Published: Thu 18 February 2016
As we prepare to release new major revisions of our software products, we would like to make users aware of changes that have been made to license management. In general, we are moving away from some parts of the 3rd-party license management product we have been using and moving back to our in-house solution. The 3rd-party solution will now be used primarily for floating licenses only, other types of licenses will use our in-house solution.
The main application that will be immediately affected by this change will be the ASN.1 Viewer/Editor (ASN1VE). This uses for the most part a key-based activation mechanism. A key-based mechanism will still be used, but it will be based on our in-house solution and use a different type of key. Existing users of ASN1VE 2.3 and 2.4 may now have what is known as a "rehostable" key. This allows the host on which the product is being used to be changed by the user without the intervention of our support staff. As of the end of this month (February) this rehosting capability will no longer work. If a user wishes to change a machine the application is being used on, they will need to contact our support staff to do this manually. Note that this will apply only to these older versions.
ASN1VE v2.5 will use a new new key activation mechanism for per-user licenses which we call an "Internet float" (or iFloat license for short). This is basically a cross between a time-limited and floating license. The way it works is when a user initially activates a license on a given machine, the license is checked-out over the Internet using standard HTTP-based communications. The user then owns this license for some given duration which is set on our server. The default duration is 24 hours, but this could be adjusted if requested. The application can then be run on this machine without having to communicate with the web server again for up to this duration. After that, the process must check-out the license again.
This has the following advantages over the system we were using before:
The license is not tied to a particular machine. We keep track of the number of sessions (concurrent uses) on our web server in much the same way as a floating license works. Except we don't have a persistent connection and we don't have to do the expensive operation of doing a transaction over the Internet every time, just once every 24 hours.
The license is not permanent. If the application is not used that frequently, it simply goes away on the machine it was being used on after 24 hours. There is no need to deactivate it.
The license can be deactivated. If the user wants to switch machines before the 24-hour period is up, they have the option to manually deactivate it to free up the slot to allow it to be used on another machine.
The duration can be increased to provide a roaming capability. If the user wants to check-out a license for a longer period of time to perhaps take on the road on a laptop that may not have Internet access, this can be accommodated.
As was the case with a per-user license before, the standard license will allow up to 3 concurrent uses.
We will still be able to provide standard floating, node-locked, and time-limited licenses as we have in the past, but we expect this type of license to be the standard case for most deployments.