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Subject:RE: Many many big pills From:"Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com> To:Rédacteur en chef <editorialstandards -at- gmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com >> TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Mon, 27 Feb 2012 13:39:09 -0800
Rédacteur en chef wrote:
> Suppose you had a product that used a set of physically similar keys,
> usb fobs, to unlock certain functions. The keys or fobs were identified
> function by stickers in predefined colors, and function name.
> that the next gen of your product included up to 100 distinct instances
> each unlockable thing.
> I could offer some motherhood/apple-pie "best practices" for managing
> these dozens, or hundreds of nearly- identical keys or fobs, but I
> to suggest at least one helpful product or piece that could be offered
> or bundled with the main product, to suggest that we had given some
> thought to the problems inherent in scaling up the product.
Several people have offered imaginative/interesting suggestions for doing what you ask.
I'm going to take a contrarian position. Regardless of what kind of device you come up with for storing/managing all these keys/dongles, the cold, hard truth is that this security mechanism _just_doesn't_scale_ to the degree that your next-gen product requires.
I think it's time for your company to take a step back and rethink how it licenses and controls access to all these functions. Making your customers keep track of and manage a hundred separate USB dongles promises to be a nightmare for both your customers and your support staff.
Why can't a single USB dongle contain a license key that enables all the functions that the customer has purchased? If they buy more functions, either overnight a new dongle or enable them to get an updated license key online and install it on their dongle.
That's just one idea. There are any number of others that, I'm sure, would be a huge improvement over making everyone involved manage and track a hundred dongles.
Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
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