Starting with ABBYY FineReader Engine 12, a new type of licenses is available which uses the Online protection mechanism. Online Licenses are primarily intended for applications deployed to a cloud environment, but can also be used on workstations or virtual machines that are connected to the Internet. Online protection mechanism is supported both for Developer and Runtime Licenses.
To start using an Online License, check out the license characteristics:
- Online License does not bind to a specific host, which makes it much more convenient than licenses with software or hardware keys in cases when ABBYY FineReader Engine is used in a cloud or virtual environment. Instead of license activation, the Licensing Service installed locally (on the machine that uses the license) communicates with the ABBYY Online licensing service over the Internet to allow license usage.
- License checks happen periodically while ABBYY FineReader Engine is running, so using an Online License requires active Internet connection.
- You may also use a network server to manage Online Licenses and distribute them between workstations. In this case, only the server would need an Internet connection, which may be important in high-security scenarios.
- The local Licensing Service (one instance or workstation) can work with only one Online License at the same time.
- Compared to licenses with other types of protection, an Online License does not require activation, deactivation, or updating: activation and deactivation are entirely on the ABBYY FineReader Engine side, and updating occurs on the next request for permission to use after refreshing the parameters on the ABBYY FineReader Engine side.
- If the connection to ABBYY Online licensing service is lost, the local Licensing Service will be unable to synchronize and the license will be invalidated. However, this does not happen immediately: a certain autonomous run time is allowed after a failed synchronization. If the connection is restored during this time, the license will continue working without any impact to the ABBYY FineReader Engine functionality. This reconnection timeout and the synchronization period are specific parameters of each Online License. During autonomous run time, the number of connections to ABBYY Online licensing service is locked, and after this time, it is unlocked.
- An Online License allows concurrent usage: the same Online License can be used simultaneously by the cloud instances or Internet-enabled workstations which number is limited by the license. An Online License also limits the total number of recognized pages, which is checked when performing license synchronization. To release an Online License with a limited number of concurrent users, consider the following conditions:
- An Online License will become available to another user after a time equal to the offline working time from the moment the workstation or license server was shut down. If you need to release an Online License faster, use the "Release Online Licenses..." option in the License Manager utility or the ReleaseOnlineLicense method of the Engine object.
- The time it takes to complete the operation depends on your network bandwidth. Therefore, if it is important for you to know that Online License has definitely been released, specify the OperationTimeout parameter of the ReleaseOnlineLicense method for your convenience or call the ReleaseOnlineLicense method in a loop.
Online licensing requirements
Using an Online License requires:
- Active Internet connection.
- Allowed connections to *.abbyy.com on port 443 (HTTPS).
- GoDaddy Trusted Root Certification Authority on the computer with the Licensing Service installed.
Important! GoDaddy root certificate for the Certification Authority should be installed in the local machine version of the Trusted Root Certification Authorities certificate store. See the detailed information about the certificate on the GoDaddy website.
For the list of supported environments, see the System Requirements section.
Online License information
Online License parameters are contained in a password-protected file (license token file) which is used for authorization when connecting to ABBYY Online licensing services.
When you order an Online License, you should receive the following information from sales:
- your Customer Project ID (a string of text),
- an online license token file (a file named like SWRTXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.ABBYY.ActivationToken), and
- a password to the license token file (another string of text).
This information is required, whenever FineReader Engine functions are used. Also you may optionally use it at the time of developer installation for setting the samples of working with an Online License.
Note: An online license token file should be located in the default %ProgramData%\ABBYY\SDK\12\Licenses or any other folder on the workstation. Specify the path to this folder as the value of the LicensePath property of the IEngineLoader interface.
- your Customer Project ID,
- the path to the license token file, and
- the license token password.
For full details, see the description of the InitializeEngine function and method.
Using Online License in various scenarios
An Online License is used in the scenarios of running ABBYY FineReader Engine in native environments:
- Docker containers: with ABBYY FineReader Engine and the Licensing Service. See details in Running ABBYY FineReader Engine 12 inside a Docker container.
- Azure Cloud Service by creating a WorkerRole project. See details in Running ABBYY FineReader Engine in Azure Cloud Service.