Over the last decades, licensing has evolved from a nifty way to prevent software piracy in the best case or a necessary nuisance in the worst to a true business enabler, as licenses are now the perfect means to realize business models in an economy that is virtually run by software. The advent of cloud computing opened up new avenues for licensing, as more monolithic models like permanent licenses or ‘dumb’ temporary licenses were replaced by more flexible options, with licenses ready to be renewed or even remodeled in an instant and over the cloud to match the user’s needs and the software developer’s business strategies. Subscription licenses, in particular, seem a match made in heaven or, indeed, in the cloud: Users benefit from direct access to the software bundles they want, often at a more affordable rate than the steep upfront costs of traditional software distribution. Software publishers in turn benefit from predictable revenue streams and the flexibility to update or remodel their offerings to go with the flow of the market.
Not all use cases, however, are born equal and the licensing concept that fits one business model might severely hamper another. Some users might be wary of the light, but permanent burden of subscription payments; some might want more flexibility to access only the features they need and when they need them, instead of constant access to a complete bundle. Still others prefer the certainty of owning software outright as they are accustomed to, but with the mobility and flexibility they have come to love in the modern connected age.
Finding the shoe that fits seems an uphill struggle, but this is where Wibu-Systems’ CodeMeter comes into its own. With support for a vast array of licensing models from conventional single user licenses to highly flexible pay-per-use, feature-on-demand, or subscription licenses, CodeMeter can model virtually any business model in license form. It gives software developers the ability to offer users as much freedom as they want without compromising on security. This includes borrowing licenses, a crucial option for smaller businesses in particular that want their employees to be able to access a limited pool of licenses at the point of need – for maintenance services in the field, for visits to clients, or for temporary work from home. CodeMeter uses special floating network licenses to make this possible, which are borrowed from and flagged as active in the pool and stored on a local license container for temporary use out and about. All this flexibility is made possible by CodeMeter with clever and easy-to-use license configurations.