Licensing errors passing undetected

licensing
license

#1

A user just reported to me that one of my commercial plugins were not functioning. After seeing their video I could find the error in seconds. When copying the extension identifier string from the Extension Warehouse page into my code a leading space had slipped in which of course prevented the plugin from finding the license.

The problem is that plugin developers are unable to test licensing checks for ourselves. There’s just no way to give yourself a license and see that everything works, at least not that I know of. This coding in the dark has already been addressed before by plugin developers and is certainly not comfortable or fun. A simple typo can cripple an extension without the author being able to test and correct it.

What is potentially even worse is that the plugin passed the review process without this error being found. I was under the impression that the reviewer gave themselves a temporary license for each extension but if that were the case the extension wouldn’t have worked because it tried to retrieve a license for a faulty extension identifier. It seems the reviewer simply disables the licensing checks which causes the extension to be regarded licensed even if the extension identifier is faulty.

This plugin has been for sale for over two weeks without functioning until a user reported it. I am not very happy with having to contact paying customers and trial users and tell them why the plugin haven’t worked for them. It’s really quite embarrassing.

Please, give us the ability to grant ourselves test licenses (with the ability to switch between purchases, trial and set days remaining etc) so we can actually test for ourselves that out code works! Also, please look into how licensed extensions are reviewed!

@yogesh @ChrisFullmer @tt_su @Bryceosaurus


#2

I agree, and as you say, I’ve complained loudly before about this situation. In addition, there is no way to verify that in all situations trial licences are actually expiring when they should. In some cases users get into trouble when they download a trial under one email address and then purchase the same extension under another.
Overall, the process is opaque and undocumented by which calls by an extension to the licensing methods interact with the what the user sees in the “My extensions” section of the Extension Warehouse and what they see in the “Extension Manager”. These two sources show different sets of extensions and display trial status very differently.
However I disagree that the solution is to give developers more control. That’s a Pandora’s box.
Instead all licensing should be handled by sketchup itself at load time, using the data located in the user’s EW.lic file combined with keys automatically inserted into the encrypted extension at the time of encryption. This is how other companies do it.


#3

I don’t mean exposing more stuff in the API for plugin devs to fiddle with but for the ability to create test licenses for ourselves via the EW just as the reviewer can do. You could for instance grant yourself a 1 day trial license and see how the extension reacts when the license expires (does it keep work until SU is restarted etc?). You could also grant yourself a permanent license to use your own extension when modeling.


#4

I understand, but why should we need to be concerned with any of this any more than we need to be concerned with, say, payment processing. I’s rather spend my talent on the applications.
If licensing was automatic, I wouldn’t need a license for my own copy, because it is unencrypted and would have no licensing calls…


#5

I don’t want to distribute my unencrypted code to every computer I use SketchUp on just to be able to use my own extensions. Also, being able to create test licensing would give us the ability to test that our own plugins actually work as intended with the licensing system implemented. As I mentioned in my first post a tiny typo in the licensing check can prevent the extension from working in production without you as the developer being able to notice it.


#6

From what I understand - there is an update the the developer backend that should be available soon. Should make it easier to generate licenses for testing.


Learning How to License My Extensions and Need Help
#7

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