Something for Nothing

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PHPAudit – Software Licensing and Distribution for Any Language

Posted by techie on July 8, 2006

I’ve always wondered how people who built applications managed the copyright protection. I knew there had to be a way, but I hadn’t ever researched it. Today I ran across a solution that meets just my criteria. It is in PHP and works with any language that that understands XML. Are there any languages that don’t? The solution is called PHPAudit(http://phpaudit.com).

Here’s PHPAudit’s short description:

PHPAudit is a full featured PHP Software Distribution Solution for Independent Software Vendors and PHP Developers. PHPAudit automates the distribution of your code from new orders to product download & licensing. PHPAudit is very easy to use, install and maintain.

My favorite part of this system is that it offers a free version that lets you set up and test the system to see how it will work with your software. It only works up to 10 sales, but once you have 10 sales you should be able to afford the relatively inexpensive $99 for the unlimited license version.

It’s also very nice that the full version allows unlimited upgrades. I’m not sure how that works as a business model, but that’s good for the consumer.

One other good thing is that PHPAudit has been around for 3 years and so it is a stable product that doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere.

Here’s an interesting comparison from their website on how the flow of product sales is done using PHPAudit vs. a manual system:

An example of a manual system that doesn’t use PHPAudit
1. User pays you via your Paypal/2checkout/other link
2. 24-48 hours later you send out the product
3. User installs product on multiple domains or servers, in breach of license agreement
4. OR/AND user distributes your product to other people who then use it without having paid for it

An example of PHPAudit at work
1. User orders your product(s) via the shopping cart system order form and can choose any addons, support packages or upgrade packages you have created.
2. User pays for their order via one of the many supported payment processors including Authorize.net, Paypal, WorldPay, 2checkout and more!
3. (Optional) The order is then validated by a staff member
4. License key(s) for the ordered products are sent out (Products can also be ‘unlicensed’ and not have license keys issued)
5. User downloads product from the fully customizable PHPAudit client area
6. User installs your script and enters their license key
7. PHPAudit validates the license key, and if it is valid the user can use your script. If not, the user is presented with a customizable ‘invalid license’ screen.
8. User tries to setup your product on a location they aren’t licensed for. PHPAudit detects this and presents the ‘invalid license’ screen
9. User distributes your product via peer to peer network. Other users are unable to use your script as they are being presented with ‘invalid license’ screens

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