Creating Software Trials without the Internet
Most software vendors offer trial copies of their software to potential customers for short-term evaluations. The trial may run in full or reduced-functionality mode, but only for a short time, 30 days or so. Sometimes, they want to create software trials without the Internet being available.
Ideally, the evaluation/trial starts when the user is ready, not when he/she first requests the evaluation. While it’s possible to use an on-line activation system to implement the “start when I’m ready” functionality, that of course requires an Internet connection.
Commonly, vendors use an Internet activation system such as Reprise’s Activation Pro to authorize trials. This works well when the customer has an Internet connection, but what do you do when there is no Internet connection? For instance, what happens if the user is flying at 35,000 feet, or simply has no Internet connection?
RLM offers a capability called “detached demo” to handle this case. Through RLM, your application creates a short-term license that authorizes your product to run for ‘n’ days… without an Internet connection. After the demo period ends, RLM ensures that the user can’t reinstall the demo on the same machine. It allows one demo period only.
The benefits to this approach are clear – when the user is ready to test your software, he gets access for the full n-day period, even when disconnected from the Internet. This experience creates higher customer satisfaction, reducing the common claim: (“I couldn’t find the time to test, can you please send me a new eval key?”) and should result in a increased sales.