Last Modified September 1, 2017

Timed or Renewable Licensing with or without Recharging

  1. Overview
  2. Extending or Recharging a License - Automated via eCommerce
  3. Extending or Recharging a License - Automated via DIRECT Connector
  4. Recharging of a License Code
  5. Converting a Timed License to a Perpetual License
  6. How to set-up Timed Licenses within software_DNA
  7. Considerations when using eCommerce integration
  8. Considerations when using multi-user codes
  9. Using "Direct Connector" to renew Subscription Licenses within software_DNA
  10. Pricing for Timed Licenses

 

You can use the <expiry_period> setting for a License Activation Code with a long period to offer Timed or renewable licenses to your customers. For example, using a period of 365 days will require the user to renew (i.e. get a new activation code or recharge) from you every year. If the user does not renew his license, the License Activation Code will expire and validations will fail. You can then decide to still run in DEMO mode or stop the Software immediately.

To implement Timed Licenses, all you need to do is specify the <expiry period> in the Product Configuration. All License Activation Codes manually generated, automatically generated or uploaded will use this setting. The expiration period is always checked in the CDM License file and is also enforced at the DNA Server. The license code expires at the end of the expiration date, i.e. at 00:00:01 of the following day

All protection features and Validation Levels (1, 2 and 3) are supported with Timed Licenses, as well as multi-user license and Single-User / Multi-Computer licenses. You can offer different Timed period licenses and different Renewal periods all with different pricing by defining different products within software_DNA and your eCommerce system.

You have some options for renewing a Timed License:

New License Code - Automated, no recharging

At the end of the License period, your customer would purchase a new License Activation Code for another period (ex: 1 year) and activate the application using this new License Code. You would typically have a menu selection in your application that would allow him to Activate or Renew, which would essentially be a new Activation.

Recharge License Code - Automated

The user would be able to purchase a Renewal or Recharge code. He would then use this Recharge Code to extend his current License Activation Code.
See below on how to implement.

Recharge License Code - Manual

Once the user has purchased a license renewal, you can change the Expiry Period directly from the Code View screen for that License Code. Although a manual process, it may be appropriate if you expect a low volume of renewals

 

Extending or Recharging a License - Automated via eCommerce

If you want to have users keep the same License Activation Code, you can allow them to Extend or Recharge their License Code, i.e. extend the Expiration Period, to say 730 days (2 years) in a fully automated process linked to your eCommerce system.

The process entails defining a Product in your eCommerce system and in software_DNA that is strictly for Recharge or Renewal Codes. The process would include:

  • User would purchase a "Renewal" (i.e. a product) from the eCommerce store-front

  • software_DNA would issue a Recharge Code for this product (basically an Activation Code with an expiry period, say 365 days) to the user in the same way a License Activation Code is issued following an eCommerce transaction.

  • The user would self-recharge his License Activation code by logging into the myLicense Portal with his License Activation Code and Password and clicking on RECHARGE

  • The user would then enter the Recharge Code

  • The License Activation Code expiry period would then be extended by the Expiry Period of the Recharge Code. The Recharge Code would be flagged as used (i.e banned) so that it can not be used to recharge again

 

Extending or Recharging a License - Automated via DIRECT Connector

The DIRECT Connector interface allows you to recharge a License Code directly from your web site/server by using the RECHARGE command of the DIRECT interface. This would be used if you have implemented your own store-front versus using a 3rd party eCommerce solution, or you are intercepting all eCommerce transactions on your web-site and redirecting transactions as required to software_DNA using the DIRECT interface.

The process would include:

  • User would purchase a "Renewal" (i.e. a product) on your store-front or eCommerce solution
  • Your web server would process the transaction and send a RECHARGE command via the DIRECT interface to the software_DNA servers.
  • software_DNA would extend the License Activation Code by the specified period

 

Recharging of a License Code

When a Renewal Code is applied to a Timed License (i.e. to an Activation Code), the Expiry period of the Activation Code will always be relative to the initial activation date of the Activation Code and updated as follows:

  • If the code is still active (i.e. not expired), then the Expiry period of the Renewal Code will be added to the Expiry Period of the Activation Code and a new Expiry Date will be calculated. For example, if both have Expiry periods of 360 days, then the new Expiry Period will be : 360 + 360 = 720 days.
  • If the code is expired, then the Expiry period of the Renewal Code will be added to the current date to determine the new Expiry Date and the new Expiry Period will be determined relative to the initial activation date. For example, again using 360 days, the new Expiry Date will be calculate to be: Today + 360 days.

You will be able to view the new Expiry Period and Expiry Date from the DNA Control Panel at any time, and if needed, modify the settings manually. Note that the maximum Expiry Period supported by software_DNA is 1,825 days (5 years). A renewal that causes the Expiry Period to exceed this maximum will be rejected by the DNA Server.

 

Converting a Timed License to a Perpetual License

If the Renewal Code has no expiry period (i.e. expiry period is 0 and code never expires), then this setting will be transferred to the Activation Code being renewed/recharged and will no longer expire.

This allows you to offer, for a price, a "Perpetual" License upgrade to a Timed License

 

How to set-up Timed Licenses within software_DNA

The following is an example of a straight-forward implementation of a Timed License within software_DNA:

  • You can define a new product within software_DNA or change the configuration of an existing product

  • In the Product Configuration, set the Activation Code Default Expiry Period to 365 (instead of 0) for a one(1) year subscription offering

  • Enable the Access to myLicense Portal option to allow single and multi-user licenses access to the Portal - they will need this to Renew or Extend their license

  • Enable the Code Recharge in myLicense Portal option to allow users to Renew via the Portal

  • If you do not use any eCommerce integration, generate codes from the DNA Control Panel which will have the Expiry Period of 365 days which you can then distribute to your Users when they buy the software initially or renew their subscription

  • If you use an eCommerce system integrated with software_DNA, see below

In the above, all Activation Codes and Renewal Codes are essentially the same, i.e. codes that expire after 365 days from activation, or one(1) year licenses for the use of your software. It is recommended to keep to this simple approach unless you want to manage and distribute your codes manually. This is definitely the approach to take when using integration with an eCommerce system.

 

Considerations when using eCommerce integration

  • Set the <Activation Code Default Expiry Period> in your Product Configuration to your renewal period, then whenever the software_DNA Server receives an eCommerce transaction, an Activation Code with that expiry period will be generated and returned to the eCommerce system or the User.

  • This Activation Code can either be an Activation Code or a Renewal Code - both will be set to the Default Expiry Period

  • In your eCommerce system, define two SKU's, one for initial subscription and one for Renewal which would likely be priced differently

  • In software_DNA, for that product, make sure the eCommerce integration settings includes both SKU's so that codes are properly generated

 

Considerations when using multi-user codes

Timed Licenses can also be used with multi-user codes allowing you to offer x-seat timed licenses to your corporate / government / educational customers

  • Renewal Codes must have the same <seat> setting as the initial Activation Code that is been renewed or extended - i.e. a 5-seat license must be renewed using a Renewal code with a 5-seat setting

  • If you have configured your product as above, then no other configuration or special action is required

  • When using an eCommerce system, make sure the eCommerce integration settings include all the SKU’s for the different seat settings for both initial subscriptions and renewals and that the seat setting is correct

 

Using the "DNA Direct Connector" to renew Timed Licenses

Using the DNA Direct Connector is similar to the eCommerce integration described above, except that it is your web-site or web-based storefront that sends "triggers" to the software_DNA Server.

The Direct Connector has an expanded parameter list that allows you to specify an activation code, the "Timed License", that needs to be renewed or recharged, and allows you to specify how many <days> to be added to the Timed License.

Typically, your web-based storefront would issue such a RECHARGE transaction to the DNA Server following a purchase by one of your customers.

For more information consult the "Direct Connector Integration Guide" in the Guides section.