Harrington Korsgaard posted an update 10 months ago
Product activation is popular by software vendors to shield their applications and enforce license agreements. Although some users mind any type of license management, modern product activation systems can be better than other techniques from the two vendor’s and also 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 amount of installations operating inside a customer company). License management also allows the software vendor to produce, distribute, and support one version of their application, but offer different license terms at different prices to several markets.
For instance, owner are able to use the licensing mechanism to provide trial licenses, perpetual licenses, subscription licenses, set limits around the product features or modules enabled, set usage limits, combination’s of all of the above, and give straightforward upgrades in capabilities, with just one executable (some license management systems even let the vendor to also offer floating licensing either over the end-customer’s network or perhaps the Internet based with 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 give the 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 1 or even more parameters with their system, such as the MAC address. Each and every time the applying runs, it reads, say, the MAC address in the computer where it’s running, and may proceed only when the address it reads matches normally the one recorded to the license.
Older approaches for license enforcement include dongle-based licensing and key-file-based licensing. A dongle is often 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 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 within a file, which can be sent to the user and study through the application each time it runs.
These approaches have some of disadvantages. Dongles have to have the distribution of the hardware, wonderful that entails in material cost, shipping cost, delivery times and management from the vendor. They’re widely disliked by end-users, that do not want to await the crooks to arrive, keep an eye on them, ask them to jump out with their computer and so on.
Key-based licensing improves on dongles because encrypted key files might be delivered immediately by email, and impose no hardware burden. However, they are doing have to have the user to offer names of the locking parameters (or run a utility to read them), and do not allow users to readily move their license from machine to machine, as such moving will need a whole new key file. Upgrading to a user’s license, including extending to join, also demands the generation and delivery of the new key file.
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