A license is the entity that maintains all the licensing parameters (features, limitations, expiration date). One device can control 1:n devices. Examples:
- 1 license with 3 devices for development-testing-production environments.
- 1 license with 100 devices, controlling 100 sensors in a sensor network.
Change management is the main advantage of having a license (master) controlling multiple devices. Upon a license-parameter change, only the master license has to be updated.
SLASCONE allows you to control the number of devices (physical installations) allowed by a license. Let’s assume a video or music streaming service, whose vendor wants to avoid shared accounts. With SLASCONE the vendor can set the number of allowed devices to 3, preventing a 4th device from using the service.
In order to avoid a poor customer experience resulting from such a ‘hard-cut’, SLASCONE introduces ‘soft’ limits with Goodwill devices. In our example, the vendor can switch from 3 to 3 + 1 (Goodwill) devices. Goodwill devices constitute a ‘yellow zone’, in which the client is under-licensed but can still use the software. SLASCONE provides a quick overview/analysis of activated Goodwill devices, enabling vendors to react e.g., by issuing a warning after the activation of a Goodwill device or by emailing affected customers.
Heartbeat is the frequency with which the licensed product communicates with SLASCONE. After the initial product activation, heartbeats enable the collection of information for analytics (e.g., software version, operating systems) and the transmission of possibly updated licensing parameters to the client. Typical heartbeat examples:
- Every x weeks or months
- After every software update
- Only once (during activation)
- During every program start
Normal heartbeats are an essential part of SLASCONE functionality, since they make sure that licensing parameters (features, limitations, number of devices etc.) are being regularly kept up to date.
Analytical heartbeats is an optional feature, providing an elegant way to collect client data, that do not necessarily affect the licensing process. Analytical heartbeats can be used to collect any kind of data such as temperature, CPU Utilization, session metrics etc.
Freeride comes into play when a heartbeat fails. A heartbeat failure might be the result of a failed connection (e.g., no internet) or a actual license issue, such as an expiration. Regardless of the failure reason, the freeride period allows the user to keep using the software and until it is is finally locked. If a heartbeat succeeds during the freeride period, everything returns to its normal state.
In a typical scenario, vendors use the expiration date to prevent a perpetual usage of the software. However there are cases in which the customer is allowed to perpetually use software Version X, but not Version X+1. In order to address such scenarios, SLASCONE licenses carry an optional maximum software release information, which indicates the latest purchased version. Once an installation is upgraded to a not purchased version, SLASCONE returns a corresponding warning/error.
License templates accelerate license creation by initializing most (or all) license parameters. Templates are particularly useful when maintaining multiple product editions.
Templates differentiate between license parameters that can be set/changed during license creation or not, thus enabling parameter inheritance.
Only Global or Service Administrators are allowed to define/change license templates.
SLASCONE allows you the definition of customer types. A typical example would be:
This classification is crucial for analytical purposes, since in most cases you would want to exclude internal/test licenses from your base data.
Heartbeats control the communication frequency between client and SLASCONE. As a software vendor you have to decide what happens in case of failed communication with SLASCONE, in other words how restrictive you want to be. In most cases, there is a fixed freeride-period of some days/weeks, during which the client tries to communicate with SLASCONE. If despite the freeride-period no communication was feasible, then the product stops working (deactivation).
SLASCONE has 4 application roles:
- Global Administrator: Access to everything.
- Service Administrator: Access to everything, except User Administration.
- License Creator: Can add/edit customers and licenses. Cannot change product definitions or product templates.
- Viewer: Can view license and product analytics (dashboard).