The license system allows flexible activation of secured industrial software

Wibu-Systems sets the standard for a safe industrial automation world by entering into a long-term technological partnership with B&R. This leading company develops automation technology for, among other things, the industrial production environment. As part of the ABB Group, B&R is committed to engineering excellence, software development and innovation. To protect intellectual property rights, the Austrian company introduced the Technology Guarding system. This is now further perfected by adding CodeMeter from Wibu-Systems. A customized version of the popular CmStick security hardware and all of CodeMeter’s background encryption and license management features make Technology Guarding a very powerful tool for protecting and licensing B&R’s automation software as well as additional solutions from users or third parties.

B&R’s Technology Guarding system is designed as a powerful means of encrypting and protecting the software running on the company’s specific hardware, including applications developed by users. CodeMeter combines unique encryption and license management features with extensive integration options. This means that all functions can be activated in a user-friendly way from B&R’s existing back office systems. Users can easily select and purchase licenses for the software functionality they want to add to their automation hardware, and the system takes care of ordering, license creation, delivery and invoicing. If they want to expand their systems or add new functionalities, they can easily order additional licenses.

One of the design principles of the Technology Guarding system is that it should keep a low profile and affect the user experience as little as possible. This makes CodeMeter a perfect match for B&R, as the license management and protection capabilities are built into Technology Guarding with the smallest possible footprint. CodeMeter’s license monitoring and management functions are seamlessly integrated into a powerful and efficiently designed web portal (Technology Guarding Portal). Here, users get an immediate overview of the often large number of licenses active in their automation landscape, with direct access to important information about the status of each license, their activation times, updates and much more. This simple overview is especially useful in the heterogeneous setups found in many, if not most, industrial infrastructures, with multiple generations of different devices, often produced by different manufacturers, all working together. But even on newly designed, so-called greenfield sites, with a ‘clean’ uniform structure, the Technology Guarding Portal is perfectly usable thanks to CodeMeter’s functional, user-friendly design; all licensing operations are easily triggered, including necessary transactions, handled in the background through a SOAP interface with XML messages.

The physical security of this software-driven license monitoring consists of the custom dongle that acts as a license container and hardware anchor for the essential security operations. The slim USB dongles, available as CmStick/B or CmStick/C Basic, are adapted to B&R’s Technology Guarding design, but without compromising their versatility. Thus, they provide enough capacity to provide a secure repository for sensitive information that field maintenance technicians may sometimes need. Users can choose to forgo these added features in the hardware containers and use only the software option, CmActLicenses, for even greater mobility and versatility.

Oliver Winzenried, CEO and founder of Wibu-Systems, believes that partnerships like the one with B&R are the way to go: “At Wibu-Systems, we believe that we are more than just security or license specialists. We consider ourselves ‘business enablers’. Adding CodeMeter to B&R’s Technology Guarding is a perfect representation of what we promise: you get security by design, and you get the means to protect, license and use proprietary software developed by B&R’s users to distribute.”

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