Secure License Containers


CodeMeter offers maximum flexibility. Not only can you choose from a vast array of license models, you also have a wide selection of secure license containers that will help you optimize your monetization strategy. You can even mix and match different types of containers and create a heterogeneous solution that fits perfectly for your customers. With CodeMeter license containers, you have total freedom: Choose between a hardware-based (CmDongle), a user-bound or enterprise-bound cloud license container (CmCloudContainer/CmCloudLiteContainer), and a secure file bound to the digital footprint of hardware specific properties of a target device or a CodeMeter Network Server (CmActLicense).

CmDongle – the hardware way

CmDongle has been Wibu-Systems’ most secure license container for decades; a traditional choice for software publishers, it is available in a complete array of form factors, from miniature and standard USB dongles to ASICs and microSD and SD cards. CmDongles come with on-board smart card chips that offer a secure repository for the encryption keys associated with the software license. Wibu-Systems currently uses security controllers from Infineon Technologies that are EAL 5+ evaluated and provide protection against side channel attacks, such as DPA (Differential Power Analysis). Reading keys and copying the firmware is therefore virtually impossible. With CmDongle, users can enjoy extreme mobility and run their licenses from any computer by simply plugging the unit into the machine they need.

CmCloudContainer – the cloud way for cloud computing applications

CmCloudContainers are as secure as CmDongles; they provide secure user-bound cloud-licensing abilities, enabling users to freely access their software anytime and anywhere: On premise, in a private cloud, or in popular environments like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. All they need is the ability to connect to the Internet and their own credentials to access the licenses in their CmCloudContainers; these will function just like local licenses on any device of the user’s choosing. Cloud licensing packages also have the advantage of being easily scaled up and down on a monthly basis depending on changing requirements.

With the Enterprise option, a CmCloudContainer can also be shared between multiple users. These users either access the CmCloudContainer directly or via a CodeMeter Network Server, acting as a proxy between a local computer and the Cloud. In the second case, the users themselves don’t need direct Internet access. Internet access is only needed for the CodeMeter Network Server.

CmCloudLiteContainer – the cloud way for SaaS, server, and mobile applications

CmCloudLiteContainers are designed to provide simple, user-bound cloud license storage capabilities for SaaS, server, and mobile applications, using a server hosted in the cloud by the vendor or by Wibu-Systems. With CodeMeter License Central, the administration tool to create, distribute, and manage your licenses, you can determine whether the license can only be used with CodeMeter Cloud Lite or whether it can be activated into a local CmDongle or CmActLicense. In the latter case, the user has the freedom to choose where to move the license − from dongle to soft license to the cloud, depending on what you allow.

CmActLicense – the software way

CmActLicense is a signed and encrypted license file. A fingerprint of the target device or a fingerprint of a CodeMeter Network Server is used as a cryptographic anchor for the encryption and protection of keys and data in the license file.

Our patented SmartBind® technology creates this fingerprint automatically, depending on the target environment. SmartBind supports real hardware, as well as virtual machines, containerized environments like Docker, and cloud environments like Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud. SmartBind makes sure the license is reliable: It is tolerant against smaller changes of the hardware of the device, moving virtual machines, and starting and stopping virtual machines and containers. SmartBind makes sure the license is secure. It detects virtual and real clones of a machine, resetting to snapshots, and manipulations of the licenses.

A CmActLicense can also be bound to a single hardware element. This can be a TPM chip, as well as other security chips, mainly used in embedded devices. With a Binding Extension, this can be customized to your specific environment.

An alternative binding can be implemented to a removable device as well. In this case the license file can optionally be stored at the external device or at the target machine. If the license file is stored at the removable device, the license can be moved around at different target machines. Microscopes, vehicle communication interfaces, and memory cards are examples of such devices.

A special, easy to use option for binding to a removable device is the support of CmReady® certified devices, like the Data Protection SD and microSD cards form Swissbit. CmReady certified devices are already supported by CodeMeter without any adaption needed by software vendors. And Wibu-Systems ensures that these devices are protected against license manipulation.

Beside binding to a set of hardware properties or single devices, CmActLicenses also offer the option to be unbound. This gives you the ability to give a grace period to your users so they can run the software without a license directly after the installation for a few days.

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