Posted 10 years ago by Frederic Latour
Version: 4.0.0282
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Hi,
First of all, congratulation for a great product.

I would like to Merge Actipro Syntax Editor + Web Language add-ons in my own dll/exe.
After being unsucessful to do so and some research, it appears clearly that .net component licensing is a real pain and won't permit to do so (at least using the standard approach).

I have read the few posts regarding ILMerge in the forum and they are confusing. In those posts, some people say that they have found a way which is IMO misleading. The solution they have found rely on embedding the dll's and not merging them. That may not make much difference in many cases but it is clearly different. You still have to deal with the originial dll's and may need to take specific actions regarding security context.

I would like to provide some input on the rationale behing merging rather than embedding or having the dlls:
When building a complete winform/wpf application, it will usually not matter to deal with all those 3rd party dlls.
In other situations, when one is building a component that extends some application, and needs to specify CAS (code access security) rules in some config file (this is the case for reporting services for instance), the more component you are using the more tiedous it is to debug/deploy/upgrade your own component.
SSIS (Integration services) will need one's component and its associated dlls all other the place - x86 - x64 - GAC. Once again, the ability to merge proves extremely useful.

It should be possible to provide an alternative license initialization approach through code. Some other components vendor have provided such an alternative. See the following post for instance:
http://www.mindscape.co.nz/forums/Thread.aspx?PostID=4839
As far as I can see, the alternative approach does not defeat the initial purpose of .Net component licensing and still allow ILMerging the assemblies.

Is there any chance that you look into this?

Thanks in advance.

Comments (3)

Posted 10 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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Hi Frederic,

Thanks for being a customer, we're glad you like the product.

Yes, licensing with merge tools can be tricky. While your request to add a code-based mechanism for licensing would solve this problem, it is not a straightforward thing, mostly because your license key would be plain text readable to anyone who runs reflector on your application. Of course that assumes you don't obfuscate your application strings, and many devs don't.

So the main problem from our point of view with it is that it increases piracy potential of our products. To prevent that, we'd probably have to make some mechanism that scrambles the license data and you'd use that string to register your license data with. If it was as simple as adding a single property/method, we'd do it for you right away. But since this would require that, along with probably a new UI licensing tool application (which is something we do eventually want to do) and a scrambled key encryptor/descryptor, it's probably not going to be as high of a priority as a lot of other things we want to accomplish.

I will log your request with our TODO item for a licensing app. If this is something you absolutely require, we can always be contracted at an hourly rate to implement it fast for you. Sometimes when customer priorities don't line up with ours, the consulting option is a good way to still get the feature you need. More info on that option here:
http://www.actiprosoftware.com/Purchase/ConsultingServices.aspx


Actipro Software Support

Posted 10 years ago by Frederic Latour
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Hi,
Thanks for the prompt answer.

I understand your point. I'm obfuscating the source and encrypt the strings so that it would not be a concern in my case. Obviously, you can't be sure that it would always be the case.

Not sure that would increase the piracy of your product. Telerik does not use any license mechanism and they don't seem to suffer from this. A company that is really using a development product, will need upgrades, support, etc ... Maybe you could only allow (by licensing terms) the use of this alternative approach if code is obfuscated and strings encrypted.

Nothing against paying for having this implemented. It all depends on how it would cost me. Do you have any idea?

I guess I will be able to live with it, and there is not really any alternative to your syntax editor. However, when it come to more generic controls, that would certainly be an important consideration. Having a solution to this problem may be a comptetitive advantage at some point for you.

Regards,
Posted 10 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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Hi Frederic,

Can you send our support address an email and reference this post? We can continue the discussion further offline.


Actipro Software Support

The latest build of this product (v2018.1 build 0341) was released 7 months ago, which was after the last post in this thread.

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