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Philip Ostle

Delphi Registration

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A sad tale,

 

The issue of registration of running Delphi has change markedly over the past few years.

 

I have been using Delphi since Delphi 1 and dip in every few years or so to upgrade. Always using a Named User Licence and only occasionally installed it on different machines, so a Named Network User licence was not really needed.

 

I bought Delphi 10.4 early last year and it came with a 1 year maintanance, which expired in March.

 

My main Laptop died (or is in the last thros of death) so I bought a new one and sucessfully installed it on the new machine and started the process of transferring all the stuff I needed to the new machine. Ok, so I renamed the old laptop to '....Old' and renamed my new laptop to something more appropriate but .... when I tried to run Delphi... it wanted to be registerEd again. I though nothing of it so ... I did on the old machine but when I tried on the new machine , I was informed that I had run out of install licences (apparently it is 3 now, it used to be way way more!).

 

I re-named my new laptop back to what it was so at least it would work and ... It needs to register again and won't as I have used up all 3 slots.

 

I read that the number of installs can easily be bumped up so I e-mailed Embarcadero and explained "exactly" what had happened. They refused on the grounds that while they could do it, I needed an active subscription. (see Registrationn Limits below)

 

They pointed out that it was already registered to run on 3 machines. I pointed out that they were the same machines and only the Machine Name had changed... No joy

 

They then tried the "it's a subscription only license and has expired" , but a copy of my licence clearely states "perpetual"...registered to me etc etc. Nowhere does it say anything about being restriced to a machine name.


After many lengthy e-mails to Embarcadero, nothing has been resolved.

 

I said 'delete all the previous' .. nope

I said increase the counter ... nope

 

I have a working copy on my old laptop (which used up 2x licences due to re-naming) which will be dead soon and I cannot install it on my new laptop even though it has been installed and registered on that machine before.

 

They have said that if I pay for a maintainance, they will happily increase the counter. Is this now ransomware? possibly. Is it counter to the terms and spirit of the lscence agreement? yes. Is it Illegal? probably.

 

This whole issue is due to the licence being registered to the "Machine Name", and not to me  ... Or so it seams and it does not keep account of the previous names that the machine had so it can check before it wipes everything out. I do not think it unreasonobale to expect people to rename their computers. people do it all the time.

 

from Embarcadero’s Atanas Popov

https://blogs.embarcadero.com/from-the-gm-new-updates-and-changes-to-the-registration-bumps-policy/

 

Registration Limits

We have noticed compliance issues and increased Support efforts related to registration limit increases for customers on older product versions, who are no longer on Update Subscription. It is a standard industry practice to provide support to the most recent versions and to customers who have extended maintenance. We updated our processes and now route all issues raised from users who are not on Update Subscription to Sales and Renewals. We realize this is a change to previous operations and to reduce the impact to development projects, we issued a one-time registration limit increase for all customers who are close to hitting their registration count limit. This should address issues with re-installs of your licensed software on existing or new machines. Further, we will continue to look for options to make this more seamless through automation.

 

Apparently, I have a previous version because I do not have an update subscription. Nor do I want one.!

 

Apparently, they have found no "options to make this seamless" after an extensive search.

 

Be warned

 

DO NOT RENAME YOUR MACHINE

 

I may have to bight the bullet and hand over some cash

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They route license increase to Sales and Renewals, and of course, Sales will try to sell you a subscription, but AFAIK you don't have to purchase it and they will bump your license count. Still, this is confusing practice and sometimes you need to be persistent. 

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18 minutes ago, Philip Ostle said:

That it is tied to a machine "name" and not the macine itsel?

It's the name (and maybe even the username?), I guess HDD serial and some other information serials from the machine.

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Um, can't use the license regXX.txt file for that?

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I don't have any of those

 

I only have these .slp Files (but have no idea what to do with them, or whether I should even try)

 

C:\ProgramData\Embarcadero

    .2026_50.1661798390517.slp

    .2026_50.1661868971833.slp

    .2026_50.1662218526007.slp

    .cgb_license

    .cgb_license.corrupted

    /.Licenses

        .cg_license

        .cg_license.corrupted

        license-manager.ini

        /deleted

           .4024_17.1662424776925.slp

    

   

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If you are asked to register, select the option that you own the license file. Then you give it to him. In the worst case, nothing happens.
I just managed to register. It's a good idea to delete all registrations beforehand. But you wrote that he wouldn't let you in there :classic_sad:
Another option is to contact the supplier for help.

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10 hours ago, Dalija Prasnikar said:

They route license increase to Sales and Renewals, and of course, Sales will try to sell you a subscription, but AFAIK you don't have to purchase it and they will bump your license count. Still, this is confusing practice and sometimes you need to be persistent. 

This is imho an unconscionable business practice - either the licenses are perpetual or they expire when the subscription expires, embarcadero can't have it both ways. I can't imagine how many customers they have turned away with this practice - pretty much every delphi dev I have met has encountered this issue - several gave up and walked away from delphi because of this license insecurity. Some went back to D7 because they could always get their license to work. 

 

If a company is going to use node locked activation (which is what this is), then they have to provide a way to unregister/move/transfer licenses. It's not that hard. 

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12 hours ago, Stano said:

If you are asked to register, select the option that you own the license file. Then you give it to him. In the worst case, nothing happens.
I just managed to register. It's a good idea to delete all registrations beforehand. But you wrote that he wouldn't let you in there :classic_sad:
Another option is to contact the supplier for help.

I've been through that with all the .slp files using both the new and old computer names (in upper and lower case). No joy.

 

It says "Active information does not apply to current user/host machine or is no longer valid for this product. Please register"

 

I contacted the supplier (Grey Matter) as part of my campaign.

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5 hours ago, Vincent Parrett said:

This is imho an unconscionable business practice - either the licenses are perpetual or they expire when the subscription expires, embarcadero can't have it both ways. I can't imagine how many customers they have turned away with this practice - pretty much every delphi dev I have met has encountered this issue - several gave up and walked away from delphi because of this license insecurity. Some went back to D7 because they could always get their license to work. 

 

If a company is going to use node locked activation (which is what this is), then they have to provide a way to unregister/move/transfer licenses. It's not that hard. 

Obviously I agree but getting through to 'none sales related' Embarcadero staff is problematic. As I bought this through 'Grey Matter' and not directly with Embarcadero, they may have more clout as under english law, they are liable, as is the credit card company, for any 'Faulty' products they sell.

 

I Have D7 on the old machine and that works (for registration) no problem but D7 has problems with the compiler using generics, x64 code amongs other thngsc. so was hoping to have a clean install with Alexandria. I dont want this new machine clogged up with relics. I upgrade for the compiler enhancements and have little interest in the components.

 

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I had the same problem a few years age, and now consider Delphi ransomware. When it happened, I was just going to go back to D7 but that license (CodeGear) would not work either. I ended up buying a new license (Pro version). I was contacted by a new Embarcadero rep when the renewal came due and found that the majority of the renewal price was premium support $500.00 I think, so now I just pay the $400.00 ransom each year.

 

Shame on you Embarcadero!

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9 minutes ago, Gary said:

I had the same problem a few years age, and now consider Delphi ransomware. When it happened, I was just going to go back to D7 but that license (CodeGear) would not work either. I ended up buying a new license (Pro version). I was contacted by a new Embarcadero rep when the renewal came due and found that the majority of the renewal price was premium support $500.00 I think, so now I just pay the $400.00 ransom each year.

 

Shame on you Embarcadero!

Not quite the encouragement I was hoping for!

 

As I bought this through AMEX corporate Platinum, it comes with full legal cover. Under British law, the sale of goods act 1979 (merchanatble quality and all that) and the joint and several liability that is inherent with all card purchases, I will pursue that option as well, however..

Is payment of a ransom demand illegal?

It is not currently illegal to pay a ransom demand in the UK which may surprise some considering the payment of a bribe, which is akin to a ransom payment, is illegal, as is making a payment to terrorists and other prescribed groups. Equally, those falling victim to an attack in the UK are not required by law to report it, although law enforcement bodies strongly recommend reporting it at the earliest opportunity to seek their assistance and expertise to maximise opportunities and to mitigate the threat.

 

https://www.penningtonslaw.com/news-publications/latest-news/2021/directors-beware-the-civil-penalties-for-ransomware

 

Hmmmm

 

I'll soldier on.

 

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The last time (Jan 2022) I requested a registration bump I was sent this:

 

Quote

We received your request to increase the registration limit for your serial number xxx. Unfortunately, there is not an active support and maintenance agreement for this license. Licenses without active maintenance are not eligible for technical support and this includes increasing the registration limit for your license.

Historically, we provided limited support for activities such as changing registration limits as a courtesy.  Going forward registration limit changes will have to be approved by Renewals. We are working to provide a more automated way to facilitate this service in the future or eliminate the need for it altogether.

I have copied the renewals team in this email response (renewals@idera.com). Your renewals representative will be able to assist you with options to renew your support and maintenance, as well as facilitate the necessary registration increases.

If you have not already, try emailing renewals with your request. They should assign it to Embarcadero EU, who should then contact you - try and get you to renew - then do the bump as requested. Or so I am told. I ended up not following through with my request as I copied the slip files from another machine, and renamed my machine to that machine (which I was retiring), and got my copies of D2007 and D10.1 working that way. This old SO question still applies, as far as I know:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/34451575/reinstalling-windows-without-re-registering-delphi

Edited by Nigel Thomas
version number correction
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2 minutes ago, Nigel Thomas said:

The last time (Jan 2022) I requested a registration bump I was sent this:

 

If you have not already, try emailing renewals with your request. They should assign it to Embarcadero EU, who should then contact you - try and get you to renew - then do the bump as requested. Or so I am told. I ended up not following through with my request as I copied the slip files from another machine, and renamed my machine to that machine (which I was retiring), and got my copies of D2007 and D10.4.1 working that way. This old SO question still applies, as far as I know:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/34451575/reinstalling-windows-without-re-registering-delphi

You mean this one....

Hello Philip,

We received your request to increase the registration limit for your serial number xxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxx Unfortunately, there is not an active support and maintenance agreement for this license.

Historically, Support provided limited support for activities such as changing registration limits as a courtesy.  Going forward registration limit changes will need the approval of your Account Management Team (renewals@idera.com).  We are working to provide a more automated way to facilitate this service in the future or eliminate the need for it altogether.

Please, be advised that we will close this case #00963229. 

Sincerely, 
xxxxxxx
Technical Support Engineer
ref:_00D30HwR._5005a2E0Qog:ref

So I did and renewals@idero.com sent it back to Embarcardero and I got this...

 

Hello Philip,
 
How are you? I hope you are well.
 
I am really sorry to inform you that your subscription for license has expired on 3/23/2022 and that's the reason you can't install it. In order to get the full access and use it on all of your machines, you need to renew it and I can help with that.
 
If you are willing to renew then please let me know I will provide you with a renewal quote.
 
Have a great time!
 

xxxxxxx

 

Senior Customer Retention Specialist

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

 

However, It is not a "subscription" licence as I pointed out in my next one back to them, with invoice to prove it!.

 

I will look into copying an old .slp file from the other machine and re-naming. You never know, that might work.

 

As long as I can remember what it was called.

 

I have e-mailed the UK "office of fair trading" to see what they say and have e-mailed a few other organsations that might be interested in this disgraceful practice.

 

I wouldn't mind so much if I had tried to install on 4 different machines but they were the same machines, twice.

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If I understand this thread correctly, Embarcardero / Idera are insisting on an active subscription to validate a reinstallation of a time unlimited licensed product. If this is happening then I agree that it's unconscionable and the matter should be escalated to more senior staff. This sort of problem reinforces my perception that Delphi is fast approaching end of life.

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2 minutes ago, angusj said:

If I understand this thread correctly, Embarcardero / Idera are insisting on an active subscription to validate a reinstallation of a time unlimited licensed product. If this is happening then I agree that it's unconscionable and the matter should be escalated to more senior staff. This sort of problem reinforces my perception that Delphi is fast approaching end of life.

That's exatly it.

 

They will quite happily bump up the count ONLY if I pay up. Many many other users have had this problem and walked away. I my case, its installig it on the same machine that it was already installed on!

 

I'm not quite sure who it should be bumped up to. All roads lead to the subscription department and they have clearely been instructed not to offer any assistance to anyone on any matter if there isn't a maintainance contract running. On the contrary, I think (but I am guessing) they have been instructed to sell maintainance at all costs and bugger the customer (in both senses of the phrase)

 

I am not quite ready to quit yet.

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13 minutes ago, angusj said:

This sort of problem reinforces my perception that Delphi is fast approaching end of life.

:DDDDD

 

You have a sales problem (contract) and you contact the support => product is dying. You ppl. are so much fun.

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40 minutes ago, Attila Kovacs said:

You have a sales problem (contract) and you contact the support

Licensing is not a sales problem, and yes the product is dying when you have to coerce former customers to keep paying for something they already paid for. Not a great way to build customer loyalty - so they don't have a currenty software assurance contract, now they probably never will. 

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3 minutes ago, Vincent Parrett said:

Licensing is not a sales problem

You must be joking too. If you have a perpetual license and you can't install, you call the person who sold you and not anyone because you accidentally know about some internal stuff like license bumping or what is it. And if you would read Dalija's comment you would know that you are talking riubbish.

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1 minute ago, Attila Kovacs said:

You must be joking too. If you have a perpetual license and you can't install, you call the person who sold you and not anyone because you accidentally know about some internal stuff like license bumping or what is it. And if you would read Dalija's comment you would know that you are talking riubbish.

Routing a support/install/licensing issue to sales (often 5 different people) to try and strong arm you into paying money doesn't make it a sales issue.  I don't know of any other software company that sells perpetual licenses that does this. I've had issues installing old software before, but never once have I been strongarmed to buy again like embarcadero does. Hell, I sell software, and if you came to me an told me you had lost your v1 license key from 2001 I would help you get it installed at no charge (this happens multiple times a week). Of course I might suggest that you upgrade (and even offer a discount to get you on board), but I'm not going to route you to different people or employ used car sales tactics to get you to upgrade, I'll make the offer while helping you.  

 

Embarcadero need to do better if they want to retain customers and get old customers back on board, because right now their tactics are driving people away.  

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I agree it is bad move to create the problem - limited activations with no way to de-activate - then require a support contract to 'fix' it with a bump to the number allowed. As others have mentioned it seems more like a car salesman's slimeball tactic to increase 'sales interactions' than provide any benefit to customers. The policy basically says to active developers trying to reinstall: Give me money or you can go f*** yourself. That is not how you build a developer community. It is likely driving away a good number of developers and killing sales in the long term for a few renewals in the short term. 

 

In my estimation they should just allow three and decay them one per year. More than that by request with justification. Or just bring back a way to do it self-serve style like it was before with some upper limit based on time. 

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They must be breaking their own licence terms. They'd probably back down very quickly if threatened with legal action. 

 

When I faced this problem, reassigning a licence from a retired developer to a new hire, I had to use my personal contacts with the senior developer team to get it resolved. I don't feel great about having had to do this.

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I have on my tongue in such situations:

  • What do you want from stupid Americans. They are only interested in money. Nothing more.
  • Managers must have studied at Oxford. They have high self-esteem and are completely detached from reality. They also only have eyes on dollars/euros. They are deaf and blind.

Please don't take it personally. I am quite disgusted by it. I have already commented on it. I will not repeat myself and throw peas on the wall.

I can hear the death knell ringing 

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