Distributing a Java app as a TrialWare

Discussion in 'Java' started by Dexter, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. Dexter

    Dexter Guest

    I have developed some application software in Java language that I
    plan to distribute to end users as a trialware.

    How can I make the Java app work for a limited time. Say for a month

    A note to Andrew: This is the feature I tried to implement with
    updating a file contained in the Jar file
    Dexter, Oct 25, 2007
    #1
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  2. Dexter wrote:
    >I have developed some application software in Java language that I
    >plan to distribute to end users as a trialware.
    >
    >How can I make the Java app work for a limited time. Say for a month


    Oh, that is horrible. *

    >A note to Andrew: This is the feature I tried to implement with
    >updating a file contained in the Jar file


    * To be honest (OK blunt), this is not something I am
    likely to expend time helping with.

    --
    Andrew Thompson
    http://www.athompson.info/andrew/

    Message posted via http://www.javakb.com
    Andrew Thompson, Oct 25, 2007
    #2
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  3. In article <>,
    Dexter <> wrote:
    >I have developed some application software in Java language that I
    >plan to distribute to end users as a trialware.
    >
    >How can I make the Java app work for a limited time. Say for a month


    Have it call your server every time it launches (and once every 24
    hours if left to run for that long) and perform some hard-to-spoof
    communication whereby your server tells the app whether it should
    function or not. Of course, this requires your users to always be
    online when using the app.

    >A note to Andrew: This is the feature I tried to implement with
    >updating a file contained in the Jar file


    You cannot really achieve this by checking local data and doing local
    actions. The user can easily set back his clock, run the app in a VM,
    etc., which will tend to screw up your checking.


    Note: it is probably a bad idea to do any of the above. It will
    introduce entirely new catastrophic points of failure and even if you
    get the mechanism to work 100%, it is still going to alienate a number
    of potential customers who are really pissed that it just suddenly
    stopped working after a month. Even users who don't pay for your app
    tend to contribute to your earnings by spreading the word to their
    friends, some of whom will pay - /unless/ said non-payers get burned
    by sudden deactivation in which case they will instead be telling
    their friends how much your software sucks.

    But, if you have extensively researched your market and determined
    that product deactivation isn't going to have such negative effects on
    your target audience, server-based (and probably registration key
    based) authentication is the way to go.

    Cheers,
    Bent D
    --
    Bent Dalager - - http://www.pvv.org/~bcd
    powered by emacs
    Bent C Dalager, Oct 25, 2007
    #3
  4. Bent C Dalager wrote:
    ....
    >
    > Note: it is probably a bad idea to do any of the above. It will
    > introduce entirely new catastrophic points of failure and even if you
    > get the mechanism to work 100%, it is still going to alienate a number
    > of potential customers who are really pissed that it just suddenly
    > stopped working after a month. Even users who don't pay for your app
    > tend to contribute to your earnings by spreading the word to their
    > friends, some of whom will pay - /unless/ said non-payers get burned
    > by sudden deactivation in which case they will instead be telling
    > their friends how much your software sucks.

    ....

    Deactivation does not need to be sudden. I've used trial ware that
    showed a dialog each time it started pointing out that it is trial
    software and saying how many days remain.

    Patricia
    Patricia Shanahan, Oct 25, 2007
    #4
  5. Dexter

    Roedy Green Guest

    Roedy Green, Oct 26, 2007
    #5
  6. Dexter

    Dexter Guest

    On Oct 26, 12:23 pm, Roedy Green <>
    wrote:
    > On Thu, 25 Oct 2007 03:07:24 -0700, Dexter <>
    > wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :
    >
    > >How can I make the Java app work for a limited time. Say for a month

    >
    > seehttp://mindprod.com/jgloss/installer.html
    >
    > A very simple scheme just pokes the install date into the registry
    > using the Preferences mechanism.
    >
    > Seehttp://mindprod.com/jgloss/preferences.html
    > --
    > Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    > The Java Glossaryhttp://mindprod.com


    Thanks Roedy, thats exactly what I needed

    Regards

    Asad
    Dexter, Nov 1, 2007
    #6
  7. On Nov 1, 12:47 pm, Dexter <> wrote:
    > On Oct 26, 12:23 pm, Roedy Green <>
    > wrote:
    > > A very simple scheme just pokes the install date into the registry
    > > using the Preferences mechanism.

    >
    > > Seehttp://mindprod.com/jgloss/preferences.html


    > Thanks Roedy, thats exactly what I needed


    That's hackable in less than five minutes. I wouldn't consider it
    worth the lines of code needed to implement such a "protection".
    Hunter Gratzner, Nov 1, 2007
    #7
  8. Hunter Gratzner wrote:
    > On Nov 1, 12:47 pm, Dexter <> wrote:
    >> On Oct 26, 12:23 pm, Roedy Green <>
    >> wrote:
    >>> A very simple scheme just pokes the install date into the registry
    >>> using the Preferences mechanism.
    >>> Seehttp://mindprod.com/jgloss/preferences.html

    >
    >> Thanks Roedy, thats exactly what I needed

    >
    > That's hackable in less than five minutes. I wouldn't consider it
    > worth the lines of code needed to implement such a "protection".
    >


    It may be useful for honest but forgetful users, by reminding them that
    it is trialware and how long the trial has to run.

    Patricia
    Patricia Shanahan, Nov 1, 2007
    #8
  9. Dexter

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Thu, 01 Nov 2007 14:14:58 -0000, Hunter Gratzner
    <> wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who
    said :

    >That's hackable in less than five minutes.


    Depends on your audience. Your average user today could not even
    delete or restore a file, much less probe the registry.

    Just a bit of camouflage for the key and value should do it for 99% of
    your users.
    --
    Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    The Java Glossary
    http://mindprod.com
    Roedy Green, Nov 2, 2007
    #9
  10. Dexter

    Guest

    On Nov 1, 8:14 pm, Roedy Green <>
    wrote:
    > On Thu, 01 Nov 2007 14:14:58 -0000, Hunter Gratzner
    > <> wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who
    > said :
    >
    > >That's hackable in less than five minutes.

    >
    > Depends on your audience. Your average user today could not even
    > delete or restore a file, much less probe the registry.
    >
    > Just a bit of camouflage for the key and value should do it for 99% of
    > your users.


    Why are you helping him to do something as evil and stupid as make his
    software less useful and less valuable after going to all the work he
    has to make it in the first place?
    , Nov 3, 2007
    #10
  11. On Nov 2, 1:14 am, Roedy Green <>
    wrote:
    > Depends on your audience. Your average user today could not even
    > delete or restore a file, much less probe the registry.


    But your average user can operate a torrent client just fine.

    > Just a bit of camouflage for the key and value should do it for 99% of
    > your users.


    And all it takes is one of the remaining 1% to hack it and place it on
    a p2p network.
    Hunter Gratzner, Nov 3, 2007
    #11
  12. Dexter

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Sat, 03 Nov 2007 10:20:02 -0000, Hunter Gratzner
    <> wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who
    said :

    >And all it takes is one of the remaining 1% to hack it and place it on
    >a p2p network.


    If you are worried about a dedicated hacker cracking your code, you
    probably should not even be distributing class files.

    See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/obfuscator.html

    Frequent updates with slight variations in obfuscation might be the
    best defence, even if the updates are utterly trivial. Your hacker
    will get bored recracking your code. He is doing it for the
    challenge.
    --
    Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    The Java Glossary
    http://mindprod.com
    Roedy Green, Nov 3, 2007
    #12
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