Stephen, I was hoping more experienced folks would reply to you with a technically scripted method, rather than an idea I would consider which does not prevent copying and sharing. If you have time to personalize each copy of your runtime solutions with global or related table fields on the headers and footers on all layouts and the entry page using the name of the person or company who has purchased the solution, it may slow down the sharing.
On the entry page you could include some wording which states that the solution is designed and authorized for a particular buyer and use by another person is not authorized, and so on. Additionally, use something similar on each page layout.
Thanks, but as you've guessed, I really need an automated method of preventing copying. It must be a common problem and knowing there's an answer will determine whether I use FM as a solution.
it seems that only a solution that involves the customer and you can guarantee that the installed copy is indeed licensed.
What you could do is this:
Only run the solution after a valid registration. During registration obtain and store the Mac address of the network card on your server. On every start of the solution obtain the Mac address and contact your server with this information. If the Mac address in your registration file matches, it is a registered copy. If it doesn't, inform the user of the mismatch and give him 30 days to contact you and re-register the copy to a new machine. Obviously this can only be done once in a while.
Don't forget that it might frustrate laptop users if they first connect and authenticate with an ethernet cable and then later connect wi-fi, or vice versa. I would be interested to know how the authentication back to a server would be implemented. (I'm not doubting it - I'm genuinely interested to know how to do it.)
Considering what FM is used for, I naively thought there would be a solution almost on a drop-down!
Generically, you want a paying user to have to 'activate' once and only have to pay/re-activate if it's a time-limited license. MS seem to do this with Office. You input a code, they generate an activation code and if you want to transfer the software you are in for hassle. So, again, is there a way of getting a hardware address and including that within the FM license to prevent use on other hardware?
How 'easy' is it to break FMs encryption to either by-pass the pw or get at hidden data?
I have already thought that as an alternative, FM server can presumably permit only registered usernames/pw's. However, even these can be shared; can the server at least stop >1 person at a time using FM allocated to 1 paid user?