How to manually activate a license? (FAQ114)

What are the steps in manually activating a license?  What do I have to do as the software vendor and what does my customer have to do?

Manual  activation is used in circumstances where the application is not able to directly connect to the internet e.g. the machine does not have direct internet access. In those circumstances the activation request from the application must be communicated indirectly to Software Potential service.  The most common method of communication is via email, but it is also possible to post the license request via HTTP or FTP.

The manual activation process involves several phases:

  • The Software Vendor creates a license and distributes the correponding Activation Key
  • The Customer uses the activation key to create a license request which is sent to the Software Vendor by some out of band mechanism e.g. via email
  • The Software Vendor activates the license and returns the license file to the Customer - again by some out of band mechanism such as email, HTTP, FTP etc

All license types apart from Resident Licenses have the option of  being manually activated; nothing has to be done at the point of license creation to enable manual activation.

To enable this process you will need to implement an appropriate Manual Activation dialog in your licensed application; please see FAQ148 for more details, including relevant code snippets. 

Phase 1: Software Vendor Initial Steps

The software vendor creates a license using the following general steps

  1. Create a product definition 
  2. Issue a new license.
  3. Distribute the corresponding Activation Key e.g. include the Activation Key with the deployed product or make it available via email or web download.

Phase 2: End user steps

When the end user wants to activate the license: 

  1. The user selects the Offline Activation option in the Activation Dialog.
  2. The user enters his/her Activation Key (which was provided by the ISV in the earlier phase)
  3. A request file is generated which is then copied from the "activating" computer to a computer with email or web access.
  4. The request file is sent to the ISV via whatever mechanism the ISV elects to support e.g. email, HTTP, or FTP.

Phase 3: Software Vendor Activation Steps

On receipt of the license request the ISV

  1. Manually activates the "request" by pasting the request file into the Manual Activation screen on Software Potential
  2. Sends license file to end-user by an appropriate out of band mechanism e.g. email.

Phase 4: End user Activation Steps

On receipt of the license file the end user:

  1. Transfers the license file to the "activating" machine.
  2. Launches the Activation wizard and indicates that they want to install a license file, navigates to the location of the license file and selects to activate the license

On completion of the above process the product is activated and ready for use


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