• Fitzpatrick Wilhelmsen posted an update 9 months ago

    Product activation is popular by software vendors to safeguard their applications and enforce license agreements. Even though some users mind any kind of license management, modern product activation systems are superior to other techniques from both vendor’s and the end-user’s perspectives.

    Software vendors use license management for numerous reasons. They can be concerned about protection from piracy, and protection against users exceeding their agreed license terms (including the variety of installations operating in a customer company). License management also permits the software vendor to produce, distribute, and support one sort of their application, but offer different license terms at different prices to different markets.

    As an example, the vendor will use the licensing mechanism to provide trial licenses, perpetual licenses, subscription licenses, set limits about the product features or modules enabled, set usage limits, combination’s from all of the above, and gives straightforward upgrades in capabilities, by using just one executable (some license management systems even let the vendor also to offer floating licensing either over the end-customer’s network or perhaps the Web based for this same executable). Finally, license management can enable the vendor to automate fulfillment, management and reporting, so reducing operations costs and offering immediate delivery worldwide 24×7 with their customers.

    A vital concern for software vendors is ensuring users don’t merely provide software to unlicensed colleagues and friends, as well as post it online for anyone to download. The typical option is called node-locking, where each user’s installation is locked to a single or more parameters of the system, including the MAC address. Each and every time the approval runs, it reads, say, the MAC address from the computer where it is running, and can proceed only when the address it reads matches the main one recorded with the license.

    Older approaches for license enforcement include dongle-based licensing and key-file-based licensing. A dongle is really a hardware device that connects to anyone’s computer; when the application runs it checks for that existence of the dongle and may run only when it finds it. Dongles do therefore permit the user to maneuver their license around, only by physically relocating the dongle. With key-file-based licensing, the license limits and node-locking parameters are encrypted inside a file, that is shipped to an individual and study through the application each and every time it runs.

    These approaches have many disadvantages. Dongles require the distribution in the hardware, with all of that entails in material cost, shipping cost, delivery times and management with the vendor. These are widely disliked by end-users, that don’t need to watch for them to arrive, keep track of them, you can keep them stand out of their computer and so on.

    Key-based licensing improves on dongles since the encrypted key files could be delivered immediately by email, and impose no hardware burden. However, they do require the user to provide what they are called from the locking parameters (or operate a utility to see them), and never allow users to readily move their license from machine to machine, as such relocating would require a brand new key file. An upgrade into a user’s license, such as extending to sign up, also necessitates generation and delivery of an key file.

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