Last Modified February 15, 2022

Offering Limited Time-Trials and Evaluation Licenses

  1. Overview
  2. In-App Delivery of Evaluation License Codes
  3. One Evaluation License Code per User
  4. Evaluation History and Clearing the Evaluation License History


With software_DNA you can securily offer Demo and Trial Versions of your software and distribute your application widely across the Internet and Download sites allowing many users to Try before they Buy your application knowing your are fully protected against piracy.

You can offer "limited feature" demos, "fully featured" trial versions, etc. with or without Evaluation License Codes and with or without the capture of the user's email address, which can be used for follow-on Sales and Marketing efforts. The following are some of the possible approaches:

Limited Feature DEMO

This option is straightforward and an easy trial strategy to implement within your Application.

Whenever one of the DNA API calls returns an error code, you run your application in DEMO mode, which offers whatever functionality you have decided would be available in the DEMO mode.

If the user wants to access the full functionality, the user would need to activate the software with a valid License Activation Code. Once activated, you can open up the full functionality of the application.

Full Featured Timed Trial - anonymous

This option uses an Evaluation License Code in order to control the expiry period and expiry date of the Trial and the Evaluate Now method for Evaluation Licenses.

You set the <Expiry Period> as part of the Product configuration.

The Evaluation License Code is generated in real-time and used to immediately activate the software and locking it to the user's computer using a hardware based hash called the <MachineID>. Since the evaluation license will expire, you can confidently make available all the functionality of your application.

Full Featured Timed Trial - with user email

This option uses an Evaluation License Code in order to control the expiry period and expiry date of the Trial, and the Registration method for Evaluation Licenses.

You set the <Expiry Period> as part of the Product configuration.

The user needs to provide an <email address> to which the Evaluation License Code will be sent.

Evaluation License Codes allows you to selectively offer full functionality versions of the Software for a limited period of time, the <Expiry Period> which can be set from 1 to 60 days. Evalution License Codes are essentially special License Activation Codes and provide all the protection features of software_DNA for the Trial period. The Trial period is enforced by the software_DNA solution.

For users who decide to purchase your software, you issue a new License Activation Code (with no expiry_period) which they can use to activate the Software.

You can combine both a DEMO mode (with limited functionality) and the "timed" Evaluation mode (with full functionality) in your product. The DEMO mode is essentialy a "fall-back" mode when the user provides no Evaluation or Activation License code and/or the Evaluation License code expires.


In-App Delivery of Evaluation License Codes

software_DNA uses a "In-App" strategy to deliver Evaluation License Codes as follows:

  • User downloads and installs the Application
  • On start-up the 1st time, the User is asked to Activate or Evaluate
  • If the User chooses to evaluate the Application, the Application requests an Evaluation License Code using an API Call to the DNA Server

software_DNA supports two distinct In-App methods for delivering an Evaluation License Code:

Evaluate Now

Allows users to immediately begin using your software in Trial/Demo mode.

software_DNA will allocate an Evaluation License code and immediately activate it and create a CDM License file which will expire according to the setting for the Product.

With the Evaluate Now method, the user remains anonymous during the evaluation period and does not need to register by providing an email address.

Following the automatic activation:

  • The user can begin to evaluate the software immediately instead of waiting for an email with a valid Evaluation License Code and cut and pasting the code to activate the software

  • No email is required from the user. The user remains anonymous.

  • No email address list is captured. User’s are anonymous and cannot be contacted for further marketing efforts

  • The user will not see the Evaluation License Code. The user will be able to re-activate the software only from the same computer (i.e. same machineID)


The User provides an Email address, and software_DNA sends the User the Send Evaluation Code Custom Email containing an Evaluation License Code.

The User can then activate the Application using this Evaluation License Code.

Key advantage of this method is that you have now captured the user’s email for future sales and marketing efforts

The user can also re-activate the Application if required (and the Evaluation License is not expired) by entering the Evaluation License Code and License Password during the Re-activation process

Two options exist for the DNA Server to issue or allocate an Evaluation License Code for either of these methods:


A new Evaluation License Code will be generated using the Evaluation Code generation settings specified in the Product Configuration. This is the recommended setting as it is fully automated.

Use available code

The DNA Server will choose an unused Evaluation License Code for the Product. This requires that you manually generate codes or upload codes on a regular basis and monitor carefully the availability of Evaluation Codes. If you use this option, make sure that you set the "Low Evaluation Code Warning" threshold to receive an email when the number of available codes falls below the threshold. This is configured from the Product View screen.

It is also possible to generate Evaluation License Codes that you can distribute manually to selected Users (ex: industry consultants, Friends & Family ) using the Code Generator in the DNA Control Panel.
See Generating License Codes     for additional information.


One Evaluation License Code per User

software_DNA will issue an Evaluation License only ONCE to a user based on the following configurable criteria:

Evaluation Email

Only one Evaluation License will be sent per user email address. This option is available only for the Registration method. Subsequent requests with the same email address will result in an email sent to the user restating the initial Evaluation License code


A secure and anonymous hash of certain computer parameters that locks the License to that specific computer. This option is available for both methods above. Subsequent requests from the same <MachineID> will return the same Evaluation License Code, and if an email is available, an email will be resent with the same Evaluation License code.


Evaluation History and Clearing the Evaluation License History

software_DNA keeps track in the Evaluation License History, the <MachineID> or <Email_address> used to request the Evaluation License Code and will never issue new codes to those users for this product.

In some situations, you may want to allow one or some users to have the opportunity to re-evaluate your software application, i.e. give them a 2nd chance, or let them try the new upgrade of your software

From the Evaluation History Reset screens (in the Codes Menu), you can :

  • Reset Evaluation History of one License - this will alllow that specific Email address to re-evaluate your software. This is avaialble if an email has been captured
  • Bulk Reset of Evaluation History - this will alllow you to reset the History for all Emails and MachineID's for a given period, for example any Evaluations older than 90 days, or 180 days, etc.