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Product Activation via email (VB6)

Posted on 2007-07-29
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Last Modified: 2013-12-26
Dear gurus
I have a VB app and wish to protect it through a Product Activation schema.  Having recently purchased an OCX and observing the activation sequence, I'd like to do something similar to the following:
(1) Fetch the MAC address/ card details (I have this step)
(2) Somehow convert the MAC address into a "Machine number", being a reasonable number of alpanumeric characters that a user could send via email to me
(3) I'd use a function at my end to convert the "Machine number" into a Product License Key (a'la Microsoft style), and email this key to the user
(4) The user types in the license key into my application, which checks that it is valid.  If yes, my app shifts from demonstration mode to commercial usage mode

I was wondering if you have experience with the above, and if there any sample code/ OCX's etc that can assist with steps 2,3 & 4.

Thanking you in advance.
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Question by:BrianBeck
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Sethi
ID: 19590608
Use ActiveLock to create a trialware. It is free of cost and excellent ocx.
www.activelock.com
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Author Comment

by:BrianBeck
ID: 19590665
Hi Sethi
Thanks, I've had a quick look, and for some reason can't seem to able to download the doco/ tutorial.
I was wondering whether you know of any other options - I'd be willing to pay $50 if the solution met my criteria, came with full doco, is easy to implement and gives me control.
Regards
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Sethi
ID: 19590713
If you need to get the project done then you will either have to contact me through my website or through www.rentacoder.com. I guess its not within EE rules to talk about money - but I am not sure.
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Author Comment

by:BrianBeck
ID: 19590797
Hi Sethi
Thanks for clarifying the rules, but it seems I wasnt sufficiently explicit in what I wanted.  What I meant was an off-the-shelf widget, rather than going through at this time, a formal functional specification, coder engagegement, test process etc.

It just seemed to met that ActiveLock was written some years ago, and for some reason I couldn't readily access the tutorial.  The reason why I referred to a specific dollar value stemmed from my Googling, as some of the 'enterprise style' commercial offerings cost many thousands of dollars - I didn't mean to create any hassles within EE regarding mentioning of money.

Right now, my preferred solution is an off the shelf widget that I could readily use.  Would you happen to know of anything else besides ActiveLock?  Thanks in advance.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Sethi
ID: 19590822
Nope. I am sorry, I have only programmed with ActiveLock over the years and will only be in a position to help you with this one if you want. You can always contact me through my site if you need it programmed.
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Author Comment

by:BrianBeck
ID: 19590871
Hi Sethi
Thanks. Ok, and given your experience I would gratefully appreciate answers to the following:
(a) does ActiveLock enable me to conduct each of the steps 2,3 & 4 above as separate function calls?
(b) do I have total control over what portions of my app are accessible to the user before activation?
(c) can you confirm that ActiveLock does not require the app to have built-in email (ie, the user can copy the 'machine ID' and email it to me)
(d) how do I access the tutorial/ doco?
Regards
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Accepted Solution

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Sethi earned 2000 total points
ID: 19590906
With ActiveLock all steps 2,3,4 are taken care of very easily. There are other more powerful methods along with encryption choice that is provided by the control. It is so powerful and good that I never looked at any other control in my whole VB6 experience.

Along with the control there are some sample source files. They are sufficient enough to understand the control - but you may have to spend some time with it.

Regarding portions of application, I am not sure that is possible though ActiveLock. There are a few products like Crypkey etc. which can do that for you - but I never liked these products. Instead you can always write the code to make portions visible/invisible depending upon what type of user logged in and whether the application is a trialware or not. Use a global variable on each form to enable and dispable these features.

ActiveLock and emailing has no correlation. The user can always copy the code generated by Active Lock and email you.

As I see, the links to access the help files of Active lock are no more active. I am afraid the help files can either be accessed fro someone here at EE who has those old files with him or you can not get them.

You can try by opening a different thread here at EE asking for ActiveLock help files. Open a question for about 200 points and I am sure there will be many experts who may possess those files.
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Author Comment

by:BrianBeck
ID: 19590919
Hi Sethi

Thank you - based on the above I feel confident that ActiveLock will provide what it is that I'm seeking.

When I get a moment, and probably after I've become familiar with the control, I'll do as you suggest re the Help Files.
Regards
Brian
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Sethi
ID: 19590939
Great. Best of luck.
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