Install Factory is a simple tool that allows you to build theft-resistant software installers for both Macintosh and Windows operating systems. With Install Factory you can protect your installer from unauthorized use and prevent your users from giving away copies of your installed software.
Install Factory combines ease of use with incredible sophistication. In it’s simplest form you can drag-and-drop your entire project into Install Factory and produce a double-clickable installer for the operating system platform you select. From these humble beginnings you can easily replace the default graphics and text, add ReadMe and EULA screens, create conditional logic and add anti-piracy security to your installer and to your developed software.
Install Factory was designed specifically for the small to medium sized software developer and integrates with most popular development environments like Visual C++, CodeWarrior, FileMaker, REALbasic and 4th Dimension. With Install Factory you can do almost anything the ‘big boys’ can and one very important thing they can not: You can prevent software piracy.
- Fully scriptable with point-and-click Actions like:
- Move, Copy, Rename and Delete existing files
- Create Shortcuts on Windows; Aliases on Mac
- Install to system directories like Program files and Startup Menu on Windows; Applications and Documents folders on Mac OS9 and OSX
- Create dialog boxes to ask questions during installation; Save user responses to Variables; Test Variables to perform conditional installations.
- Edit Windows Registry
- Plus much more…
- Native on Windows and Macintosh OS9 and OSX operating systems
- Integrates with many popular development environments
- Protects development investment with anti-piracy options
- Controls software distribution
- Tracks and reports each customer’s installation status
- Builds Installers, Uninstallers and Updaters
Most software piracy takes place in one of two ways: The purchaser makes a copy of the installation disk or the purchaser gives away a copy of the installed software. Install Factory gives you the power to prevent both.
With the anti-piracy options enabled, during the installation process the user must enter a security code (also known as a product key). The code’s validity is checked across the internet or by a telephone call. If the code is not in use on another computer the installation continues normally and Install Factory creates a secure and encrypted file on your user’s hard drive.
The file that is created is called a Lock Point file. The Lock Point file can not be moved, duplicated or tampered with in any way without invalidating it. By using the provided Lock Point plug-in or library for your specific development environment you can test for this Lock Point security file on your user’s computer. If the file is found and is valid then this copy of your software was legally installed. Otherwise, the user is trying to run a pirated copy of your software.
Even if the user gives away a copy of the Lock Point file with a copy of your software, the Lock Point file will not be valid!
How It All Works
Lock Point is the name given to a three part security process used to prevent your end-users from duplicating and distributing copies of your software.
1. The Install Factory is a full featured software installer. You may use it to distribute your software or you may have it create just a Lock Point file on disk as part of your current installation scheme.
2. The secure Lock Point file created by your installer as part of the install process. Since this file can not be moved, copied or modified by the user, if a valid Lock Point file is on your user’s computer, they have a legal copy of your product.
3. The Lock Point plug-in or library that looks for and interacts with the secure file.
The Install Factory:
The primary purpose of the installer is to create the Lock Point file on the user’s computer when a valid, licensed install takes place. We ensure that the install is a licensed one by requiring a security code (also known as a Product Key) and an Unlock Authorization before completing the installation process.
When the user runs your software installer and enters a Product Key, the status of that Key is verified automatically via the internet or manually by a telephone call placed to you. Regardless of how the Key is verified, if the Key is not in use elsewhere the user is provided an unlock code and allowed to proceed. If the Key is in use elsewhere the installation fails.
An Administrator’sTool application is included with your Lock Point subscription that will allow you to check the status of Product Keys on the server and generate Unlock Authorizations for users who telephone.
The Lock Point file:
The Lock Point file is a tamper resistant (there is no such thing as tamper proof) place for you to keep critical data. Since the file can only be created by your installer, if the file exists and it is not damaged or corrupted in some way then you are assured that the user is a legitimate purchaser of your product. If the file is corrupted because the user moved or copied it or in some other way tried to defeat the security, you can simply quit your program or take any other action you would like.
The Lock Point file can also automatically keep track of your demos or annual licenses. The number of whole days since install and the number of days remaining on a demo are automatically calculated for you. After the preset number of days elapses you can notify the user that their license / demo is expiring or you can simply quit your program.
The Lock Point file also contains 6 general purpose data registers of 32 bits (4 characters) each where you may safely store and retrieve any information you wish.
We’ll get back to registers in just a moment..
The Lock Point plug-in or library:
Depending upon your development environment the Lock Point plug-in or library is used to check for the existence and/or status of the Lock Point file, access all data elements and retrieve or modify contents of data registers.
As an example, in the FileMaker environment the Lock Point plug-in is accessed through external functions from the “Specify Calculations” dialog box. (See your FileMaker manual if you have any questions regarding how to access external functions.)
Integrating Into Your Development Environment:
Each development environment has its own SDK available from the downloads page. The SDK contains example projects that show you how to implement the Lock Point plug-in or library for that environment.
The available Lock Point API is the same for all SDKs. Typically, you would use the IsValid( ) function if you just want to know whether or not the user is a valid one. This single function is all most folks need. Call it from several places in your application such as every time you return to the main file or every time the user prints. The overhead for any of the plugin/library calls is very minimal.
Other Lock Point Features:
Six general purpose data registers are available for you to store other data.
The registers will accept Binary, Decimal, Hex or ASCII character data. As an added security measure you may configure each register to be ‘read only’ or only allow the values to be incremented or decremented.
The register attributes and initial values of register contents are configured by you in Install Factory’s Lock Point configuration section.
As an example, to limit the number of uses of a particular function in your application to 500, you would set the initial value of a register to 500. Then, every time the user accesses that function in your application, decrement the register before running the function. If the register successfully decrements, continue. Otherwise, once the register value is zero, you will receive an error. At that time, notify the user that your function is no longer available or is depleted.
Here are just some of the things you can do using the Lock Point API:
- Get the Plug-in or Library Version
- Test for a valid Lock Point
- Test whether this copy of your software is a demo
- If a demo, how many days since installation
- If a demo, how many days remaining
- Modify the contents of a general purpose data register
- Read a register’s value
- Write a register’s value
- BIT AND and BIT OR a register’s value
How To Order
To begin protecting your software investment Download The Order Form here or from our downloads page. Complete and fax the entire form to us at (706) 632-6498. By email you will receive your receipt and a KeyFile which will unlock the features you have purchased.
Of course, you can also call us at (800) 539-1780. We will be happy to take your order and answer any questions you may have.