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Topics - josant [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / What are your experiences with payment providers?
« on: March 25, 2012, 05:31 AM »
I have been setting up accounts with several different payment providers so that I can charge for my .Net licensing solution (part of the NANY challenge for 2012)

So far I have signed up with PayPal (who hasn't), FastSpring, Kagi and Share-It. I have only had time to set things up with PayPal and FastSpring properly so far. These are some of my observations for those two and some initial reflections on Kagi.

  • Very clunky tax handling which is not optimal for EU companies. I need to allow my clients to enter a VAT number and have the payment provider figure out what to do. PayPal doesn't seem to support that at all?
  • No tax support at all for subscriptions with PayPal - which basically makes this a no go for EU companies.
  • Possible affiliate support if you do split payments and set everything up yourself, which seems very difficult and error prone...
  • Supports instant payment notifications.
  • Nice clean professional payment user interface for end users, certain modification of the UI (logo etc) are possible.
  • Does not support coupon codes?
  • Does not have application integration (for selling/donating) directly within application, only via links to Paypal.

  • Automatic handling of taxes (inlcuding EU vat)
  • Supports subscriptions with taxes.
  • Does not support affiliates as far as I can see other than if you contact them direct to have split payment set up.
  • Supports instant payment notifications.
  • Not such an attractive user interface for end users when they purchase - input elements are too small for data (VAT nr for instance). Not so modern colors... Seems to support advanced modifications of the UI using custom css though.
  • Supports coupon codes and special offers in several different ways.
  • Allows purchase UI to be integrated directly into windows applications

Kagi - I have not set up a full product with Kagi yet but these are some initial observations.
  • Automatic handling of taxes (inlcuding EU vat)
  • Support for affiliates and partner splits also (as far as I can tell)
  • Supports instant payment notifications.
  • Haven't looked at the payment UI yet...
  • Allows purchase UI to be integrated directly into windows applications
About a week after I signed up for Kagi i received a strange email from what appears to be the Vice President of Sales at Kagi someone I had not been in touch with previously. The email simply contained "Are you going to use your Kagi store ?", no preamble, no contact info or name (only in the from field of the email), no indication as to what the objective of the email was. If you have been using Kagi is this indicative of their customer and seller support?

What are your experiences with these and other payment providers? Particularly I would be interested to hear what their customer support is like...

N.A.N.Y. 2012 / NANY 2012 Release: Simple Software Licensing
« on: December 29, 2011, 04:05 PM »
NANY 2012 Entry Information

Application Name Habanero Simple Software Licensing
Version 1.0.0 - Version 2 is available from the website.
Short DescriptionReally simple software licensing solution designed for microisv and freelance software developers
Official product page
Supported OSes Windows 7, Vista probably Windows XP...
Setup File Download these files to use the application. The latest version can always be downloaded from the official site.
* (306.53 kB - downloaded 818 times.) 1.0.1 of the license manager
* (25.69 kB - downloaded 690 times.) 1.0.0 of the license validation component
* (33.17 kB - downloaded 657 times.) 1.0.0 of the license generation component

Paste the following license information into the license manager using the About menu item.
Product: Habanero Simple Software Licensing, Free, 1.0.1
Serialnumber: bb158d3c-6f1e-455a-82ae-ad190ca96a98
Licensed to: DonationCoder
Valid until: 2012-06-30
System Requirements.Net 4
Author InfoJoshua Anthony has been developing software professionally since the mid 1990s and before that as a hobby for many years on such wonderful platforms as the ZX Spectrum, C64, MSX and others!

Currently he runs his own MicroISV and consulting company developing primarily for Microsoft platforms using .Net but also dabbling in cutting edge mobile HTML5 apps and experimenting with PHP.

Some random ramblings and interesting software development tidbits can be found on his blog.

Just to avoid unnecessary flames - I am a strong believer in permissive licensing, creative commons and open source which is one reason why I have developed this. Most of the licensing solutions that I have found as a small scale developer are in my opinion too expensive, too restrictive, aren't secure enough and try to make the end users life (and the developers) more painful than it needs to be! This is an attempt to change all that!

DescriptionSoftware licensing is tough and if you have little or no experience with cryptography and securing enterprise software systems it is really tough! This solution is designed to provide a good-enough licensing setup to discourage accidental and casual copying of the software without making it difficult for your licensed users to move their licenses to new computers or having to reactivate after a system crash. This licensing solution is also designed to integrate easily with Paypal IPN and Mailchimp webhooks if you want to send out license info via email automatically.

This is actually a product that I am going to sell as part of my regular business, but I recently joined DonationCoder and the NANY 2012 challenge inspired me to try and push something out the door earlier than I had planned. I will also set up a special DonationCoder license in the spirit of the official DonationCoder license (free with periodic renewals, no details on that yet) when this is officially released.

More info about how I think this could be of use for software developers.
FeaturesMilitary Grade encyption/hashing algorithms
Named users with keys or anonymous serial/licenses
Optionally limit license validity
License generation can be automated and integrated with PayPal

More advanced features are on the drawing board but not being implemented yet...
ScreenshotsUpdated screen shots for version 1.0.1

Basic GUI

The following screenshots are the old design but the functionality is the same.
GUI with license file generated

Sample license files
InstallationUnzip package and run exe file…
Using the applicationThere are three parts to the solution:
* the license manager is the part that you use to create serials and license files
* the licensing component is the part that your code uses to get information about the users license
* the license generator is used for generating licenses from code

More info on all the different components will be coming...
UninstallingDelete files...
Known IssuesNo software licensing solution can be 100% secure…
Reverse engineering of your software (not the licensing solution) is the most likely and easy attack vector.

I have plans for making this solution even more secure by allowing you to embed critical application data inside the license file which would make it much more difficult to crack your software, although nowhere near impossible.

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