Definitions for Software Publishers and License Administrators

We’ve compiled definitions of some software licensing industry terms that you might run into while browsing our site. If any of them are unfamiliar to you, please click on the phrase below to read its definition.

Term Definition
Account-based Access Access determined by having an account and the credentials to validate that account.
Activation The process of exchanging a code (usually called an activation key) for a license to run a product. See Activation Key.
Activation Key The code given to a customer which can then be exchanged for a license to run a product.  See Activation.
AES Encryption The Advanced Encryption Standard, is a symmetric encryption algorithm, with 128, 192, and 256-bit key lengths.
Analytics Data analysis used to determine important usage and behavior patterns.
Anti-piracy Attempts to prevent unauthorized users from benefiting from use of unlicensed intellectual property.
Anti-tamper Attempts to prevent modification of software that may result in unauthorized license overuse.
Application Hardening Process of making an executable program difficult to modify without detection.
Build Date The date on which an application was built.
Bundle A collection of products or features that represent a deliverable from an ISV or software publisher. Often referred to as a Suite or Package.
Business Model The commercial rules that govern the method of operation for a company.
Check In The act of returning a license, previously in use.
Check Out The act of attempting to acquire a license to run an application or feature.
Cloud Internet based computing resources.
Computer ID One of more elements of a computer used to identify it uniquely, used to either node-lock a license or to lock a License Server to a particular machine.
Concurrent Licensing A License Model which allows a specified number of licenses to float on a network, not locked to particular computers. Allows firms to purchase software at a lower cost because the maximum number of concurrent users expected to use software at any given time is only a portion of the total possible users. Often called Floating Licensing.
Consumption-based Licensing A License Model that charges for usage based on the work done, measured in time, invocation counts, etc.
Cracking The act of defeating the licensing mechanism of an application as a way to use the application without a commercial license.
Dark Site This describes networks of computers that are intentionally disconnected from the public Internet for extra security or privacy.
Date-based Licensing A License Model that allow access to applications built up to a certain date. Often used in conjunction with a permanent Expiration Date.
Digital Rights Management Systems that control access to digital products using software technology.
Digital Signature Similar in concept to a checksum, a Digital Signature is a cryptographically computed string that helps to secure input parameters from tampering.
DRM See Digital Rights Management.
Dynamic Entitlements License types that can be modified without rebuilding the application binary.
E-commerce Business systems for the sale of digital goods over the Internet.
End-User The ultimate consumer of software applications.
Entitlement A data element that represents the possession of a licensed application or feature.
Expiration Date The last date in the future on which software licenses are valid.
Feature-based Licensing A License Model in which Licenses can specify the addition or omission of various optional licensed components.
Firewall A system designed to help secure a network from unwanted intrusion from external sources or to limit outside access from within.
Floating Feature See Concurrent Licensing.
Floating Licensing See Concurrent Licensing.
Geo-location A method of determining where on earth an application or licensed user is located.
Hacking See Cracking.
Hardware ID See Computer ID.
Hardware Serial Number See Computer ID.
Intelligent Device Any device which contains a computing element which can make actions depending on the state of the device and the current input to the device.
IP Address The address used by networks to identify devices for the purposes for exchanging data.
ISV Short for Independent Software Vendor, a commercial software publisher.
Keygen Software that generates keys, or licenses.
License When used in the context of software or hardware, a license is a contract or certificate that enables a user to use a software or hardware application or feature.
License Check Interval The time between attempts to check the status of a license.
License Code Data that represents a license entitlement.
License File A disk file consisting of one or more licenses.
License Key Generator See Keygen.
License Model How a business packages, licenses and sells its products to its users.
License Rights The license parameters that govern how a user can access one or more licensed parts of an application or feature.
License Server The part of a software licensing system that processes (serves) application requests for licenses. The applications are called clients of the License Server.
Licensing Software Software products that provide licensing functionality to ISVs.
MAC Address Sometimes called the NIC (Network Interface Card) address. It is a unique device address for network communication devices, sometimes used as a Computer ID for licenses.
Maintenance Period Duration under which a customer is entitled to new releases and technical support.
Metering See Consumption Based Licensing.
Named User A License Model which allows a unique user name, from a potentially large pool of users, to use an application.
Node-locked A License Model which binds a licensed software product to a Computer or Host ID.
On-Premise Software Software that is installed and used on the users’ computer systems or networks.
Overdraft License A License Model that allows for additional usage when the number of dedicated licenses is exceeded.
Package A combination of software applications or features that are distributed or sold as a group. Sometimes called a Suite or Bundle.
Rehosting Moving an application or licensing server to a new computer or network.
Rescinding Rights Taking back licensed rights that were previously available to the user, as in cases of non-payment or machine decommissioning.
SaaS Software as a Service refers to software solutions that are not On-Premise Software, but are instead hosted in the Cloud, often accessed via browsers.
Serial Number A number or string that defines something uniquely.
Single Tenant A SaaS deployment strategy where each customer has a separate copy of the software or data.
Software Business Model See Business Model
Software License A contract or certificate that enables a user to use a software or hardware application or feature.
Software License Models See License Models.
Software Monetization Selling access to software or hardware functions for money, often functions that were previously offered for free or not at all.
Software Piracy The attempt to use software in an unauthorized way, often by actively defeating a software licensing mechanism.
Software Value Management Varying software business models to accommodate user buying preferences while optimizing vendor profit.
Subscription A license that is renewed periodically.
Suite A product bundle which is licensed as a collection of its components. Sometimes called a Package or Bundle.
Token-based Licensing Licensing model where multiple products check out various license counts from a common pool based on their relative value.
Usage-based Licensing Licensing and billing based on actual usage, or overusage.
Vendor See ISV.
Vendor Daemon License server process. This is the term we coined for FLEXlm, (now called FLEXnet Publisher).
Version-based Licensing A License Model that allow access to applications up to, but not exceeding a certain version.
VM Cloning The process of replicating whole virtual machines, usually in an attempt gain access to extra licenses.
Workstation License A license that is tied to a workstation host. Often called a Node-locked license.