Protection Plus Primer


Go to User Guide Home

Software Protection - Primary Resources

Nirvana Bound Software Protection User Guide


Software Key Protection Plus On-Line Manual.  Recommended Overview Reading:

  • Software Licensing System Overview

  • Concepts and Definitions

  • Getting Started and Installation

  • LFEdit

Anything that discusses integrating the ActiveX Control into your project you do not need to worry about because I have done that for you with the system book :-)  However, make sure that you refer to the User's Guide for important information on how you can get the most from your Protection Plus System.

Other Resources

Software Key Frequently Asked Questions

Software Key NewsServer

Creating Product Definitions

Before you can create a license file, you need to create a product definition where you specify special codes that will interact with your program.  This ensures that even people who have LFEdit cannot get into your programs or modify your license files without you unlocking the program.  Product Definitions are created using LFEdit.  There are six tabs on the Create a Product interface.  Each tab has a help button that will provide you with an excellent explanation of the items on that tab.  Here is some addition information that I have found to be most important for my customers who are using Protection Plus (this does not mean that if I don't discuss it it is not important):

  1. License File Tab - Your password is very important.  This protects your license and program from other developers who are also using Protection Plus.  Use commonly accepted good practices for selecting the password.  For further protection I recommend that you have a different password for each product that you are going to protect.
  2. Trigger Codes Tab - Here you will specify a unique Seed which is used for all trigger codes and a second seed code for unlock codes that require additional numeric data be passed along with the Trigger Code Event ID.  The main seed code is require and is used to further randomize all of the Trigger Codes. You should choose your own personal Trigger Code seed. You may choose the same or different seed for all of your products. You must ensure that the Use EZ Trigger is checked as this is the heart of the system that I supply.

  1. EZ Trial Parameters - In working with the developers of Protection Plus, I have found that the settings shown below are the best for Protection Plus and ToolBook.  Please make sure that you have NOT checked: Update last used time and Convert illegal copes to demo. 

  1. Automation Client - You only need to add this information if you are using the automation client.  The URL for Activation is the URL that you specify if you are using the SoloServer.

Creating License Files

With the system I have developed you only will need one license file for all of your product variations (30 day demo, CD-ROM, network with concurrent users, etc).  In addition, there is no need to create a special license file each time you ship out a product as the license file gets customized when you unlock it either manually or through the automated unlock system (automation client).  However, you will need a different license file for each product. 

To create the license file in LFEdit simply select File, New.  Select the appropriate product.  Save the license file and you are set!  Just distribute this file with your application and make sure that it is in the location that you have specified in your program.

Manually Unlocking Applications with LF Edit

Make sure that you have selected the proper product and then select the unlock icon.  Select the appropriate trigger code.

The Software Protection interface in your program will generate two codes:  Serial Number 1 and Serial Number 2.  Enter these in User Code 1 and User Code 2 respectively.  If you are using a trigger code that requires a value (number of concurrent users, number of days, etc.) enter the value.  Select the Generate button.

LFEdit will return one or two RegKeys (two if you added a value in the previous screen).  This is the information that you need instruct your user to enter into the Software Protection interface.  A message should return that the program is authorized.  See below if you get any error codes.

On-Line Automated Unlocking of Applications

When you set up your product definition, be sure to specify the location of the URL for activation as  For additional information on setting up the solo server, please refer to the Solo Server documentation.

Error Codes

A comprehensive list of error codes from both Protection Plus and the Automated client are provided in the product documentation.  These error codes will provide you with very useful information if there is a problem with the unlock process.  These error codes are NOT generated from the Software Protection System Book in your program.

Packaging Your Installation

You will need to install three items to your users Windows System folder for Protection Plus (skcl.dll skca32.dll and machnm1.exe).  When installing for a network these files need to be installed on the client PCs also and the server path MUST be the same mapped drive on all clients. Only the skcl.dll needs to be registered on installation.  DO NOT register the skca32.dll and DO NOT run the machnm1.exe.  In setting up your installation, please keep in mind that your program may not be the only program on the users computer that uses the Protection Plus System.  Follow good installation practices for setting the properties of the dlls (ie overwrite only if newer, never uninstall - obviously these are decisions you have to make based on you knowledge of your users).  Also, keep in mind that the Windows System folder may be different depending on the Operating System.