A while ago, we wrote a blog post entitled 101 license models. Since that time we followed up with posts on unrestricted license models, nodelocked license models, and floating license models. In this post, we explore the fourth set of license models described in that post – the Token-Based License Models.
Token-Based License Models
To review, token-based licenses are a special case of floating licenses which allow aliasing of a license or multiple license checkouts per request. These are usable by anyone who can contact the license server. Token-based licenses can have any of the following attributes:
- Aliasing of license name
- cached licenses
- computing environment limited
- customer name
- license type (beta, demo, eval)
- minimum use time
- replace other licenses
- soft limit
- shared by arbitrary data
- shared by host
- shared by user
- software version
- timeout restrictions
- token-based package
- VM enabled
Ways to use Token-Based License Models
Token-based licenses are a special case of floating licenses, and they have 3 main uses:
- packaging together a number of products and distributing a single license
- creating an alias from one product name to another
- allowing newer software to run and consume licenses distributed with older software (a special case of #1)
In the first case, packaging together a number of products, let’s say you have product a, b, and c. Create static token-based licenses for each of a, b, and c which map to a checkout of “d”. Now you distribute the “d” license, and all 3 products, a, b, and c can run with this license. Different modes of operation are possible by changing the sharing attributes on the “d” license.
To create an alias, the token definition maps one license checkout request to a different request. This is useful to transition a product’s license name.
For the 3rd case, a generic token name is the only license you deliver. All products have token license definitions which map to the generic license name. As you add new products, they use licenses which your customer already has, thus creating contention for these licenses (meaning increased sales). This allows your customers to demo your new products while consuming existing licenses – no more free demos!