There are many options when choosing the proper software license depending on what you currently have and what you want to end up with.

For the first part in this series let’s define some of the terminology used under the Package category:

BASIC SOFTWARE: A core license that allows use of the named product and typically the lower editions of the family it belongs to.

Ex: A Step 7 Professional V16 license also gives you access to Step 7 Basic V16.  It will also allow you to use previous versions, so Step 7 Professional V16 grants you access to use V12, V13, V14, V15, V15.1, etc. as needed.

SOFTWARE UPDATE SERVICE (SUS): A yearly contract that allows you access to the latest version of the software on the contract.

Ex: If you purchased Step 7 Professional V16, and V17/V18 comes out while the SUS is active, your existing license will be upgraded to use the latest version.  These SUS contracts need to be purchased alongside a license purchase.

POWERPACK: Converts current edition of a license to a more advanced edition, while maintaining the version.

Ex: If you own a Step 7 Basic V15 license and purchase a Step 7 Professional Powerpack (V12 through V16), it will convert your existing license to Step 7 Professional V15.  Note that the version remains unchanged, but edition is now more advanced.

UPGRADE: Upgrades the version of the software while maintaining the edition.

Ex: If you have a license for Step 7 Basic V13, then you can purchase a Step 7 Basic V16 Upgrade.  This will convert the version of your license from V13 to V16 but edition remains unchanged.

TRIAL: A Temporary license that comes in many variations, but key point is that it is not a permanent license.

In the next part of this series, we will explore the differences between the Downloadable and Physical licenses and how to apply an Upgrade or Powerpack.

Eric Kozub


Axis NJ, is a high-tech distributor. We specialize in automation, drives, motion control, machine vision, machine safety and robots. Our staff of specialists are available to assist you with projects of any scale. Our headquarters is in Somerville, NJ and branch office in Long Island. Axis has been covering Metro NY and New Jersey for over 30 years.