SOLO Server Released with New Support for Consumption-Based Licensing and More!

By Steve Marsh  |  SoftwareKey System Releases

Posted:  September 23

Gas gauge showing usage-based consumption at 50 percent.

We've been talking about consumption-based licensing since 2014!  SOLO Server Automation build is live with support for this increasingly-popular way to increase revenue by charging customers based upon their actual transactional use of your application!

In addition to the exciting new consumption-based licensing features, this release also offers customer email verification on sign up and numerous other improvements.

In our blog post Fill ‘er Up: A Self-Service Look at a Tankful of Usage-Based Licensing Models, we describe several ideas for charging customers based upon their use of your application.  This build adds support for what we have called the "gas tank" model.

New API Endpoint for use with Consumption-Based Licensing

A new DecrementLicenseCounter web method has been added to the XmlActivationService web service. This method allows securely decrementing the License Counter for a given license, allowing implementation of a "Gas Tank" consumption based licensing model which can be enforced through SOLO Server Automation. 

To configure consumption based licensing for a product option, follow these steps:

  • On the product option configuration page, configure the license counter settings:
    • Set the new License Counter Type option to Decrementing, which will enable the use of the new API endpoint for the option.
    • Set the License Counter Source, which controls the default value of the license counter when a new license is purchased, as appropriate.
License counter options for Consumption based licensing
  • Customers can then purchase an initial license with an initial number of credits based on the License Counter Source.
  • In your application, to consume a credit, simply call the Protection PLUS 5 DecrementLicenseCounter method with the amount to decrement the counter. If enough "credits" are available, the license counter will be decremented and the new license counter value will be returned. If not, an error will be returned along with the current license counter value.
  • When the license counter for a license is depleted, customers can then purchase additional credits for the license using the rules engine Update License Counter option.
  • New Option Email Verification Requirement for New Sign Ups

    Currently, when a customer signs up through the customer license portal sign up page, they are immediately given access to the portal. With this build of SOLO Server Automation, it is now possible to require a new customer to verify their email through a one-time link before being allowed access to the portal. To enable this feature:

    • Optionally configure a Customer Welcome Mailing using the [varEmailVerificationUrl] search/replace parameter for the one-time link for the customer to follow for verification.
    • Edit the Customer License Portal Options and enable the new "Require email validation on new customer sign up" setting. If a customer welcome mailing was configured, also set the Customer Welcome Mailing setting to the new mailing (if not set, a default system generated email will be sent).
    Email validation checkbox feature setup for new signups
  • Once configured, upon filling out the signup form:
    • The customer will be created in a disabled state (which prevents license portal access)
    • An email will be sent to the customer containing a one-time use link valid for 24 hours with instructions to follow the link to verify the account to access the portal, along with similar on screen instructions.
    • Upon following the email link, the customer will be directed to a landing page which will verify the link is valid, and if so, enable the customer record and take the user to the home page.
    Email validation confirmation message for new signups

    Other Enhancements

  • The shopping cart order processor now supports Custom License Parameters. During order processing, for any options with a custom parameter set specified, any parameters that specify both required and a default value will be automatically be set on newly issued licenses with the default values.
  • The Licenses and Other Items listing on the customer details page now allows filtering to only display licenses with an OK status.
  • Customer details page filters the licenses with ok status
  • Custom License Mailings now support search/replace variables for the license external reference fields.
  • The Notify Forgot PW user/group permission is now accessible to all users on the manage users and manage groups pages rather than being restricted to master users. Any users with this permission enabled will receive an email notification when a customer forgot or reset password request fails, allowing you to provide proactive support to those customers having issues accessing their account.

  • Read the full release notes here. And as always we'd love to hear from you so feel free to reach out and contact us with your questions and feedback.

    About the Author

    Steve Marsh is a Software Engineer with SoftwareKey and has worked on development of their SOLO Server software licensing server product for nearly 15 years. Outside of software development, he is an avid Chicago sports fan and a voracious reader.

    Steve Marsh


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    {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}