Here is the scenario. We are running Creo/Elements (WF5) in one facility and WF3 exclusivelyin another facility. We have customers that run the gambit from WF2 to Creo/Elements. We cannot always select what facility services clients due to workload/machine availability etc... Some of our customers are contimplating a move to WF4 whereas others are already established in 4 and 5. The question is this: Do you think it possible (or wise)to still buyCreo/Elements(I.E. upgrading the old WF3) and service clientsall the way back down to WF2 using the same machine with all versions of Pro accessible? How far back can the same machine open prior Pro/E versions. I have been away from this for some time and cannot remember what the rules are.
Licenses are based on time, not version. An active license enables you access to, in theory, any and all versions up to the current. So if you bought a license now, you could go get all versions up to Creo 2.0. You don't buy a license for XX version. Once you've downloaded the software, it's yours to run regardless if you are 'current' on maintenance or not. Now, how far back could you get it to run on modern hardware? Not sure, but there are ways. A guy at a recent user group demo'd release 13, I believe, using a virtual machine running some ancient build of UNIX. (That flashback was an eye opener.)
Regarding running multiple versions at once, I have WF3, WF4, WF5 and Creo 1.0 on this machine. We only have clients on WF4 & WF5, but I can run all of those if needed. There's no licensing restriction on running all versions back to WF2 (or farther), although there may be hardware or software limitations. For example, running WF2 on Windows7 64 bit can be a challenge I understand.
Our policy has always been to run whatever the client wants, so we have multiple versions available on all workstations. For us that's typically 2-4 versions back, rarely much farther.