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What mechanism or protocol is better to check a license online?

I'm trying to implement a license-check or online activation for a desktop application.

What mechanism or protocol do you recommend to check a license or 'activation' for a software?

Doing a FTP connection and check for a file?

Basically just check for a license, how many installations have been made and if the code is still valid.

Nothing fancy (no USB keys, nor check HD serial, neither submit a registration card).
Mike Send private email
Thursday, December 18, 2008
If it was me I would have an SQL database with some sort of web page front end. The user would then use the web page to activate the software.

Since the application sends the user to a web page it can pass on all the relivant registration information to the server on behald of the user. The server then replies with the activation code to activate the application.
Jussi Jumppanen
Thursday, December 18, 2008
An HTTP request with posted form data is usually the way to go. FTP is too complicated and you'd have to set up your own protocol for the data exchange. A simple HTTP request/response cycle is the easiest. This can be a pure HTTP web page access or you could set up a web service. Either way is pretty easy.
not anonymous
Thursday, December 18, 2008
HTTP is the only thing that you can be sure will get through typical firewalls. Use HTTPS (i.e. SSL) if license data or personal information is being transmitted in either direction.

And, just in case you want to be a nice guy, have the app spit out a text file (probably base-64 encoded data, or something) that can be emailed to you and have an email response sent back, so people without direct net connections can still have some option.

Anyway, the product activation will be the first thing the hackers cut out, so restrain your optimisim, whatever you do.  ;)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

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