What are the main differences between using a hardware and a software licence?
Nowadays, all common “1C: Enterprise 8” products are supplied in the form of a ‘software licence’ (a PIN-code that activates your licence). This licensing option is the simpliest, most convenient and does not cause any difficulties when installing 1C software in different virtual environments.
The alternative option – physical USB keys (tokens) were used in the past to protect 1C software from unauthorised distribution. They looked like flash drives and were referred to as a 1C ‘hardware licence’.
Both of these types of licence have their advantages and disadvantages. So what are the main differences between using a USB key and a software licence?
The first main difference is that a software licence is activated by the user at the time of installing 1C, and by its unique PIN-code input. This PIN is provided to the user on their purchase of the program. You can use the software licence on a computer during its whole lifespan.
A hardware licence is a physical USB key containing data, that lets it validate the licence through a special driver. This driver is installed on the computer together with 1C. This licence is active only up until the moment at which the physical USB key is removed.
The second significant difference between hardware and software licences is that multi-user hardware licences are distributed among users online via a «HASP License Manager» program, which can be installed on any computer using your intranet.
The multi-user software licence can only be installed on a 1C server or terminal server. By the way, software licences can be integrated optionally, for example, 5+10+20 user licences = 35 licences. This option is unavailable for hardware licences due to technical restrictions (for each package of licences (5, 10, 20, 35) separate USB keys are required).
The advantages of 1C software licensing
● Software licences do not need to occupy a USB port. This solution is essential for those users whose work computers have locked USB ports (for safety reasons) or do not have ports to spare due to connected external media.
● It is impossible to lose or to physically break a software PIN-code key. Damaged contacts and deformed cases are occasional problems for hardware licences, but never for software security keys.
● Software licences require less server hardware resources. This advantage becomes even more attractive when you take into account the fact that growing companies are always updating the performance of their IT systems in line with increases in user numbers and business data.
● Software licences significantly simplify the administration of databases for large enterprises with a high number of users. Moreover, it is far easier to install software licences than hardware licences.
● The previous advantage also makes it more convenient to work with remote departments. There is no longer the need for exchanging hardware security keys for higher or lower capacity keys or obtaining additional USB tokens – software licensing lets you provide sub-offices with security keys for no additional cost and effort.
● You can also attach additional software licences to existing installations from a virtual server and expand the number of licences available on this server. Hardware security will not let you expand optional licences without first exchanging your old USB key for a higher capacity replacement.
The disadvantages of 1C software licensing
Unfortunately, some of the advantages of software licensing can also lead to disadvantages.
● A software licence has to be activated on the computer/server that it has been installed on, using a one-off activation code. This activation system uses your server/computer’s hardware parameters and fixes the hardware configuration, which it checks every time that you start your 1C application. Of course, you get two alternative software licence PIN-codes in case your hardware breaks down or you need to carry out an upgrade. In either case you will have to reactivate your licence. However, unlike with a hardware licence, you cannot simply remove a USB key from one computer and install it on another machine.
● It is important to remember that there are only three PIN-codes supplied with the basic product. If you have to carry out more than three upgrades of your hardware, then you’ll need to contact the 1C activation helpdesk to ask for a new list of activation PIN-codes.
Choosing between single and multi-user security
The software and hardware licences of the single-user or multi-user type have a range of differences. And of course, multi-user licences are easy to manage for system administrator and better protected from security breaches.
A multi-user licence is more suitable in any of the following situations:
● users work with a 1C application installed on a dedicated server using terminal server connections;
● the 1C database is large and is deployed as a client-server installation.
However it is not reasonable to install a multi-user licence if your databases are not all allocated to a 1C server.
Single-user licences can be installed separately on specific computers, allowing 1C to function on each of them. Nevertheless, you have to reinstall the licence every time that the basic system software is updated, or computer components are replaced.
Your choice of licence type will always depend on the requirements of your particular enterprise. However, all users can always rely on our professional support. Before you pay for and have any software installed, Smart ERP Project experts will explain the differences between licence types and help you to identify the most suitable product to exactly satisfy your company’s particular needs.
You can contact Smart ERP Projects experts at any time, to get your 1C hardware or software licence installation quickly under way, in either single-user or multi-user mode.