unlikely that I can convince our IT department to make this change.  Firewall / proxy are managed centrally, and we are a rather large company, so I doubt I can get this exception easily implemented -- my first challenge would be to find right person in IT who could address this issue and actually modify the rules.

 

From the description of the problem, may I ask why "the device ... impersonates fno.devops.alteryx.com" and "does not consult the local computer's trust store"?  This seems to be contradictory with how certificate authentication is intended to work.

 

Yes, the "fix" is simple -- get out of the office to activate the Alteryx license.  In my opinion, this "fix" is not an "enterprise" level solution.

Meteoroid



We had this exact problem, solution was to use the 'upload activation request' method for registering the tool. As we only have a few users this wasn't too painful, but agree not an enterprise option to register each time.

Alteryx
Alteryx

Thanks for the feedback @brucedataguy and @戴卫!

 

I have a quick update about this issue:

Our development team has been working to resolve these issues, and as of Alteryx version 2018.1.4 (released early April) this is resolved for certificates that are not being passed through a proxy.

We're adding the proxy-support side of this to our upcoming 2018.2 release, so please stay tuned!

Meteoroid

Since we use proxy to connect to internet, 2018.1.4 did not solve the issue, so I'm looking forward to 2018.2 to avoid others who are likely to experience this activation error when upgrading from Version 11.7 (which is what happened to me).

Meteoroid

I also now learned that my license key for 11.7 will not work for 2018.1.x, and a new key is to be issued to me for use when upgrading to 2018.1.x.  So I am hitting multiple challenges in my scenario -- wrong key format (11.7 --> 2018.1.x) and proxy/deep packet inspection situation due to new license activation method starting with 11.8.

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