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Authenticated licensing for DLL

 
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santosh



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:06 am    Post subject: Authenticated licensing for DLL Reply with quote

We make a .NET developer tool that consists of several controls for many of the UI frameworks (WinForms, WPF, Xamarin, ASP.NET), some components and also some libraries (functionality exposed via classes and methods). We have been using ILS for encrypted licenses so far and now were planning to move to authenticated licenses. I understand that ILS provides support for WinForms and WPF dialogs out of the box and we will have to implement the support for Xamarin. I also learned from one of the forum posting that it's possible to have a single license for multiple controls and components by having a common license provider. However I need to figure out how to deal with the licensing for the simple DLL case.

One of the solutions for the DLL case I was thinking about is for us to write a Visual Studio extension that will validate the design-time authenticated license (initiated through a custom menu option provided by the extension) and then provision the run-time license in the application resource so that the DLL can verify it at run-time. This is similar to what happens with the control/component except that instead of doing it in the constructor it will done one-time by the developer using the IDE custom menu option. Essentially the extension with have two menu options. First is to activate an authenticated license and store the activation details on the developer machine. Second is to provision a run-time license to the currently selected project/solution. The second menu item will only be enabled once the design-time license has been provisioned. Do you see any issues achieving this with ILS?
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Infralution



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Posts: 4890

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds like a reasonable plan. One thing to consider is that it only helps having different runtime and design time licenses if there are functions the developer needs at design time that you can disable in the runtime license. If this is not the case then someone could just extract the runtime license from a distributed application and use it themselves for design time.
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santosh



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the response. Yes, I understand about the possibility of simply copying the DLLs from the distributed app and using them. I was thinking of making this a little more harder to beat by having two encrypted licenses generated using the authenticated license. One is embedded as a resource in the app (so can easily be copied). The second one is to be coded in the developer's app by calling a method into our DLL and passing the license key for validation. Though I haven't tried this yet I presume ILS can generate more than one encrypted license key from an authenticated license. Come to think of it does having the first license (the embedded one) add any additional layer of copy protection in this case?

I have started the implementation of the extension and I will get back if I run into any issues. Meanwhile I had a few questions regarding the API:

  • AuthenticatedLicenseProvider.StartBackgroundReauthentication takes two parameters (reauthenticationInterval and retryInterval). I understand that if I want to reauthenticate immediately I need to pass 0 as the first param. If so then does the thread continue to reauthenticate every 24 hours after the first immediate reauth?
  • Is there anyway to know to get a count of failed reauthentications? By failed I mean the case where the auth server was not reachable.
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Infralution



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Posts: 4890

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If so then does the thread continue to reauthenticate every 24 hours after the first immediate reauth?


If you select zero for this parameter then reauthentication will only happen once (after the method is first called).

Quote:
Is there anyway to know to get a count of failed reauthentications? By failed I mean the case where the auth server was not reachable.


The software does not track this by default - but you could fairly easily modify the source code (which we provide on purchase) to track this.
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