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Help: Java: About CodeBrain Key Files
CodeBrain is often asked about our use of key files -- why we use them, what they are, how they work, and so on.  Here are a few answers for you...

Which Applets Require Key Files?

ONLY this CodeBrain applet now requires a key file:


Note: Commercial developers or those who run commercial sites MUST purchase the NO-KEY version!

All other CodeBrain applets have been converted to parameter keying or keyless versions.


Where and How Do I Get the Key File?

We make this as simple and quick as we can, since we want you to use the applets as easily as possible.

Along the top right of each applet's pages, you'll see a link labeled "Get Free Key" -- just click on it, and it will open a form.  Fill in the information - please read the instructions about your  URL with care! - and your key will be created.  You'll then be directed to a link where you can immediately download a zipped copy of your unique key file.

We also e-mail a copy of the zipped key file, as well as the download link once again, to the e-mail address you provide in the form.

Unzip the key, and place the key file to the same directory where your applet resides -- and be sure to send it up in ASCII, not binary.

NOTE:  You do NOT need a key file to use our applets off your hard drive.

Please also note that each key file is different!


The most common problems our visitors write us about concerning key files are:

  • putting too much information in the key file form's URL box... all you need there is the domain name, so read the instructions, friends!
  • sending the key up in binary rather than ASCII
  • not putting the key file, the class file, any files associated with the applet, and the html page calling the applet all in the same directory to get started

What Key Files Are

Key files are quite commonly used with professional JAVA applets.  They are a means of protecting an applet from unauthorized use.   In general, if the correct key file is not present in the same directory as the applet for which it is issued, the applet will run on your hard drive -- but not on your website.

CodeBrain key files are very small (128-256 bytes).

NOTE: CodeBrain applets, you do not need a key file to try out the applet on your hard drive.  Our applets do NOT look for the key file unless they are actually on your web site.


Why We Use Key Files

As above, we use the key files to protect against unauthorized use of our applets.  "But -- the applet is free," many users lament. "What is there to protect?"

The simple answer is, YOU!

Applets are continually "knocked off" -- resulting in copies propagating all over the 'Net.  Many of these "copies" are clones, impostors, and modified versions that either don't work properly -- or which may contain code you really don't want on your site.  With the use of key files that essentially make it necessary for all CodeBrain applet users to download their applets from this site, users of our applets are protected from these problems, and always assured that the CodeBrain applet they download is the genuine article!

Further, many users of sophisticated applets like CodeBrain QUASAR have gone to tremendous effort to create truly ingenious presentations.   There is little more disheartening for a webmaster than to see a great implementation of an applet -- one that has taken dozens of hours of work to put together -- simply ripped from his or her site by "cache raiders" and duplicated elsewhere without so much as a nod to their effort.  Although the key files don't protect you absolutely from that, they do stop perhaps ninety percent of casual raiders cold in their tracks because the applet won't work on their site with your key file.

Using the Key Files Properly

Fortunately, using key files is easy.  You simply put the .key file in the same place as the .class file.  There's nothing else you need to do, honest.

And may we say again -- because it's such a commonly asked question -- you do not need a key file to try a CodeBrain applet on your hard drive.

If you have questions about or problems with key files, you know where we are!

Best regards,


The CodeBrain Programmers

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