Why Product Activation For Software is Becoming Widespread

Product activation is widely used by software vendors to protect their applications and enforce license agreements. While some users object to any form of license management, modern product activation systems are superior to other techniques from both the vendor’s and the end-user’s perspectives.

Software vendors use license management for a variety of reasons. They are often concerned about protection from piracy, and protection against users exceeding their agreed license terms (such as the number of installations that run in a customer company). License management also allows the software vendor to develop, distribute, and support one version of their application, but offer different license terms at different prices to different markets.

For example, the vendor can use the licensing mechanism to provide trial licenses, perpetual licenses, subscription licenses, set limits on the product features or modules enabled, set usage limits, combination’s of all of the above, and offer straightforward upgrades in capabilities, all with just one executable (some license management systems even allow the vendor to also offer floating licensing either over the end-customer’s network or the Internet based on this same executable). Finally, license management can enable the vendor to automate fulfillment, management and reporting, so reducing operations costs and offering immediate delivery worldwide 24×7 to their customers.

A key concern for software vendors is ensuring users don’t just give the software to unlicensed friends and colleagues, or even post it on the web for anyone to download. The standard solution is called node-locking, where each user’s installation is locked to one or more parameters of their system, such as the MAC address. Each time the application runs, it reads, say, the MAC address of the computer where it is running, and will proceed only if the address it reads matches the one recorded for that license.

Older approaches for license enforcement include dongle-based licensing and key-file-based licensing. A dongle is a hardware device that plugs into the user’s computer; when the application runs it checks for the presence of the dongle and will run only if it finds it. Dongles do therefore allow the user to move their license around, but only by physically relocating the dongle. With key-file-based licensing, the license limits and node-locking parameters are encrypted in a file, which is sent to the user and read by the application each time it runs.

These approaches have a number of disadvantages. Dongles require the distribution of the hardware, with all that entails in material cost, shipping cost, delivery times and management by the vendor. They are widely disliked by end-users, who don’t want to wait for them to arrive, keep track of them, have them stick out of their computer and so on.

Key-based licensing improves on dongles as the encrypted key files can be delivered immediately by email, and impose no hardware burden. However, they do require the user to provide the names of the locking parameters (or run a utility to read them), and do not allow users to readily move their license from machine to machine, as such a move would require a new key file. An upgrade to a user’s license, such as extending a subscription, also requires the generation and delivery of a new key file.

Product activation improves on these older approaches. Fulfillment is immediate as with key-file-based licensing, but the node-locking is accomplished automatically at activation time, so the user is not required to supply any information, and indeed is unaware of the specific parameters to which the license is locked. Modern activation systems also support the relocation of a license by the user, who can activate their license on one system, then perhaps months later deactivate their license on that first system and activate it on a second system. The activation system ensures only one copy of a given license is active at any one time, thus addressing the vendor’s concerns, but the user can move their license from, say, their office machine to their laptop, then to their home machine, as they wish. The activation system can also automatically transfer user settings, so the newly-activated installation comes up exactly as the user had configured the old one.

If the user upgrades their license, perhaps by converting a trial license to a production license, extending a subscription, or purchasing additional features or modules, the vendor simply updates the record for that user in the hosted activation system, and the user clicks a menu command to update their license, causing the new limits to immediately take effect.

Product activation systems therefore meet the software vendors’ need to protect against piracy, offer a range of license models, and automate operations, but remove many of the inconveniences and costs of older license management systems. Early product activation systems that didn’t support such capabilities as activation on disconnected systems or license relocation did give the approach a bad name, but modern product activation systems have this flexibility so are gaining acceptance with vendors and users.

Natural Skin Care Product Active Ingredients And What They Do

The active ingredients you will find in commercial skincare products can also be found in many foods and ingredients you have at home. Here are what they do for your skin and how they are used in skincare products.

ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS (AHA’S)

These are fruit acids naturally derived from fruit extracts. They slough off dead skin cells to reveal younger more youthful looking skin. As we age our skins renewal process slows down and these help to replace that process giving your skin a younger appearance.

ANTIOXIDANTS

Ingredients that contain vitamin A, C end E, green tea, copper, grapeseed, and kinetin help skin by neutralizing or scavenging free radicals which are molecules that destroy skin cells.

BETA-HYDROXY ACIDS

These work in a similar way as AHA’s but are less potent so therefore less irritating to skin. The most common and well known one is Salicylic acid which is used in acne treatments and dandruff shampoos.

BOTANICALS

Ingredients from a naturally derived source (usually plants) believed for centuries to have healing or regenerating powers for the skin. Examples are Aloe vera, ginkgo and ginseng.

COENZYME Q10

This is a nutrient found in every cell of our body known to be a powerful wrinkle buster.

ESSENTIAL OILS

Most commonly used in aromatherapy to scent products but also as complimentary and healing or regenerating active ingredients in skin care products.

EMOLLIENTS

Found in moisturizers these ingredients help protect the skin by reinforcing the lower moisture barrier deep in the lower epidermis of the skin. Natural emollients include:

Apricot Kernel, Avocado, Borage Seed, Evening Primrose, Grape Seed, Hazel Nut, Hemp Seed, Kukui, Macadamia Nut, Mango Kernel Butter, Organic,, Rose Hip, Organic Sesame Seed, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Sunflower, Safflower, Sesame Seed, Shea Butter, Sunflower, Sweet Almond, Tea Tree, Wheat Germ Oils.

HYPOALLERGENICS

Ingredients that are low allergy producing ingredients in products.

MATTIFYERS

Ingredients that soak up oil like cornstarch and witch hazel.

HUMECTANTS

These are compounds that attract moisture from the air to the skin. Examples are hyaluronic acid, honey, glycerin, glucose & propylene glycol.

LIPOSOMES

Delivery agents to help skin absorb ingredients deeper.

RETINOLS

Products high in Vitamin A, for protection against free radicals and some (Retin A and Retinova) dramatically reduce skin damage from the suns rays.

NON-COMEDOGENICS

Ingredients that don’t clog pores and encourage blackheads. The ingredients used in this book are all non-comedogenic.

ANTI FUNGALS AND ANTI BACTERIALS

Ingredients that combat bacteria and acne related problems. Essential oils like Rosemary, Neem, Tea Tree and others can be added to beauty products to fight bacterial problems.

HYDROSOLS

Hydrosols are the “left over” by products of making essential oils. Hydrosols in themselves make great toners and have other properties that are very beneficial for skin.

INFUSIONS OR TEAS

Infusions are herbs or other parts of plants, fruits, skins and barks or teas. They make great toners with soothing, calming & many other properties that are very beneficial for skin. Often used in skincare or hair care recipes to compliment ingredient blends with invigorating, sweetening & other beneficial scents and aromas.

All of these ingredients can be found in every day foods and oils including nuts, seeds, oils, vegetables and fruits. When blended together in the right way you can make powerfully effective home made skin care products, masks, treatments and serums any day of the week in minutes.

One Tool to Level Out the Peaks and Valleys in Your Marketing, Selling & Production Activities

Peaks and valleys happen in all businesses for a variety of reasons from down economic times to going crazy times. There are numerous ways to overcome this part of doing business. What I have recently discovered is the best way is the use of a marketing calendar.

Now to effectively use this strategy does require for you to know your peaks and valleys specific to revenue and productivity (think sales). In some cases, increase sales may follow productivity by anywhere from 30 days to 2 years depending upon your products or services. The goal here is to keep your people busy with productive work that generates sales while reducing errors and complaints.

First, create an excel file with the following labels for these columns in row one:

  • A – Date
  • B – Action
  • C – January
  • D – February
  • E – March
  • F – April
  • G – May
  • H – June
  • I – July
  • J – August
  • K – September
  • L – October
  • M – November
  • N – December

Next leave rows two through 6 blank for daily activities such as posting on Tweeter or Facebook, changing Linked In Profile, blogging or article marketing.

Beginning with row seven label it with the number 1 and then continue to row 37 ending with the number 31 for the days of the month.

Now start plugging in all of your current marketing activities. This might include:

  • Monthly Ezine
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Direct Mail Pieces
  • Press releases
  • Networking events

Each worksheet within the excel file then becomes a year.

The next step is even more time consuming. Start plotting in your revenue highs and lows along with your productivity based upon historical experience. What should happen is you will see where there are gaps between your marketing actions and your increase sales. Sales Training Coaching Tip: Use a different color to indicate sales lows and highs along with production lows and highs.

A marketing calendar is a stop gap measure that recognizes your potential customers and existing customers having short memories. As a small business owner, entrepreneur, independent sales professional such as a realtor, insurance agent or financial advisor, you need to create top of mind awareness or TOMA. To do this requires touching them 33 times a year according to marketing research. What I suggest is 3 touches per month between email, direct mail, phone calls and personal meetings.

By having a calendar that clearly shows your actions in a very clear and concise manner helps you to keep your arms around marketing. Of course you must also continue to track the results of your marketing that being your revenue and productivity to truly realize the value of this instrumental tool.