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Multi-user activation



Ellié Computing Merge uses a licensing mechanism which requires the licence key to be entered by each user. This is generally a reasonable solution. However it can become a problem if you are a system administrator and have many colleagues who will use ECMerge.

This problem may arise in various situations:

  • the first time your users want to install ECMerge (for a corporate trial for example)
  • the first time they install a full version of ECMerge
  • when a new major or minor version of ECMerge is delivered (e.g. within your support period or an extension of it)


We implemented a solution which let you specify a licence key upgrade mechanism. A simple XML file with the following format can be saved to a system dependent place:


<upgrade users="comma-separated-list-of-users" old-key="licence-key-text" new-key="licence-key-text"  />
<upgrade ... />


Each "upgrade" element describes a legitimate upgrade:

  • old-key represents the old key (that for the previous version or the trial), it may be empty. If old-key is empty, this upgrade is used for new users with no previous key.  If it is absent, the upgrade is applicable in any condition.
  • users is a comma separated list of users logins. If is absent, the upgrade applies to any user. If not, it applies only to users with those logins.
  • new-key represents the key to use if the user had the old key as current key.
  • NB: "upgrade" rules are applied top-to-bottom, and the process stops after the first matching upgrade rule.

The reason for this upgrade mechanism (its ability to upgrade differently based on an old key) is that all your users may not have the same licencing key: ECMerge can be configured through its licence key to limit its capabilities (in order for you to obtain a lower price!). In this situation, you may nonetheless want part of your users to have the full power, for example, your SCC administrators. Of course if all your users need to evolve toward the same new licence key, you can specify several upgrade elements with same new-key.

Where to place and how to name that file?

The file should be named "licences-upgrades.xml". It can be placed in ECMerge program directory. On Unix derived systems (Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X), this file is also searched in /etc/opt/elliecomputing/ecmerge as this directory may be more appropriate with respect to usual backup or software update practices.

NB: licences upgrades are not checked when "--serial-number" is specified. /etc is not searched neither if "--app-settings-file" is used, so that bundled ECMerge does not interfer with potential standard ECMerge installation.