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adding an install serial number or some type of piracy protection?


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I have a stand alone app and am curious what others are doing to safeguard piracy or unauthorized installs?

Ideally I would like to do the traditional serial number assigned to that specific user install.

Any suggestions. examples, or advice?

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A question similar to this was posted a week or so ago.

From memory, the conclusion (if there was one) was to use record-level privileges to control access, rather than tricks with scripts and layouts. RLA is much harder to work around. Interface is very easy to defeat.

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Are most of you just using a field to hold an emailed SN and checking against it?

How do you handle issuing SNs - are you simply emailing a SN from a list, using some type of generator against an algorithm?

Ideally what I would like is a serial number key that I can send to the user - each user would have a unique serial number.

Not quite sure how to approach this.

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I use a calculation based on the registered user name. This creates a serial number which is then entered into a locked field.

This works for me since I am on site to do the installation. As I will shortly be moving to a download version with a 30-day free trial, I may have to modify the approach.

The ideal solution would be for no user interaction to generate the serial number. So once the 30-day trial was up and the user wanted to continue using the software, s/he would click the REGISTER button which would generate a valid serial.

However, this brings to mind the FileMaker v9 registration process which was somewhat painful and has been yanked from v10 - so I don't know how well this would work.

Any other ideas on generating serials?

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could you host a php script on your web server that generated a serial number then in your FMP solution goto a layout w/ web viewer that targets a specific URL then parses the wv to capture the SN?

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  • 6 months later...

Hello Fellow Developers,

I can confirm that the tip mentioned above by Ocean West is one of the better solutions available without actually purchasing a 3rd party 'bolt-on' solution.

This method works using a PayPal button or even a fully functioning Shopping Cart. I thought I would share a few tips that I learned while developing one of my larger projects. The key to making this work is how you setup the hand-off from the authorization of purchase.

The process would be something like the following:

1. buyer enters payment details and confirms intent to buy product

2. PayPal or e-commerce system processes payment method

3. Payment is verified and the Buyer is redirected to a Thank You URL (this is the point where you insert your Registration process from your hosted website)

4. Registration Key generates and is saved to a hosted Database or Text file

5. PHP generated email is sent to buyer and your customer service email box

6. Buyer is redirected to the final Thank You page

7. Registration Key is now available via a hosted Web Page (this part can range from a simple HTML page to an elaborate Content Managed web page)

Implementation of this requires a minimum of 2 PHP pages which will be hosted on your Website.

The security of this process is directly proportional to your skill with PHP. (this can also be done using ASP.NET)

Hope this rough sketch will help some of you get your Product to market quicker.

Best Regards,

FMBiz.net

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi

Am interested in getting a scheme like this working for my setup.

1. buyer enters payment details and confirms intent to buy product

2. PayPal or e-commerce system processes payment method

3. Payment is verified and the Buyer is redirected to a Thank You URL (this is the point where you insert your Registration process from your hosted website)

I use PayPal and for a while had a system working where the user would pay using a web-portal from within the solution. This way I could check the webpage and know when the user had made it to the payment thank-you screen, meaning payment was successful, at which point I would generate a serial number and unlock the solution.

Trouble is if they don't have a PayPal account they get pushed to a PayPal page rather than my own Thank-you screen which sometimes caused problems.

So now I use the email from PayPal to generate a serial number based on the email they used to pay for the solution.

I'd like to automate the response to the email from PayPal so that it would automatically detect these emails and reply with the appropriate serial number.

Does anyone have a suggestion as to the best way to manage this?

Would it be by using Apple Script on my Mac?

Or should PHP be used?

Regards

Simon Clement

Designer & Developer

Arawak Database Solutions

1/340 Main Street

Mornington 3931

www.arawak.com.au

4. Registration Key generates and is saved to a hosted Database or Text file

5. PHP generated email is sent to buyer and your customer service email box

6. Buyer is redirected to the final Thank You page

7. Registration Key is now available via a hosted Web Page (this part can range from a simple HTML page to an elaborate Content Managed web page)

Implementation of this requires a minimum of 2 PHP pages which will be hosted on your Website.

The security of this process is directly proportional to your skill with PHP. (this can also be done using ASP.NET)

Hope this rough sketch will help some of you get your Product to market quicker.

Best Regards,

FMBiz.net

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I'd like to automate the response to the email from PayPal so that it would automatically detect these emails and reply with the appropriate serial number.

Does anyone have a suggestion as to the best way to manage this?

Would it be by using Apple Script on my Mac?

Or should PHP be used?

In addition to an e-mail, PayPal provides a different notification system that is better to use for validating the financial transaction and generating the serial number and sending it to the customer. This is PayPal's Instant Payment Notification (IPN) system.

When a purchase is made, PayPal's computer will surf to a URL that you specify. In particular it treats your URL as a form submission URL and passes a bunch of info containing info about the purchase. (There is a security protocol provided that you can use to ensure that a third-party isn't pretending to be PayPal surfing to your page and getting a free serial number.)

You would need to create a web page that can deal with this submitted data and send your customer an automated e-mail with the serial number. You can write this in any server-side programing language you want. PHP is a popular choice.

Look in the vendor website developer section of PayPal's site for more details and code examples in a few languages (including PHP) on how this is done.

Edited by Guest
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  • 4 months later...
  • Newbies

Using an expire date on a demo can be a problem. You have to keep an active demo with future date for downloads, ugh. Your demo user can simply reset the date to one that will work and continue using your demo or a new install of it. Etc. Filemaker has this problem with its own demo.

Using a limited number of records is less of a problem. You can do something like:

Your sample script:

got to layout xxx

perform script verify demo

xxxxxetc.

Verify Demo

If serial number is valid,

exit script.

else

If record count get(layouttablename) > 100 (whatever)

Note: record count exceeded, please get license

Close database

end if

You can pretty up the scripts...

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