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Old 03-21-2010, 12:49 PM   #1
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Default [AS3] activation


I have just completed a project in flash for an educational company.
Now there telling me I have to provide an activation key type thing similar
to the way adobe does it. Has anyone any experience at this kind of thing
can you "bolt" on activation key software onto an exe.


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Old 03-21-2010, 01:05 PM   #2
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activation key for what?
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:18 PM   #3
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I think he meant license/serial protection of the software. Something like serial number for product.
AFAIK You need to write yourself serial mechanism.
What I can point out that there is THEMIDA, it not serial but anti debuger/protector of any executable, unfortunately it's proprietary "tool".
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:40 PM   #4
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activation key for the Flash project itself? First I would say how come they didn't tell you that before?
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:14 PM   #5
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Hi weblingo,

First, I'd explain to the client that they're distributing a binary file that can be decompiled by anyone who knows about code and adding passwords or activation codes will not prevent unauthorised use.

You can add a simple password that the user types in each time. I'm not sure if .exe files can store local SharedObjects but that'd be worth looking into to store a valid password on users' computers so they don't have to type it in every time they run it. Rather than publishing .exe files, you should really be looking at Adobe AIR apps. which will give you many more options for local file access and storage to implement user restrictions.

I'd also advise the client that every layer of DRM you add to software prevents a significant number of legitimate users from running it successfully. It also means that you'd have to provide pretty good support for users who have problems with it. Often, unauthorised access prevention costs more than you lose. You have to calculate it on a case by case basis.

I hope this helps!
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:57 PM   #6
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I believe some of the third party projector tools support this feature... I'd say go check out those like SWFStudio, Zinc or mProjector...
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:09 AM   #7
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None of the third party swf2exe tools provide support for online activation but I know that SWF Studio (my product) and Zinc (inferior product) both allow you to set some options to create trial versions of your software. I'm pretty sure that mProjector does NOT offer a similar feature out of the box, but someone will surely correct me if I'm wrong

With SWF Studio you can set your application to either expire on a specific date or expire after a given number of days. You can also select an alternate SWF to run once your trial period has expired. This expiry swf you supply gives you a LOT of control because you can use it to implement any kind of unlock system you can come up with. The expiry SWF can just display an "expiry" message, it can ask for a hard coded password or it can contact a server and validate the installation (i.e. online activation).

Check out this simple expiry demo application. It comes with source so you can see how it works. If you decide to try SWF Studio and you need some help getting this done quickly, we can help you out or even build it for you if you have the budget for it.

If you just want to wrap your Flash EXE up with something that gives you exactly the feature you're looking for you might want to check out one of these protection/licensing systems. Both have been bought up by Digital River, a huge company that offers all kinds of e-commerce solutions including a number of credit card processing services. That's not an endorsement, just a statement of fact.

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