Software Activation

    This guide shows how software activation works to protect applications, Trialware, software subscriptions, spreadsheets, plugins and multimedia content.

Configure a License

    QuickLicense is used to configure a Ticket file that defines how the license and activation process works.

    License configuration takes just minutes and gives the developer many options to choose from. The license can auto-activate on first launch or required a unique Activation Code for each computer.

    Alternatively, the Activation dialog can show a Name and Activation Code field. This approach is less secure, but gives the user the flexible to activate on several machines with the same Name/Code pair. It discourages users from distributing your software to unlicensed users since that would require giving out their uniquely identifiable Name and Activation Code.

Protect Application

    To protect an application, call QuickLicense runtime from your program with a programming interface (API) command. This binds your application to the Ticket file that defines your license. The Ticket file and royalty-free runtime file are distributed with the protected application.

    Alternatively, use AddLicense to wrap an application with the protective license without programming. With this approach, the Ticket and QuickLicense runtime are embedded within your protect application so you distribute just one file to customers.

How Software Activation Works

    On each launch, your application communicates with the runtime file. On the first launch, an Activation dialog is presented to accept an Activation Code. Each successive launch validates the license on that computer.

    If you choose to use the API, a few lines of code are needed in your application to send a command to the runtime. A command consists of a Request Message string sent by the application and the Response Message string returned from the runtime file.

    The algorithm is simple:

        Send Request Message
        Get Response Message
        If ReturnCode < 0 then
          Show Error Message and Quit
          Run Normally 
    QuickLicense include code examples for Visual Basic, C#, C++, Objective-C, Delphi, Java, RealBasic, Xojo and other popular programming languages. With several interface methods to choose from, the QuickLicense API is accessible from any programming or scripting environment.

    A unique Activation Code is required to activate a protected application on each customer computer. The vendor can provide an Activation Code using QuickLicense based on the computer unique Request Number shown in the Activation dialog on the customer computer. Alternatively, an online activation server can automate the process.

Deliver an Activation Code

    An Activation Code can be given over the phone, by email or on a web page. Notice the web link in the Activation dialog shown above. That link presents a web page in the customer's browser that collects information and sends it to the vendor. QuickLicense Pro has a feature to generate a web form to collect user information for a semi-automated activation process.

    An online activation server can fully automate the activation process. Safe Activation is an online service that handles the activation process, license management and can fully automate the order process.

    • Safe Activation Service 1 allows a vendor to present a customized page on their web site, instant Activation Codes and products controlled by Serial Numbers. The vendor's product and customer information is accessible through a secure, online account with no web site programming required.

    • Safe Activation Service 2 adds advanced features like dynamic and floating licenses, automated software subscriptions, automated feature delivery, shopping cart access, notifications, plus license release, restore, suspend or reset.

    • Safe Activation Service 3 automates the order process with builtin shopping cart, integration with popular payment processors, integration with shopping cart services, an automated email to send Serial Number to customer after purchase, registered downloads and license management by Email or Text message.

    A protected application running on a computer connected to the Internet can be activated directly from a vendor configured dialog without a browser. Customer data is sent to the activation server and the retrieved Activation Code is automatically applied.

    Use Desktop License Server or WebActivation to host an activation server on your own website.

Try Activation on Your Computer

    To see the activation process on your computer, download the simple Hello World program for Mac or Windows. Double-click the executable and you will see a simple activation dialog. The dialog shows a Request Number (fingerprint of the computer) and an empty field to type an Activation Code.

    For this demonstration, simply type the Request Number into the Activation Code field and click Activate Now. Once the software is activated, the Hello World screen is presented. Quit and run it again. The activated application automatically starts running.