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Why Product Activation For Software is Getting Common

  • Product activation is widely used by software vendors to shield their applications and enforce license agreements. While some users mind any type of license management, modern product activation systems can beat other techniques from the vendor's and also the end-user's perspectives.


    Software vendors use license management for various reasons. They can be concerned about defense against piracy, and protection against users exceeding their agreed license terms (like the quantity of installations that run in the customer company). License management also enables the software vendor to produce, distribute, and support one type of their application, but offer different license terms at different prices to different markets.

    By way of example, the owner can use the licensing mechanism to offer trial licenses, perpetual licenses, subscription licenses, set limits on the product features or modules enabled, set usage limits, combination's of all the above, and provide straightforward upgrades in capabilities, by having just one single executable (some license management systems even allow the vendor to also offer floating licensing either on the end-customer's network or even the Online for 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 24x7 to their customers.

    A key concern for software vendors is ensuring users don't just supply the software to unlicensed colleagues and friends, or even post it online for anybody to download. The typical option is called node-locking, where each user's installation is locked to 1 or maybe more parameters with their system, for example the MAC address. Whenever the approval runs, it reads, say, the MAC address in the computer where it is running, and can proceed only when the address it reads matches usually the one recorded with the license.

    Older methods for license enforcement include dongle-based licensing and key-file-based licensing. A dongle is often a hardware device that plugs into the user's computer; when the application runs it checks for the presence of the dongle and may run only when it finds it. Dongles do therefore let the user to move 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, that is shipped to the user and focus from the application each and every time it runs.

    These approaches have numerous disadvantages. Dongles require distribution from the hardware, wonderful that entails in material cost, shipping cost, delivery times and management through the vendor. They're widely disliked by end-users, that don't wish to watch for these to arrive, record them, keep these things stick out of these computer and the like.

    Key-based licensing improves on dongles because the encrypted key files may be delivered immediately by email, and impose no hardware burden. However, they do need the user to offer the names in the locking parameters (or chance a utility to learn them), and do not allow users to readily move their license from machine to machine, therefore relocating will need a new key file. Upgrading with a user's license, for example extending to sign up, also requires the generation and delivery of an new key file.
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