License Key Types

Quick License Manager supports several different types of license keys:

  • Activation Key: An activation key is a key used to activate a license. It does not enable your software. It just allows a user to activate the license and hence generate a Computer Key. Activation Keys are used for online/offline software activation. An activation key packs the following information: A product ID, major version, minor version, number of activations, features, expiry date, and expiry duration.

  • Computer Key: A Computer Key is a license key that is bound to a specific computer by embedding and encrypting a unique identifier of the computer in the Computer Key. The benefit of a Computer Key is that it cannot be reused on other computers (unless they have the same unique identifier). The QlmLicenseBinding property allows you to define what unique identifier to bind the license to. A Computer Key packs the same information as an Activation Key along with a unique computer identifier. A Computer Key is automatically generated by the License Server during the online activation process. Once a Computer Key is validated successfully, the user should be able to run your application.

  • Generic Keys: Generic keys are not bound to a specific computer. The advantage of this type of key is that you can pre-generate a large set of keys and just distribute them to any customer. The disadvantage is that any user who gets access to a key is able to use that key on any computer. Generic keys are not recommended and will no longer be supported in future releases.

Typical online activation scenario:

  • A customer buys your software online. An Activation Key is automatically generated via our ecommerce integration and emailed to the customer.

  • The customer installs your software and is prompted to enter an Activation Key. The customer copy/pastes the activation key received by email. Your application, using the QLM API, connects over the internet to your License Server providing the information required to create a Computer Key. The License Server creates the Computer Key and returns it to your application.

  • Your application then validates the returned Computer Key and stores it on the end user system.

  • The next time your application starts up, it reads the stored Computer Key and validates it. If the Computer Key is valid, your application starts up.

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