Wibu-Systems Blog

New releases of CodeMeter, License Central available now

Posted by John Browne on Jul 20, 2011 8:21:00 AM

Just a quick note for those of you who don't get our Wibu Bulletin you should know we have released CodeMeter 4.30c, AxProtector 7.11c, and License Central 1.30a. Major reason for the update is support for the upcoming version of Mac OS X 10.7 code-named Lion. We also fixed some small bugs and made a few improvements to the user interface of License Central.

End users should just install the new runtime. Developers need to uninstall their SDK and reinstall the new SDK with the updated components. You can find all the releases here.

Topics: CodeMeter, Wibu-Systems news, Corporate News

Announcing CodeMeter 4.30

Posted by John Browne on Apr 28, 2011 12:57:00 PM

This week we released CodeMeter® 4.30 and AxProtector 7.11 on all platforms to improve your software protection, include Win 32 and 64, Mac OS, Linux, and more. There is a ton of new stuff in these two components, so I urge you to download the updates to our SDK and try it out. Some highlights:

  • Maintenance Periods: I wrote about these in my post "A Unique Solution for License Management" but now they are real with this release. It does require a minimum CmStick firmware of 1.18 or better (1.18 is the current version). Maintenance Periods can save you money because (among other reasons) you can ship software without doing license updates to the key.
  • SmartBind™ is an improvement (for those of you who want to use activations for software protection and licensing) over how CmAct figures out whether the PC it's bound to is the right one or not. We now use heuristics to calculate an internal value and you can merely set parameters of "tight, medium, or loose". We'll have a bit more explanation of this later but some of the details we will understandably keep under our hats so crackers can't get a leg up.
  • The runtime now supports the CmStick /C and /T variants. The Compact version (/C) is now available in quantities (subject to backorder, however, since demand has exceeded our expectations) and in eight colors. More pics coming soon.
  • We now have full support for protecting Microsoft Silverlight apps. Our goal is copy protection on all popular platforms.
  • We now support Linux on PowerPC processors.

Read more about this release here.

Topics: CodeMeter, AxProtector, dongles, Corporate News

A unique solution for license management

Posted by John Browne on Mar 17, 2011 12:16:00 PM

We've recently added a feature to CodeMeter that can be a real money-saver for you if you sell software maintenance contracts. Let me explain.

A lot of software companies that sell to the enterprise (mid to large customers) use maintenance contracts. The maintenance contract (often priced at about 20% of the license cost) guarantees the customer support and all updates during the contract period (often a year). The big customers like it because it makes procurement simple and simplifies keeping all their users on the most recent version of a product. The ISV likes it because it's an additional 20% in revenue on a sale.

But the fulfillment side of the ISV can come to hate maintenance contracts. They have to figure out how to handle the licensing for customers who have maintenance contracts and those who don't. It can be a nightmare.

Enter Maintenance Periods for CodeMeter. The Maintenance Period is a time period (end time is required; start time is optional) during which all releases protected with CodeMeter will have valid licenses. The date in the license is checked against a Release Date that is set with AxProtector when you protect your software. As long as the Release Date is within the Maintenance Period, the release runs on the customer's computer. If the Release Date is outside the Maintenance Period, the customer needs a new license.

Really simple, no?

Let's take an example. You have two customers with maintenance agreements: BigCo has a maintenance agreement through Dec. 31, 2011. MediumCo has one that expires June 30, 2011. Now supposed you release software this week and set the Release Date in AxProtector to Mar. 18, 2011. Both BigCo and MediumCo get the release; the runtime compares the Release Date to the Maintenance Period of the license and sees everything is good to go. The software runs and the customer didn't have to update any licenses on any machines.

Now it's a few months down the road and you put out another release with the Release Date set to July 15, 2011. Again you send out the protected executable. At BigCo the software will run because it's still within the Maintenance Period. But MediumCo  has let their maintenance contract lapse, so the end date of June 30, 2011 for their Maintenance Period is past. Their software won't run without a new license.

Why is this better than time-based keys? Because you can have multiple releases within the Maintenance Period and never touch the licenses. With time-based licensing you'd have to be issuing new licenses and the customer would have to update all those keys. Even if they used SOAP/XML connectors to License Central it's still less work to use the Maintenance Period and have things Just Work.

And that makes things nice for everybody.

Topics: CodeMeter, License Management, AxProtector, Corporate News

Big and little dongles

Posted by John Browne on Feb 23, 2011 9:56:00 PM

Here's a nice comparison of the "old" CmStick against the new /C variant. Remember that they are functionally equivalent.

Standard USB CmStick compared to new tiny /C variant

Topics: CodeMeter, dongles, Wibu-Systems news, Corporate News

Robots!

Posted by John Browne on Feb 21, 2011 10:45:00 AM

Our latest KEYnote features some of the manufacturing and test equipment we use to make our CmSticks, CmCards, and WibuBoxes. This machine reads the firmware to get the serial number of the chip, then engraves that serial number on the case. Frankly I think anodized aluminum is pretty sexy.

Robotic arm loads a WibuBox/U  for engraving

Topics: dongles, Corporate News, in production