by July 3, 2012 0 comments

A network based software activation system that remotely activates software by detecting the presence of computers in MKCL’s hardware inventory without manual intervention, thus curbing software piracy across its 5000 franchise centers

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MKCL was established by Govt. of Maharashtra to create new paradigms in education and development through universalization and integration of Information Technology in teaching, learning and educational management processes in particular and socio-economic transformative processes in general. In their channel partner network, there are more than 5000 Authorized Learning Centers spread across Maharashtra as well as other Indian states. As per MKCL’s commitment to provide high class and affordable services to the masses, it provides licensed software like Microsoft Windows, Office, anti-viruses, etc. centrally to their centers. This involved a high risk of the software being put to unauthorized usage.

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The company decided to streamline the process of software activation by devising a system that would be able to activate software remotely without any manual intervention. This activation is done in two phases. In the first phase, the computer details are scanned and uploaded to MKCL’s hardware inventory. As a result, MKCL is able to ensure that all systems being used across the ALUs are as per the pre-defined specs. In the second phase, each computer’s information is checked in MKCL’s hardware repository. Only after verification is the software activation done. However, no activation information is provided to the channel partner.

There were several challeges faced by MKCL in implementing this solution. The biggest one was to devise a process by which license keys are provided to legitimate ALCs and protected from others. During implementation, the main issue was complete adoption and overall functionality of software which uniquely identifies each and every computer in 5000+ ALCs. The fact that MKCL’s channel partner network was distributed across every district and almost every taluka in the state of Maharashtra added to the difficulties in preventing software piracy. The integration of command line activators to the software, so that activation commands are run in memory, was also a challenge.

The activator was developed using MS Visual Studio 2008, .NET 2.0, Java 6, Glassfish 3.1 and IIS 7.

The Result[image_library_tag 548/70548, alt=”” hspace=”4″ vspace=”4″ border=”0″ align=”right” ,default]

The activator was used across 5000+ learning centers to activate software like Windows 7, Office 2010, McAfee Cloud antivirus etc. There was proper and authorized utilization of the software licenses. It helped curb piracy, because the software keys/serial numbers were not sent to the centers. It was impossible to have alteration in hardware without MKCL’s approval.

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