Software registration, metering, copy protection, updates  
 
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Copy Protect Your Software with CopyMetric

CopyMetric is a web-based automatic software registration and update system that automates registration of Windows applications, software metering, copy protection and installation of updates, or patches, released by application developers.

It can be also used as a licensing control tool (or license manager) where specialized software is provided to a limited number of users, e.g. on a subscription basis.

Automatic Software Registration

The benefits of automatic software registration via the internet, without user interaction, are:

  • Each copy of your software product is allocated a unique registration number.
     
  • You know exactly how many copies of your software are installed, where (locale code, time zone, IP address and, if available, organization/owner of the computer system) and how regularly each copy is used.
     
  • You can view various usage statistics, including the number of hits per day and the proportion of copies used on different operating systems.
     
  • If your software comes with a serial number, you can choose whether multiple copies per serial number are allowed.
     
  • You can deny access to your software and display purchasing instructions if it was installed illegally or reinstalled on another computer under the same serial number (copy protection).
     
  • Automatic software registration can be a cost-effective alternative to installation CD's and dongles.
     
  • You can make trial copies of your software available for download from your website ("try before you buy" marketing) and activate them remotely as soon as payment is received.
     
  • You can turn on/off certain features remotely.
     
  • You can enhance your software with the ability to upload diagnostics data.
     
  • You can publish version updates.

Updates

The update process involves creation of package files with CopyMetric Package Builder. The package files are uploaded to the web server for distribution.

Every time your software product is used, CopyMetric checks for updates for this product. If updates are available, the user is offered to install them. In addition, the user can see the details of each update, including description, size and modification date, and select which updates need to be installed.

The installation replaces application files with the newer versions contained in the package. Replacing of running .exe and .dll files requires a system restart at the end of the installation.

Additional tasks, such as changes to the registry or configuring desktop shortcuts, for example, can be performed by running scripts or setup files built into the package. CopyMetric does not have its own scripting language. It simply delivers the required files to the target system and, if necessary, runs some of the files.

Integration

CopyMetric can be integrated into a Windows application to automatically register each copy of the software on the developer's website as it is used. This is achieved by adding a DLL function call to the initialization code of the application. Most of the time, CopyMetric remains inconspicuous to the user, only checking the registration status and updating the usage statistics.

When one or more updates become available to download, CopyMetric notifies the user and offers to install the updates. This is usually done by displaying a taskbar icon with a 'balloon', just like the one below. Normally, the application icon is used unless a different icon is specified.

The following screenshots were produced for an imaginary application TaxMaster 5. The icons and the text displayed in the Update window will vary depending on the application that CopyMetric is integrated into and the contents of updates.


Update balloon example
 

Clicking on the icon will display a pop-up menu:


Update menu example
 

By selecting Install Updates, the user can open an Update window (see example) to simply install all available updates or view their details first before deciding which updates to install.

CopyMetric can be configured to install updates without user confirmation. This option can be used in the corporate environment when it is necessary to ensure that all the updates are installed.

In addition to package updates, CopyMetric can be used to distribute link and information updates.

A link update adds a configurable item to the pop-up menu of the application's taskbar icon. Selecting this menu item activates the URL associated with the update. This type of update does not involve installing files. Its purpose is to draw the user's attention to certain web content, for example, a new product website or an online survey form.

An information update displays a 'balloon' over the application's taskbar icon with a title and a short message. This type of update can be used together with a link added to the pop-up menu. For example:


Information balloon example
 

Clicking on the icon will display the following pop-up menu:


Link update example
 
Design and technical requirements How does it work?

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