DPD Update: Updates to Device Based Activation based on vendor feedback- we’re listening!

  • Jason@DPD
  • January 17, 2018

In our previous update we introduced Device Based Activation as an upgrade to our old attempt based system, which created customer service issues for some vendors having to reactivate download links for customers.

We’ve had varying feedback from the thousands of vendors using our platform- everything from “thank you I’m so tired of reactivating customers” to “ugh this won’t work because I relied on the old system’s behavior in my sales strategy.” There was even some “this is new and I don’t like anything new I hate you now!” sprinkled in, much like we get with most updates.

First I want to explain our reasoning for the change, and what we’re doing to accommodate those vendors who do special things with delivery.

Why Device Based Activation anyway?

The #1 complaint we get in support and on twitter is that vendors are tired of reactivating old download links. We get it- it is annoying. So we worked from this basic premise:

The vast majority of vendors want to sell people things and want the person who bought the thing (and only that person) to have access to it forever because they bought it and they own it. Vendors don’t want to have to deal with customers from 2 years ago who bought their icons/PDF/video/software/theme trying to download- they just want it to work for everyone who bought it, every time.

The Device Based Activation addresses this most common sales scenario:

  1. Customer buys the thing
  2. The device they bought it on, plus a couple others if you want (their phone, tablet, home PC, whatever) can download it.
  3. If the customer ever needs to download it again on a new computer, they can validate through their purchase email and download it again, years in the future without having to interact with the vendor and wait.

This is pretty much the holy grail scenario for most vendors- it just works, you’ll rarely have to interact with customers who have bought your products about download issues, and the customer will always have access to the products they own.

In addition, Device Based Activation is the activation framework for future advanced features– things like hosted content, streaming content or video, and other things that have to check that someone is authorized are now possible with this system.

Of course, there were some long time vendors who had some special cases. We’ve listened and addressed those:

The Special Cases

Need a Time Limit on product access:

We had vendors who constantly update their existing product with new versions and each revision takes special configuration on new computers. They didn’t want customers to be able to constantly download new versions on new computers without their interaction.

For this scenario, we’ve added a session lifetime parameter that says “Authorized devices time out after x days / weeks / months”.

That way, vendors can say “You can download to your hearts content for the first 2 weeks on authorized computers, then you’ll have to contact the vendor to reactivate.”


Multi User License sales:

A few other vendors sold a single product as a multi-seat license (say, a 50 pack) and needed the product to be downloaded by 50 different devices without having to activate each device.

For this scenario, we’ve added auto-activation of devices up to the concurrent device limit. If you set the concurrent device limit on that store to 50, the first 50 computers who download from that specific link can do so without the email activation. After the concurrent device limit is reached, new devices will have to use the email activation procedure up to the total device limit. If the total device limit is 50, then after 50 devices download the vendor will have to add more devices.

That way, vendors can sell 50 seat licenses and 50 different people can download from the same delivery link without issue.

The Email Authorization System is Annoying / This feels like DRM / Etc.:

This is a pretty industry standard system of authorizing identity- you have to have access to the purchase email account to download a product. The Steam game platform and others do this, so its not a crazy foreign concept. It prevents people from posting your link on a forum or website and everyone on earth getting your product.

To address the extra annoyance of email authorization, as stated above we’ve removed the requirement for email authorization of new devices up to the concurrent device limit. Any new devices over the concurrent device limit will have to authorize through email up to the maximum device limit. This prevents wholesale link sharing.

This will also address concerns of appearing to have annoying “DRM” or other features preventing you from getting your products. The download authorization system is not DRM and doesn’t affect your products content or usability- we’re just verifying you bought the product.

In Summary:

Device Based Activation is not about creating more headaches for vendors– its about freeing you from having to reactivate downloads if configured correctly.

We understand that several vendors have special circumstances and selling scenarios, and we’re confident we can address them using our new system while improving delivery for every vendor and customer.

Device Based Activation System Rollout

New stores created in DPD from this point forward use device based activation. We’re holding off on updating existing stores until more feedback is gathered and we have accommodated every scenario we can with the new system before moving everyone to the new platform.

Device based activation will be required for future advanced features and future versions of the cart, so please contact us so we can help you get configured for your sales scenario so you can take advantage of new features!

Please Reach Out to Us!

We know change can be scary! We’re here to help you set up your store for your unique selling scenario so please submit a support ticket or catch us on live chat during the day and we’ll help you configure your store to the best setup for you.

Responses (5) / Trackbacks (0)

    by Greg Thurman
    Jan 17th, 2018


    You guys are amazing. Being part of the “Special Cases” scenario, I sure do appreciate all the extra attention you spent on us ‘outliers’. THANK YOU!

    by KJ
    Feb 18th, 2018


    So stoked about this. I was with Payloadz for about 8 years until I found DPD, I haven’t looked back since. Your team is all over things.
    Thank you

    by BMJ
    Mar 19th, 2018


    Hi! I would like to submit a request – could a blog post be written with suggestions on specific wording to use when communicating with our customers about the new device-based system. For example:
    1. A concise, positive sentence or two introducing customers to the new system, with an emphasis on how it will benefit them.
    2. A few sentences explaining what changes previous customers may encounter with this new system.
    3. Step-by-step guides to each of the new features of the system.
    I have read through all the blog posts multiple times, but all the wording is (understandably) directed towards DPD customers and I am having a difficult time translating that to clear, concise communication to pass onto my customers. I think the new system is great and I want to ensure a positive, easy transition for everyone.

      by Jason@DPD
      Mar 20th, 2018



      I’m sorry it all seems so complex, but its really very simple for the customer:

      From a customer perspective the change is seamless- When customers buy something they’ll get access to their purchase (download, key code, etc) immediately.

      When a customer attempts to download something from a new computer or device days or weeks later, instead of them getting a “Download Expired” page where they’ll have to contact you to manually authorize a download they instead will simply get a page that says “Enter your email to verify your identity” and click a link that gets sent to them to download what they’ve already purchased.

      For the vast majority of customers it will require no interaction on your part and be completely automatic and the customers can access what they bought. I’m honestly not sure if it requires much explanation- it will literally work like “Download what you bought anytime from anywhere once we verify who you are.”

    by BMJ
    Mar 20th, 2018


    Perfect! Just wanted to make sure I had all the details straight and stayed a step ahead of my customers. 🙂 Thanks so much!

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