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making a trial version of software

 
Greg Schwartz
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Many distribution channels for wireless software (ie. Handango.com) allow users to download a trial version of an application. While one way to do this is by limiting features in a trial version, other applications seem to have a 30 day trial period or some time restraint.
I was wondering if anyone knew how this is done for J2ME software. Is it something written into the application or are there additional files that can be added to the project suite to restrict use after a certain amount of time? Is there a standard technique that most developers use?
Thanks for your help...
 
Burk Hufnagel
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If you app has a server-side component you can always put the code to limit the client side app there.
If it's a standalone app then you may want to look into AspectJ (or something like it) to insert and remove the code that limits your app at compile time.
Or, have a two versions of class that is used to determine the features, etc. available to the user. Package your "trial edition" with one version of the class and the "unlimited" version with the other. It's may be a little more work, but I think it would do what you're asking.
 
John Hembree
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You also might add some type of data switch or toggle to keep anyone from setting the date back to get your application to work. I've seen a few programs that don't do that, you change the date to within the time limit and you're good to go again. I've only seen a couple that once the date is past you can't do anything to get it going again.
 
Burk Hufnagel
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Of course, changing the date on your phone or PDA to play a game, or use an app, then remembering to change it back so they don't miss appointments may be inconvenient enough to make them buy it.
I guess it just depends on the "nusiance (sp?) factor"...
 
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