FastSpring ecommerce / LimeLM license services for selling Xojo apps

I recently moved from two licensing / ecommerce providers I’d used for years to FastSpring (http://www.fastspring.com/) in conjunction with LimeLM (http://wyday.com/limelm/). I am very impressed with the features and services of both and want to recommend them to Xojo developers and share a bit about my experience.

LimeLM offers a sample Xojo project (http://wyday.com/limelm/help/using-turboactivate-with-real-studio/) that was very easy to implement into my Xojo app. It generates a unique serial number that can be used on either Windows or Mac, which is great in avoiding dual licenses/purchases when customers work on both platforms. The LimeLM files install directly into the Xojo app’s folders on both Windows and Mac, which eliminates the need for complicated installation scripts to other locations on the hard drive or into the registry. It also makes it easy to use drag and drop DMG installers on the Mac. The LimeLM product dashboard makes it very easy to add, manage and customize individual user licenses. The licenses are easily configured for trial periods, number of activations/deactivations, and detection/control of installation on virtual machines or hypervisor.

LimeLM integrates easily into FastSpring with the PHP code it provides for the Fulfillment Actions section of the FastSpring Product page (http://wyday.com/limelm/help/automate-license-generation-with-fastspring/). This PHP code can also include custom fields for features such as subscriptions, expiration dates and other unique needs (http://wyday.com/limelm/help/license-features/).

There’s a monthly fee for LimeLM based on volume, but it’s been well worth it. In addition to the better features and service, it allows me to generate product keys independently of FastSpring and avoid their e-commerce fee when FastSpring is not involved in automatically providing the serial number or taking the payment.

FastSpring’s service has been great too, with zero problems in delivering licenses, making payments and handling of inquiries from my customers. They also provide integration of my product sales into a MailChimp database so that customers can receive emails, manually or via auto-response.

Service and responsiveness from both companies has been excellent. This is not a paid endorsement. I’m just a very satisfied customer who faced a number of challenges with other services and wanted to share my experience with the Xojo community.

Search terms: eSellerate, RegNow, DigitalRiver, Kagi, SoftwareShield, RegCode, license, licensing, serial numbers, DRM, digital rights management, selling apps

Thanks for the review.

I use Paypal for almost 7 years but are always looking for alternatives.
Last month I did setup a Fastspring account, converted my PHP paypal script to FastSpring and it works fine for handling everything.

But I do think the fee/soled app is a bit high compared to Paypal and you cannot set the price fixed to EUR when needed.

But because EU VAT regulations are changing from 1/1/2015 for EU developers/sellers I may use FastSpring in the end.

Thanks for your experience, Gary. I’ve looked at both FastSpring and LimeLM.

We have one client using LimeLM and the only thing that’s stopped me was that once you get past a certain number of products the fees started to add up. But our client is happy with his one product on LimeLM so that’s always a plus. Happy client = no angry emails.

I’ve looked at FastSpring in the past but have opted out because it had no way to tie to a specific machine. But it sounds like you’ve tackled that so perhaps it’s worth looking at it again!

FastSpring allows you to use your own serial/registration system. With a small tweak to my serial system, I could tie mine to machine specific vs user specific. FS wouldnt care.

Interesting. Can you control how many machines can use a license code? In our current eSellerate system we let people install on 2 machines with the same serial number and they can move it around using the deactivate and active.

I have not looked into this recently (9+ months). The solution would be the serial generator & maintenance of them be on your site. They will call an API (they will help you setup the calls to your API) to get the serial that they sold on your behalf.

that is what I do with my apps. Although my apps are tied to user not computer. To tie to the computer, I just have the app contact the API and let the API server do its magic on registering/checking to make sure they are using it on too many machines.

having said that, it has been a little while since I checked and they might have added this functionality naturally in their services.

One of our partners has been using our activation/registration system with FastSpring for some years now. I send them keycodes, which they load into their FastSpring queue for delivery to customers after a successful purchase. It all works quite nicely–fully automated, convenient for customers, and easy to maintain/manage.

if the serial numbers are not generated from user/computer information, you can preload a batch of keys into FS and they will issue them down the list as they sell them. And when you hit a low-water-mark on the list (you define that low water mark), they will email you letting you know that the keys are low so you can add more to the system.

my (our) keys are tied to either the user and/or computer so we cant preload the list. they just do API calls.

the founders and many of the first employees of FS are from Digital River, eSellerate, Kagi, etc. They took their experiences (good and bad) and tried to make a company/platform that avoided the bad and only used the good. Now only time will tell if they did that. I can say that I have nothing but good things to say about them. YMWV.

LimeLM is set up to control the number of activations, with settings to control the degree of freedom a user has to activate and deactivate. In addition to setting up a default key for a product, you can create a uniquely defined key for a user. So yes, the user can move the license, even between Windows and Mac. The settings in creating a license include:

Type of product key: TurboActivate key (regular activations) or TurboFloat Server key

Allow virtual machine activations? Default, or Disallow or Allow

Number of activations allowed: The maximum number of computers the product key can be used on.

Number of allowed deactivations: Customers move your software between computers by allowing deactivations.
(See more at https://wyday.com/limelm/help/activations/)

My app is designed to be high volume / low price and sells 24/7 in any country, so my needs may be different than someone selling a low volume / high price app. I just need it to work flawlessly with as little manual work and direct interaction with the customer as possible on each new sale or change in their computer systems. I also may sell several dozen seats in one license to a school for their computer lab, and this gives me the ability to create and price a single multi-seat enterprise license on LimeLM without using FastSpring and paying their commission.

We have a client using LimeLM. They’re happy with it - especially since there is a special activation string that can activate modules within your software. Example: you have an accounting app but you have a payroll module that’s extra. That’s not two separate activation keys, it’s one with something in there for the payroll module.

One product is great. The licensing fees are pretty good. It’s when you start adding products where it seems to get pricey (in my opinion). Add in that it’s missing a payment processor and it just seems like a lot of work.

But, if you’re dealing with high volume sales then it’s probably not a big deal.

Good thoughts on the pricing. As an added comment for those reading this post, please note that LimeLM has a monthly fee based on the total number of activations in effect. It’s not a lot when dealing with a small number of high volume products. The downside though is that it’s a recurring monthly cost, which in concept makes a lot more sense if your product has a recurring monthly revenue rather than a one time sale. FastSpring and LimeLM can work well together and meet many needs, but it will be better for some situations than others.

Again, for completeness, I know that Ohanaaware is using Paddle for AppWrapper 3. I looked into it over the summer and decided that it wasn’t quite complete enough for what I need.

One thing it did not have was offline activations. 99% of the time this is no big deal but for the 1% that can’t have active internet connections this might be a big deal.

There were a few other minor issues that so far are escaping my caffeine free mind this morning. :stuck_out_tongue:

We have a number of customers using our custom serial number/activation system with FastSpring. It was pretty easy to set up and they’ve been happy users for some years now–always a good thing… :wink:

Has there been any more thought about Paddle? Just curious as to whether or not they’ve creating something for XOJO. Looks like it’s only frameworks for XCode. If that’s the case it’s a non-starter for me. Currently using Digital River Share-It.

I am using Paddle for almost 2 years now. Works perfect and they have a great help desk. Sales also grew compared to using PayPal.
I cannot imagine going back to PayPal and can highly recommend Paddle for sure.

Btw I use a PHP script to handle sales/licenses etc…

I just did a Google site search on Paddle and found no reference to XOJO. (use https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Apaddle.com+xojo).

I’ve been using LimeLM licensing with FastSpring ecommerce for three years now and have been extremely happy with the combined features, reliability and technical support. The only reservation I have is the LimeLM pricing model, which has a monthly charge per active license rather than a one time fee. If you can sell your software on a subscription basis, this is a non-issue as the cost is quite low per license. If you sell your software for a one time fee, and at a low price, the ongoing cost needs to be figured into your price.

If you want to see how the LimeLM licensing and activation works you can do a free two week trial of my software at https://www.phimatrix.com/download-golden-ratio-design/. The license can be purchased from inside the software by using the License - Purchase menu option, which takes you to the online store at FastSpring at http://sites.fastspring.com/phipoint/product/phimatrix-golden-ratio-design. The license is automatically activated in the software upon purchase through the software. If bought directly from the online store, the customer uses the License - Activate menu option to activate the license.

thanks. i’m using Digital River currently with a script to provide registration and the download link. Paddle only charges 5% + .50 per transaction and I think DR is close to 10% so i’m giving them a look. I like the idea of the integrated checkout, but it looks like i’ll have to still do the licensing myself since i’m not using Xcode. You’re right, Gary. I see no module for XOJO. Maybe they can do this eventually.