Should I Upgrade from Protection PLUS 4 SDK to Protection PLUS 5 SDK?

By Mike Wozniak  |  Support Articles

Posted:  April 14

We continue to be thrilled to welcome more and more SoftwareKey customers to the exciting world of our amazing new product, Protection PLUS 5 SDK! Inspired by many of the same powerful technologies and experiences that have made Protection PLUS 4 SDK the licensing system of choice for thousands of software developers for over 20 years, Protection PLUS 5 SDK is a built-from-the-ground-up solution with many new advantages.

The following blog post will help you determine when to upgrade to Protection PLUS 5 SDK based on your needs.

Should Instant Protection PLUS 3 (Instant PLUS) Users Upgrade?

If you are currently using Instant Protection PLUS 3 (previously called Instant PLUS) and are happy with its features, we recommend that you continue using it, since it provides the easiest implementation of the SoftwareKey System with little or no source code changes. If you want more control and flexibility over the licensing implementation, you can certainly consider upgrading to Protection PLUS 5 SDK.

For a more detailed comparison between Instant Protection PLUS 3 and Protection PLUS 5 SDK, refer to our blog post THE DECISION: Instant Protection PLUS 3 or Protection PLUS 5 SDK.

Can I Upgrade to Protection PLUS 5 SDK?

If you have a Protection PLUS 4 license (Professional, Enterprise or Internet Edition) with an active software maintenance subscription, then you may be eligible for a free upgrade to a Protection PLUS 5 SDK license.

It is a significantly different solution which may not be suitable for you right now, but you will remain eligible for a complimentary upgrade to a Protection PLUS 5 SDK license as long as you keep your Protection PLUS 4 SDK software maintenance active. This allows you to continue with your current licensing implementation until you are ready to upgrade to Protection PLUS 5 SDK. If you let your software maintenance lapse, you will no longer be eligible for the free upgrade; however, as a valued existing customer you would remain eligible to purchase a new Protection PLUS 5 SDK license at a discount.

Should I Upgrade to Protection PLUS 5 SDK?

Protection PLUS 5 SDK is an entirely new product built from the ground up, and requires changes to your application’s source code. It is not a seamless drop-in replacement for what you are currently using. You are not required to upgrade your existing applications to Protection PLUS 5 SDK, and Protection PLUS 4 SDK will still be supported in maintenance mode for the foreseeable future.

We recommend upgrading to Protection PLUS 5 SDK when you are licensing a new product or a major new version of a current product, especially when your application will require a new activation.

Protection PLUS 5 SDK is fully compatible with SOLO Server, and you can support both Protection PLUS 4 SDK and Protection PLUS 5 SDK licenses and activations at the same time.

Why Should I Upgrade to Protection PLUS 5 SDK?

There are a multitude of new features and benefits available to you when you upgrade to Protection PLUS 5 SDK.

Exciting new licensing features at your fingertips!

Protection PLUS 5 SDK has a variety of new features that are not available with Protection PLUS 4 SDK. Some of the new requirements that are addressed with Protection PLUS 5 SDK are:

  • Better flexibility with licensing
  • Support for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Android operating systems
  • Java SE library with support for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux PC environments
  • New .NET library with 100% managed code and extensible object model with support for Mac OS X and Linux PC environments via the Mono framework
  • Uses XML for the License File format for the greatest extensibility
  • Uses RSA digital signatures for verification
  • Support for near-limitless storage of user-defined license parameters data across all online and offline activation methods
  • Several new activation methods
  • New simple-to-use APIs and direct access to SOLO Server web services

If you find yourself thinking, “I wish we could implement X requirement, but it’s just not possible with Protection PLUS 4 SDK” then contact us with details on what you need to accomplish, and we can confirm if upgrading to Protection PLUS 5 SDK will meet your needs.

Improved security features

Protection PLUS 4 SDK has been reliable for almost 20 years, and Protection PLUS 5 SDK security features are even better! It uses the RSA algorithm to leverage public key cryptography and digital signatures to better secure the license file and its data. The introduction of read-only license files offers incredible security against license parameter tampering.

If you need or want the very latest licensing technology, Protection PLUS 5 SDK has many benefits over Protection PLUS 4 SDK.

Additional comparisons

You can read more details on the differences between Protection PLUS 4 SDK versus Protection PLUS 5 SDK here.

What Should I Consider Before Upgrading to Protection PLUS 5 SDK?

There are some important considerations for you to ponder before enacting your final commitment to the upgrade.

Development time and resources

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, Protection PLUS 5 SDK is a separate product that requires a completely new implementation into your software. It is not a drop-in replacement for Protection PLUS 4 SDK.

We have various Protection PLUS 5 SDK sample projects that you can refererence, and many of our customers have reported a smooth transition to Protection PLUS 5 SDK. Nevertheless, it requires that you commit the proper resources to the conversion effort. If you are currently lacking the dedicated resources to do so, it may be more appropriate to upgrade to Protection PLUS 5 SDK at a later date and/or at a time when you are developing a new product.

How do I convert existing Protection PLUS 4 Licenses?

If possible, we recommend upgrading to Protection PLUS 5 SDK to coincide with the licensing of a new product or a major new version of a current product. Requiring all customers to perform a new activation under a new license eliminates any confusion when trying to share the same license between major new releases of your licensing code.

In the case where you need to upgrade an existing Protection PLUS 4 SDK license file to a Protection PLUS 5 SDK license file, you will need to create a utility program specifically created to complete the conversion process.

If you are still unsure whether you should upgrade to Protection PLUS 5 SDK or not, contact us. We’re here to help you transform your licensing ideas into reality!

About the Author

Mike Wozniak is the founder of and responsible for marketing, content and product strategy. When he isn't plotting new ways to help customers solve licensing and business automation challenges, he likes to travel and entertain guests who come to visit the Orlando area.

Mike Wozniak


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