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Browse Prior Art Database

Using Biological Life-cycle to Design Free Trial Edition of Software

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012406D
Original Publication Date: 2003-May-05
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-May-05
Document File: 2 page(s) / 55K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Using an evolution modelling technique, creating a software program that will "die", thus forcing users to upgrade to a newer version or ending a trial version of this software.

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Using Biological Life-cycle to Design Free Trial Edition of Software

The main idea behind this disclosure is the use of an evolution modelling technique for creating software programs that will "die", thus forcing users to upgrade to a newer version or ending a trial version of the software. For example, function A in the trial program may be disabled after a pre-determined "life span" due to "wear and tear" of this function (much like a physical object -- e.g. batteries don't last forever). The "life" (or "death") of the trial software evolves, as opposed to abrupt termination as occurs with time-limited trial software. When function A ceases to work, function B may still have "life span" left for users to evaluate. Compared to the current cripple-ware technique for trial software, all functions are available for users to evaluate and use when the subject invention is employed to design trial programs.

This disclosure provides an easily understood mental model for software users based on observed behavious in the biological world. For example, users can easily understand that batteries don't last forever; and even if a battery is not used, it will still drain out on its own eventually. The changes in the user interface (UI) and function set in the program are less abrupt than those with the current solutions.

Here is one possible implementation for using evolution modelling at the UI architecture layer to design trial edition of a software program.

The following diagram illustrate the core implementation for this invention.

The program execution flow is the following:

The software program starts with an initial function set and UI configuration (for the purpose of this

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description, we are not concerned with whether thi...