Licensing Client: Wizard-Based or Advanced SDK

By Tanner O | Our Product Tips

Feb 07

Throughout our company's 25+ year history, we have developed many different licensing clients to support the wide range of licensing requirements, programming languages, operating systems, and processor architectures. Whether you want something simple or something more powerful, we have a tool to accommodate you. This post will help you decide between the simple and advanced licensing client tools that we offer.


Simple Wizard-Based Licensing Clients

Using one of our wizard-based licensing clients makes tapping into thousands of lines of licensing code quick and easy work. Akin to a paint-by-numbers set, the step-by-step guidance will have you on your way with little to no source code changes or programming experience.

Advanced SDK Licensing Clients

Consists of application programming interfaces (APIs) to give your development team complete control and flexibility over the licensing business logic and user interface. Although sample applications are included to help get started, your development team has a blank canvas and the APIs are their palette and paintbrush.

How to Choose

What kind of application do you have? If your application needs to support something other than a Windows desktop application or doesn't have a user interface, then you can immediately choose Protection PLUS 5 SDK. For a Windows desktop application, you have the option to choose a wizard-based client or Protection PLUS 5 SDK.

To choose, you need to know your licensing requirements so you can determine if they can be satisfied by the simple wizard based options, or if they require the advanced SDK.

What licensing requirements do they meet?

The wizard-based licensing clients meet some of the most common requirements, whereas our advanced SDK can elegantly meet about any licensing requirement you can think of.

Each client provides copy protection, meaning that when a customer purchases and activates with a license, it will lock use of your application to that machine.

Wizard-Based: Instant Protection PLUS 3

This licensing client can directly wrap Win32 PE files and supports any 32-bit or 64-bit programming language that can call standard Windows DLLs. It supports:

  • trials limited by time, number of runs, or features
  • perpetual, non-expiring or subscription-based licensing
  • feature-based licensing
  • update notifications

Simultaneous scenarios can be accommodated with more sophisticated programming using the included API. It doesn't require use of SOLO Server (although it is still recommended) and therefore supports offline activation by phone/email.

Wizard-Based: AutoCrypt Software Licensing

AutoCrypt SL is even easier to use since it supports more file types that can be directly wrapped, including .NET and 64-bit applications. Using the wrapper is the only option, so no source codes changes are ever needed. It requires use of SOLO Server and supports:

  • ​trials limited by time or number of runs
  • perpetual, non-expiring or subscription-based licensing

AutoCrypt SL keeps things simple, and while it doesn't have many customization options, it makes implementing the main licensing and copy protection functionality quick and easy.

Note: Does Instant Protection PLUS 3 or AutoCrypt SL meet most but not all of your licensing requirements? If you want the easiest implementation, it may be advisable to adjust your unmet requirements in order to fit within the parameters of one of these simple licensing clients.

Advanced - Protection PLUS 5 SDK

If you can conceive it, you can make it happen. Frequently selected for two reasons (1) it empowers the user with incredible control and flexibility, and (2) it performs well across many platforms. It supports all the same licensing features as the wizard-based clients, but includes more power, control, and flexibility in the implementation. Here are a few ideas of what you can do:

  • Supports customized implementations and access to highly customized license data.
  • Can pass down an XML license file with near-limitless license parameters in a single activation, even with a manual activation process.
  • Create custom dialogs with full support of UNICODE.
  • Supports volume licensing and downloadable licenses with activation.
  • Can limit concurrent user access through Network Floating Licensing features.
  • Extensive flexibility to design a seamless and customized user experience.
  • Won’t outgrow the system when your sales or marketing teams decide to change the licensing business logic.

What does the user interface look like?

Take a look for yourself by taking advantage of the free 30 day trials. The work you complete during the trial carries over to the full version when you activate.

Instant Protection PLUS 3

Wizard interface and the end user interface welcome screen:

AutoCrypt SL

Wizard interface and the end user interface welcome screen:

Protection PLUS 5 SDK

Sample license dialogs for Windows, macOS, and Linux:

I just completed a rather extensive search of software licensing products and you're product won me over hands down over everything else I looked at. I was able to do an Instant Protection PLUS 3 package of an application and send to a client within a few hours, and that includes installing your product, reading all the options, extensive testing on the output, etc. It's very well done, especially the solid, clear documentation.

Edgar T. Hammer III
President, SSI Consulting Group

Still need help choosing?

Contact our support team to help you decide which client best suits your needs. When you choose SoftwareKey, the success of your licensing system becomes our business.

If you've narrowed it down to a wizard-based client, read this blog post for additional comparisons between Instant Protection PLUS 3 and AutoCrypt SL

Deciding on which client should not hinge on price as the additional power within Protection PLUS 5 SDK sets it only a bit higher than the wizard-based clients.

Recommendation: You can gain a quick understanding of how our licensing system works by checking out the free trial of the wizard-based clients. This will serve as confirmation if it is the version that best fits your needs. Protection PLUS 5 SDK is still fairly simple even though it requires more coding. You will be up and running in no time by using the manual, sample projects, and support team assistance if needed.

About the Author

Tanner Ochel is a systematically supreme SoftwareKey support and service scientist! When not focused on software and technology, he is out adventuring with his dog, Radlee.