Product Activation

PSPDFKit is a commercial product, and each installation needs to be activated according to your license.

  1. This activation happens via the ACTIVATION_KEY, which you configure as part of PSPDFKit Server’s container environment — for example, in the docker-compose.yml file.

  2. The first time this container is started, it will authenticate the key against the PSPDFKit Customer Portal and store license-related data in the configured database.

  3. Each installation is identified by data stored in the configured database; the PSPDFKit Server containers are meant to be treated as ephemeral.

  4. Production activation keys can only be used once, while trial and development keys have no such limitation.


If you see the following error message in the server logs, you need to set a valid ACTIVATION_KEY:

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No ACTIVATION_KEY or LICENSE_KEY set. You need to set one of them in your docker-compose.yml. https://pspdfkit.com/guides/server/current/deployment/product-activation

To run a trial version of PSPDFKit for Web, simply request a trial license and follow the instructions in the email on setting the ACTIVATION_KEY.