Does SmartPLS support a "silent" license activation?

Yes. You can hide the licensing dialog from your users using a setup in the smartpls.ini file which is located in the installation folder of SmartPLS. You will need administrator rights when you edit this file!

Just add the following lines to that file and replace the sample data with your own key and administrator contact information:

-DlocalAdministrator=Mr. Miller, Tel. 1234

This setup will hide the main licensing dialog and SmartPLS will always use the key you provided. If any licensing problems occur when SmartPLS is run, an info dialog will appear which will also contain the administrator contact information.

The same setup applies if you host your own license server but with different parameters. In this case you need to setup the IP address and port of your license server installation.

-DlocalAdministrator=Mr. Miller, Tel. 1234