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Multiple Products - how to silo the licensing

 
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CADbloke



Joined: 07 Jan 2016
Posts: 22
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:29 am    Post subject: Multiple Products - how to silo the licensing Reply with quote

Greetings

This originally started out as a question but I stumbled across the answer. Then it was going to be a feature request, or at least an RFO (Request For Opinions). I'd still like to hear opinions on this...

I (will) have multiple applications. I was thinking their licensing etc should not be tied together in one unified endpoint (let's call it the "canonical address"). Why? Because selling one of them as a business would mean disentangling their licensing from the unified system.

A single database to rule them all is not a problem for me, I can always clone it and delete the records I don't need to hand over. Is it a problem for ILS?

IPN.NET is not an issue since I have complete control over all of the endpoints of it so I can change those at will. I know IPN.NET is licensed to the server / site name so it can stay at the canonical address.

But the license activation server is something that is hard to change if any of the client apps can't / won't be updated to a later version with a new authentication server URL. I can hand over a product-specific authentication domain name with the product but obviously I can't hand over the canonical domain name.

Is it feasible to run multiple activation servers all pointing to the same database? I see different products cannot have different authentication server URLs, that is fixed in the settings dialogue to the License Tracker application's setting. Ah, I guess that answers the multiple authentication server question.

I tried a redirect and CNAMEs but SSL blows that up because the SSL certificate is in the site's canonical name, not the application's. It also blows up because the request URL is for the wrong domain. I haven't looked into other DNS options yet (plus more SSL certificates etc). Perhaps that is the answer. I'll ask my host (studiocoast.com.au) and see how to point multiple domain names with SSL at the same ASP.NET application.

Or will that not work?

cheers
Ewen
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Infralution



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Posts: 4847

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume that you are thinking of embedding a different URL in the License Parameters for each product - and then having a redirect to resolve these all to the same URL. This should be possible (see the following thread http://www.infralution.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3028) however SSL may be an issue. You don't really require SSL since the authentication server actually uses public key encryption on all the data passed to the server anyway.

There are two other alternatives:

1. Have a completely separate License Tracker database and Authentication Server for each product. You can just copy the License Tracker Program executable files to a different directory and have multiple instances of License Tracker running on the same machine each configured to connect to different databases.

2. Create separate instances of the Authentication Service (each on different URLs) - but configure all of them to connect to the same SQL Server authentication database. This seems like the neatest solution to me.
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CADbloke



Joined: 07 Jan 2016
Posts: 22
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, your assumption is correct, different URLs for different products.

I didn't even think of making SSL for the authentication service optional (duh). Non-https redirects (note: not a CNAME, just redirect the wildcard URL) seem to work fine in the browser, I haven't tested it in the software yet.

http://www.redirect-checker.org/index.php is an easy way to check it, btw, especially if you're fiddling with DNS settings because TTL is your enemy at that stage.

If it turns out redirect doesn't work then Option 2 is, as you said, much neater.

Thanks for the clear answer.
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CADbloke



Joined: 07 Jan 2016
Posts: 22
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did option 2, it seems fine. SSL is pretty standard these days and that works fine too.

I assume that I change the Authentication server URL in License Tracker before I create a new root Product (ie. the one that owns all the variants I actually sell and license) so the URL is embedded in the license and stays the same for all the variants. If/when I change the URL in License Tracker for a different product the the existing Products' Validation Parameters are unaffected, correct?

As an aside, it doesn't affect License Tracker because all the Authentication URLs use the same SQL database.
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Infralution



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Posts: 4847

PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

License Tracker assumes that you are connected to just one Authentication Service. This will be the service that it communicates with - since all your authentication servers are connected to the same database it won't really matter. You can however just change the URL in the License Parameters which you put in your application code.
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CADbloke



Joined: 07 Jan 2016
Posts: 22
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Infralution wrote:
You can however just change the URL in the License Parameters which you put in your application code.


Too easy. Great. I thought that might break the encryption in the license. Is the URL not part of the overall encryption? Actually, that makes sense - if you updated the URL then you would have to issue new keys to everybody. That would suck. I'll leave my thinking here for those following along at home.

Thanks
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