Who doesn’t love a good Top 10 List?
We’ve talked to a lot of software developers over the years, a lot. We’ve found that they all have the following complaints in common: over worked, over scheduled, and under appreciated. The current economic slowdown has heightened the need for getting more from less, and no employees feel that added pressure more than highly skilled software developers.
Most developers who are asked to evaluate, select and then implement a software license management solution would freely admit that they are not experts in software licensing. Many have experience with older license managers (mostly unfavorable, otherwise we probably would not be talking to them in the first place), but it’s certainly not their specialty. What they want is a software licensing solution that is robust, yet quick to implement and easy to maintain.
Based on these discussions we compiled a list of the Top 10 Reasons why the Reprise License Manager (RLM) is preferred by today’s busy software developers.
1. Simple API with clear and concise documentation: The first contact that software developers have with RLM is with the documentation. The manuals are written by developers, for developers. There’s no marketing hype, just the technical information to get familiar with the concepts and to start an implementation. The documentation is sprinkled with real-world examples and sample code. The RLM API is simple and streamlined. Once implementations are complete, they are more easily debugged and maintained.
2. Small footprint: Software developers appreciate that they can retain their own “look-and-feel.” RLM does not impose any style of its own. It tries to stay out of the way. Software developers are free to design an interface and installation procedures to reflect their own standards.
3. True cross-platform support: The same API is available on all platforms, in all languages. Developers who write in Java and .Net compatible languages have access to the full breadth of the API as do developers who write in C/C++. Application licensing operates the same regardless of platform and language, saving time with development, testing and deployment.
4. Points for good behavior: Some licensing products require writing into the registry or writing to illegal disk sectors. RLM plays it straight, not even requiring admin privileges to install RLM-based applications. RLM uses plain old TCP/IP to connect clients to the license server. No broadcasts to gum up the user’s network.
5. Policy in the license: Software developers can change license policies without changing the code base. RLM is designed so that the application does not need to know what kind of policies are present beforehand. With RLM, license policy is largely removed from the application and defined in the license keys. So, applications request a license, and the license that is granted is based on what type of license is found in the customer’s license file. This addresses the ever-changing set of business rules by simply varying the license key issued.
6. Internet connectivity is not required: Relying on getting a software license over the Internet at runtime is risky. RLM licensing does not rely on the Internet. Applications read local license files (digitally signed text files) or connect to a license server that manages concurrent use. There is no forced Internet “phone home” requirement. However, licenses can be optionally obtained over the Internet. License activation over the Internet is merely one way of getting licenses to your customers. Since the license files are merely text files, email is the preferred method for some ISVs.
7. License generation and delivery options: The software developer’s job is not over when he is finished integrating software license management into his code. ISVs have to think about how they will generate and manage “software license entitlements.” We’ve found that there is a very wide variation in license generation strategies that ISVs want to employ. So, RLM allows ISVs the maximum amount of flexibility. Licenses can be generated using a license signing utility that works by computing digital signatures for common product license templates. Or, licenses can be constructed using utilities written by the ISV from API calls in the RLM kit. Optionally, a graphical program (RLC) is available to generate licenses for products that are defined in terms of the licenses that enable them.
8. Built-in server admin interface: Software developers rely as much as possible on built-in functionality, none more so than the server administration interface that is pre-wired into the RLM license server. Privileged users point their browser to the server to get status information, and to perform routine server maintenance such as restarts and shutdowns.
9. Built-in diagnostic tools: A rich set of built-in client-side and server-side diagnostics makes the job of troubleshooting easier. Users can easily create useful data sets that help to pinpoint potential license configuration errors.
10. RLM Tech Support comes directly from engineers: When software developers need help, they want to talk to other engineers. At Reprise Software, all support calls are handled by software developers. There is never a maze of inexperienced support techs to wade through that might slow down your development.
RLM was designed and written by software developers with years of experience in this specialized niche, with software developers’ time-critical needs in mind.