Contents - Index

3.5 How to Generate a Licence

You generate licences for your customers using the Sheriff Licence Key Generator (SlsGen); full details of how to do this are given in the topic. Below is a brief guide to the principles involved.


To enable a Sheriff-protected application the end user will require a Licence Key from the publisher. To generate the Licence Key the publisher needs the user's unique Reference Code, which is usually displayed when the application is installed. The Reference Code and Licence Key can be exchanged by phone, fax, email. Alternatively, an Internet-based system can be implemented using Sheriff ISR. Reference Codes are also generated when licences are upgraded or when new licences are purchased.

The publisher enters the Reference Code into the Sheriff Licence Key Generator and chooses the appropriate features for the Licence Policy (E.g. the licence to expire on a certain date). The Sheriff Licence Generator then generates a unique one-time Licence Key for the user.

Points to Note

  • Once the Reference Code has been generated it is valid until the corresponding Licence Key is received and entered, allowing publishers and end to users to work in different time zones. This also gives publishers the option to check the details of a new customer before releasing the Licence Key.

  • Each pair of Reference Codes and Licence Keys is unique and machine-specific. The Reference Code cannot be regenerated; the Licence Key cannot be reused on the original machine or used on any other machine.

  • When using Expiry Date metering it is possible to generate a 'Reusable Reference Code'. This removes the need for contact with the user since one Reference Code, within certain limitations, lasts indefinitely. Using this option you can generate new expiry-dated licence keys as needed.

  • To uninstall Sheriff there are two possibilities:
    1. You can terminate the user's licence, using the terminate function. This can be implemented by the user without reference to the publisher but still prevents the user from re-installing a demo application, for example.
    2. You can remove the user's licence, using the Remove function. This completely uninstalls Sheriff from the user's machine. This function is normally password protected i.e. the user needs to obtain a password from the publisher, otherwise he/she might re-install a trial or demo application.
    3. Both functions can be implemented via the Sheriff API and are also available in SlsAdmin.