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  #1  
Old 11 Oct 2004, 14:04
Johan Andersson Johan Andersson is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Usergroups enabled by key-checking?

Hello.

I'm running a vbulletin with about 34,000 active members for a game-development company.

In order to make sure registered customers get better service, we were planning to give them access to a special forums. The idea I had was to give those people a special additional user-group that grants access.

The idea was to have them enter a "cd-key" thats provided with the box we ship, and then have some utility on the forum-server check a local database if it is a valid key and then grant them the additional usergroup.

Anyone got any hints for how to do it?
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  #2  
Old 11 Oct 2004, 14:41
Colin F's Avatar
Colin F Colin F is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Switzerland
Originally Posted by Johan Andersson
Hello.

I'm running a vbulletin with about 34,000 active members for a game-development company.

In order to make sure registered customers get better service, we were planning to give them access to a special forums. The idea I had was to give those people a special additional user-group that grants access.

The idea was to have them enter a "cd-key" thats provided with the box we ship, and then have some utility on the forum-server check a local database if it is a valid key and then grant them the additional usergroup.

Anyone got any hints for how to do it?
You might be able to do this by adding a custom profile field and checking hourly via a cron job if that is a valid key. Then again, while that would require no editing of files, I'm not sure how one would only check the users that updated it, meaning a bit of serverload...

Another way would be adding a custom check.

How are the cd-keys generated?
Is there an algorithm that can be used to check or would one have to check in the database?
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  #3  
Old 11 Oct 2004, 15:04
nexialys
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as Colin said, if your code-key is generated in a php script on the server where your forum is, it's easy to manage a general hack that will provide a usergroup for each key generated... or the opposite, a specific field where users enter their keys (may be multiple i suppose) and if they have a proper algorythm, the usergroup is modified...
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  #4  
Old 12 Oct 2004, 13:09
Johan Andersson Johan Andersson is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Well.. I was having the idea of having all valid keys in a database of some sort on the server.
And then have a check if the entered key is valid and not used before, and if that is ok, then give that user the new user-group.
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  #5  
Old 12 Oct 2004, 13:32
Colin F's Avatar
Colin F Colin F is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Switzerland
Sure that works as well. Then the easiest would be to have a table with all the available license keys in the same database vBulletin is installed in.
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  #6  
Old 12 Oct 2004, 14:05
CarCdr CarCdr is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
From what you have said thus far, this is very similar to the way forum passwords are managed. I would copy/adapt the code for forum passwords.

A couple of questions:
1) If I have entered a valid CD key, do I get access to just one forum or to multiple forums?
2) Is the forum(s) I get access to dependent on the key or does everyone with a valid key get the same access?

The answers to these questions will dictate your choices for where the passwords are stored in your DB.
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  #7  
Old 12 Oct 2004, 17:47
Xenon's Avatar
Xenon Xenon is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Real name: Stefan Kaeser
Personally i'd use Colin's suggestion.

If you have you Key within the same DB as vB, it would just require a single custom profile field and a cron job.
Selecting just those users which are in the normal usergroup but have entered a key shouldn't be to server intense. run the script once a day should be enough.

The other way would be to edit profile.php so once the custom field is filled, it has to check the key table, and then modifies the usergroup of the user.
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