Cloud Based Software Licensing
Our licensing systems are designed to be effective in protecting your revenue.
Today, we can take advantage of fast and always connected networks to allow cloud-based software licensing. Our iLok Cloud licensing model is very convenient and flexible for the end user AND it protects your intellectual property with our binary hardening technology. Our goal is for you to not worry if your product is being stolen from underneath you. We have the strongest license check system in the industry, we take protecting your earning potential very serious.
Activating a license to a host computer is convenient for many end users, however it poses risks to you as a publisher because no host-based copy protection system can guarantee a safe, untampered environment from hacking attempts. In addition, users who incorporate several computers in their workflow will find activating and deactivating host-based software tedious.
Our iLok hardware was designed over 15 years ago to solve the multiple station scenario by allowing the user to easily move the license where they are working, and at the same time protect your code and earning potential.
Enter the iLok Cloud. It is cloud-based software licensing that works.
iLok Cloud Benefits
- Quick cloud-based license activation with an iLok account sign in.
- No hardware to install or remember.
- Cloud Sessions are very, very low bandwidth and is only passing data (license checks) while the protected software is running.
- Cloud license management is simple. There is no need to close a cloud session, but is easy to do if needed with the iLok License Manager.
- Graceful license handling and warnings if the Internet connection is lost or intermittent.
- Easy for a single user access cloud-based licenses on different computer systems to accommodate workflow.
- Low cost barrier to entry
- Demos can be offered without requiring iLok hardware and without compromising security (unlike a host-based license)
- Your executable files are protected with the industry leading tamper proof technology
- Rich offering of license types including, perpetual, subscription, rental licenses
More about iLok Cloud Sessions
For simplicity, think of the cloud-based license system in two parts. The ‘Cloud Session’ is an open channel from the end user’s computer to our licensing activation server. The second part is the license check itself. When protected software runs, it encounters a request for a valid license- this is the license check.
When a license is activated from a user’s iLok account to the iLok Cloud, we open a secure, highly encrypted line of communication to our license activation server. This ultra secure communication line is referred to as a ‘cloud session’. The only data that passes in this open channel is directly related to the license check. If the protected software is dormant or not running, the channel remains open, but no information is being passed. Only when required does licensing data transport through the Cloud Session.
While your protected software is running, it will require a license check to continue. Rather than get the confirmation of the license locally from the computer or iLok hardware, we look to the open cloud session. The activation server sends down packets of license checks that will allow the software to run in short time increments. These increments are long enough that if there is a rough patch of communication the software will carry on as if that didn’t lose communication. However, it will hit a limit and after maybe 5-15 minutes, the software will require a license check. Cloud Sessions are very, very low bandwidth. They only pass data (license checks) while the software is running.
One way to think of the open cloud session is like an app on your mobile phone. The app does not require you to sign in every time, in fact it rarely asks for a sign in. The iLok Cloud is similar in that the cloud session will remain open until explicitly closed.
There is no need to close a cloud session, but is easy to do with the iLok License Manager. Some users will want to close their cloud sessions to be able to move an activation to a physical device or computer. Not all locations will have a reliable Internet connection, moving the activation to the iLok hardware is an option for those users. If a cloud session is open on a computer in a different location, simply signing into your iLok account on the computer you are at will allow you to move to move the session to the current computer and close the previous.
How cloud-based licenses can protect your earning potential
From the license side, the iLok Cloud is convenient and robust. Licenses activated to the iLok Cloud are as security as our popular, battle-tested iLok USB smart key. Our cloud-based software license also removes the risk of lost or damaged iLok USB smart keys and computers. You can rest assured that the licenses activated to the iLok Cloud will not be cloned, hacked or tampered with.
From the software side, your code can be protected with either the PACE Wrapper or with the binary-hardening technology called PACE Fusion with Dynamic License Checks. If you have opted for the PACE Wrapper option as a publisher, we have optimized our technology to require a simple, encrypted license check periodically. While no copy protection is unbreakable, our wrapper is very effective for the cost. For higher priced software that is highly susceptible to hacking or corporate espionage, PACE Fusion is what you are looking for.
PACE Fusion is a means by which portions of your source code are uniquely obfuscated and the binary tied, or ‘fused’, to Eden’s licensing platform and iLok Cloud’s periodic license calls in a highly obscured manner and on a per-product instance basis. Not only is the resultant product incredibly hard to attack, the protection’s per-product nature means that a successful attack against one binary does not yield useful information for attacking another.
Read more about both or our copy protection offerings here.
iLok Cloud Target Market
Our first cloud-based licensing model, called iLok Cloud, is a robust, inexpensive solution for a large number of end users. We do understand there are limitations and that this product may not be optimum for all circumstances. Our sales team is highly skilled at listening to your licensing challenges and developing a solution that works to make you profitable. That said, we have found that the iLok Cloud is the perfect offering for any product that will generally be licensed to a single computer by a single user. Should the user want to move the license to a ‘traveler’ system, the iLok Cloud works flawlessly. Trial/Demos are also a great use for this technology because the end user can demo your product without an investment in hardware.
Some of our publisher’s clients use their software in a studio, workshop, or collaborative environment and may share an iLok account. Our current implementation only allows one cloud session per account and when opened, the iLok Cloud activates all available valid licenses. In this scenario, our USB iLok hardware is probably a better solution because of it’s ability to store a curated subset of activations independent from other computers or workstations.
iLok Cloud User Experience
If your product is wrapped with our copy protection solution, the activation experience can be tailored to assist the end user to activate their license. We give the end user the option to activate to the iLok Cloud or the USB iLok. The iLok Cloud was designed to stay out of the way of the launch experience, meaning if a cloud session is open and the license is valid, the product will launch without asking the end user for any credentials. As mentioned above, the cloud session will stay open unless explicitly closed; the cloud stays open even after loss of the Internet connection or a reboot.
If the Internet connection is lost while a product is running, there is a short time where buffered license checks will allow the application or plug in to continue working. The software will prompt the user of the situation and urge them to save their work. Eventually the buffer will run out and the license will no longer be found, and the software will stop working.
End users will need to decide for themselves which licensing option will work best for their workflow. Cloud-based licenses do not require a hardware dongle and need only a sign into an iLok account on a computer with a reliable Internet connection. On the other hand, the USB iLok is portable, and after the licenses have been activated to it, do not require a connected computer to license protected software.
We give you the tools to offer these solutions to your customers and protect your earning potential with strong, robust security for your executables.
We hope our cloud-based licensing system will solve a number of issues you may have including, the low-cost barrier to entry for users who do not currently own USB iLoks. We’d like to demonstrate our iLok Cloud solution for you and your development team.Please contact us for a demonstration today!