Starting with 2020 v2, ComponentOne is issuing a new serial key and licensing system. If you have an active subscription, there's nothing you'll need to do now. When you renew or activate a new machine, you'll need to use the new GrapeCity License Manager.
In this article, I’ll introduce you to the new GrapeCity License Manager and provide some helpful tips for additional licensing scenarios.
Introducing the New GrapeCity License Manager
To get the new GrapeCity License Manager you will first need to download and install the 2020 v2+ version of any ComponentOne product.
Activating a key using the GrapeCity License Manager is pretty straight-forward.
- Launch the tool from ComponentOne in your Start Menu (or locate the gclm.exe installed under C:\Program Files (x86)\ComponentOne\C1StartMenu)
- Locate the product you purchased (ie, Studio Enterprise or WinForms Edition. These products will be displayed once they’re installed through the C1ControlPanel or nuget.org).
- Click the “Activate” link
- Enter the serial key, and click the “Activate” button
Next, I’ll go over some additional scenarios that will be impacted by this new licensing system. If you run into any issues, or if you need offline activation, deactivation, or instructions for using the tool on a Mac, check out the licensing documentation.
If you need to license a legacy product such as ActiveX, Web Forms, or Silverlight, please visit the section How to License Old Products with a New Key further down this post.
New NuGet Package Licensing
Along with the new licensing system, developers building .NET Core, MVC Core, Blazor, Xamarin, and UWP apps no longer need to use the runtime app keys. We've improved the licensing to validate within the NuGet build scripts so once your machine is activated, you are good to go when building your app. No more runtime app keys, no more licenses.licx files, no more hassle!
Background on Licensing
For a little background on licensing, ComponentOne supported the Microsoft LicenseProvider approach for .NET Framework applications. This system uses a licenses.licx file and it generated an embedded assembly that contained the runtime license. For newer platforms, Microsoft didn’t continue this foundation, so we had to develop our own solution. We developed a run-time application key system that was implemented for Xamarin, UWP, and ASP.NET Core MVC. This run-time app key system is now being completely replaced using the NuGet build script licensing.
For platforms that don’t require NuGet packages, like WinForms and WPF, they can continue to use the .NET license provider approach (license.licx), but for .NET Core desktop applications they too can take advantage of the simpler NuGet licensing.
How NuGet Package Licensing Works
With the new NuGet package licensing, the license validation happens at build. Visual Studio will query the machine for a valid license. Once you activate your new key using the GrapeCity License Manager you are then able to immediately build and license an app using ComponentOne NuGet packages. The app is successfully licensed by generating a unique embedded license file (.gclicx) in the build output (obj/Debug or obj/Release). This file must be distributed with the application.
NuGet Package Trials
Developers who first discover and download any ComponentOne NuGet package will also be able to start the 30-day trial upon their first application build. In the past, your 30-day trial was activated by running the installer. Now, there are two ways to start a trial.
Additional Licensing Updates
Along with these major updates, we are changing how a few common licensing scenarios work. If you have an existing key that’s activated, keep in mind you don’t need to do anything. The 2020 v2 update, and future updates, will still honor valid keys activated previously.
You can also continue to activate old keys on new machines using the legacy C1LicenseActivation tool. More details are below.
The Difference Between Old and New Serial Keys
How do you know if you have an old or new serial key? The new serial keys are 19 digits. The old keys are 28 or 17 characters. Old keys were issued prior to July 29th, 2020. The new GrapeCity License Manager only activates new keys.
How to Activate an Old Serial Key
If you have an old key you can still activate and use it for any product version that falls within your subscription. To activate an old-style key, you must use the C1LicenseActivation tool. This tool is the predecessor to the GrapeCity License Manager, and they’re both found installed under C:\Program Files (x86)\ComponentOne\C1StartMenu.
How to License Old Products with a New Key
If you have a new key but need to use an older version of any product, including ActiveX Edition, you should first activate the new key using the GrapeCity License Manager and then launch the C1LicenseActivation tool.
The C1LicenseActivation tool (version 4.0.20202.96 or higher) will automatically look for new licenses and prompt you to install matching old-style keys that can be used to unlock old or legacy products.
For example, if you have a Studio Enterprise key from 2020 v2 it will be a new style key. In order to properly license an app using our ActiveX, Web Forms, Silverlight or any non-legacy platform with a version prior to 2020 v2, you will need to perform the following steps:
- Activate the new key using the GrapeCity License Manager
- Launch the C1LicenseActivation tool (make sure it’s updated to version 4.0.20202.96 or higher)
- It will identify any new keys that are installed and prompt you to install matching old-style keys.
- Click Yes to install the old keys.
If you purchase a legacy product, such as ActiveX Edition or Silverlight Edition, you will receive an older key that can be activated directly with C1LicenseActivation. The instructions above are for using a legacy product with a new Studio Enterprise key.
How to License Blazor with an old Studio Enterprise or Ultimate Key
For most products, we designed them to fallback to support old keys that are activated through C1LicenseActivation. Blazor Edition is one exception because it didn’t have licensing prior to the 2020 v2 release. If you have an old Studio Enterprise key and would like to build Blazor applications, you will need a new key reissued to you.
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