Wibu-Systems Blog

Important Considerations in Choosing a 3rd Party Licensing Platform

Posted by Terry Gaul on Mar 26, 2015 5:42:57 AM

If you have decided to integrate a 3rd party licensing solution for your software application, you’ve made the right choice. By doing so, you’ve freed up your developers to do what they do best — write code; you’ve given your marketing team the ability to deliver the software in a manner that is most desirable for the customers in discrete market segments; and, you’ve protected and monetized your software so that you generate the revenues that you deserve from your development and commercialization efforts.CodeMeter License Central

But now the question is which 3rd party solution should you choose? There are several options out there and each solution offers a different approach to licensing. In making your decision, there are several key factors to consider:

Licensing Flexibility — the licensing platform of choice should enable you to create, deliver, activate, update and manage licenses using the business model that’s optimum for your customers without compromise, whether it is single user licenses, network licenses, feature on-demand licenses, demo/trial licenses, pay-per-use licenses, or whatever license model you dream up. This licensing flexibility gives your marketing team the tools they need to define and deliver the product in the optimal manner for each unique market segment and generate the most revenue.

License Security — the licensing platform should provide mechanisms to securely store and deliver licenses, whether it is via a hardware device (Dongle) or PC-bound soft license file. Dongles offer the highest security and portability from PC to PC while soft licenses offer the fastest delivery and activation. Either way, the licensing system should ensure that only authenticated, licensed users can activate and utilize the software.

Easy Integration into Your Business Processes — for ease-of-use and to reduce costs, the licensing solution should integrate seamlessly into your existing ERP, CRM, eCommerce or other business processes using industry standard tools such as SOAP. It should also be capable of accessing your existing databases, such as Oracle, MySQL, and MS-SQL. And, it should have a customer facing portal that can be branded and customized to support your end-users.

License Activation Options — the solution should provide activation options that are best suited for your business model. You should have the flexibility to activate licenses online from within the software application or via an internet web portal; or offline via file transfer from the computer with the software application to another computer with access to the portal.

Hosting Flexibility —the solution should provide you with the option to host your license server on a local web server or host and manage in the cloud of the provider of the licensing system.

Software Monetization — in addition to licensing flexibility, the solution should provide data mining, analytics and reporting capabilities to give you the ability to make sound business decisions and the agility to shift your marketing strategy as market requirements change.

Vendor Reliability — choose a 3rd party licensing partner that you can trust. How long have they been in business? What is their business strategy — are they dedicated to licensing or do they have other interests? Who are their key customers? How good is their support?

At Wibu-Systems, we have focused solely on software protection and secure licensing for more than 25 years and we remain committed to innovation and continuity for the future. Our ongoing mission is to accompany the growth of your business with stability, expertise, and long-term vision. Learn more about CodeMeter License Central, our comprehensive solution that enables you to easily create, manage and distribute your licenses.  I invite you to contact us to discuss your licensing needs, or try our licensing solution with the CodeMeter Evaluation System.

Request a CodeMeter Evaluation System

Topics: License Management, secure licensing, Wibu-Systems news, CodeMeter License Central, software monetization

CodeMeter 5.0 released!

Posted by Kevin Browne on Mar 18, 2013 11:37:00 AM

Ready for spring 2013, Wibu-Systems presents the new CodeMeter 5.0 which provides new amazing features:

CmSticks now support HID and MSD interface

CodeMeter 5.0 released!In addition to the traditional MSD (Mass Storage Device) interface, newer CmSticks can also be used on Windows, Mac OS and Linux with the HID (Human Interface Device) interface. The CmStick no longer appears as a memory drive but integrates as a USB input device such as a keyboard or mouse does. Every CmStick with a Serial Number in the 2-xxx format can be switched between either interface variants. One requirement is that the CmStick is updated to firmware 2.02 or higher (see below) and CodeMeter RunTime 5.0 is installed (see below). By design, CmCards and CmStick/M do not support the HID interface and are restricted to the MSD interface.

The biggest advantage of the HID interface against the MSD interface is that CmSticks no longer appear as memory sticks with non-writeable memory which may be confusing for end users. HID-activated CmSticks can also be used now in areas where the mass memory interface at USB is deactivated due to security reasons. On the other hand the MSD interface is fully compatible with the CmStick/M which can be used as real writable memory at USB. In the future the ISV and the end user can decide which interface they prefer.

New CodeMeter Runtime 5.0

connectedplanet 257pxCodeMeter 5.0 RunTime automatically detects HID and MSD CmSticks and provides all CodeMeter features to both interface variants. The command line tool CMU32 enables end users to make the switch of an existing CmStick from MSD to HID and back.

Another great feature of CodeMeter 5.0 is the first integration of CmWAN. CmWAN is the CmLAN equivalent for Wide Area Networks (WAN) and is based on the HTTPS protocol, which permits easy communication around the world through firewalls, point-to-point encryption and client/server authentication. Beyond that, CmWAN supports all the concurrent licensing features of today’s CmLAN. CmWAN is an important component of the Wibu-Systems cloud licensing strategy.

Data in CmActLicense containers can now be modified at the user site without license update, identical to CmDongles: This includes the unrestricted writing of UserData PIO (Product Item Options) and the password controlled updates of HiddenData and SecretData PIO through the WupiWriteData function.

To simplify integration of the CodeMeter Runtime in Windows installation files, the new standard CodeMeter installer file supports 32 and 64 bit Windows simultaneously. There is no longer a need to distinguish between two versions in dependence of the Windows variant and provide two separate installer files.

CodeMeter for Mac: CodeMeter 5.0 requires as a minimum Mac OS X version 10.6.

CmDongles: New Firmware 2.02

Firmware 2.02 is required to permit the switch of CmSticks between HID and MSD. It can be downloaded to any CodeMeter CmStick with 2-xxx Serial Number.

AxProtector 8.40: More automatic protection features

The new AxProtector is included in the CodeMeter SDK 8.40. The most important new feature is the enhanced obfuscation of .NET code including .NET mixed mode: Human-readable information as class, method and field names are replaced by cryptic machine-created names, increasing the difficulty to understand the .NET code beyond our leading-edge MSIL code encryption. The range of the obfuscation (private/internal/protected/public) can be specified. It is also possible to control the protection through the obfuscation attribute of the System.Reflection namespace.

AxProtector 8.40 now also supports the automatic encryption of ELF ARM binaries for VxWorks and allows the configuration of the new CmWAN protocol (see above). By default, network license access includes both CmLAN and CmWAN protocol variants.

Topics: CodeMeter, AxProtector, Wibu-Systems news

Firmware 2.0 released for CmSticks

Posted by John Browne on Aug 14, 2012 12:57:00 PM

Lots of new stuff coming down the pike this summer! Another brief post here to update you on version 2.0 of our CmStick and CmStick/M firmware (in case you're not totally up to date with our naming conventions "/M" means a CmStick with additional flash memory). This update only applies to newer CmSticks with part numbers 1001-02-xxx and CmStick/M with part numbers 1011-02-xxx (see close up of back below):

CmStick back side showing part number

We made three important improvements with this version (see below for how to update). 

  1. Most important one first: now future firmware updates (like 2.0.1 if we do it) can be made more simply over large deployments of CmSticks, as in an enterprise setting. Before V 2.0, each CmStick required a separate and unique update file. Now, however, we've switched to PKI (public key infrastructure) so all CmSticks can share a single update file without compromising the security of the update process. 
  2. Next is improved RSA security--the CmSticks now support both 1024 and 2048-bit RSA keys. This is already supported in the CodeMeter API, so you can implement immediately if you need to.
  3. We increased the reliability of the hardware by the addition of some new memory correction mechanisms. Sometimes when the dongle is suddenly removed from the USB port or loses power during a write operation you can corrupt memory (note this is extremely rare but it does happen). Same thing can happen if you have a lot of write ops over a short time. These are now more reliable which will cut down on user problems as well as extend the lifetime of the CmSticks. 

How to update? Here's a short video on how to do it. It's really quick and simple (it does require Internet access--if there's no access on the computer it's usually plugged into, remove it, install it in a connected computer, and update there). Embedded video too small to read? Click the youtube button to enlarge.

Topics: CodeMeter, Wibu-Systems news, Wibu-Systems USA

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

Wibu-Systems announces secure URL tracking tool

Posted by John Browne on Apr 1, 2011 2:01:00 AM

April 1, 2011: Wibu-Systems USA today announced the immediate availability of their new Securely Compiled-Hasp Managed URL Tracking System (SCHMUTS). The system, which is initially available on Windows (Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, both 32 and 64-bit variants), provides consumers with unprecedented levels of security in URL discovery.

"Consumers and business people alike are at real risk from dangerous URLs," said Marcellus Buchheit, CEO of Wibu-Systems USA. "An otherwise innocent-looking link to an American Idol fan page might actually take a consumer to a dangerous web site like Scientific American or even worse."

The system, which will be available free to business, consumers, and government agencies except the Internal Revenue Service, uses a cloud service (Software as a Service) running on a secure data center in Kiev, Ukraine, to authenticate URLs before consumers click on them. Authentication normally takes only a few minutes for each URL submitted.

"We take the security needs of all web users very seriously," Buchheit added. "Our partners in Kiev will provide this service free to all, but registration is required in advance. A valid credit card, which we've been assured will never be charged, is required to verify identity."

For more information, or for a download of the software, please click here.

Topics: CodeMeter, Wibu-Systems news, Happy Holidays!

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

Smallest way to protect software from piracy

Posted by John Browne on Jan 29, 2011 8:43:00 AM

We just received yesterday our first prototypes of the new CodeMeter CmStick/C. I can't believe how small it is.

CmStickC- World's smallest copy protection dongle

The electronics are all in the USB connector and it even has two LEDs for status. These will be available in March 2011 in quantities.

Topics: CodeMeter, Anti-piracy, dongles, Wibu-Systems news, in production

Chinese fail to crack CodeMeter

Posted by John Browne on Nov 30, 2010 10:53:00 AM

A lot of software publishers I've talked to are afraid to ship their software to China for fear of illegal copying. Recently we tested our anti-piracy tools by hosting our first ever Chinese-only cracking contest. If the Chinese are so great at cracking software protection could they crack CodeMeter? I'll get to the outcome in a minute.

This isn't the first time CodeMeter has faced down crackers. Over the years Wibu-Systems has offered cash prizes for anyone who could crack our security. The usual approach is: we protect a sample application, then let people have all the developer tools to study and try to crack the app. The app contains some secret text which cannot be read without running, and it won't run without the license (not included!). So unless you can crack the software protection you can't claim the prize.

No one's ever won in the past and this year was no different. 138 Chinese computer science students, professors, and (for all we know) professional crackers signed up. The prize was about $15,000 (100,000 RMB). And the winner is...no winner. Wibu-Systems once again proved it has the strongest protection for anyone who needs to keep their software from being ripped off.

Topics: CodeMeter, software copy protection, dongles, software piracy, Wibu-Systems news

Protecting Embedded Software

Posted by John Browne on Nov 23, 2010 12:57:00 PM

More and more industrial equipment contains embedded software or contains a complete PC dedicated to a specific task. A recent study by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) showed that 56 percent of German manufacturers had been affected by illegal reverse engineering of their equipment.

In addition to proprietary software, industrial computing systems can contain data such as logs, service records, and documentation that has competitive value. Such intellectual capital must be protected from theft and competition from gray-market products.

Starting in 2008, Wibu-Systems undertook a project to migrate the proven CodeMeter technology from the desktop to embedded applications. Customer surveys and market research in 2008 and 2009 showed three critical requirements:

  1. Support for operating systems like Windows Embedded, Windows CE, VxWorks, and real-time Linux variants
  2. Ability to be easily retrofitted to existing applications
  3. Maximum reliability via tough requirements for durability, control, temperature range, fixed BOM (bill of material) of the protection hardware, and fix firmware changes.

It took a year and a half to develop, but Wibu-Systems is proud to announce the availability of three new CodeMeter variants aimed at the embedded space: CodeMeter/CF, CodeMeter/SD, and CodeMeter/µSD.

CodeMeter functionality and flash memory are provided in industry-standard Compact Flash (CF), Micro-SD, and SD-Card form factors.

Wibu-Systems developed the cards with Swissbit AG, known for industrial flash memory products, who also will manufactures the cards for Wibu-Systems in Berlin. Hyperstone, in Konstanz, Germany, who manufactures the SD-Card Controller S6 and CF-Card Controller F4, also participated in the development process. The CmCards are the world’s first and only memory cards using the CodeMeter protection system.

Along with the new cards is a revision to the CodeMeter Runtime to support the new targeted operating systems. Changes to other Wibu-Systems tools like AxProtector will be forthcoming to further ease integration of CodeMeter protection into these industrial systems.

Topics: CodeMeter, dongles, Wibu-Systems news