Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Online Poll about Advantage Licensing

Please take a moment to visit my base page at http://jdmullin.blogspot.com and answer the survey question in the top right portion of the page.

The question:
If the Advantage server valcode changed to be a license file (as opposed to a 5 digit valcode), but provided more self-service options and license management via the web, would you consider this a positve or negative change?

This file would be a few hundred bytes. It would be slightly harder to manage. The existing 5 digit strings are easy, allow you to print labels and stick them on product, etc. With a license file approach you would have more license management options via self-service web portals to purchase licenses, expand existing licenses, print entitlement reports, etc.

Along with voting, feel free to post comments with thoughts or concerns.

I'd also like to hear your thoughts on serial numbers. Love them or hate them?


Joe White said...

Our clients come to us for Advantage licenses, and I think that in at least some cases we provide them with extra licenses without charging extra (e.g. for a laptop when they sometimes want to take their data on the road), and we absorb the cost of that extra license ourselves. Anything that brings our clients closer to needing to give money directly to you guys would cause significant problems for us.

If we could provide our own front-end for license management, that might help mitigate that concern. We already partner with you to generate Advantage keys, so it's not unreasonable to assume that we could work with you on license files. But it would cause an awful lot of extra overhead and development effort for us.

And apart from that, the license-file management would still be a headache, because a significant number of our customers' servers do not have Internet access, for security reasons. Not insurmountable (we release new versions of our software by putting installers on our Web site, and they have to deal with getting those onto their servers), but still, a significant hurdle to deal with. So don't make any design assumptions about the Advantage server having Internet access.

J.D. Mullin said...

This wouldn't bring your clients closer to dealing directly with us, it would just be a different "key" we deliver to you. Instead of a serial number and valcode, it would be a license file.

For some contracts I think we could provide a single license file that you ship with all versions of your product, which would address users without internet access. You could just embed the license file in your installation.

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