AutoCAD® is a powerful computer-aided design (CAD) software. It’s also quite extensible since anyone can easily create plug-ins. In this post, we briefly summarise several tips on how to securely license and sell your AutoCAD plug-ins.
Creating the plugin
If you are about to create a new AutoCAD plug-in, we would recommend to review the following tutorial provided by Autodesk.
Adding software licensing
Assuming you have Visual Studio 2017 open, you can add a simple key verification mechanism as described below:
- Right click on your project in the Solution Explorer and click on Manage NuGet Packages.
- Search for Cryptolens.Licensing and install it.
- Add the code-snippet form this page in the code where the plugin loads for the first time.
Selling the plug-in
One way to sell AutoCAD plug-ins is by publishing them in the Autodesk App Store, where a basic licensing mechanism is already provided. The problem with this approach is that the licensing models available are quite limited (eg. you can only charge your customers once for the plug-in and they will be able to use it in perpetuity). For instance, selling your plug-in as a service (subscription model) is not supported.
A better approach is to still publish your plug-in in the Autodesk App Store and set it to be a free app. You can then ask your customers to get a separate license key to be able to unlock all features.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out!