Not for Everybody, but Dongles Provide License Portability
The overall reputation of dongles “took it on the chin” in past decades. Dongles were perceived to be inconvenient, clumsy, unreliable and expensive. Not so fast! The dongle is seeing a rebirth. Late model USB dongles are both reliable and inexpensive. Through it all, dongles remain extremely popular in some market segments including applications that are deployed in laboratory, testing, and remote “in the field” locations.
Roles for Dongles
The obvious reason for using dongles is improved security. Dongles contain a serial number that serves as a secure hostid for software licenses. But, the principal reason for their longevity is that serialized dongles still provide a viable way to securely move your licensed software from one machine to another. Think of the case of a architect using sophisticated and expensive design software at his office. If the software was licensed with a dongle, he could grab the dongle and head home, install it on his home computer and use the same software there without having to buy a second expensive license or connect to his office over the network. As long as he has the dongle, he can use his software.
Fewer License Regeneration Events for Software Vendors
As the pace of technology quickens, software vendors are increasingly faced with customers who are upgrading their hardware. In many cases (like when a new network interface card is used), new software licenses may have to be generated because the upgrade makes the prior licenses obsolete. Although this is not a difficult operation, it requires the attention of your busy staff. If you use dongles, then the upgrade can go on without vendor involvement because once the dongle is moved to the new machine, a simple software reinstall is all that’s required.
Supporting dongles with the Reprise License Manager
ISVs who want to support dongles with RLM can do so by upgrading to v5.0. Reprise Software sells dongles that are integrated into RLM as an alternative hostid. No extra software or programming is needed to support dongles with RLM. An added benefit to this approach is that a single dongle can support multiple RLM-based applications – even if they are from different vendors.