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What to buy

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rtalipski



Joined: 07 Apr 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 6:06 am    Post subject: What to buy Reply with quote

I have written an application that I want to distribute (encoded of course). My real question is what package would be best for me if I want to be able to encode the program itself on my machine and then allow visitors to buy copy of my application and then have a special key generated and encoded realtime on my website. Is it possible?
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Alasdair



Joined: 11 Jan 2005
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:33 am    Post subject: Re: What to buy Reply with quote

rtalipski wrote:
I have written an application that I want to distribute (encoded of course). My real question is what package would be best for me if I want to be able to encode the program itself on my machine and then allow visitors to buy copy of my application and then have a special key generated and encoded realtime on my website. Is it possible?


You've got 2 options:

1. Use ionCube with a licensing application such as PHPAudit (www.phpaudit.com). You first get some php code from phpaudit, insert it into your php product, and then encode it with ionCube. With PHPAudit you get an order form and this allows users to order, pay, and then be instantly issued with a license key which will activate your software. If you then need to disable the users software for any reason, a simple switch in PHPAudit will allow you to turn off their copy of it. You can also buy a discounted bundle of the ionCube encoder and PHPAudit together to save some $$$ Smile

2. Use ionCube and write/integrate it with your order system. If you get the Pro edition of ionCube, you have a license generator which will allow you to lock your product to specific IP's. If you have an order form, you could write some code to activate the license generator and have it spit out a license which could then be sent to the customer. I think there's a thread on this around here somewhere Smile
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liaison
ionCube Support


Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 2788

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The main things to consider are which platform you wish to do the encoding on, and what features you need in the Encoder. Most people encode on Windows, keeping their source code away from their public server, and then use the Encoder's license generator tool to produce license files for each product. As you're wanting to restrict your code to particular machines, and perhaps create time expiring versions for evaluations, you would choose Pro or Cerberus. Pro lets you create time expiring files or licenses, and files or licenses that are locked to domain names and/or IP addresses. Cerberus adds the ability to lock to the MAC address of a network device in the machine.

The Windows Encoder comes with a license generator for Windows and Linux, so you could encode your products on Windows and use the Linux license generator on your web server. You could easily call the license generator from PHP, but you'd need to be sure that your host allows running of external programs on the server. If you've a dedicated server then of course this isn't any problem at all.

Although you could trace a key back to its genuine holder, license keys aren't great as they stop neither reinstallation nor distribution of the application and the key to other people. Restricting to domain names and IP is better, and your site could ask the customer for this information prior to generating the license. In the Loader API, there's also a PHP function for generating encoded server data, and if the user has the Loader and a license generation script installed already, e.g. by installing your app before licensing, your app could call the license data function and the user or even the app if fopen URL or CURL is supported, could pass the data back to your site for processing and license generation.

If you're looking for ready made solutions for license generation and product management, systems such as PHPAudit and Iono offer some great features, and could be worth looking at. We've teamed up with the providers of those products to offer combined discounts on their software and the Encoder when purchased together.

Lastly, think about how your users are going to install the products. It's easy to think that it's "job done" after developing a great application, and then making it secure and available for people to buy. However, the better software provider will then think about the end users, and how their application will look to customers when they have to install it. Most web applications are just sent out as a zip file, leaving it up to the end user to get files onto their web server, configure directories and permissions, run install scripts, read documentation and so on. Really there could be nothing worse than this, and if you where considering purchasing a local Windows program, and had a choice between one with an installer, and one where you had to create your own entry in Program Files, copy files there, run regsvr32 to register dll's, put files into the Windows system folders etc., which one you would choose? No matter how good the manual install one promised to be, you're most likely going to dump it before you even got the evaluation installed and the provider loses a sale.

To address this, we created our IPF product. From either Windows or Linux, IPF lets you create a professional Windows based installer for your web application, that can deploy your application to remote machines, and handle the common installation tasks such as not only getting the files to the remote machine, but setting file and folder permissions, running an interactive or background post install script, allowing users to edit any configuration files easily with automatic reuploading after being changed, launching a web browser on the main application page and installing Loaders. The installer interface looks similar to installers that everyone is used to, and can be branded with your own custom product graphics. Other features such as continuing an incomplete instalaltion and reinstalling are also supported. When purchased with the Encoder, IPF is just $99, and great value for the much more professional appearance that it gives to products and their provider, and the simplified installation for end users.

If you need further help on the purchasing, just contact sales and they'll be happy to assist.
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rtalipski



Joined: 07 Apr 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your responses...

I plan on getting the pro version and planned on implementing ip and domain name verification but wanted to see if I could have it built into the sript through php.

I guess I might have not been clear with what I was asking exactly...

I would like to encode the script on my workstation (windows based) and upload to my server so it can be purchased.

Part of the script would require a file that would have variables declared in it and would be the key to unlock the users data which would be encrypted in a database. Now for security purposes I want the information in that file to be generated either randomly through a script or having the user generate it themselves. Then have the files encoded by the server with ioncube kinda like the online version of ioncube the only difference being of course that it wouldn't be any file a user uploads it would be just this particular file which the user would have to download and keep for later use.

A couple of reasons why I want it to work this way is I want the user to have assurance that we are not having backdoors to their data as well as if I do lock it down to an ip address or the like I would like the user to have the ability to change the ip on their own by re-visiting the site and putting a special code in which would unregister the current ip or whatever verification mechanism and regsiter a new one.

Or does the license generator you mentioned that I would get a linux version of (my servers are linux based) create a license file that is encoded? So I could base the encryption off a randomly generated license key file that is not viewable.

I hope I am a little clearer this time around... thanks again for your responses...
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liaison
ionCube Support


Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 2788

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was addressed by telephone, with the upshot being that the license creation system and ability to store arbitrary encoded key/value pair properties in a license file that can be queried by the Loader API, will do the job.
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