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Prevent users giving away copies


Crackers
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I have developed a database using Filemaker 8.5 for a salesperson in a large firm. It is my intention that he has a licensed copy of Filemaker 8.5, and I will supply the database I have developed to him on a CD Rom.

 

I have personalised his database so when he sends letters emails etc. it comes up with his name and his photo. These items I have will put onto a seperate template that he will not have access to so hopefully it will stay personalised to him.

 

Q1. How do I stop him supplying the database I have supplied him with to other salespeople in his firm.

 

Q2. Can I write a script that locks up some functions at a certain date at which time I supply him with a code that unlocks it again. This would enable the database to have a renewal date and possibly a new rental cost. Also means if he has given it to a mate, they have to go through the difficulty of copying it out to the new guy again.

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You kind of mostly can't, and should probably get past that. Microsoft spends a hundred godzillion dollars a year and they can't prevent it altogether.

 

Things you can do:

 

Buy FileMaker Advanced and use the developer functions to rip out all the development capabilities (essentially destroying [Full Access] privileges forever on that file); then

 

Write a routine that makes the software re-expire every year unless a valid code is input; make a routine that converts one alphanumeric string to another, and make it so he has to call and receive the code to input within a few minutes of the other code coming up on screen or they won't match (easy enough, just reference a rounded-off verson of Minute(Get(CurrentTime)) as one of the values that are to be compared).

 

Do as you're already doing: have the identification fields accessible for initial setup only once; once they are filled, they're locked in, not accessible for editing.

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Thanks AHunter, i was sort of thinking it would be difficult, and the best way is to customize it as much as possible so that if the other party want to send out letters etc. they need their own version.

 

Had thought of using the Advanced version to make the menus etc. less accessable as well.

 

Thanks for your help.

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Hey Crackers,

 

This may be just the thing for you.

 

There is a product called FMLock that enables you to quickly protect FileMaker files from be replicated and pirated! It pulls internal diagnostic information from the computer it resides, information that can only exist on one computer! Botta-Bing-Botta-Boom, no more pirates. Maybe some "Polly-Wanna" or "Cheese & Soda" or other food worthy items of choice.smiley-smile

 

http://www.fmlock.com/

 

You may want to give some additional thought to your users and will it cause more problems than it fixes. But it could be a very viable solution for you. I've tried it on my wife but as it happens she likes pirates... Don't you hate when that happens?smiley-surprised

 

FileMaker is always hungry for more, mine is always ready for another Byte!smiley-wink

 

Hope this helps,

 

Harry

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Thanks Harry, will have a look at that. However, we will supply the files on a CD and of course that will be clean when they load it each time. Your solution will solve possible copying of machine to machine but not off the CD. I can see why Microsoft tear their hair out.

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Hi Crackers,

 

I’m sorry to be so late it responding to your post, it’s just been a busy time…

 

Crackers Said:

Q1. How do I stop him supplying the database I have supplied him with to other salespeople in his firm.

Q2. Can I write a script that locks up some functions at a certain date at which time I supply him with a code that unlocks it again. This would enable the database to have a renewal date and possibly a new rental cost. Also means if he has given it to a mate, they have to go through the difficulty of copying it out to the new guy again.

Let me tell you what I started doing about a year ago that to my own surprise caused very little furor. I will tell you from the very start that a lot of folks reading this post will not be happy but tough pattootey.smiley-surprised I’ll be “Dipped in creamy milk chocolate and covered with a thing candy shell” if I’m going to have a bunch of “U-Fling-It-Farm-Wides" take what I put my “Blood sweat and tears” into, hey great name for a band,smiley-laughing and pass it around like they have ownership.

 

We have ways, especially now, to keep the little perverts out of our scripts and coding. So here’s an idea that will cut pirating and passing the disc over to a friend to an absolute minimum and here it is.

 

Hard code the persons name and business onto every screen in the system. So the company is “Big Bob’s Shoe Shop” and the guys name is “Zack Zorro”. You would be amazed how few people want to pass something along to a friend knowing they’re name and company is emblazoned all over it.

 

If you’ve been to my web site you will see I have 3 pre-built solutions listed with demo files available. With closer inspection, you will also note that to get a demo it must be requested. Once I have your name and business it is entered into my tricky little FileMaker database where I push a button that runs a tricky little script that will “emblazon” said information to the demo I send you! It personalizes my product, which is good for my business and gives them pause from passing it around, very-very good for my business! It works with email or CD's!

 

Oh, and when you purchase the product, your name, address and company name stay “emblazoned”. I know of no sale that I’ve lost since establishing this policy over a year ago. I even have companies I build custom solutions for haveing me do the same thing for them and some are Fortune 500 companies. They have the same problems we have, just on a grander scale. Is it 100% NO, but it cuts it down I guarantee you that! If pressed by what percentage I’d guess 75 to 80%.

 

Hope this helps or maybe just give you something to chew on.

 

Harry

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I don't know Harry, it's like that poor guy Occam said while shaving one day: the simplest reason is more likely. The people who see your interface probably are just not impressed enough to want to steal it.smiley-undecided

 

Whereas my interface is so snazzy, everyone wants to steal it, even if they don't need a doohickey tracker. Must be because of my menu placement.

smiley-tongue-out

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Thanks guys, what I have done is sort of a combination of everything. I have set up all the templates etc for the files with personalised stationery. These have names, personal emails etc on them so that if anyone else uses the database it is difficult for them to send letters emails etc. without having the original persons name for whom I created the database all over them.

 

Sure they can probably with some effort make the changes, but I am hoping its easier to get an original from me with their own name in there.

 

So thanks Harry.

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One caution about this approach: email addresses change periodically, and even names change once in a while (people get married or go into witness protection). Are you sure you want to deal with these little changes on all your distributed solutions?

 

Maybe another method would be to store the user info in a table, where only the Full Access password and an update script has access to change it. The update script can then ask for a "key" that's really an encoded combination of User information and the current date. You could give them the key over the phone, and it would only be valid for that day.

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Hi Crackers,

 

Part of what we're talking about reminds me of a conversation I was having years ago with a lawyer who was helping me draw up a client contract. I was looking at all the wherefores and whereas and said "Who can understand all of this Mumbo-Jumbo" and he said, “You know, it really doesn’t matter what a contract says if it’s signed in bad faith”! I’ve never forgotten that and it goes along with what we’re talking about here. We know that the hard-core guy will find a way around almost anything we do. All we can hope for is to dissuade some of them.

Ender Said: I don't know Harry, it's like that poor guy Occam said while shaving one day: the simplest reason is more likely. The people who see your interface probably are just not impressed enough to want to steal it.
Crackers, allow me apologize to you for my good friend Ender! I even get emails from his Mamma saying “He use to be such a nice boy”! But alas, you can tell from his post that the Boy’s delusional. And him quoting Qccam further accentuates, to be kind, his terrible flights of whimsy.smiley-wink

 

Ender Said: Whereas my interface is so snazzy, everyone wants to steal it, even if they don't need a doohickey tracker. Must be because of my menu placement.

Yes friends and neibors it must be said and it must be said right here on the Café. Yes friends, the truth and nothing but the truth. I know I know “Ender can’t handle the truth”! But it’s time it is said because “The truth must will out”! Ender has always had a “Doohickey Tracker” fetish.smiley-surprised

 

Crackers, It's terrible such rumor and innuendo had to come out here on your thread. But I guess it all had to be exposed eventually didn’t it!smiley-tongue-out

 

Later today I’m going to be posting to the Award Winning and World Heralded "FileMaker And The World of HarryGlos” area of the forum a layout design I promised when I started it back in June. So as your feeling sorry for Ender about his terrible unseemly fetish and rash I may add, this is his chance to strike back. Yes Crackers, it could get ugly. Of course not as ugly as it could have been had Ender chosen “Full Frontal Face Nudity” instead of his spaceship!smiley-laughing

 

Harry

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Thanks guys there are some really good comments here, I am going to do some more work on this and see what I can come up with.

 

I like the idea of a hidden table.

 

The real problem I have is that i have written the database scheme, and will sell it to individuals in sales offices. It has a nice pleasant interface, and others in the office are using things like Act or even Filemaker where they have bought a copy of the programme but dont have a solution to run on the programme.

 

They see my client running his solution and of course they say, "Can I have a copy of that?"

 

So into each office there is a danger of making one sale, whereas I want to make 20 or more.

 

One other solution is to keep the price to a level where its not a big thing to buy the solution.

 

I still however have to make money out of it and the cost of Filemaker itself is quite high.

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