Feature-based Licensing is a type of software licensing where a software vendor enforces access controls to its software product’s features, based on the license that the end-user has obtained from the vendor.

For example, a software vendor may want to offer the most basic features of its product for free (free license), but charge a fee for more advanced features (paid license).

By using a software licensing engine, the vendor prevents access to the advanced features from any user that hasn’t paid. For the user to gain access to these more advanced features, they have to obtain a new license from the vendor, in this case by making a payment to the vendor.

Put another way, feature-based licensing can be understood as dividing the software product’s functionality into parts that can be turned on or off, through a software licensing mechanism.

Ideally, licensing should be invisible to the end-user, so that they simply make a payment and upgrade to a paid version of the product in order to automatically get access to a better version of it.

10Duke is a specialist in software licensing and monetization. If you want to charge a fee for the more advanced features of your product, get in touch or learn more about the 10Duke licensing engine.

Feature-based licensing can also be used to limit the number of times a specific feature of an application is used. To learn more, see consumption-based licensing.

To explore what type of software licensing models are available and to find the one that fits your business best, see our guide to software licensing models.


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