Floating licenses in an offline setting

In this blog, we will feature how floating licenses work in theory, including in offline settings. For the actual code examples, please read the following documentation page on floating licenses, including our License Server repository on GitHub. Scroll down to the section called “Floating licenses offline” to find the most relevant information.

Alternatively, you can watch the full tutorial including more information about how everything works in theory on YouTube:

Floating licenses in theory

Say that you want to restrict licenses to a set number of machines. This can either be done with floating licenses or node-locking. Node-locking works in such a way that you restrict licenses to a number of machines, and if you want to activate a new machine to that license, you have to manually deactivate one of the existing machines.

For floating licenses, you instead have a requirement that only a certain number of machines can use the license simultaneously, which eliminates the need to activate and deactivate machines.

This is perfect if, for example, a customer downloads your application on 100 machines. You can then limit the number of machines so that only 10 developers can use your application at the same time. If the customer is anticipated to change machines very frequently, you no longer have the hassle of activating or deactivating machines every time a developer changes machines.

But how does this work? Your application continuously sends heartbeats to our API as it’s running, which tells Cryptolens that that particular machine is active. If Cryptolens does not receive a heartbeat from that machine anymore, it will automatically be deactivated. Naturally, a new machine can be activated again, as long as no more than a set number of machines are being used at the same time. This allows you to potentially charge the customer more for a license that allows for more machines to simultaneously be able to access your application.

The offline approach

With the offline approach, you can even use floating licenses when your application runs in a locked-in environment without access to the internet, such as a docker container. Instead of having to send requests to Cryptolens, you can have your application send the requests to a local license server. In this way, your application can run in, for example, a docker container without encountering any licensing issues.

We have now covered the basics of how floating licenses work online and offline. If you want to set up floating licenses, please read the documentation, or watch the YouTube video provided earlier in this blog.

Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you for reading!

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