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Transferring licenses between licensees

Motivation

In NetLicensing, licenses are bound to the licensee via licensee number - unique identifier for the licensee. When NetLicensing used with external eCommerce system, it is often not possible to pass existing licensee number to a shopping session, so that newly purchased licenses are bound to already existing licensee. This makes it difficult to use external eCommerce together with licensing models requiring licenses renewal or extension, such as Subscription or Pay-per-Use. To overcome this problem, NetLicensing allows to bind renewal / extension licenses to a temporary licensee, and transfer these licenses to the target licensee later on.

Workflow

In the following workflow we will use the term licensee number when referring to NetLicensing and license key when referring to an external eCommerce system. When using NetLicensing with external eCommerce, licensee number is mapped to eCommerce’s license key.

Typical flow for eCommerce shopping session:

  1. Customer enters online shop via link provided by vendor / software
  2. Customer adds products (licenses) to the shopping cart
  3. Customer goes through payment process
  4. eCommerce system executes custom fulfillment script configured by vendor, that returns license key -> connection to NetLicensing
  5. eCommerce delivers license key to the customer

Fulfillment script for NetLicensing will typically do the following:

  1. Create new licensee and receive its licensee number
  2. Add licenses according to the shopping cart content
  3. Mark licensee for transfer
  4. Return the new licensee number as license key

And here’s how the software will use the license key that customer received from eCommerce:

  1. Obtain the license key from the user
  2. Call transfer method for own licensee number, passing the received license key as source licensee number
  3. Validate as usual for own licensee number

Above workflow assumes that own licensee number already exists, naturally, license key received from eCommerce for the first time can as well be assigned as own licensee number.

API Example

Following example calls assume the product and target licensee already configured with the following numbers:

        productNumber: PQVJQ5F7H
target licenseeNumber: I542PBSID

The purchase fulfillment script will execute the following calls:

  1. Create new (temporary) licensee and receive its licensee number (I762LBSSX in this example)

    Example

    Request

    POST https://go.netlicensing.io/core/v2/rest/licensee
    productNumber=PQVJQ5F7H&active=true
    Accept: application/xml
    Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
    

    Response

    <netlicensing xmlns="http://netlicensing.labs64.com/schema/context">
        <items>
            <item type="Licensee">
                <property name="number">I762LBSSX</property>
                <property name="active">true</property>
                <property name="productNumber">PQVJQ5F7H</property>
            </item>
        </items>
    </netlicensing>
    
  2. Add licenses to the new licensee according to the shopping cart content

    Example

    Request

    POST https://go.netlicensing.io/core/v2/rest/license
    licenseeNumber=I762LBSSX&licenseTemplateNumber=EUJOJ74GS&active=true
    Accept: application/xml
    Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
    

    Response

    <netlicensing xmlns="http://netlicensing.labs64.com/schema/context">
        <items>
            <item type="License">
                <property name="number">IKPQGUUJ4</property>
                <property name="active">true</property>
            </item>
        </items>
    </netlicensing>
    
  3. Mark the new licensee for transfer

    Example

    Request

    POST https://go.netlicensing.io/core/v2/rest/licensee/I762LBSSX
    markedForTransfer=true
    Accept: application/xml
    Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
    

    Response

    <netlicensing xmlns="http://netlicensing.labs64.com/schema/context">
        <items>
            <item type="Licensee">
                <property name="number">I762LBSSX</property>
                <property name="active">true</property>
                <property name="productNumber">PQVJQ5F7H</property>
                <property name="markedForTransfer">true</property>
            </item>
        </items>
    </netlicensing>
    

Now the new licensee number I762LBSSX to be communicated to the software at the end user, e.g. via the purchase confirmation page / email and entered manually by the user, notification URL, or by any other means. The permanent licensee number I542PBSID is already assigned to the end user and is known to the software. When the software receives the new (temporary) licensee number, it will execute the following:

  1. Call transfer method for permanent licensee number I542PBSID, passing the new licensee number I762LBSSX as sourceLicenseeNumber parameter

     

    Example

    Request

    POST https://go.netlicensing.io/core/v2/rest/licensee/I542PBSID/transfer
    sourceLicenseeNumber=I762LBSSX
    Accept: application/xml
    Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
    

    Response

    HTTP/1.1 204 No Content