More about Keys

A Key, as you might have noticed, is an important part of the licensing process. During key creation in the previous tutorial, it could be seen that there are so many parameters that can be customized. The aim of this article is to describe how most of the parameters can be used.

Set Time

The set time option allows you to specify the number of days that the key should be valid. Note, the fact that a key has ‘expired’ does not mean it’s invalid. In other words, it’s up to your client application to decide whether the key should be invalid if the it has expired. Features are of great use for this situation, which we will cover later.

Usually, if you don’t want to have a time restriction on the key, simply keep it set to 30 days.

No Of Keys

This is the number of keys you want to generate.Simple as that!

Notes

Sometimes, it can be useful to save some additional notes along with a key. These are not stored in the key itself. Using the Web API, it is possible to access these. This is not allowed by default, however, it can be changed here

Features

In many cases, it is desired to allow certain set of features to be enabled based on the key that is provided. The simplest example is to have one key that works as a trial keyand another as full-featured key. However, you are able to set up more complex features, for instance, one trial key, a registered trial or a registered unlimited key. This is illustrated below:

In order to keep track of what version the user should have, you could, for instance, connect trial key with Feature1, registered trial with Feature2 and registered unlimited keywith Feature 3. Of course, we could also optimize this a little bit using two features only, one that indicates whether it is a registered version and another whether it is time limited. This is described more in details here.

In your client software, you could have similar code as shown below:

Advanced options

Automatic activation

In the Web API, which we will cover in later articles, there is a method called Activate. It allows you to track all computers that have activated the license so that you can put restrictions, if desired. When this option is set to true, Activate method will be able to add new computers (to the list of activated computers) and change the key (when trial activation is enabled.)

Start trial upon activation

In some cases, you might want to activate a trial key the same day the user activates the software. This can be achieved by enabling this option. Thanks to this, you will be able to generate say 1000 keys in June (valid in 30 days) and ensure that the trial only starts when the user activates the software (eg. in September). Then, a new key will replace the old one that will be valid in 30 days from September.

Maximum number of machines

In order to restrict the number of computers that can use the same key, you can set enable this feature by enter a number greater than zero. This number represents the maximum number of computers that can activate the key.

Optional field

In many applications nowadays, it is important to put additional restrictions on using a particular functionality, eg. a quota. This can be achieved by the Optional field option. Using the Web API, you are able to read or decrease the number you specify in this box. It may not be increased through the Web API.

Summary

In this article, we’ve looked at all the options that can be specified in a key. We made some references to the Web API, which we will discuss even further in the next article!

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