Contents - Index

6.7 Network Licences

For questions about Novell networks, please see FAQ Compatibility.

So how can I restrict execution of my program from a remote PC? Let's say that I've installed the software at PC "A" and another user on PC "B" sees it on the network, how can I stop him from using it?
Sheriff implements machine binding to protect your software from unaurthorised use. When you issue the licence key (using SlsGen) you have the opportunity to decide how many concurrent network users can use the software application simultaneously. So, if your software is installed on the server you can specify that, for example, only two network users can use it at the same time. This is a "floating" licence. However, if you want to restrict use to just the machine on which the application is installed you can issue a "Standalone" licence. This means that other machines on the network will not be able to use the application at all. So you have complete control over how your application is used.

Is there the possibility of defining the maximum number of concurrent users on a LAN?
You define the maximum number of concurrent users with the Sheriff Licence Generator application (SlsGen.exe) when you issue a licence key. You can monitor the number of active concurrent users with the Sheriff Administrator application (SlsAdmin.exe). To do this SlsAdmin should be run on the server PC where the licence is installed.

Should I use Sheriff Administrator on each end-user PC to configure the licence path or can we register the licence path by program (i.e. during the installation)?
With Sheriff Version 3 it is no longer necessary register the path to the Sheriff licence file, since this has been replaced by the SlsServer application.

Is it possible to sell an application with two licences, for example, and without changing the exe file, add more licences?
You can add more licences by issuing a new Licence Key to your customer i.e. they will have to give you a new Reference Code and you will give them a new Licence Key that is valid for the new number of users. You do not have to ship your users a new exe file.

Is the only way to add new network licences to a licence database by terminating the current licence and issuing a new licence key?
Yes. To alter or extend the licence policy a new licence key has to be issued.

If I want to control concurrent invocations of an application by a single user, what would you suggest? Consider the situation of someone licensing a multi-cpu server and running hundreds of batch jobs as the same user.
Multiple instances of an application on a PC by the same user are counted as just one concurent user. Note that different users on the same PC are counted as multiple users and the same user on two or more different PCs is also counted as multiple users.

You say that any network operating system is supported. Could you clarify?
With Sheriff 3 the N/OS is limited to Windows.

Does Sheriff create much additional network traffic if there are many network users (E.g. 100 concurrent users)?
No. The extra traffic created by Sheriff is minimal. It is only the heat-beating message, which is a very small (16 bytes) packet in size. The frequency of the heartbeat is determined by the
Update Licence function.

Does it matter if the clocks on the machines on the network are out of synch?
With previous versions of Sheriff this was of importance; with Sheriff 3 this is no longer the case, so the answer is 'no'.

How is the user's name encoded into the licence?
User's name is not encoded in licence key - the machine signature ('digital fingerprint') is encoded.

I am wondering how counting works. I presume that it counts concurrent users regardless of the identities of these users?
Sheriff counts concurrent users regardless of their identity. Normally your Sheriff licence database will be located on a server to which all prospective users will have write access. This is a typical network configuration where the licence file is locked to a server to which network users have access. It is often referred to as a "floating" licence configuration because as long as the maximum number of users is not exceeded, any user who has access to the licence file on the server can run the application. When a user terminates the application then the number of available licence is incremented by one.

With floating licences, you specify the maximum number of concurrent users (i.e. the maximum number of users who can simultaneously run your application). An alternative configuration is called "standalone", where the protected application can only run on the machine on which the licence file is installed.

What I cannot understand is that the key seems to be machine-specific. Does that mean that if we sell a 50-user license each potential user (i.e. in general many more than 50) has to call us to get a key? Also, if another user happened to buy a single-use license and runs it on the same network, would he interfere with the 50-user license count?
In a situation where you have 50 network users and you want to add another ten users, you will have to issue a new licence key to overwrite the old.

If you licensed a single additional user - Fred - on the network you could either issue a new key for the server (as explained above) or you could issue a standalone key for Fred's workstation. Fred would install your software on his own workstation and the Sheriff licence database would reside on that machine (the fact that the machine happened to be connected to a network would be irrelevant). In this example the other network users would not be able to share Fred's licence (so the answer is "No", Fred's licence would not interfere with the 50 licence count).

I can see only one user being connected (via a Terminal Server Client) even though there are two clients running the application.
That is because with TS all of the instances of your application are actually running on the same server - as far as Sheriff is concerned those instances are all running on the same hardware and if the user names are identical then those instances are regarded as one concurrent user running multiple instances of the same application on the same hardware. You will notice that the user count reads two while there is only one user shown.