Wibu-Systems, the protection and licensing specialists from Karlsruhe, is raising a flag for a safer and more secure industrial automation world with a long-standing technological cooperation with B&R, the leading automation company from Austria. As part of the ABB Group, B&R is committed to engineering excellence and innovation, making the decision to add Wibu-Systems’ world-leading CodeMeter solution to its Technology Guarding system seem a natural step for them. With custom versions of the popular CmStick security hardware and all of CodeMeter’s encryption and license management capabilities working in the background, Technology Guarding becomes the powerful tool to protect and license both B&R’s own automation software and the third-party solutions of its users.
B&R’s Technology Guarding system is designed as a powerful means to encrypt and protect the software running on the company’s automation hardware, including the applications developed by its users. With CodeMeter bringing not only its unique encryption and license management competences to the mix, but also its extensive integration capabilities, the entire Technology Guarding experience is integrated with B&R’s established back office systems. Users can therefore simply choose and buy licenses for the functions they require for their automation hardware, and the system takes care of the entire ordering, license creation, delivery, and billing process for them. Should they want to expand their systems or add new functionalities, they can simply add more licenses as they go.
One of the design principles for the Technology Guarding system is that it should keep a low profile and intrude as little as possible into the user experience. This makes CodeMeter a perfect match for B&R, as its license management and protection capabilities are built into Technology Guarding with the smallest footprint possible. In practice, this means the complete integration of CodeMeter’s license monitoring and management features in a powerful, but economically designed web portal, the Technology Guarding Portal. Here, users get an immediate overview over the often-large numbers of licenses active in their automation landscapes, with direct access to important information about the status of each license, their activation times, updates, and much more. This easy and convenient overview is particularly helpful in the heterogeneous setups that will exist in many, if not most real-life industrial infrastructures, with different generations of different devices, often produced by different makers, all working together. But even in new greenfield sites, designed from scratch and as clean and uniform as they can be, the Technology Guarding Portal is a perfect expression of CodeMeter’s low-key and user-friendly design: Any license operations can be handled right there, with the necessary transactions happening via SOAP interface in the background.
The visible expression of all this software wizardry is the custom dongle that serves as the license container and hardware anchor for the essential security operations. Available in a choice of either a CmStick/B or CmStick/C Basic, the sleek USB dongles are customized to match B&R’s Technology Guarding design, but without any compromise on their popular capabilities, including specially secured storage capacities to provide a safe repository for sensitive information that might be needed by engineers or service technicians in the field. Alternatively, users can choose to forego these added capabilities of the hardware containers and use the software-only option, CmActLicenses, for even more mobility and versatility.
Oliver Winzenried, CEO and founder at Wibu-Systems, believes cooperations like those with B&R are the right way forward: “At Wibu-Systems, we make it a point to say that we are more than just security or licensing specialists. We consider ourselves business enablers, and adding CodeMeter to B&R’s Technology Guarding is a perfect expression of what that means in practice: You get security by design, and you get the means to protect, license, and distribute even proprietary software developed by B&R’s users themselves.”
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