• Harrington Korsgaard posted an update 9 months, 4 weeks ago

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

    Software vendors use license management for a variety of reasons. They are generally interested in defense against piracy, and protection against users exceeding their agreed license terms (for example the number of installations operating in a customer company). License management also permits the software vendor to formulate, distribute, and support one sort of their application, but offer different license terms at different prices to be able to markets.

    By way of example, owner are able to use the licensing mechanism to offer trial licenses, perpetual licenses, subscription licenses, set limits for the product features or modules enabled, set usage limits, combination’s from all of the above, and gives straightforward upgrades in capabilities, with one executable (some license management systems even permit the vendor to also offer floating licensing either over the end-customer’s network or Web based on this same executable). Finally, license management can let 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 just provide software to unlicensed colleagues and friends, or perhaps post it on the internet for everyone to download. The typical solution is called node-locking, where each user’s installation is locked to a single or maybe more parameters with their system, like the MAC address. Whenever the applying runs, it reads, say, the MAC address with the computer where it’s running, and will proceed only when the address it reads matches usually the one recorded with the license.

    Older systems 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 the presence of the dongle and can run as long as it finds it. Dongles do therefore enable the user to maneuver their license around, but only by physically relocating the dongle. With key-file-based licensing, the license limits and node-locking parameters are encrypted within a file, that is delivered to the consumer and study from the application every time it runs.

    These approaches have some of disadvantages. Dongles need the distribution with the hardware, effortlessly that entails in material cost, shipping cost, delivery times and management with the vendor. These are widely disliked by end-users, who don’t need to await the crooks to arrive, record them, ask them to jump out of these computer and so on.

    Key-based licensing improves on dongles as the encrypted key files could be delivered immediately by email, and impose no hardware burden. However, they are doing need the user to offer the names with the locking parameters (or operate a utility to see them), and never allow users to readily move their license from machine to machine, consequently moving would require a brand new key file. Upgrading to some user’s license, for example extending to sign up, also requires the generation and delivery of the new key file.

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