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Protecting the finished app....

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  • Protecting the finished app....

    Hi guys,
    I would appriciate a little help here:
    1. When I create an install package (using Alpha built-in function) and install the app on the other PC with lisenced A5 V8, I have full access to the app!?
    Q: Is it possible to protect somehow the finished app so the other registred users cannot modify my database?
    2. In designing the field rules for my database, lookups tab, auto popup can be 'do not popup','popup' and 'popup conditionaly on entrance'.
    Q: Is it possible to set the popup option not on entrance but something like before leaving the filed or if a filed is left empty (OnDepart...)?
    Reason: Now, when I got focus to this field there is a popup form coming up, but I would like to do this - if I enter a number to this field then it will look up the closest match in other table, but if I don't enter anything and try to lose focus,then to have popup form.
    Thanks, Zeljko.

  • #2
    Re: Protecting the finished app....

    Does the "other" PC have a runtime version of ALpha5V8 or full design version? Just wondering.

    Does your application use a startup form and/or an autoexec? If not, you should search the message board for threads on these keywords (autoexec, startup form) as well as hiding the control panel.

    Search the documentation for "security" and you should also find some good information.


    • #3
      Re: Protecting the finished app....

      FYI, you should always password scripts and tables that are being distributed.
      Don't forget to make a backup copy first!.


      • #4
        Re: Protecting the finished app....

        I was thinking more constructive protection.
        Yes, I know about password protection, but is there any other way? I was developing with VB2005 and when I make an exe file I don't have to think about protecting anything, because not many people are familiar with reverse engeneering, decompiling, disassembling......
        I will check the other threads, but I would like to know if it is possible to protect it.
        P.S. I'm talking about full A5 design version on the other PC...


        • #5
          Re: Protecting the finished app....

          The is no "compiler" for Alpha Five, thus there is no way to make your
          application into an .EXE.

          Users/Clients, either need the runtime or full version of Alpha Five to use the application. I can see how you would desire the ability to make an .EXE, but
          in actuality, the password protection scheme works quite well. One further step
          you could do is to have the opening screen post a disclaimer that states
          anyone attempting to tamper with or alter the application in any way voids your support agreement.


          • #6
            Re: Protecting the finished app....

            Just one more note.

            Neither MS Access nor Filepro (Filemaker) applications can be made into .EXE's either. :)


            • #7
              Re: Protecting the finished app....

              Well, ok then. You are saying that if I put a password in my app the other users with full A5 will not be able to see/edit my forms,reports etc.?
              Point me to some threads or help, please.
              Thanks, Zeljko.


              • #8
                Re: Protecting the finished app....

                By-the-way, MS Access has a nice way for protection -
                making MDE file!
                MDE is impossible to edit and also impossible to reverse into MDB.Very simple, right? I don't know is there a similar easy conversion in Alpha5 V8 desktop?


                • #9
                  Re: Protecting the finished app....

                  Try Cal Locklins registration routines.

                  I know this isn't exactly what your looking for but Alpha do not offer a compiler and have stated they have no intention of offering one. Maybe they should work with a third party to introduce a protection scheme. One for the wish list maybe?



                  • #10
                    Re: Protecting the finished app....

                    For information on password protecting objects in Alpha Five, please refer to
                    The Alpha Five Help.

                    Getting Started with Alpha Five
                    Database Maintenance

                    "Once you have set a Master Password for a database, you can encrypt individual tables in the database. Once a table has been encrypted, you can use it normally within the database, but you will not be able to open the database in other contexts, such as with Microsoft Excel, or use it with other software programs that can read DBF files."

                    In addition, see the chapter, "Security for Your Database".
                    All Databases, Tables, Forms, Reports, Scripts and just about any other object can be password protected. This is all covered in Alpha Five Help.


                    • #11
                      Re: Protecting the finished app....

                      Hi Zeljko,

                      Don't password protect any code unless you want to leave the script for others. It is better to compile it into a compiled library (AEX file) that you reference. The script/function passwords aren't needed if you use the compiled library and just get in the way of development.

                      Also use OPTION ENCRYPTED_TOKENS in the code which will make the AEX file harder to read.

                      If you take a look at my CSDA Code Utility's AEX file, you will find no useful information that I don't want a person to find.

                      If you want to protect code on layouts, or for operations, execute a global script or function that runs the same code and then compile it. In either case, don't use the same password for layouts as you use for operations and as you use for code. If a person breaks one, they are still locked out of the others.

                      And I don't normally recommend password protection on databases unless required for security purposes. It just locks up data needlessly and gets in the way.

                      Ira J. Perlow
                      Computer Systems Design

                      CSDA A5 Products
                      New - Free CSDA DiagInfo - v1.39, 30 Apr 2013
                      CSDA Barcode Functions

                      CSDA Code Utility
                      CSDA Screen Capture


                      • #12
                        Re: Protecting the finished app....

                        Has any one tried MoleBox ( with A5? As a former FoxPro user, it seemed to work with most apps including runtimes.

                        I am new to A5 and still learning as I move from FileMaker to A5...


                        • #13
                          Re: Protecting the finished app....

                          Originally posted by melmitts707 View Post
                          Has any one tried MoleBox ( with A5? As a former FoxPro user, it seemed to work with most apps including runtimes.

                          I am new to A5 and still learning as I move from FileMaker to A5...

                          Interesting product. Do you have more experiences with this software that you can share?

                          Sometimes it's really good to get some new blood in the mix here. This is a great contribution.

                          Al Buchholz
                          Bookwood Systems, LTD
                          Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

                          Occam's Razor - KISS
                          Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
                          Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
                          When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.
                          "Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler."
                          Albert Einstein



                          • #14
                            Re: Protecting the finished app....

                            I think Mr.Perlow has most understood me.
                            I will check these few links.
                            When I was using Clipper S'87 it was easy-compile it and I had exe file. If I lost the source,I could use Valkiry to retrive the source.Later I started with Access,I switch the mdb into mde and my forms and reports are protected from being edited. Two years ago I started with VB and it was easy again.Make an install/setup and that's it.But here with A5 its a little bit confusing for me.Few months ago I spoke to James Stewart(member of Alpha team)about saving dbf files before I make update of database(in the case of changed forms,reports...etc.) and he strongly recommended not to do that! Well for us how has experience with other developing solutions,its rather confusing because database was always a place to keep data and other 'beauty' things are just to make the work with it more convenient. Even with Access you leave one mdb just with tables and use other for making queries,forms,reports,vb scripts....
                            For now I feel sorry that Alpha team didn't make something easy and effective regarding security(prevent app from being modified on other PC with A5 full installed).
                            'There is a password' you'll say, but Mr.Perlow knows what I mean. We'll see....


                            • #15
                              Re: Protecting the finished app....

                              My experience with MoleBox and FoxPro is very limited. Basically you built the runtime app, then you add everything to the MoleBox file except the database files. I will see if I can experiment some this weekend...