You want paying customers, not stolen software. Copy protection encourages honesty among honest people and protects against strategic theft.
Dissuade theft by requiring a license key and activation for every computer installation. Fingerprinting technology detects unlawful copying and allows you to control the number of devices allowed per license. Allow customers to install on specific PCs and/or for specific named users. Increase revenue by converting illegal copies into trials and more.
The license file stores the status of the license along with the authorized computer fingerprint. This file is encrypted to make it difficult for a user to modify.
Your application can use our SDK to read encrypted and digitally-signed license files using XML formatting for high flexibility and extensibility, across all supported platforms. We use industry-standard public-key cryptography and digital signatures.
Employ either or both read-only and writable license files to balance security and flexibility for different licensing approaches.
Moving from a perpetual, non-expiring model to a subscription model holds advantages for you and your software users. Many large companies have already required existing customers to migrate from a perpetual license to a license by subscription.
Subscriptions provide an opportunity to actually lower the user's entry-level price. More people can access your software via the lowered barrier to entry. This popular model can increase your total revenue over time.
- Fully automate and manage a subscription version of your software.
- Offer various subscription lengths.
- Set terms of subscription renewals and cancellations.
- Subscriptions can be tied to software activation or can simply be used as a record of data related to software maintenance expiration.
Easily maintain subscriptions:
- Notify customers when expiration date is approaching or has passed.
- Allow customers to renew their subscription manually or use an integrated recurring billing and payment plan engine for automatic renewal payment processing.
"The cost of entry to use SoftwareKey is incredibly low. You can allow people to make impulse purchases and trials within a week or month from signing up for them." Read Full Customer Story
We have seen tremendous growth in large companies offering subscription-based licenses. Companies like Adobe, Microsoft, AutoDesk, and Apple are offering software and even hardware under subscription. Read More
Create and Track Evaluation Versions
Try before you buy is a must have option in your sales and marketing arsenal. More users will be exposed to your software by offering an evaluation period. Another benefit is that illegal copies of your software can be automatically converted into a trial version so that you instantly have a new prospect for your software.
Set up the trial how you would like:
- Create evaluation licenses based upon time or number of executions.
- Provide access to all product features or limit features to encourage purchase.
- Require activation of the trial on first use or let it run automatically while making it difficult to re-install to gain additional usage.
Prospective customers can download a trial version of a software application & receive automated marketing emails if they do not purchase within a specified time frame.
There are many things to consider when creating a trial/evaluation version of your software application, including a standard cost/benefit analysis to determine if requiring your prospects to activate the evaluation version is something you should enforce. Read More
Virtual Machine Protection
The recent explosion of application and PC virtualization technology has made it easier than ever to cheat on software license installations. Choose anti-theft options specifically applicable to your software and your users.
Network Floating Licensing
Install your software on an unlimited number of computers within an organization while setting a specific number of concurrent users authorized to access the software. This licensing model provides more flexibility for your customers and increased exposure of your software to individual users. When the established number (determined by the software license) of users is reached, a new user will need to wait for an existing user terminate his or her session.
Network Floating Licensing is a software licensing approach where a limited number of seats for using an application are shared among a larger number of users over time. The SoftwareKey System offers these features in what we have called Cloud-Controlled Network Floating Licensing. Read More
Under the control of network floating licensing, software can be installed on many or all computers throughout your customer's organization allowing a prescribed number of end-users (determined by the software license) to run the software at the same time. Read More
Advanced Licensing Features
We have encountered nearly every possible scheme for licensing software and are exposed to new ideas from our nearly 7000 customers.
Some examples of advanced licensing features include introducing
- Pay-per-use or other consumption-based licenses.
- Feature-based (modular) applications where every customer receives a customized set of features.
- Distribution of different editions (e.g., Gold/Silver/Platinum) with the same installer.
A recent brainstorming session in the SoftwareKey offices attended by the members of our architecture team yielded the following lineup of contemporary licensing models to serve as a stimulant for consideration and discussion by software authors who may be just starting to scratch the surface of software licensing methodology. Read More
When it comes to pay-per-use or consumption-based licenses, we here at SoftwareKey have come up with some fairly amusing nicknames for the various usage-based models which we imagine could be useful. Read More
Graeme Cox is Managing Director and Co-Founder of Davco OptiSurface Pty Ltd, an Australian-based developer of OptiSurface Designer, the leading 3D agricultural earthworks design software used in over 15 countries. He sat down to talk with us so that he could share his use case with our readers. Read More
Both Simple and Powerful Licensing Interfaces
Step-by-step guidance provided by our implementation wizards gets you up and running quickly and easily. You will be tapping into thousands of lines of licensing code with little or no source code changes.
Software Development Kits (SDKs) give your development team complete control and flexibility over the licensing business logic and user interface - their blank canvas. Application Program Interface (APIs) serve as their palette and paintbrush.
Wide Platform and Technology Support
Built by a team with over 25 years of licensing experience, our Software Development Kits support nearly all types of software on the widest array of platforms:
- .NET Edition (.NET Framework and .NET Standard supported)
- Native Edition for Windows
- Native Edition for macOS (Apple M1 supported)
- Native Edition for Linux
- Android Edition (ARM processors supported)
- Java Edition (Apple M1 and ARM processors supported)
- Linux Edition for ARM (Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as the Raspberry Pi)