Why Product Activation For Software is Becoming Widespread

Product activation is widely used by software vendors to protect their applications and enforce license agreements. While some users object to any form of license management, modern product activation systems are superior to other techniques from both the vendor’s and the end-user’s perspectives.

Software vendors use license management for a variety of reasons. They are often concerned about protection from piracy, and protection against users exceeding their agreed license terms (such as the number of installations that run in a customer company). License management also allows the software vendor to develop, distribute, and support one version of their application, but offer different license terms at different prices to different markets.

For example, the vendor can use the licensing mechanism to provide trial licenses, perpetual licenses, subscription licenses, set limits on the product features or modules enabled, set usage limits, combination’s of all of the above, and offer straightforward upgrades in capabilities, all with just one executable (some license management systems even allow the vendor to also offer floating licensing either over the end-customer’s network or the Internet based on this same executable). Finally, license management can enable the vendor to automate fulfillment, management and reporting, so reducing operations costs and offering immediate delivery worldwide 24×7 to their customers.

A key concern for software vendors is ensuring users don’t just give the software to unlicensed friends and colleagues, or even post it on the web for anyone to download. The standard solution is called node-locking, where each user’s installation is locked to one or more parameters of their system, such as the MAC address. Each time the application runs, it reads, say, the MAC address of the computer where it is running, and will proceed only if the address it reads matches the one recorded for that license.

Older approaches for license enforcement include dongle-based licensing and key-file-based licensing. A dongle is a hardware device that plugs into the user’s computer; when the application runs it checks for the presence of the dongle and will run only if it finds it. Dongles do therefore allow the user to move their license around, but only by physically relocating the dongle. With key-file-based licensing, the license limits and node-locking parameters are encrypted in a file, which is sent to the user and read by the application each time it runs.

These approaches have a number of disadvantages. Dongles require the distribution of the hardware, with all that entails in material cost, shipping cost, delivery times and management by the vendor. They are widely disliked by end-users, who don’t want to wait for them to arrive, keep track of them, have them stick out of their computer and so on.

Key-based licensing improves on dongles as the encrypted key files can be delivered immediately by email, and impose no hardware burden. However, they do require the user to provide the names of the locking parameters (or run a utility to read them), and do not allow users to readily move their license from machine to machine, as such a move would require a new key file. An upgrade to a user’s license, such as extending a subscription, also requires the generation and delivery of a new key file.

Product activation improves on these older approaches. Fulfillment is immediate as with key-file-based licensing, but the node-locking is accomplished automatically at activation time, so the user is not required to supply any information, and indeed is unaware of the specific parameters to which the license is locked. Modern activation systems also support the relocation of a license by the user, who can activate their license on one system, then perhaps months later deactivate their license on that first system and activate it on a second system. The activation system ensures only one copy of a given license is active at any one time, thus addressing the vendor’s concerns, but the user can move their license from, say, their office machine to their laptop, then to their home machine, as they wish. The activation system can also automatically transfer user settings, so the newly-activated installation comes up exactly as the user had configured the old one.

If the user upgrades their license, perhaps by converting a trial license to a production license, extending a subscription, or purchasing additional features or modules, the vendor simply updates the record for that user in the hosted activation system, and the user clicks a menu command to update their license, causing the new limits to immediately take effect.

Product activation systems therefore meet the software vendors’ need to protect against piracy, offer a range of license models, and automate operations, but remove many of the inconveniences and costs of older license management systems. Early product activation systems that didn’t support such capabilities as activation on disconnected systems or license relocation did give the approach a bad name, but modern product activation systems have this flexibility so are gaining acceptance with vendors and users.

Promote Digital Products Online

The internet opens up opportunities to make money around the world. One of the hottest types of programs you can get yourself out there with are digital products. These are sources of information that consumers are hungry to get their hands on. The fact that they can pay for them online and then immediately download them is encouraging. They don’t have to wait for the item to be shipped to them.

With digital products, you can create them about anything under the sun. Consumers are always going online to look for information about different things. For example they may want to learn about a medical problem they have been diagnosed with. They may need help getting their family budget under control. Perhaps they are looking for a way to loose weight that is sensible and will be long lasting instead of a fad diet.

No matter what the topic happens to be, digital products are where they turn for them. Why? As I mentioned they can gain access to the information immediately after paying for it. Second, they cost is very low to buy these products. When you are promoting digital products online, you will have very little overhead involved. That means you can make a nice profit without charging very much for what you offer.

The topic of digital products you create can come from a variety of sources. You may have gone through a personal experience such as surviving cancer. You can share that information with others in a digital product. You may have specific skills that you can share through your own life experiences. Sometimes it is your career knowledge that you are able to share such as how to invest in the stock market or investing in real estate.

There are definitely many things that each of us can offer when it comes to digital products to promote online. If you can’t think of a topic on your own, consider such a product that you have purchased in the past. How can you modify it to make it better and to make it your own?

It is important to understand that digital products don’t always have to be e-books either. They can be video seminars that you record and offer to teach someone skills. Then instead of them attending the seminar in person they can do it from the comfort of their own home. They can also watch the materials at a time that fits well into their schedule.

It can also be software that you have designed. Don’t worry if you aren’t a programmer – you can have the materials created for you. If you have the concept in mind of what you want the software to offer then you can hire a freelancer to create it for you. This is very affordable and won’t take long at all for the right person to complete on your behalf.

With digital products, the information is set up to be electronically delivered. A person can order your products any time day or night. With the automated system in place you won’t have to do much but go check to see how much money you have made. There are many great places where you can promote your digital products online.

ClickBank is one that most people use. It is easy to set up an account with them. The best part is that affiliates can also start promoting your products for you. They will get a portion of the sale price for doing so. Digital products allow you to be able to start making money online with very little money invested. You also don’t have to worry about a physical inventory or shipping items to customers.

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5 Steps To Maximum Productivity

Do you know that you get 80% of your results from just 20% of your time and effort and consequently 80% of your time is virtually wasted on non productive activities?. Once you realize this it is easy to take advantage and either reduce the hours you work or significantly improve your productivity.

The 80-20 rule was first discovered by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto a hundred years ago. Using this knowledge is incredibly powerful in combating the “not enough hours in the day” mentality of today’s society.

The 80-20 rule means that in any area of our lives, literally 80 percent of our fruits are derived from only 20 percent of doing “what matters”. In other words, there is only a very small portion of all that we do each day, regardless of the situation, that brings us the “higher return”.

How can you benefit from being aware of this principle? Implementing a strategy based on the 80-20 rule can result in greater wealth and greater leisure time? Just imagine how productive you will be if 80% of your time could be spent on productive activities. You have to realise that the things that matters most should never be at the mercy of activities that matter least.

Here are 5 Steps to maximise your productivity:

1) Keep a work log for at least a week

Write down all of your activities and the time spent doing them. I appreciate this is time consuming initially but it is essential you get a true picture of your working week.

2) Analyse your activities

Separate your activities into high priority – those that produce a return or where only you have the skills to do the work – and low priority – activities others can do where the activity can be delegated to support staff. You will almost certainly find that you are spending most of your time on low-priority activities rather than activities directly providing a return. In almost all businesses these non productive activities tend to absorb time at a far greater rate than they should.

3) Delegate non productive activities

Once you can identify the low priority activities delegate as many as possible to support staff providing training where required. If necessary employ an additional member of staff to take responsibilities – the cost will be more than offset by your improved productivity. There may be a number of low priority activities you are tempted to keep. Unless it is absolutely unavoidable don’t be tempted and don’t get involved in non productive activities or your productivity will fall.

4) Calculate the time required for any remaining low priority activities

Once you have delegated all that you can, your next step is to calculate how much time you should be spending on the remaining low priority activities to make maximum use of your productive time. Do not work disproportionately hard at these low priority activities and set aside specific time each day or week to complete them.

5) Prioritise your remaining activities

Once you have cleared out the activities that do not bring you any return, it is time to turn your attention to the activities in your life that are bringing the most reward. Prioritise your activities and concentrate most of your time just on a few high-priority activities.

The objective throughout is to maximize your results from the areas of high return and to delegate those activities that have a low return. Having to spend a disproportionate amount of time on non productive activities is a major source of stress for many businessmen. Delegating these activities will therefore have the added benefit of reducing the stress you are under. It is all about doing less work for greater return.

For more success in life, whether that is more money, more time with your family or just making time for golf you should start implementing the 80-20 rule immediately. It will help your career as well as your personal life and, as a bonus, following the 80-20 rule day in and day out can make you very wealthy over the long term.