Orchestrator Designer generates a prompt for a license key after you migrate the Orchestrator database

Applies to: Microsoft System Center 2012 OrchestratorMicrosoft System Center 2012 Orchestrator Service Pack 1Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator


When you migrate the Orchestrator database from one instance of Microsoft SQL Server to another and then try to open Orchestrator Designer in Microsoft System Center 2012 Orchestrator or in System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator, Orchestrator Designer starts to open and then generates a prompt that indicates that the license key expired. When you enter a valid key and then click OK, the same prompt appears.


When you migrate the Orchestrator database from one instance of Microsoft SQL Server to another, the service master key (SMK) must also be backed up. This database key must then be reapplied on the new instance of SQL Server after the database is restored. If the SMK is not backed up on the original server, you must re-create the SMK on the new server.


To resolve this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Stop the Orchestrator Management service.
  2. Open the Orchestrator database on the new instance of SQL Server.
  3. Open a new query, and make sure that the Orchestrator database is selected.
  4. Execute the following two lines on the database, one at a time:

    1. Delete the old key:

    2. Create the new key:

  5. Start the Orchestrator Management service.
When you now open Orchestrator Designer, you are again prompted for the key. When you enter the key, the key works as designed.

More Information

When the Orchestrator database SMK is lost, encrypted data is also lost. Variables that were set up with an encrypted password, for example, will no longer have values and must be repopulated. For more information about how to correctly migrate the Orchestrator database to a new server, go to the following Microsoft TechNet website: