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The Education Site License, Esri Developer Network (EDN), and some ArcGIS for Server licenses are valid for a specific period of time. ArcGIS for Server Workgroup instances (database servers) and workgroup geodatabases that were authorized with one of these licenses must be updated with a new authorization file when the existing one expires.
When geodatabase creation is attempted on a database server with an expired license, the following message is returned:
"Error creating this geodatabase.
No ArcSDE server license found..."
Authorization information is stored in two places for workgroup geodatabases: the Windows registry, and in each geodatabase on the instance. When the license expires, authorization for the instance must be updated. The first time a connection is made to a workgroup geodatabase with an expired authorization file, ArcGIS receives an updated authorization from the Windows registry and places it in the geodatabase.