DE102008045315A1 - Licensing apparatus and method for automated assignment of use licenses to sensors - Google Patents

Licensing apparatus and method for automated assignment of use licenses to sensors

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Publication number
DE102008045315A1
DE102008045315A1 DE200810045315 DE102008045315A DE102008045315A1 DE 102008045315 A1 DE102008045315 A1 DE 102008045315A1 DE 200810045315 DE200810045315 DE 200810045315 DE 102008045315 A DE102008045315 A DE 102008045315A DE 102008045315 A1 DE102008045315 A1 DE 102008045315A1
Authority
DE
Germany
Prior art keywords
device
license
licensing
sensor
characterized
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Pending
Application number
DE200810045315
Other languages
German (de)
Inventor
Tobias Mieth
Sven Matthias Scheibe
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Endress and Hauser Conducta Gesellschaft fur Mess und Regeltechnik mbH and Co KG
Original Assignee
Endress and Hauser Conducta Gesellschaft fur Mess und Regeltechnik mbH and Co KG
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Endress and Hauser Conducta Gesellschaft fur Mess und Regeltechnik mbH and Co KG filed Critical Endress and Hauser Conducta Gesellschaft fur Mess und Regeltechnik mbH and Co KG
Priority to DE200810045315 priority Critical patent/DE102008045315A1/en
Publication of DE102008045315A1 publication Critical patent/DE102008045315A1/en
Application status is Pending legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05BCONTROL OR REGULATING SYSTEMS IN GENERAL; FUNCTIONAL ELEMENTS OF SUCH SYSTEMS; MONITORING OR TESTING ARRANGEMENTS FOR SUCH SYSTEMS OR ELEMENTS
    • G05B19/00Programme-control systems
    • G05B19/02Programme-control systems electric
    • G05B19/04Programme control other than numerical control, i.e. in sequence controllers or logic controllers
    • G05B19/042Programme control other than numerical control, i.e. in sequence controllers or logic controllers using digital processors
    • G05B19/0428Safety, monitoring
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F21/00Security arrangements for protecting computers, components thereof, programs or data against unauthorised activity
    • G06F21/10Protecting distributed programs or content, e.g. vending or licensing of copyrighted material
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F21/00Security arrangements for protecting computers, components thereof, programs or data against unauthorised activity
    • G06F21/10Protecting distributed programs or content, e.g. vending or licensing of copyrighted material
    • G06F21/105Tools for software license management or administration, e.g. managing licenses at corporate level
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05BCONTROL OR REGULATING SYSTEMS IN GENERAL; FUNCTIONAL ELEMENTS OF SUCH SYSTEMS; MONITORING OR TESTING ARRANGEMENTS FOR SUCH SYSTEMS OR ELEMENTS
    • G05B2219/00Program-control systems
    • G05B2219/20Pc systems
    • G05B2219/24Pc safety
    • G05B2219/24161Use of key, in key is stored access level
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05BCONTROL OR REGULATING SYSTEMS IN GENERAL; FUNCTIONAL ELEMENTS OF SUCH SYSTEMS; MONITORING OR TESTING ARRANGEMENTS FOR SUCH SYSTEMS OR ELEMENTS
    • G05B2219/00Program-control systems
    • G05B2219/20Pc systems
    • G05B2219/24Pc safety
    • G05B2219/24163Authentication tag in configuration file
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05BCONTROL OR REGULATING SYSTEMS IN GENERAL; FUNCTIONAL ELEMENTS OF SUCH SYSTEMS; MONITORING OR TESTING ARRANGEMENTS FOR SUCH SYSTEMS OR ELEMENTS
    • G05B2219/00Program-control systems
    • G05B2219/20Pc systems
    • G05B2219/24Pc safety
    • G05B2219/24165Use codes to activate features of controller
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05BCONTROL OR REGULATING SYSTEMS IN GENERAL; FUNCTIONAL ELEMENTS OF SUCH SYSTEMS; MONITORING OR TESTING ARRANGEMENTS FOR SUCH SYSTEMS OR ELEMENTS
    • G05B2219/00Program-control systems
    • G05B2219/20Pc systems
    • G05B2219/24Pc safety
    • G05B2219/24167Encryption, password, user access privileges

Abstract

A license allocation device (10) for an automated allocation of user licenses to sensors (1) or sensor devices (2) and a corresponding method for licensing are proposed, wherein the sensors (1) or sensor devices (2) with a license-dependent method in production plants at various Locations are operated decentralized at the licensee, wherein the device comprises a memory module (3) for storing license keys LS and other license-related or device-related data and a computing unit (4) and a display device (5), wherein it is characterized in that means (7 ) are provided for contactless signal transmission between on the one hand the licensing device (10) and on the other hand the device to be released with a license L, a sensor (1) or a sensor device (2).

Description

  • The The invention relates to a licensing apparatus for a automated allocation of user licenses to sensors or sensor devices, which are mounted decentrally and with a license-dependent Procedures operated by the licensee. The invention relates as well as a method for the automated licensing of user licenses to sensors or sensor devices according to the preamble of the claim 10th
  • For a mobile licensing of user licenses to devices, which are operated decentrally by different licensees, have been in the past various methods and devices proposed. Some of the known licensing procedures use for the transfer of license keys wireless networks, such as the Internet or cellular networks.
  • So is in the EP 1 276 066 A2 a licensing procedure has been described in which a licensor provides the licensee with a license key via the Internet and at the same time a license payment is processed. This method uses an authentication module, for example in the form of a fingerprint reader, to increase security. In addition, the transmitted license data and payment data are encrypted with a public and a private key, ie with a so-called asynchronous encryption methodology. This process makes licensing over the Internet more secure. However, this type of licensing is poorly suited for licensing technical equipment in production facilities without Internet access, such as sensors, sensors or transducers of sensors in production facilities.
  • The DE 103 18 489 A1 also describes a method for mobile and decentralized licensing, in which a license request is sent via a mobile telephone and a mobile radio network to a central license management system. To identify the user device to be licensed, a unique code number of the device, such as the SIM card information of a mobile phone, is linked to the license request and sent together with it to the license server. Also, this method is not suitable for licensing to sensor devices in production equipment such as the chemical industry or food technology, since the devices usually have no means for mobile signal transmission.
  • The Licensing of technical terminals in production facilities, such as sensor devices, therefore, takes place until today mostly in a manual way, d. H. a license key gets through on the first commissioning on the spot entered the licensor or a machine operator, and it become license-relevant data, such as the serial number of the device to be licensed. The manual Entering license keys at a plurality of sensor devices in technically complex production facilities, however, is complicated and can easily lead to errors in data entry. Of the Licensor or an operator of, for example, a chemical manufacturing facility Every single sensor device has to be awkward during commissioning provided with the appropriate license. Alternatively, it is known granting the license to the manufacturer of the terminal equipment. In this form of licensing, however, is an extension to additional licensed devices decentralized, d. H. at the licensee site, not possible. The licensing is also inflexible, because only once and static one License without variable settings can.
  • In contrast, The invention is based on the object, a license allocation device and a method for automated awarding of Use licenses for sensors or sensor devices in production plants provide a mobile and decentralized allocation of license keys in the simplest and most reliable way and Allow way.
  • This object is achieved by a licensing apparatus having the features of claim 1 and a method for automated and mobile licensing of user licenses to sensors with the steps of claim 10. Advantageous embodiments and further developments of the invention are the subject of the respective dependent claims. The licensing apparatus according to the invention for an automated assignment of user licenses to sensors or sensor devices has a memory module for storing license keys and / or other license-relevant or device-related data as well as a computing unit and a display device is characterized in that it comprises means for contactless signal transmission between on the one hand the arithmetic unit or the memory module and on the other hand to be released with a license L sensor or the sensor device. The means for contactless signal transmission, the inventive licensing device can be used in a mobile and decentralized production facilities at the licensee or customers for an automated award of user licenses. The licensor no longer has to hand over licenses for the devices individually on site and by entering license keys. The licensing advance direction is provided with a memory module and a computing unit. In the memory module license-related data, such as serial numbers of sensor devices, license terms, license numbers, etc., are stored and used independently of the central license servers of a licensor mobile and automatically transmitted. The licensing device according to the invention is not dependent on a computer or a control computer on the terminal to be licensed (sensor device) itself. Also, the inventive licensing device does not require access to a network, such as the Internet or a mobile network. The license key or the various license keys for a plurality of sensor devices are loaded onto the licensing device on the licensing device or its memory module and can then be automatically installed on site at the licensee to the corresponding devices via the contactless signal transmission means. The means for contactless signal transmission have the advantage that a secure signal transmission for the license key and other license-related data is guaranteed, regardless of the environment and without interference from dirt, dust, moisture, etc. The licensing device according to the invention can easily over a suitable interface is connected to the sensor device, and as soon as the signal transmission option is available, the license key is transmitted via the means for contactless signal transmission in one direction, and in the other direction device-related data, such as the serial number of the sensor device, the license time , the duration of the license, the number of licenses in progress, etc. Last but not least, the means for contactless signal transmission provide a kind of standardized connection between the licensing device and the terminals to be licensed in the production facilities. Thus, it is not necessary that the terminals or sensor devices themselves are provided with an input device for entering license keys. The licensing and license management are carried out centrally via the licensing device according to the invention and can preferably be automated and autonomous. This also handling errors in handling are avoided. Sensor device or sensor according to the present invention is understood to mean any sensor device or device which is used to acquire measured values or process variables in technological production plants. These can also be transducers, combined measuring sensors or simple sensors such as temperature sensors or pH sensors.
  • To an advantageous embodiment of the invention License granting device is a standardized PC interface provided on the device. The standardized PC interface has the advantage that the licensing device directly without any Adapter to a personal computer (PC) to be connected to the licensor can. As a result, the licensing device can, for example, by a license management system of the licensor with the requested by the customer Licenses are provided directly. The standardized PC interface For example, to configure the licensing device as well as for uploading and downloading data. Preferably, via the standardized PC interface License keys, serial numbers of devices to be licensed, License term data etc. on the central administration computer at Licensor transferred or downloaded from there. Under a standardized PC interface is present in the Related to any standardized connection device in the area understood by computers or control computers. Preferably, the standardized PC interface an interface according to the widely used USB standard. Other standardized PC interfaces can also be used within the scope of the invention.
  • To a further advantageous embodiment of the invention, the License assignment device Inductive signal transmission means between the sensor or the sensor device and the device yourself up. The contactless signal transmission takes place after this advantageous embodiment thus by inductive means. To are inductive signal transmission means on the one hand in the Licensing device and on the other hand in the with a license key provided to be provided sensor device. On both sides are each incorporated coil elements, wherein one of the coil elements as a primary side of one transformer and the other Coil element as a secondary side of a transformer can be considered. This is how an inductive signal transmission between the licensing device and the sensor device, a contactless and not affected by environmental influences transmission license-relevant data. Under contactless Signal transmission is present every signal transmission understood without direct cable connection, such as optical or capacitive signal transmission techniques.
  • According to a further advantageous embodiment of the invention, an energy store is provided in the license allocation device. According to a related advantageous alternative, the energy storage is at least one rechargeable battery. The rechargeable battery may be ahead be charged via a standardized PC interface by external charging current via the PC interface to the rechargeable battery. Thus, the licensing device according to the invention is self-sufficient in terms of power supply and can be used over a certain period of time mobile and decentralized licensees for the allocation of license keys, without energy supply problems occur. The licensing device is automatically charged with charging current each time it is connected to a computer by the licensor, for example as part of the configuration of the device and the application of new license keys, and then decentralized for mobile use in different production facilities and at different points of the production facilities independent of one previously used for licensing equipment necessary power supply. This greatly simplifies the execution of licensing in complex production facilities.
  • To A further advantageous embodiment of the invention are means for contactless power supply via the sensor or the Sensor device provided. A power supply of the licensing device can thus alternatively or in addition to a mobile energy storage even during the assignment of license keys done locally via the sensor device. It can for example, on a first frequency of the means for contactless Signal transmission take place a data transmission, whereas on another, separate frequency, a transmission of charging energy from the sensor device toward, for example a rechargeable battery of the licensing device takes place. The licensing device is thus longer self-sufficient Can be used and over a longer period of time without an otherwise necessary recharge in different places used by the licensees.
  • To the Purposes of separation between a data signal and a power signal can use a filter to separate licensing signals and power signals be provided in the license allocation device.
  • To a further advantageous embodiment of the invention License grantors are in the memory module at the same time several licenses for different sensors can be saved. The Licensing device can thereby for a plurality for example, sensors installed in a production plant for purposes of their licensing in a single operation. The licenses or license keys of the individual sensors can advantageously with respective device names and / or serial numbers of devices are combined, so that a unique assignment of individual license keys to respective terminals is possible. This facilitates the administration of the licenses and the effort to commission the Licensed devices. After a related advantageous alternative of the invention are in the memory module at least one license key to the licensing authority and a sensor serial number stored. The combination of License key and sensor serial number enabled a clear assignment of licenses to the individual devices by the licensor and by the licensee. With the licensee This significantly facilitates the licensing, it can for example, automatically by simply plugging in the licensing device corresponding connectors of the means for contactless signal transmission be executed. By the automatic execution the transfer of license keys and retransfer of device - related license - relevant data is with the Device according to the invention a secure licensing guaranteed. Errors due to input or operator errors are avoided.
  • In the context of the present invention, a method for the automated licensing of user licenses to sensors or sensor devices according to claim 10 is proposed, in which the sensors or the sensor devices are operated with a license-dependent process in production facilities at the licensee decentralized, a license key IS when first commissioning the Sensors or the sensor devices must be entered, characterized by using a mobile licensing device, in particular according to one of claims 1 to 9, for contactless transmission of license-relevant data on the license L-enabled sensor or the sensor device. The method according to the invention makes it possible in a very simple manner to carry out a decentralized and automated activation of different sensors or sensor devices in various production plants on site at the licensee. For the license activation or transmission of a license key for respective sensors or sensor devices no network access such as access to the Internet or to a computer network of a licensor with a corresponding licensing server is required. An input interface to the sensor devices is no longer necessary. The mobile licensing devices according to the invention can be easily configured in the manufacture of a device to be licensed, such as a temperature sensor, according to the requirements and provided with the respective license key LS. In addition to the license key, other license-relevant data can be automatically transferred to the licensor's memory module such as the number of licenses, the duration of the license and / or the equipment to be provided with the license. Thus, an activation and input of multiple license keys in the various and locally often very distributed terminals of the licensee is no longer required by hand. The licensor's operator or associate can simply go to the respective stations with the mobile and self-sufficient licensing device and provide their sensors or sensor devices with their respective LS license key.
  • there can advantageously according to the invention also other license-relevant data from the sensors or the sensor devices transferred back to the storage module of the licensing device such as serial numbers of devices, technical Device specifics, calibration information or maintenance data. Under sensor device or sensor in the context of the present invention Every sensory device that understands is understood for example, in a food technology production plant used to capture values in the ongoing production process becomes. Examples are temperature sensors, pH sensors, Conductivity sensors or transmitters one of these Types of sensors. The license is granted to one of these devices decentralized and according to the invention preferably automatically at the first Commissioning. The respective license key LS is stored in a memory unit of the sensor device and can if necessary be recalled later. With the licensing is conversely, in the storage module of the license issuing apparatus the invention archives the license granted, d. H. the Date, the license key, the serial number, the runtime, the number of users, etc. are returned to the licensing device transferred back. This allows the licensor the different licenses for different types of devices and Sensor devices of the licensee at a normal Manage and organize personal computers. By the invention contactless transmission of license-relevant data, such as for example, license keys LS or serial numbers the sensor devices, is in the devices to be licensed No special input device or wiring required. In addition, in contactless transmission of license-relevant data a standardized connection device how to use a male / female combination. As a contactless transfer agent can be an inductive signal transmission device or an optical transmission device can be used or it may be a capacitive signal transmission in the frame the invention can be used. Other contactless signal transmission methods are also conceivable within the scope of the present invention. The contactless data transmission of the invention A decentralized licensing procedure also has the advantage of that the connecting elements, such as socket and plug connections, completely encapsulated can be realized and thus against dirt, moisture, dust and other environmental influences are protected. This is with the inventive Process a secure data transfer in terms of license-relevant data and the license key.
  • To an advantageous embodiment of the invention Licensing procedure is a license key LS of the licensing device on the sensor or the sensor device during Connecting the license assignment device automatically transferred. A license key does not have to be actively transmitted by the operator become. The device itself recognizes the connection to be licensed Terminal device, such as a sensor device, and transmits automatically the corresponding license key LS for this device. Alternatively, in the context of the present However, the invention also provides a menu driven input device be provided on the licensing device, with which the User a selection of license keys LS for transmission on each connected devices can make.
  • To a further advantageous embodiment of the invention Procedure will be at least one license key LS and a serial number of a device to be licensed - one Sensor device or a sensor - in a memory module the mobile licensing device. With the combination a stored serial number and a license key LS can automatically provide a unique identification of each License key when connecting to a licensed one Device to be made. The procedure detects automatically the license key required for a particular device LS, and this can when coupling, for example, the licensing device be transferred to the device automatically. Also so can a later review of Use licenses carried out in a simple manner become.
  • According to a further advantageous embodiment of the method according to the invention, means for inductive signal transmission are used to transmit a license key and / or other license-relevant data. The inductive signal transmission has the advantage that it is very stable and less prone to critical environmental influences. In large production facilities, for example in the chemical industry or food technology, there are often constantly changing and quite adverse environmental conditions. Heavy heat, dust, moisture, etc. can make normal signal transmission through cables or connectors in place difficult during the production process. With the transmission according to the invention of signals and data by inductive means, secure signal and data transmission is ensured at all times, even under such difficult conditions.
  • To a further advantageous embodiment of the invention Procedure will be the license key and other license-related Data with the licensor via a standardized PC interface read and transferred. A standardized PC interface For example, a male / female connection on a Be personal computer. The inventive method can thereby with any conventional personal computer (PC) or laptop. For the realization the method according to the invention is not special Connection or adapter unit required. Any existing standard interfaces like USB slots are going to carry used for mobile decentralized licensing.
  • To a further advantageous embodiment of the invention Procedure will be provided with a license L serial numbers of Devices are stored and archived in a database. The Data for respective license key and thus For example, licensed devices are located on a centralized computer License management computer centrally stored by the licensor and archived. This allows the licensor a reliable and easy management of licenses granted and, for example inform the licensee in good time about the expiration of a license or if the maximum number is exceeded Licenses for a license key this in the to record the respective accounting and administration. The procedure for licensing This makes it very easy for the licensor and the licensee implement.
  • To a further advantageous embodiment of the invention Procedure is the current status of licensing in a display device the licensing system. Under a display can in this context any kind of visualization of the current License status of a sensor device to be understood. In the simplest Form the licensing status to the user over be notified of a traffic light LED indicator with red, green and yellow. For example, red may be green for "no license" for "license" and yellow for "licensing takes "or" trial license ". Also more complex Display variants of the license status are within the scope of the present Invention conceivable. Another possible display form is an alphanumeric display of the serial number, the device name and / or the license key of this device via, for example LCD display means.
  • To a further advantageous embodiment of the invention The method becomes a rechargeable battery of a licensing device a standardized PC interface when connecting the licensing system charged to a personal computer automatically. This will be simultaneous with the configuration of the licensing system with new license keys or other communications to / from the personal computer charged the rechargeable battery. An exchange of batteries or a separate charge in an extra charging station is so dispensable.
  • All in all The present invention greatly simplifies mobile licensing in the framework of user licenses for terminals in Production. Licensing is possible during operation, and there is no connection to an external network like an internet, a mobile network or the like required. The user just get the pre-configured with the licensor Licensing device and can use this mobile and decentralized, and self-sufficient in terms of data transmission as well in terms of power supply. The license activation will be automatic performed without the otherwise necessary manual Key input and data query.
  • The Invention will be described below with reference to two embodiments more in detail in conjunction with the accompanying drawings to be discribed. In the drawings show:
  • 1 a schematic view of a first embodiment of a licensing according to the invention using the example of an intelligent memory sensor from a production process;
  • 2 a schematic view of a second embodiment of a license allocation device according to the invention using the example of a smart memory transmitter from a production process.
  • In the 1 schematically is a first embodiment of a license allocation device according to the invention 10 in a state connected to an intelligent memory sensor via an inductive interface 1 shown. The sensor 1 For example, it may be an intelligent storage temperature sensor, which is provided with its own storage module for the continuous acquisition and storage of measured values, calibration data, etc. The inventive licensing device 10 has a standardized PC interface in this example 8th on, for example in the form of a USB interface. The device 10 is further with a memory module 3 in which license-relevant data, such as a license key LS, a serial number of the sensor to be licensed 1 , a license term, a license start date, etc., are storable. In the device 10 is also a computing unit 4 provided, which may be a microcontroller or a similar computing unit. Finally, the license issuing device assigns 10 another display device 5 on, in the example of the 1 an alphanumeric display, such as an LCD display. On the standardized PC interface 8th opposite side is the licensing device 10 with funds 7 equipped for contactless signal transmission. The signal transmission means 7 provide the connection to the sensor to be provided with a license or a license key IS 1 dar. The means 7 For contactless signal transmission in the context of the present invention may preferably be used as inductive signal transmission means 9 in the form of an encapsulated plug / socket connection combination 14 . 15 be realized. For this purpose is on the side of the licensing body 10 a first coil or a first coil element present and on the side of the sensor 1 a second coil element, which act as a kind of primary side and secondary side of a transformer, so to speak. In this way is an inductive, contactless signal transmission between the sensor 1 and the licensing device 10 possible in both directions. The connection between the sensor 1 and the licensing device 10 takes place in this embodiment by means of a connector plug 14 and a connection socket 15 , which are completely encapsulated, for example by injection molding plastic techniques, so that the electrically conductive regions and coil elements are protected from environmental influences.
  • Once the licensing device 10 with its connector 14 to the connection socket 15 of the sensor 1 is coupled, a contactless signal transmission and / or power supply between the two devices is possible. With regard to the means 7 for contactless signal transmission and the means 11 for contactless power supply is present on the EP 1 206 012 A2 referred to the applicant. The disclosure of this with respect to contactless signal transmission and power supply and the manner of implementing a connector is fully incorporated herein by reference. Finally, according to the invention in this embodiment of the 1 another filter 12 provided, which enables a separation of a license grant signal from a power signal. The filter 12 is here in the socket 15 of the sensor 1 built-in. However, it can alternatively or additionally in the connector 14 the licensing device 10 to get integrated. The mobile assignment of user licenses with a license key LS to decentralized, different end devices such as the sensor 1 according to the method of the invention and with the inventive licensing device 10 can be carried out according to an embodiment as follows:
    After the production of the intelligent memory sensor 1 This will be sent to the licensing authority 10 when commissioned for the first time, the necessary license key LS from the licensing device 10 on the sensor 1 to dub. When booting up the communication of the intelligent memory sensor 1 becomes the attached licensing device 10 automatically detected, and then an automatic process for transferring a license key LS is started. The required license L becomes contactless, ie without direct cable connection, from the licensing device to the target device, in this case to the sensor 1 , transfer. A reverse signal transmission between the device 10 and the sensor 1 also takes place in this embodiment. For example, a serial number and a type designation of the licensed sensor 1 together with the transferred license key LS again in the memory module 3 the licensing device 10 after retransmission from the sensor 1 saved. These license-relevant data can later be accessed via the standardized PC interface 8th be read out again at the licensor and a corresponding personal computer or laptop. The over the interface 8th read license-relevant data, such as the serial number of the device or sensor 1 and the transferred license key and / or the license term and the number of users, etc., can then be stored in a database and archived according to the invention. With the stored and archived data of license-relevant information, a simple monitoring and management of licenses issued by the licensor is possible. For example, the license can be monitored over time and the licensee can be informed in good time. On the other hand, the automatic assignment of each licensed device and the associated license key is through a combination of, for example, license key LS and serial number of the device or sensor 1 easily possible. A reliable control of licenses at the user is possible. The inventive method also avoids errors in the input of license keys, which previously had to be cumbersome input manually in each device in the prior art.
  • With the licensing according to the invention contraption 10 and the related method, the following additional functions are easy to implement: There may be a limit on the number of stored licenses in the memory module 3 be set so that in a licensing device 10 a maximum number of license keys LS can be stored. Furthermore, the status and the number of licenses can be displayed via a display device 5 the licensing device 10 can be displayed at any time and the user or licensee as well as the licensor can be informed at any time about the current status of the licensing or about the number of free licenses still to be stored. According to a related variant of the method according to the invention, for example, for a certain number of sensors 1 or sensor devices 2 the respective licensee, ie the customer of the sensors 1 , a single licensing device 10 are given to which a corresponding number of license keys LS for the number of sensors 1 is loaded in the memory module 3 are stored. The customer then has to work on site in his production process only when commissioning the respective sensors for the first time 1 the license granting device provided with the license keys LS 10 about the means 7 connect to the contactless signal transmission, and the respective license key IS is automatically from the memory module 3 retrieved and the sensor 1 via the signal transmission means 7 leaked. This approach greatly facilitates the granting of user licenses for license-dependent terminals in complex production facilities. On the one hand requires the inventive licensing device 10 no external communication network for communication with remote licensing systems. The second is the licensing system 10 also self-sufficient in terms of their energy supply, by, for example, a rechargeable battery 6 which preferably has the PC interface 8th can be recharged. Alternatively, a power supply of the device 10 also via the sensor device 2 parallel to the license key transfer.
  • The standardized PC interface 8th is, for example, a USB interface, as it is present today with any conventional computer, laptop or computer. The standardized interface 8th On the one hand, it can be used to configure the licensing system. On the other hand, over the interface 8th the license-relevant data is downloaded from a central license management computer. Also, the standardized interface 8th to charge a rechargeable battery 6 be used so that the functionality of the inventive licensing device 10 is expanded to a maximum with a few structural units. The licensing may preferably be completely automatic, and a secure signal transfer process is due to the inductive means 9 Ensures signal transmission even in very disturbing environments. As a means 7 for contactless signal transmission is in this case an inductive means 9 in the form of a connection socket 15 and a connector plug 14 shown. In this case, the licensing device has virtually the primary side of the inductive sensor interface 7 , and on the sensor side has the connection socket 15 almost the secondary side of the inductive interface 7 , Alternatively, other contactless means for signal transmission and / or power supply for the license issuing device 10 be provided. Examples are optical or capacitive signal transmission methods, as in EP 1 206 012 A2 described.
  • In the 2 schematically is a second embodiment of a license allocation device according to the invention 10 in the context of a smart memory transmitter 2 shown. As in the previous embodiment of the 1 is this licensing device 10 with a standardized PC interface 8th , for example in the form of a USB interface. On the interface 8th opposite side is an inductive interface 7 for contactless data transmission between the device 10 and the transmitter 2 intended. The licensing device 10 also has a memory module here 3 for storing license keys LS and other license-relevant data, a computing unit 4 , a rechargeable battery 6 and a display device 5 on. The display device 5 is realized here in the form of a simple traffic light LED display, with three different colored LEDs to indicate a current status of licensing. For example, such a display device 5 are formed with a red, yellow and green LED, a green LED indicating the license activation, a yellow LED indicating the intermediate status when loading a license key LS and a red LED indicating a missing license or an expired license of the transmitter to be licensed 2 displays.
  • The means for signal transmission 7 are also in this embodiment as inductive signal transmission means 9 realized with a coil element on the primary side and a coil element respectively on the secondary side. Again, this may be a coil element in a connector 14 the licensing device 10 whereas there is another primary coil element in a socket 15 of the transmitter 2 located. The connection socket 15 is in this embodiment via a cable 13 with the intelligent memory transmitter 2 connected, via which a data transmission of measuring signals as well as a transmission of license-relevant data, such as the license key LS, or also a transmission of power supply signals between the licensing device 10 and the transmitter 2 is possible. For the latter functionality is a means 11 provided for contactless power supply, via the same inductive interface 7 a power supply from the transmitter 2 to the licensing authority 10 and their rechargeable battery 6 allows. In order to ensure this and not to interfere with signals transmitted for licensing, a filter is used in this embodiment 12 intended for the separation of data signals and power supply signals. In this regard, the disclosure of the EP 1 206 012 A2 the applicant are referred.
  • Also in this embodiment of a license allocation device according to the invention 10 becomes the standardized PC interface 8th used to the device 10 to configure. On the other hand, the license key LS and other license-relevant data are also downloaded from a central computer or the like here. If the licensing device 10 via the inductive interface 7 on the transmitter 2 is the licensing device 10 almost the secondary side of the inductive interface 7 whereas the primary side of the inductive interface 7 from the connection socket 15 is formed, in turn, via a cable 13 with the transmitter 2 connected is. In the central processing unit 4 the data is managed and edited. Also, the automatic triggering and performing the transfer of a license key LS from the memory module 3 to the transmitter 2 the first time you connect and start the signal transmission via the interface 7 can be controlled by the computer. By the energy storage in the form of, for example, a rechargeable battery 6 is the licensing device 10 self-sufficient in terms of energy supply. Also, it does not require direct contact with a network or central computer during licensing. Once a license key LS or a plurality of license keys LS provided for a specific customer are simply installed on-site by the memory module 3 to each terminal automatically when connecting to the respective device to be licensed 1 . 2 transferred and unlocked. For automatic execution can be in the arithmetic unit 4 an algorithm is stored, which is an automatic transmission of the license key LS to a device or the transmitter 2 automatically starts as soon as the information about the interface 7 will receive that transmitter 2 is connected and a communication connection has been established. Also in this embodiment, the rechargeable battery 6 via the standardized PC interface 8th as well as via the inductive interface 7 be supplied with charging energy, so that when configuring the licensor and also when transmitting signals on site at the sensor devices 2 a charge of the battery 6 is possible. This is to support the power supply for the mobile licensing device 10 so that they are self-sufficient for a long period of time to the user and to various sensor devices 2 can be used without having to be returned to the licensor's central computer.
  • 1
    sensor
    2
    sensor device (eg memory transmitter)
    3
    memory module
    4
    central computer unit
    5
    display
    6
    rechargeable battery
    7
    medium for contactless signal transmission
    8th
    PC interface (eg USB interface)
    9
    medium for inductive signal transmission
    10
    Licensing device
    11
    medium for contactless power supply
    12
    filter
    13
    electric wire
    14
    connector plug
    15
    socket
    L
    license
    IS
    License key
  • QUOTES INCLUDE IN THE DESCRIPTION
  • This list The documents listed by the applicant have been automated generated and is solely for better information recorded by the reader. The list is not part of the German Patent or utility model application. The DPMA takes over no liability for any errors or omissions.
  • Cited patent literature
    • - EP 1276066 A2 [0003]
    • DE 10318489 A1 [0004]
    • - EP 1206012 A2 [0028, 0030, 0032]

Claims (17)

  1. Licensing device ( 10 ) for automated allocation of use licenses to sensors ( 1 ) or sensor devices ( 2 ), which are operated with a license-dependent process in production facilities decentralized at the licensee, with a memory module ( 3 ) for storing license keys IS and other license-relevant or device-related data, with a computing unit ( 4 ) and with a display device ( 5 ), characterized in that it comprises means ( 7 ) for contactless signal transmission between on the one hand the arithmetic unit ( 4 ) or the memory module ( 3 ) and, on the other hand, the sensor to be released with a license L ( 1 ) or the sensor device ( 2 ) having.
  2. Licensing device ( 10 ) according to claim 1, characterized in that it has a standardized PC interface ( 8th ) having.
  3. Licensing device ( 10 ) according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that means ( 9 ) for inductive signal transmission between the sensor ( 1 ) or the sensor device ( 2 ) and the device ( 10 ) are provided.
  4. Licensing device ( 10 ) according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that an integrated energy store is provided.
  5. Licensing device ( 10 ) according to claim 4, characterized in that the energy store a rechargeable battery ( 6 ) and that the PC interface ( 8th ), a charging current to the battery ( 6 ) transferred to.
  6. Licensing device ( 10 ) according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that it comprises means for contactless power supply ( 11 ) over the sensor ( 1 ) or the sensor device ( 2 ) having.
  7. Licensing device ( 10 ) according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that a filter ( 12 ) is provided for separating a license grant signal and a power supply signal for the license issuing apparatus.
  8. Licensing device ( 10 ) according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that in the memory module ( 3 ) several licenses for different sensors ( 1 ) are storable.
  9. Licensing device ( 10 ) according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that in the memory module ( 3 ) at least one license key LS and a sensor serial number are stored.
  10. Method for the automated licensing of use licenses to sensors ( 1 ) or sensor devices ( 2 ), in which the sensors ( 1 ) or the sensor devices ( 2 ) are operated decentrally with the licensee using a license-dependent process in production plants, whereby a license key LS is used when the sensors are operated for the first time ( 1 ) or the sensor devices ( 2 ), characterized in that using a mobile licensing device, in particular a licensing device ( 10 ) according to one of claims 1 to 9, for the contactless transmission of license-relevant data on the license L with a license sensor ( 1 ) or the sensor device ( 2 ).
  11. Method according to claim 10, characterized by automatically transmitting a license key LS from the licensing device ( 10 ) on the sensor ( 1 ) or the sensor device ( 2 ) when connecting the licensing device ( 10 ).
  12. Method according to claim 10 or 11, characterized by storing at least one license key LS and a serial number of a device to be licensed ( 1 ; 2 ) in a memory module ( 3 ) of the mobile licensing device ( 10 ).
  13. Method according to one of claims 10 to 12, characterized by using means ( 9 ) for inductive signal transmission for transmitting a license key LS and other license-relevant data to the device to be licensed ( 1 ; 2 ).
  14. Method according to one of claims 10 to 13, characterized by reading the license key LS and other license-relevant data to the licensor via a standardized PC interface ( 8th ).
  15. Method according to one of claims 10 to 14, characterized by storing and archiving with a license L provide serial numbers of devices in a database.
  16. Method according to one of Claims 10 to 15, characterized by displaying the current status of the licensing in a display device ( 5 ) of the licensing device ( 10 ).
  17. Method according to one of Claims 10 to 16, characterized by automatic charging of a rechargeable battery ( 6 ) via a standardized PC interface ( 8th ) when connecting the licensing body ( 10 ) to a personal computer.
DE200810045315 2008-09-02 2008-09-02 Licensing apparatus and method for automated assignment of use licenses to sensors Pending DE102008045315A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
DE200810045315 DE102008045315A1 (en) 2008-09-02 2008-09-02 Licensing apparatus and method for automated assignment of use licenses to sensors

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
DE200810045315 DE102008045315A1 (en) 2008-09-02 2008-09-02 Licensing apparatus and method for automated assignment of use licenses to sensors
PCT/EP2009/060038 WO2010026012A1 (en) 2008-09-02 2009-08-03 Licensing apparatus and method for automatically granting user licenses to sensors

Publications (1)

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DE102008045315A1 true DE102008045315A1 (en) 2010-03-04

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Citations (5)

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EP1206012A2 (en) 2000-11-07 2002-05-15 Endress + Hauser Conducta Gesellschaft für Mess- und Regeltechnik mbH + Co. Connector to connect a transmission line to at least a sensor
EP1276066A2 (en) 2001-07-10 2003-01-15 Systemneeds Inc. Licensing method and license providing system
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EP1276066A2 (en) 2001-07-10 2003-01-15 Systemneeds Inc. Licensing method and license providing system
DE10318489A1 (en) 2003-04-16 2004-11-18 Deutsche Telekom Ag Service license method for making a license available linked to a digital rights management system allows a service device/mobile communications device/telephone to act as a media-playing device
WO2007051837A1 (en) * 2005-11-07 2007-05-10 Endress+Hauser Flowtec Ag Method for operating a field device in automation engineering with special functionalities
DE102006061815A1 (en) * 2006-12-21 2008-06-26 Endress + Hauser Conducta Gesellschaft für Mess- und Regeltechnik mbH + Co. KG Retractable housing

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HEISTERKAMP,M.: Memosens-Technologie jetzt auch für glaslose pH- Sensoren auf ISFET-Basis. Sensor Magazin,März 2006,S.29,30 $S.30, Fig.unten,ind.Datenübertragung, Sp.3,kontaktlos,induktiv,Kap.Der integrierte Mikrocentroller zur Realisierung innovativer Wartungsstrategien$ *
HEISTERKAMP,M.: Memosens-Technologie jetzt auch für glaslose pH- Sensoren auf ISFET-Basis. Sensor Magazin,März 2006,S.29,30 S.30, Fig.unten,ind.Datenübertragung, Sp.3,kontaktlos,induktiv,Kap.Der integrierte Mikrocentroller zur Realisierung innovativer Wartungsstrategien

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