Hi Guys...

I've had some great help from the members in Dani Web so thanks for all the support so far. Now My first ever credible application is working I would like to try and setup some type of Licencing for it.

I've come across many tutorials in regards to creating KeyGens (which is greatt..) but now actual way to show how the product then un-encrypts the keygen to make sure its correct! nothing about the algo used.

So I'm a little bit stuck and looking for some advice..

Would it be easier to create a keygen or a licence file? for a beginnger to get used to? I'm guessing Licence file but hoping you guys can point me in the right direction.


5 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by sundog1

My advice? Forget it! Licensing software (or using DRM) only keeps the honest honest, but irritated (when the software fails because the license or DRM software is fubar, that is a quick way to lose customers). Most customers of commercial software are perfectly happy to pay, and are more than willing to do so when the software meets a need, and does not get in the way of their work/operations. As a business person and professional software developer, I refuse to purchase any software that requires DRM or licensing that may obstruct my use of the tool for which I have paid serious $$. That isn't to say that I don't use licensed software (I do), but if it EVER refuses to run because it thinks I don't have a valid license, I will drop that product in a heartbeat! And speaking from personal experience, this is harder to do (write license-enabled software that won't screw your customers) than you imagine!

Edited by rubberman


I must respectfully disagree with rubberman.

While it might take some effort to write a useful algorythm for licensing, you can do it, and you can do it effectively with some practice.

I agree that software which thinks I have an invalid license when I do not would be annoying (although I have never come across software like that, I'm sure it exists). But I do think that having licensing keys or files is a great way to protect your investment. I disagree that it only keeps the honest honest and that most people are happy to pay. Given a choice, I would'nt pay! I do, because I must. Having licensing keys and files keeps the honest honest, but also keeps the low-end, "newbie" tinkerers out as well. Someone thinking about "stealing" software might not if a key is required simply because they don't know a way around it.

This isn't a debate thread though, and I assume sundog1 doesn't care about our opinions on the topic.

I can suggest that you start with reading some books or online articles on these scenarios. A good one I read is here. Now before clicking on the link I must preface it by saying I do not, under any circumstances support software theft in any form. The site the article is hosted on is an anti-piracy site (http://www.licenturion.com/). The link shows an article on one person's investigation into the Windows activation process. Since I read it last there were no keys or illegal information in the article. I would only recommend using the information to get a general idea of what is involved and how the algorythms can work and wouldn't recommend using the same algoryhtm.

I can't vouch for the validity of the article since I never really had much interest in the Windows activation process and never actually tried out what the article does, but I can say that it does provide good information on how these types of algorythms work.

I would, however, avoid a license file. With those, you end up giving the people who want to break into your work, a place to start. Of course, those with the knowledge know where to start anyway, but why leave your bicycle on the rack when you could at least put a chain and lock on it.

Anyway, another idea (something we use) is activations. You get a license key, and the software checks a web site on a regular basis to make sure the key is good and not locked out. It's a simple solution, but not perfect. I wouldn't recommend spending years trying to make your software bullet proof...you can't. If someone want's it bad enough, they will get it.

Votes + Comments
Good response, +rep

Rubberman & zachattack05, first of all many thanks for your advice on the issue.

I can see pro's and con's in both arguments and will take a closer look on who would possibly be purchasing the software and make my mind up from there on the route to go down. :)


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