Here is an idea that I have been telling anyone who will listen, but as far as I can tell, no one is doing anything about it.
Back at PDC 08, Microsoft announced that Visual Studio 2010 would include “Application Feature Monitoring, Usage Expiry and Tamper Defense capabilities.” These capabilities will be delivered inside the next generation of Dotfuscator CE (now to be called Dotfuscator Software Services) and will be included in the box with Visual Studio (except the Express SKU) with no registration or any other steps required.
Specifically, the tamper detection functionality referenced here will enable any Visual Studio user to inject tamper detection logic POST-BUILD into any .NET executable (assuming it is not already signed). Once this step is complete, the application will (when tamper is detected) have the ability to:
a) halt execution AND
b) (here is the important bit
) send a SOAP signal to an IP endpoint of the developer’s choice.
So, how do you get $5 from every developer on the planet?
Use social networks or any other communication tool you prefer to make the following offer:
- For $5 per month retainer, you will provide an IP address for developers to use when building their applications. If their application is ever tampered with (and it has access to the Internet) the SOAP signal is delivered to your endpoint.
- Your service will notify them upon receipt. Why not use Microsoft’s cloud services to host a simple SharePoint application for this? They can then take appropriate action.
- You can optionally set some sort of per incident fee as well if you like.
Every developer who moves to Visual Studio 2010 will have all of the software you need them to have installed in their environment - so there are NO software distribution requirements.
All you need to do is write a simple hosted endpoint, provide the IP address, and collect the subscription fees.
This functionality is already exposed in the CTP release of Visual Studio 2010 – you can begin this project today without contacting PreEmptive at all (although, we are happy to assist if you want to take advantage of any/all of our commercial extensions).
What do you think? There is a similar service possible with Shelf-life (also included in the new Dotfuscator Software Services community edition).