How do I harness the power of the license manager? What rights should I give to my customers? Let's first look at basic elements of a license that you can control, then look later at some other important parameters that can further refine your licensing policies.
Since software license keys contain entitlement information, it makes sense to protect those data from tampering and corruption. It would be tempting for an unscrupulous user to change a license count from 10 to 100 by simply tacking on an extra zero, or to upgrade your v2.0 licenses to v5.0 with a similarly simple edit.
Independent software companies are increasingly relying on innovative software licensing and pricing strategies to create steadier revenue streams. They are looking for smoother and more predictable revenue growth to make financial planning easier and to increase business efficiency and to maximize value to shareholders.
An important but easily overlooked aspect of a software license management system should be its support for and use of multiple license servers. The customers of software applications typically have more than one server machine on which to deploy license servers.
Software pricing and licensing experts agree that optimal pricing strategies are rooted in value pricing. This means that the customer and the vendor find a satisfying middle ground where the value that the user receives from the software is proportional to the price that he pays.
Many valuable software tools that require floating licensing run for only a short time. These include various solvers, development and design tools, and other specialty software products that are designed to perform very specific tasks very quickly. Unlike typical interactive or desktop applications, these short-burst applications typically do not have a GUI of there own, but are often launched by other applications within a product suite.
License Tracker Inc., a Reprise Software partner, has announced the availability of a free "Limited Edition" (LE) version of its leading license usage reporting tool for software vendors and their users.
Of the many advantages to using a license manager, the easy creation of eval/trial/demo versions of your packaged software is arguably one of the most powerful. Using an electronic license with an expiration date, and possibly a "demo" flag, makes your product accessible to would-be buyers. Since electronic licenses can also be easily turned into full, "purchased" licenses, a trial version of your product is the logical first step in a successful sales process.
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.
Virtual Machine (VM) software has been a major factor in increasing computer utilization and efficiency. VM software allows users to segment a computer into multiple "virtual" systems, each with its own copy of an operating system each acting fully independently from the others. For software vendors, this "machine replication" can be a problem, one that can make profits become "virtual" too.