Last Modified March 4, 2023

OffNet Activation Process

  1. Offline and OffNet Activation
  2. OffNet Activation Overview
  3. Licensing features supported by OffNet Activation
  4. OffNet Code Sample Screen Shots
  5. software_DNA OffNet Activation web portal
  6. Setting up your OffNet Activation web portal
  7. Examples of Request and Confirmation Keys

Offline and OffNet Activation

software_DNA offers two different processes for activating your Application on computers not connected to the Internet.

Make sure to read both the Offline and OffNet Activation articles before deciding on which process to use as the DNA Product configuration and implementation are substantially different.

Offline Activation - File based

Recommended for Products where a few Users are not connnected to the Internet

  • User computers are generally connected to the Internet for Activation of the Application
  • Users not connected to the Internet, have access to a computer with an Internet connection
  • Users can copy small encrypted files to and from the non-connected computer and a connected computer using a USB key

The Offline Activation process involves exchanging small encrypted license files to and from the non-connected computer and retrieving a final CDM License File from a web-based portal.

OffNet Activation - Key Based

Recommended for Products where Users do not or cannot have access to the Internet

  • Users are in a restricted environment and computers cannot access the internet at any time for activation of the Application
  • Users do not have access to another computer with an internet connection
  • Users cannot copy small encrypted files to and from their computers

The OffNet Activation process involves exchanging small encrypted keys (10-20 characters) in order to complete the Activation process. The exchange of keys can be done verbally between you and the User, via SMS, or via a web-based portal on your website.

The OffNet Activation process is designed for "closed" or "restricted" environments where access to the internet is not allowed or possible. Consideration should be given to defining two distinct Products in software_DNA, for example:

  • a Product for Users who generally have access to the internet, and, on occasion, can use the Offline (File) Activation process
  • a Product for Users who cannot access the internet at all and would use the OffNet (Key) Activation process


OffNet Activation Overview

The OffNet Activation Process allows users to activate the software without the need for an internet connection.

Typically, OffNet Activation is required for secure organisations, or enterprises with policies that restrict internet connectivity and transfer of files to and from the computers.

The process includes the following steps:

  • The User creates a Request Key from the Application on the unconnected computer using their License Activation Code. The Request Key is a 10-20 character alphanumeric string.

  • The User provides the Request Key, a License Password and a License Email to create a Confirmation Key. Both the License Password and Email are optional, although recommended

  • A Confirmation Key is created:

    • by the User using the software_DNA OffNet Activation Portal (see below for required set-up) on a connected computer

    • by you from the DNA Control Panel, via the OffNet Activation screen

    • by the User, using your own OffNet Portal on your web-site that issues a API POST to the DNA Servers to retrieve the Confirmation Key

  • The Confirmation Key will expire as follows:

    • within 24 hours for Version 6.01 or earlier of the DNA Library

    • within 72 hours for Version 6.02 or later of the DNA Library

  • The User enters the Confirmation Key in the Application on the unconnected computer, and the License will be locked and activated on the computer.

  • The software can now be run on the unconnected computer

For detailed implementation information, see:

  • our OffNet How to Guide in the Guides section (requires a DNA Control Panel account).
  • our fully annotated source code samples (HelloWorld OffNet) showing the OffNet Activation process are available in the DNA Control Panel under Resources -> Code Samples.


Licensing features supported by OffNet Activation

With the objective of keeping the Request and Confirmation Keys to a manageable length and allow them to be exchanged verbally, not all the licensing features are available with OffNet Activation.

Features that are supported include:

  • Perpetual Licenses, including Single-User / Multi-Computer and Multi-User Licenses without Roll-Over Re-activation
  • Timed Licenses that include an Expiration Period
  • Evaluation Licenses that include an Expiration Period
  • Use of the <License_data> custom field, although it is recommended to keep it short as it will increase the length of the Confirmation Key. We recommend a maximum of 4 characters.

Licenses generated through the OffNet Activation process will use Level 1 Validation as no Internet connection is available. The Licenses are locked to the unconnected computer and are secure.

The DNA Product using OffNet Activation can use any Validation Level for licenses generated with an internet connection.


OffNet Code Sample Screen Shots

Start of OffNet Activation application dialog box

OffNet Activation OffNet Activation

Capturing the Confirmation Key for OffNet Activation

OffNet Activation


software_DNA OffNet Activation portal

We provide a software_DNA hosted OffNet Activation portal that allows Users to perform the OffNet Activation themselves vs you performing the activation on their behalf, or creating your own portal.

To set-up the access to the software_DNA OffNet Activation portal:

  • provide Tech Support a short Product Name that will be included in the URL to the portal
  • inform Tech Support if you want the optional fields Computer ID and License Email to be displayed
  • communicate the following URL to your Users wanting to do their own OffNet Activation:<Product Name>

The Computer ID field is for information only and is displayed in the License Manager and the DNA Control Panel to quickly identify which computers are activated on the License.

OffNet Activation Portal


Setting up your OffNet Activation web portal

The OffNet Activation Portal is really a simple web-based input form available to your Users on your web site to allow them to complete the OffNet Activation without your intervention. It does require that the User have some access to the internet outside the "secured" environment, for example, using a mobile phone.

Example of a OffNet Activation web page form

OffNet Portal

Once the User enters their information and clicks on Get Confirmation Key, your web page will need to issue a HTTPS POST command to the DNA DIRECT Connector.

For detailed implementation information, see:


Examples of Request and Confirmation Keys

Request and Confirmation Keys will typically be 10-20 alphanumeric characters

REQUEST_KEY 6A455259AE578A25