Slps for Managing Product Features

By: John Marks

Separating Licensing from Software Development

When customers acquire software, what they are really purchasing are features. Once upon a time you had to settle for an off-the-shelf product with no customization options. However, nowadays customers expect to pay only for what they use, and to get exactly what they want. So from this perspective software development has become more complex, as the needs of different types of customer have to be taken into consideration. This can be a challenging task for the independent software developer, because developing new software products is labor intensive and time consuming, and it's hard to know in advance how to package the products for the various types of end-users. Wouldn't it be beneficial if there was an application that would help ease the transition between product development and licensing?

A New Approach to Managing Product Features

To enable an easy switch from software development to packaging and licensing, Microsoft has come up with a very clever solution. The main idea is to separate the development work from the more marketing oriented task of creating different types of product licenses for various types of end-user. Other benefits of this approach include a better understanding of the product's advantages and disadvantages, and more knowledge of the competitors' territory.

The solution is part of Microsoft's Software Licensing and Protection Services (SLPS) offerings. The solution enables simple charting of classes, methods, and functions into real end-user features, and this lets the developer focus on perfecting the main functions of the product, instead of wasting valuable time creating a licensing infrastructure.

Using the Software Licensing and Protection Services web-based Licensing Control Portal, the marketing department is able to compile a complete list of features, and create software packages for customers with various requirements. The Licensing Control Portal also enables the software vendor to define different types of license, such as a subscription, a free trial license, and an upgrade license. Furthermore, SLPS also lets the software vendor monitor the way in which the product is being used by the customer, and this can provide valuable information for future product development, and for offering upgrades to end-users.

The SLP 2008 Server

The main Software Licensing and Protection Services product is the SLP 2008. It is installed at the software vendor's site. There is also an online version of SLP 2008 server, the SLP online service. It has all the functionality of the SLP 2008 Server.

Additional Information

For additional information about Microsoft's SLPS offerings, visit the Microsoft website.

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