I can think of a number of problems with your registration system. For
one thing the way you describe the system it sounds as though you are
thinking about one single product. What about if the company has
dozens of products and services? Does your account work with only one
product or several products?
That's where your system breaks down. Creating a single account on a
per product basis wouldn't be fesable. Therefore you would have to
create an account, and use it with anything from one to a hundred
products equally. So we still need some kind of security like a name
and key licensing method that gets registered by your account every
time you activate and deactivate a key with a limit of keys.
The second issue that comes to mind is that e-mail addresses, credit
cards, and phone numbers will eventually become out of date. What
assurance do you have that this information will be regularly updated
and the information you have on the server is correct?
To give you an example of what I mean you said that a confirmation
e-mail should be sent everytime you register the product. What if the
person recently changed their e-mail address from say hotmail.com to
gmail.com and haven't updated their account?
In a case like that the confirmation e-mail would go to the wrong
e-mail address, and they'd have to update their account before
registering the product or service. To say nothing of the fact that
some spam filters etc may actually delete the confirmation e-mail in
the first place causing important e-mails like this not to get to the
intended customer at all. This kind of problem can quickly become a
headache for developer and customer unnecessarily.
Finally, you said the program would always quietly attemptt to connect
to the server. This assumes a full time internet connection such as
cable or DSL connection. What about people like myself that often use
laptops on the road etc. I certainly don't have a 24/7 internet
connection, but have a wireless cable connection in my apartment. Am I
not to play game x when I'm on the road with my laptop, and only play
it when I'm at home with my wireless connection?
You see, internet based auth systems are always problematic. No matter
how you think they will work for everybody they really don't. Not
everybody has a full time internet connection or even access to the
internet at all which would prevent them from registering your
For example, I have a few family members that are going through some
hard times financially. One of the things they decided to cut out of
their budget is internet access. The only time I hear from them via
the internet is if they go to the library or something and access
their gmail accounts online. While this may or may not happen to one
or more of your customers it is still something you need to consider.
Just because they purchased a product from your website doesn't
automatically mean it came from their personal PC. It could have been
ordered from a friends house, the public library, from his/her work
place, or some other public access point. We should never get in the
habbit of thinking that the person has regular internet access,
because there are doubtless cases where it is not the case. Yet, these
internet activation systems always assume just that, and will become
problematic for a few customers in the long run.
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