updated 01:57 am EDT, Wed March 20, 2013
Utilities control access to documents, apps to only licensed users
Excel Software, makers of various utilities that help developers package, license and protect their software projects, have updated both DocProtect and AppProtect to version 3.0. The former lets authors created protected versions of standard file types to ensure that they are only seen on licensed computers, while AppProtect creates a Mac or Windows activation shell around an application to trigger an automated or human-controlled activation process without any extra programming.
AppProtect can now also work with another of the company's products, OfficeProtect 2.0, to generate a protected application based on an Excel spreadsheet. The new version is also LicenseCard enabled, for drag-and-drop activation. It also works with MAX multimedia apps or Unity-based games. Other changes include allowing passthrough of command-line parameters in protected Windows applications, and new enhancements to the developer interface for saving and managing records.
Once generate through AppProtect, an application will require a unique password or serial number on first launch. The program offers its own Safe Activation service, or developers can use their own self-hosted activation server. Vendors can generate passwords from within AppProtect or automate the process through online activation.
In addition to handling activation or licensing, the program also helps protect an application from being disassembled, thereby securing the source code. It works with standard OS X programs (.app), Windows executables (.exe) and Excel spreadsheets (.xlsm). There are no royalties, and users can use the program for an unlimited number of protected products or licenses.
Likewise, DocProtect works to keep documents openable only on licensed computers. The program works with HTML projects, image galleries, multimedia files, PDFs and Flash files, and can work in conjunction with the company's QuickLicense software or independently to create time-limited licenses, pre-activation messages, Trial versions, subscription options and floating-type licenses among other forms. Like AppProtect, the program creates first-launch protections that can require serials, passwords or online activation, and is LicenseCard enabled.
PDFs can be protected with copy, export, print or save feature restrictions, Flash files are compiled into protected applications, and Excel spreadsheets can be opened with macros enabled, giving the author complete control over the runtime environment. Over a dozen standard video and audio formats are also supported, which allow playing the video but within a built-in player that prevents any sharing or saving without a license.
Both AppProtect and DocProtect are available for Windows (XP, Vista, 7 or 8) or Mac OS X (all modern versions, including PPC) with royalty-free distribution rights included. AppProtect costs $295 for a single-user license, while DocProtect is $495 for each platform or $795 for both Mac and Windows.