OSoLiS - On-line Software Licensing SystemsAuthor Newsletters
March 2005

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New ways to pay authors

Promotion through Froogle

Version checker

Program details


Short Survey Of Requirements

Info-Zone And Test System

New ways to pay authors

We appreciate that for many authors check payments are too slow and wire transfers too expensive, so we have been looking to support cost-effective alternatives as they become established:

We are now able to remit payments to most US bank accounts by ACH (also known as 'bill payment'). There is no charge for this.

Payment via PayPal is another option: it is now possible to withdraw money from a PayPal account to a bank account in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States or Uruguay. For more details, see here. Again we make no charge to make payments this way. And if you receive the money in a 'personal' PayPal account, there is no PayPal fee either.

We are actively investigating alternatives. So far the most promising are moneybookers.com, which in theory permits withdrawals by wire transfer to any bank account for just US$2.40, and iKobo. E-currencies such as e-gold, e-bullion and WebMoney look attractive until you add up all the transaction costs: for instance to remit $500 via e-Gold would likely cost $64 in transaction charges. However we're actively watching out for exchanges that offer better value for money.

Promotion through Froogle

Last month (February 2005), we experimented with providing a feed to Froogle, Google's (beta) search engine for finding products to buy. We have now implemented an automated weekly feed to Froogle that will start in April 2005. You can see here listed on Froogle a few of the products we are selling. To include your program in our feed to Froogle, you need to update your programs' details, checking the option External promotion: Include this product, and ensuring that all the information and links are present and correct. An image isn't required, but it does make the listing attract more attention.

Version checker

We have implemented a simple script for you to retrieve the program version number stored in our licensing system. The URL is:

http://www.osolis.com/version.cgi?<program ID>

You can incorporate a call to this script from within your software to alert the user if an update is available: create an HTTP (port 80) pipe to www.osolis.com, and send:

GET /version.cgi?Pnnn HTTP/1.0[carriage return][line feed]

The body of the reply is a single line of plain text, which is either the version number or an error message:

Error: 1 (invalid product ID)
Error: 2 (product ID not found)

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Program details

When you add or update a program in our licensing system there are a number of items of information you can or must provide. We explain here in more detail what each piece of information is used for:

Latest version: We display this in the Available Software page and on customers' summary of licenses held. We now provide a simple script for checking the latest version number (see above).

Successor edition: Where a program ID is given we show a 'New edition available' graphical link alongside all mentions of this program. The link takes the user to the information page for the new edition. So, when you come to release a new edition of your program (i.e. a chargeable upgrade rather than a free update), register it as a new program and enter its program ID in the successor edition field of the earlier edition.

Sales notices: Normally we send an e-mail notification after each sale to your contact e-mail address. If you do not want to receive these, uncheck this option.

External promotion:new We are now providing an automated feed to Froogle (see above). If you want your program included in this feed (and any future similar means of promoting your program), check this option.

Web page: We use this link when a customer clicks on the information button for your program, so it should be the address of the main information page on your web site for that particular program.

Download: Except for full-version download programs, we use this link to direct customers to download your program. It is usually best to link to a web page with download choices and instructions, but you can make this a direct link to the download file.

E-mail support: We include this e-mail in the sales confirmation e-mail to customers. We also use this address to direct enquiries from our web site directly to you.

Description: We use the description on our Available Software page to help customers identify the program they want to register. We also include the description in the meta tags of the information page for your program; when search engines index this page, they index this meta tag and most search engines also display it in search results. Therefore it is important that the description clearly describes your program and what is unique or special about it. Your description should include words typically employed by users to describe that type of sofware. The 255 character limit is the maximum that most search engines will read.

Message: We include this in the sales confirmation e-mail to customers. It's an opportunity for you to promote a related product, to inform customers of how to obtain support, or simply to thank your customers individually.

Custom key: We include this key in the Personal License Register given to your customers, which you can retrieve and use within your software, for instance to decrypt a portion of code. For more detail on this, see the paragraph about Armadillo here.

Image:new We can provide a thumbnail version of any image you upload to Froogle (see above), and other sites in future. You can upload any suitable image: a screenshot, box shot, logo, etc. The image size must be at least 90x90 pixels, but it can be any (reasonable) size larger than that. Almost any image format is acceptable. Our system will automatically resize the image to fit inside a 90x90 pixel square, and this will be shown on the product details page for you to check.top of page


And don't forget:

  • We now support full-version downloads, allowing you to automatically release a fully-enabled program or script to customers once they have paid.
  • We offer customers the option to pay by PayPal (which is the chosen method of payment for between 10 and 20% of our customers).
  • Included in our service package is a powerful bulk-mailing facility for sending personalised e-mails to your customers.
  • We now have a version of our License Verification library available for Delphi as well as C++.
  • Our License Verification solution is compatible with the code encryption features of Armadillo, making for virtually uncrackable software protection.
  • Our registration system is available in English, German and Spanish.
  • We've simplified our Agreement with Authors.
  • We support payment distributions at source, to affiliates, resellers, co-developers, charities, etc.
  • Our fees are very competitive, starting at just 8% + $0.60
  • We handle every aspect of each sale, so you can get on with development without interruption - or go on holiday.top of page

Short Survey of Requirements

We have a number of developments in the pipeline:

  • integrate popular key generation technologies such as ASProtect and Armdadillo
  • handle orders for burn-on-demand CD-ROMs
  • accept additional payment methods
  • translate registration system into other languages
  • port the License Verification Library to .NET
  • ... and others

To help us prioritize our resources to develop what you need or would most like, please spare a few moments to participate in our short survey of requirements. It will take you no more than two minutes!top of page

Info-Zone and Test System

If you haven't checked our Info-Zone recently, log in now to access detailed coverage of all of our services. From the Info-Zone home page, you can also access our test system to try out all aspects of our on-line registration system.top of page

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