The Copy Protection SDK

Sheriff Software Development Kit delivers bullet-proof copy protection, transparently and economically solving the problem of software piracy while virtually eliminating the risk of hacking.

Sheriff provides developers and publishers with a wide variety of software licensing schemes, including how long a trial will last, which features to enable and/or how many concurrent network users should have access.

Sheriff offers an unbeatable combination of flexibility, security & ease of implementation without the need to pay expensive royalties or distribute dongles or key disks. In countries around the world - including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA - developers copy protect their applications with Sheriff.

The Sheriff Concept

There are many ways of protecting software applications against illegal copying and piracy, however only a few can claim to be truly secure and most of these are expensive to implement and inconvenient to distribute.

Sheriff has been designed from the ground up to provide a highly secure solution while at the same time being cost-effective and relatively quick to implement.

The Sheriff DLL offers a number of advantages over a shell system:

  • It supports more complex licence policies, such as metering, as well as all the basic functions.
  • Publishers can use their own front-end instead of fixed dialog boxes, which gives the freedom to present any licence-related information (example). It also means that the product can support multiple languages.
  • It provides more secure protection.

How it Works

A software developer integrates Sheriff with a software product's source code - the product can then be distributed normally.

Typically, when a user installs or uses the product for the first time, a Reference Code is generated. The user informs the publisher of the Reference Code and the publisher generates a Licence Key (a numeric string).

The user enters the Licence Key and the product runs normally but is protected from illegal copying (diagram).

An alternative is to allow the software to run in demo mode with some features disabled, or for a limited period of time, prior to requiring the user to obtain a licence key. Sheriff 3 is designed to protect 32-bit & 64-bit Windows (all server and desktop o/s since, and including, Windows 2000) applications only.

The SDK is very flexible and includes classes and demo applications for Visual C++ & Visual Basic, as well as ActiveX control.

Evaluate Sheriff

Download and evaluate the Sheriff Software Development Kit free of charge for as long as you like. Using the evaluation codes supplied, you can issue an unlimited number of demo (30 day expiry) licence keys for your application without payment. This means that you can thoroughly test Sheriff with your application before you decide to purchase. Note that although the demo keys you issue will expire within 30 days you are using the full SDK, not a cut-down version, so there will there will be no need for re-coding when you purchase.

When you are satisfied that Sheriff performs just as it should, order a unique Sheriff Serial Number that enables you to generate full (non-expiring) licence keys. Finally, if you have any comments or queries please don't hesitate to contact us - we look forward to hearing from you!