Can Same Key Activate Two Different Computers

May 4, 2011 at 1:18 PM


It seems that the activation process is as follows:

- Application won't run without the product key. Let's say the product key is supplied on a card with the CD.

- User enters the product key, and needs to be on the internet to access the activation web service to start using the software.

- The activation web service sends a license key that is paired with the user's hardware, back to the client and this is saved to the HDD.

- Software is activated and runs.

So what if the same application is installed on another computer, and the same serial key is used. The web service as it stands,

doesn't keep a database of all past activated product keys, so it will also grant that computer a license key linked to its hardware.

Is this something I need to implement to get things working, or am I missing something here?


May 10, 2011 at 6:28 PM

You have just described the activation process perfectly.

And you are right; you need to implement your own tracking mechanism to know how many people are using the same product key. In some cases you want to allow the same key to be used several times in same or different machines, depending on your licensing policy.

A more professional implementation may also provide statistics, product key revocation and so on.

Note that in current release, if you want to notify the user that the product key has been used many times, you should throw an exception in the server and for the client to receive the exception message you need to set includeExceptionDetailInFaults="true". A better mechanism could be implemented.