Links

Offline Activation

Offline activation (license management) ensures that software products can be activated and remain accessible and functional without an online connection. This approach empowers organizations to efficiently track, distribute, and monitor licenses while offering users the flexibility to use the software in diverse environments, whether they are in remote locations with limited connectivity or secure environments with restricted internet access.
Zentitle2's implementation of offline activation uses various cryptographic techniques to ensure the authenticity, integrity, and encryption of the tokens exchanged between the client app and the online license server parties.

Prerequisites

To enable offline operations for the entitlement, the offline lease period has to be specified on the entitlement, which defines the expiration period for an offline activated seat.
The regular lease period is not used in this case.
The offline lease expiration date is calculated as the earlier date from 2 following values:
  1. 1.
    Seat activation time + offline lease period
  2. 2.
    Entitlement subscription end date (for subscription-based entitlement)

Limitations

It’s not possible to use advanced feature API (feature checkout, feature return) with an offline-activated product since there is no online connection to a Licensing API.
If such functionality is required in an isolated environment, the Local License Server can be used instead, which is a local replacement of the Licensing API.

Implementation

Because there is no internet connection between the client application and the licensing server, the implementation of the seat activation, refresh, and deactivation flows is based on the exchange of the digital tokens, which carry the data required for executing the given operation. The tokens are always encrypted and digitally signed, to ensure the integrity and authenticity of the data coming either from the licensing server or the application running on the client machine. Depending on the flow, either one-way or a two-way token exchange process is required.

Offline License Activation

[two-way token exchange process]
Offline license activation allows the user to activate the product using the process process defined below.
The "generate offline activation request token" action can be repeated multiple times until the activation response token has been applied in the client application and the license has been activated.
This action is no longer available in the client app with an activated license until it expires or has been deactivated manually.

Offline License Refresh

[one-way licensing-server -> client app token exchange process]
There is a possibility to extend the current lease period by refreshing the license as follows:
Offline license refresh functionality can be used in 2 scenarios:
  1. 1.
    The user wants to refresh the lease before it expires.
  2. 2.
    The license already expired, but the seat hasn’t been reused by any other activation yet.

Offline License Deactivation

[one-way client app -> licensing server token exchange process]
Once the license has been activated in the client app, the user can deactivate it at any time using the offline deactivation process.
The license in the app is deactivated immediately as the deactivation token is generated.
The deactivation token needs to be applied in the End User Portal to release the seat on the server.
This is useful for end users who change machines, or lose a machine, or just need to remove a license from a device all in "offline" mode.