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Re: Controlling the number of users in the database

From: Mark Bole <>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 21:08:18 GMT
Message-ID: <6FNod.48934$>

DanO wrote:

> I have been tasked with finding a way to control (limit) the number of
> users that log into the Oracle database while using our proprietary
> application product. For example, a client may buy our product and
> purchase a 100 user license. We need a way to prevent the 101st user
> from logging into the database.

> Does anyone know of a product or a method whereby I can record a user
> logging onto the database and add to a counter (and do the opposite
> for logoff)? I'm sure a home-written solution could be created using
> event triggers, etc. but I'm hoping not to re-invent the wheel if
> somebody knows of a system, method, or little know parameter that can
> work.
> Thanks,
> Dan

Ditto what everyone else said about trusting DBAs.

Better to do what most vendors do, namely make sure your product has enough bugs that sooner or later the customer has to call for support.

Then, in your case, when they send you the standard log files, look for secret messages which you have arranged to be generated by your proprietary product, indicating whether or not they violated their license. If so, then sue them and refuse to allow them to be a customer any more. This will greatly increase your market share, no doubt.

Or you could consider a security dongle -- that will surely make you a leader in the marketplace.

Remember what happened to Intuit a few years back when they tried to put a limit on Turbotax (only a limit on where you could print from, not where you could run it--and even that was easily worked around). Even non-business users know better than to put up with this type of thing.

The point is, per-user licensing is not the problem, but lame attempts to "enforce" it via software are. If you have an arm's-length business relationship with the customer and both firms have even a shred of honesty and integrity, it shouldn't be an issue. And in the case of dishonesty, it's going to require legal, not technical, methods to resolve.

-Mark Bole Received on Tue Nov 23 2004 - 15:08:18 CST

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