LicenseSpring Alternatives: Exploring Licensing Solutions

Published on: August 8, 2022
Alternatives to LicenseSpring
Table of Contents:

As a critical part of distributing software, selecting a Software Licensing vendor is not a decision to be taken lightly. In fact, there are many valid reasons why an ISV would prefer to use one of our competitors, or even build their own licensing provider. I wanted to take some time and discuss alternatives to using LicenseSpring.


Why are you writing an article that might steer away your own potential customers?

Our mission is to be the world’s best software licensing platform. If there is a better alternative to LicenseSpring when it comes to a vendor’s job to be done, I would prefer they go with that, rather than be moderately satisfied with what we offer, which leads me to my second point.

The wrong customers are just as expensive for us as it is frustrating for the customer! If there is not a good fit between what LicenseSpring offers, and what the customer wants, we will both spend a lot of time trying to get a relationship working which is likely doomed to fail, and everyone is left with a bitter taste in their mouth.

At what stage of the development lifecycle do ISV’s contact LicenseSpring?

There are a few segments of customers we frequently see at the following stages of their development lifecycle:


The Late Bloomer: This customer is quite late in their software development lifecycle. Many of our customers do not really think about how they will configure the state of the software applications they distribute until pretty close to the intended launch date. It makes sense that Software Licensing is a bit of an afterthought, since it does not represent core functionality what is being offered (I hope!)

The Iterator: These customers usually have been distributing commercial software for a long time. They have added a lot of additional capability into their software, and either their homegrown licensing solution would be too much effort (or otherwise impractical) to update, or their existing Licensing Vendor has not been able to keep up with what they need in a licensing solution.

The Planner: Business development, or Project Management had scoped out the requirement for License Validations and checks from the start of the project. There’s usually a formalized process for selecting and onboarding vendors, selected by committees.


What is the Sales Process for Software Licensing Services from the buyer’s perspective?

From what I gathered after doing hundreds of sales demos and working on LicenseSpring for 7 years now, I identified the following stages that a Software Vendor goes through making a selection among alternative software licensing Services:


  1. Identify as many vendors as possible that might provide the appropriate Software Licensing Service
  2. Contact the more serious companies on the list, and have an initial discussion. Sometimes ask for the vendor to complete an RRP
  3. Shortlist 2-4 Software Licensing alternatives and create a Proof of Concept with a demo account to ensure there is a fit between the internal requirements, and the service offering, and perform due diligence on the firms that are likely to be a good fit on the feature list.
  4. Select the Software Licensing Vendor and negotiate pricing.


Criteria in Selecting a Software Licensing Vendor:

There are many things to look at when selecting a Software Licensing solution. Here are a few criteria you should make sure you are including in your list. I initially wanted to add an importance ranking to these criteria (Critical, High, Medium, Low), but in fact they are all pretty much show-stoppers if they are not at least good enough.


  • Service Reliability: Does the company provide uptime, and latency information? Will they allow you to perform your own stress tests? Given that most software won’t work if the app cannot validate the license entitlements, this is an issue one must not overlook when doing your due diligence.
  • Core Feature Set: Does the licensing provider do everything we need it to do? For example, do they have out-of-the-box support for offline activation, or on-prem floating licenses? Do they have an easy interface (SDK / API) for {INSERT PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE FOR A GIVEN ENVIRONMENT}. If they don’t have the feature? do they have plans to support it in the future?
  • Extended Feature Set: A lot of core capabilities are often necessary, but not enough to select a license vendor. For example, how does the vendor track licenses sold through a reseller or a distributor? Is it easy to export license usage data? Is there a self-serve platform? How about notifications when a license is created, disabled, or about to expire?
  • Service ease-of-use: Many Licensing tools have been built incrementally, adding features over time, which may work, but can also make for
  • Support during Onboarding: How responsive is the company during the evaluation and during the initial onboarding phase is probably the most important time to interact with the firm. Once the licensing is implemented it
  • Support after Onboarding: Once a Vendor is onboarded, we don’t usually see very much interaction with them. Although we do occasionally check in with them, we take it as a good sign if our customers do not need to contact us for support.
  • Service Maintainability & Extendibility: Software offerings change and evolve over time, your license provider should as well. It’s probably not a good sign if they have small or infrequent updates.
  • Security, Privacy, Compliance: Was there thought placed into where the servers are hosted, or how the connection is encrypted, signed and verified? How many people work in Dev/Sec ops? How honest is the Licensing provider on their Due Diligence questionnaire? Are they ISO 27001, ISO 9001 and/or SOC2 compliant? What do they know about GDPR or the nuances around service availability in manufacturing facilities in China?
  • Pricing + Contract terms of Use


Top LicenseSpring Alternatives - Our List

I will update this post later with more vendors and some more details and things I like for each of these alternatives to LicenseSpring, but for now I wanted to list some of our competitors so that you can evaluate them yourself. 


Build your own License Server


Large Vendors:

  • Revenera
  • Thales – Sentinel
  • Nalpeiron Zentitle
  • Wibu Software

Medium-sized Vendors :

  • LicenseSpring
  • 10duke
  • Cryptlex
  • Cryptolens AB
  • Reprise Software
  • Soraco Technologies

Small Vendors:

  • license4j
  • ssware
  • netLicensing
  • Software DNA
Edmon Moren Headshot
Edmon MorenLicenseSpring Co-Founder
Cofounder of PDF Pro Software ltd. and of LicenseSpring Software Inc. I live in Beautiful British Columbia. I want to build the best Software Licensing Company in the world.