Consider your options
The usual licensing strategy for server software is to lock it to a physical host. This provides some degree of protection from installing and running on multiple hosts, but it does not necessarily represent the optimal approach in terms of maximizing your revenue or customer satisfaction.
First, there’s the notion of scaling. Do you really want to charge the same price for every site? You need some way to charge more when your software is used more. Perhaps you can sell multiple node locked servers to larger sites, or even charge relative to the number of cores on the machines, the rationale being that there is the potential to get more use from machines with more horsepower.
Float your server licenses
If you want your customers to have the flexibility of installing and using your server on many machines without having to license them separately, perhaps you should use a floating license manager that ensures that no more than a predetermined number of concurrent server copies can run at the same time. With floating licensing, you issue a license key with a count, and lock only the license server, not each user node.
Another approach could be licensing by some other scaled metric: how many records can be maintained in the database, a count of named users, etc. Each of these metrics can be encoded into a license key, allowing the server software to know when it starts what level of service to enforce based on the license key scaling parameters. A single version of your software could then enforce the appropriate size limits on a site by site basis.
Using a license manager, such as RLM, could also give you even more control of how your software behaves within a virtual machine. You could even license by platform or by the site’s timezone.
In any case, using a license manager gives you the freedom to change with your license policies.
GenArts was motivated by the need for software license management on an expanding set of development platforms, while reducing licensing and support costs which had increased steadily with little to no product improvement.
Too often folks equate Software Licensing with the prevention of software piracy. That notion really misses the point. People are often surprised to find out the real reasons for software license management.
There are a few basic guidelines that should be followed when integrating licensing into you software application. Adherence to these guidelines, while not strictly mandatory, will be greatly appreciated by your end-users who will see more consistent implementations from ISV to ISV.
Summary: Reprise RLM fit IO Methodoloy’s needs. It is not only easy to integrate, but is also flexible enough to allow fine licensing control of product features to fit their customers’ requirements.
RLM Customer Story:
IO Methodology Inc. (www.iometh.com) is a start-up EDA company specializing in simulation modeling tools and services. Its SIMDE (Signal Integrity Modeling Development Environment) tool helps customers, especially big semiconductor vendors, to develop accurate, IP protected and industry-standardized models.
Simulation modeling development and validation is a niche market, but it is critical for chip vendors who are looking to deliver their devices to high-speed system vendors. SIMDE is currently the only product focused on this type of solution.
IO Methodology, Inc. struggled to pick the right licensing tool for SIMDE. Reprise RLM fit our needs. It is not only easy to integrate into our tools but is also flexible enough to allow fine licensing control of product features to fit our customers’ requirements.
As a small company, IO Methodology believes that providing responsive, reliable support to its customers is the key to its success. Reprise Software’s RLM helps IO Methodology to represent that high level support commitment to its customers.
Summary: Automotive and industrial customers have worldwide locations requiring a flexible and stable license manager. Innovative features like internet based activation, trial licenses and maintenance period management convinced HighTec that the Reprise License Manager was the proper fit.
RLM Customer Story:
Our product PXROS-HR is a real-time operating system for embedded targets with unique safety and security features.
The operating system manages the so-called memory protection unit (MPU) of a controller to encapsulate data, stack and communication between different processes.
Apart from PXOS-HR we offer customized version of GNU based compiler with integrated development environment in Eclipse.
Key features of PXROS-HR:
- Integrated MPU management
- No additional interrupt latencies
- Tasks reloading and debugging capabilities
- Unique safety and security functionality
Since our automotive and industrial customers have worldwide locations, we need a flexible and stable license manager. Innovative features like internet based activation and the excellent support of RLM convinced us that the integration of a license manager in our products would be simple and safe.
The Reprise License Manager gives us more flexibility in providing potential customers our tools with limited duration trial licenses. We also needed functionality to enforce our maintenance period and we now do this by the “version number” in the RLM license.
Summary: RLM provides enough flexibility to adapt to continually evolving licensing ideas. Reprise also successfully supports Cortona’s evaluation software program with a “no-touch” license model, in which downloads are activated over the internet to encourage later sales.
RLM Customer Story:
Prepared by Vee Baker, Cortona3D
Cortona3D software assists equipment manufacturers to efficiently and cost effectively deliver customer focused technical publications that guide users through the support, maintenance and training of their products. Headquartered in Dublin, Cortona3D sells worldwide through a network of specialist resellers who consult, advise and support customers through the product selection process and their successful implementation through the application of industry best practices,
The Rapid family of tools has specific packages to generate manuals, interactive parts catalogs and learning materials such as computer based training. Traditional technical publications processes involve the re-creation of engineering data by either re-drawing or taking ‘snapshots’ of the data. With Rapid tools users establish a direct connection to the changing engineering data design – so updates are captured automatically ensuring consistency with latest designs, and as there is no re-drawing errors are significantly reduced. Elimination both these practices significantly decreases the time taken to create the materials – speeding the product time to market and reducing costs.
Cortona3D have been using Reprise Software licensing for over 3 years now, and were one of its early adopters. Initial selection was made on the basis of the technical ability of the package, but the costing model was also very competitive. The tool provides flexibility as our licensing ideas are continually evolving, currently node-locked and site-wide versions of the tools are available. Reprise also easily delivers changes for customers – adding incremental licenses after the initial purchase, upgrading from locked to site-wide, migrating locked licenses from machine to machine, etc.
Reprise also successfully supports our evaluation software program. Cortona3D offers limited capability evaluation copies of our Rapid tools direct from www.cortona3D.com. In order to offer this without license management overhead a no-touch license model was essential, so these evaluation version downloads are activated over the internet as are the product sales.
Cortona3D remains committed to licensing with Reprise Software as it offers a flexible, cost effective, easily manageable solution for both us and our customers.
In an attempt to clear up some confusion and provide a little education on the not-quite-fascinating subject of license servers, we'll go over various licensing scenarios and what is involved, server-wise.
Many benefits can accrue to those independent software vendors (ISVs) that incorporate a license manager into the products they sell.
One of those benefits is the ability to give users a license that will allow them to remain in compliance with the terms of their software license after they've disconnected their laptop from the corporate intranet.
Is software piracy always bad? Is there any amount of piracy that you should tolerate, or even embrace? What determines how much, if any?