How Licenses Work
When installed and started for the 1st time the user must "activate" the software with some type of license (DEMO, Professional, Developer) prior to use (See Getting Started). If you purchase a license (from our website) and are currently running under a DEMO license click 'Activate Your Software' in the 'File' menu of the main window.
All licenses are 'per-computer instance' and consist of a paired key/counterkey set half of which is determined by the individual computer being granted the license (and is unique to the hardware configuration of that computer) and the other half provided by HERMETECH INTERNATIONAL LTD. via their web-servers or directly from customer service. Once activated the license is stored in a physical file on the computer located in the folder where the software is installed. All license files will have a .lic file extension.
License keys are designed to be unique for each computer hardware instance on which they are installed. This means that if the license is moved to a different computer instance the license is no longer valid and the software will not function. This also applies if the hardware signature of the existing computer changes significantly enough that the software "believes" that it has been moved to a different physical computer instance. In the event that this happens a remedy is provided by HermeTech (see Moving Licenses to Another Computer).
Beginning in January of 2016 HermeTech has made short term licenses available for this product as well as others. Short Term Licenses are available for purchase for 30, 60, 90 and 180 day terms. All short term licenses are the full functional equivalent of a "Enterprise" license including all available Enterprise Features and which will function without interruption for the full term of the license which begins when the license is activated, after which time the program will stop functioning until replaced by a new license (either another short term license or a permanent license).
The HermeTech "Fair Use" Policy Regarding the Reissue of Product Licenses
Software licensing exists for 1 reason, to prevent piracy. When it's effective, It allows us to keep costs down which is especially important when it comes to the "niche" healthcare market that we serve (HL7). It allows us to offer lower cost "Developer" licenses, and allows our customers to budget effectively and purchase only what they need to implement their solutions. It allows us to provide free version upgrades. Our software licensing model is what allows us to provide products that are dollar-for-dollar some of the best values in commercial HL7 software available in the world.
Unlike many, many (most?) software vendors in this market we do NOT charge for ongoing support. Let me say that again, our support is FREE and always has been. This means that our customers do not have any after-purchase or ongoing costs related to HermeTech products. To be fair, it's easy to provide free support when your products actually work and are easy to use and understand.
Because our licenses are based on a "per computer" model this means that it is impossible to "pre-activate" a license. Users must always:
1.Purchase an appropriate license
2.Install the software on the intended computer/server
3.Activate that license for that particular computer
While a software licensing model like this works fine, it does have one potentially irritating drawback. You can't arbitrarily move the software license to a new computer/server OR significantly change or reformat the existing computer/server without the license becoming invalid. When this happens the software license needs to be reissued, and for that to happen HermeTech must become involved which means an interaction between you and our customer service / support team. These license move/reissue requests have to be individually evaluated and approved to determine if the request falls under our "fair use" guidelines (see below). This is a thankless task, but, is vitally important in this small marketplace that we serve. If you are a software vendor and you sell 1 million units of a product and people pirate 10,000 of them that's a real problem. If you sell 1000 units and people pirate 100 of them that's devastating!
FAIR USE. At HermeTech we determine the conditions of fair use of a license to be a) adhering to the EULA and b) license duration. License duration is determined by the length of time which HermeTech could reasonably expect a software license to remain "active" on a particular computer before the need arises to reissue the license because:
A) The existing computer has been damaged, lost, stolen or otherwise removed from service.
B) The existing computer has been upgraded / reformatted to such an extent that the existing license becomes invalid.
C) The customer just wants to relocate the license.
In order to keep things fair we use a matrix regarding the expected "lifespan" of computer hardware which is VERY conservative when compared to insurance valuations or accounting formulae for depreciation. Our figure after over 10 years of analysis is 18-20 months of service. If customers own multiple licenses we always consider every reissue request figuring an average duration across all of their licenses. We also are always aware that, in fact, computers go bad, software is installed and activated by mistake, etc etc. But consider this scenario for ANY software vendor who sells a software license to any customer:
1.The customer installs and activates the software on their laptop.
2.The customer walks to the river and tosses the laptop in.
3.The customer buys a new laptop the next day.
4.The customer contacts the software vendor to reclaim their license.
5.Repeat steps 1 through 4 until the software vendor says "ENOUGH!". How many iterations is that? What is "fair"?
The EULA for our products have always stated that HermeTech reserves the right to charge for the reissue of product license in any amount that we deem fit up to the current retail price of the license. However, It is (and has always been) our intention to provide the reissue of a product license at no additional charge for the customer. When considering every license reissue request, our customer service department will always look for a reason to say "yes" rather than "no". There are, however, some guidelines which you should be aware of which we consider to be violations of our fair use policy when requesting that a license be reissued and may result in a penalty charge. They are:
1.Repeated requests to relocate a license active for less than our calculated "life span" to a different computer / server.
2.Running the software in a "virtual computer" environment with a license not specifically approved for use in virtual environments.
3.Our licenses are for sale, not for rent. So purchasing 1 software license, installing it into a "test" environment and then requesting that the license be reissued and moved to a "live" environment after a period less than our average "life span" of use. All of our software can be evaluated for free in DEMO mode. If you have a requirement for a "test" environment and a "live" environment then you must purchase a license for both.
4.Requesting that a license be reissued TO a computer/server which was previously activated.
5.ANY customer service/support contact wherein it is determined that the customer is running software with a software license which they have previously had us reissue. Our expectation (and we use the honor system) is that all customers will take all possible steps to make sure that when a license is reissued that the old license is taken out of service and completely removed within a reasonable period of time (30 days).
Related Topics: Virtual Machines, EULA.