Trial and Restricted Versions - Introduction to Certificates

Applies to HTML Viewer, IE Browser publications.

You (for example if you are an author/publisher who wants to sell his/her ebooks) can easily turn your publication into a demonstration or trialware: HTML Executable comes with several tools that let you create a trial or restricted publication, that means a publication with limited functionality (time-bombed publication for instance that works only for a given number of days), unless your end users register it (i.e. purchase a key from you to access the unlocked/full publication) and activate it.

If you feel uncomfortable with all of the licensing options of HTML Executable, do not hesitate to post your questions or ask for help in our user forum.

How to create a trial or restricted ebook

In the “Security => Certificates” page, turn “Create a restricted publication” on as shown below:


What are certificates?

Trial publications work with certificates: a security certificate is like a door into your publication. Like physical doors, these entrances to your publication can let certain people (the ones with the right key) enter. Only those who pay for your work can get a registration key.

Every certificate has a Certificate ID. This is what HTML Executable uses to create keys associated to your certificate. The unique signature is strictly confidential: you should never give it to anyone. A special security certificate, called the Default certificate, works a little differently. Used for evaluation versions of publications, this certificate does not use keys, which allows end users to access your publication even when they don’t have a key for your program. The default certificate is mandatory. When the default certificate is active, the publication works in the Trial mode.

Except for the default certificates, other certificates should be used for registered versions of publications. When a certificate other than the default one is active, the publication works in the Registered mode.

To switch from the Default certificate to a registered one, end users must activate it.

To switch from a registered certificate to the Default one, end users must deactivate it.

To verify at startup through the Internet whether an end user has still access to your ebook, you can use validation.

Trial and Registered modes

Trial and registered modes are used by some features of the publications: the About box will display a “Trial: please register this program…” statement in the Trial mode while it will show “This program is registered to …” when working in the Registered mode. Also, you have the option to lock HTML pages, thanks to the features of the security profiles.

You may therefore create different registered versions of a single publication: for each registered version, you can define which pages are unlocked thanks to the Security Profiles. Some registered versions could also have an expiration date. After this date, your user would need a new key.

When you start a new project, HTML Executable automatically adds two certificates. Do not forget to configure their properties if you plan to make a Trial publication.

You can manage the certificates of your publication or ebook with the Certificate Manager.

Activating a certificate

Deactivating a certificate

Certificate and license validation

Certificate Properties

Online Activation

Hardware-locked Keys: let you prevent end users from sharing their registered ebook with others.

Use short 10-digit keys instead of normal ones

By default, HTML Executable generates keys with 21 alphanumeric characters as: AFABA-FETR8-54024-20B42. In some specific cases, you may want to have shorter keys with digits only (for instance: mobile payments, SMS micropayments).

If the user enters other characters than digits, they are ignored (perfect if you want to separate digits by hyphens, as 1234-8541-11). Moreover, some characters such as O, I are automatically replaced by 0, 1.

Protect Ebook .net, an affordable licensing solution for you

For our customers, we also offer Protect Ebook .net, our hassle-free ebook protection and activation service if you do not want to deal with PHP, server maintenance and installation, databases… Our company staff manages all of the technical details for you (software, database and server maintenance) while you stay focused on your publications and customers.

With the use of Protect Ebook .net, you can really benefit from all features of HTML Executable, such as ebook trials and activation, anti-piracy measures, control of ebook use and distribution, automated delivery of license keys and ebook to your users… without the need to master the HTML Executable Activation Kit.

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Hints about creating trial publications

  1. You may not set up an evaluation period for the Default certificate: in this case, the publication will always offer an evaluation mode unless you enable “Do not allow access to the publication without prior registration” as explained above. Nevertheless you can lock some pages (using security profiles) so they may be accessible only upon registration (for instance, an ebook where end users must pay to access to the remaining chapters).
  2. If you do not want to allow an evaluation period at all, once again enable “Do not allow access to the publication without prior registration” as explained above; or alternatively you can just set the number of days to “0” for the Default certificate. In this case, a publication can only work if your user upgrades to another certificate (i.e. enters a key).
  3. You can always lock crucial HTML pages using the Security Profiles or add more restrictions using HEScript scripts.

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