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I have a solution for SharePoint that I am licensing out, but I'm nervous because it doesn't have a product key of any kind.

So far it's been to existing business relationships, but that's about to change as we launch publicly soon.

If only as a way to keep my partners honest, I would love to be able to sell via product keys that fit with my licensing model.

NewsGator does something like this, how would I go about it?

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It very much depend on how you want to limit the use of your product (and what access it has to the target (Farm, Sandbox, App)).

If all you want is to create a product key, which uniquely identifies the customer then you can use any format and verification, but nothing except inspection, support calls or luck will help you check if the same key is used multiple times.

If you want to limit the use to certain server names (or something else you can access) then the best solution would be to have a license file which contains the list of valid names and a hash of these names encrypted by the private key in a public/private key pair. Then your code can verify that the list hasn't been changed and the server is in the list.

  • Sure, but how do I integrate it into the application? Newsgator has an installer that accepts a key, as do a few other SharePoint solutions. Do they check a webservice for validity? – Wesley Jul 30 '13 at 15:40
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You can use SharePoint Installer for WSP installation. Just add your own license form which puts some licensing data into registry or SharePoint during installation. When you run some code from WSP you just check if license exists. Alternatively you can create some custom page where admin can enter license key and put that aspx page into WSP.

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