Embarcadero Licensing Limit

This weekend I went to install Delphi XE2 with Update 4 on my new development machine.  I had previously installed XE2 on my dev machine at work and in a couple VMs.  I upgraded my dev machine @ work to Update 4 on Friday, and then today, attempted to load XE2 Update 4 on my new dev machine at home, only to be told that I have exceeded the licensing limit.  In order to get the limit increased I have to email support.  It’s the weekend, so now I cannot install XE2 and do any work.

I called the support line for Canada, and of course the office was closed so I submitted a web request for technical support (case 00253157).  Fortunately, despite the inability to register XE2 EMB has allowed 14 days usage, so I’m not dead in the water.  It just nags you to register every time you start the product.  I’m sure this is thanks to all the XE2 “updates” that have required us to uninstall the previous version.  I’ve uninstalled and removed the registry settings (perhaps that was my mistake).

This kind of anti-piracy policy to me, is like hand gun registration.  The real criminals don’t register their hand guns, so it doesn’t prevent anything other than to make it more difficult for an enthusiast to own and use one, and definitely more annoying.


11 Responses to “Embarcadero Licensing Limit”

  1. Deksden Says:

    Hi! I m also find this kind of protection useless-who want to use pirated RAD Studio - can do it easily with crack or activator. But legit users have difficulties. I m sure - EMBT should invest into RD (iOS, IMHO) instead protection.

  2. Bob Swart Says:

    Just go to http://support.embarcadero.com/ click on Create a Case and then request a registration increase.

  3. Simon J Stuart Says:

    I do wish that those of us known to Embarcadero could have the limits removed (or set high enough that we never reach them).

    Many of us are testing updated XE2 ISOs on virgin VMs, which means we are constantly hitting our activation limits. Gets more than a little inconvienient at times!

  4. Larry Hengen Says:


    I did in fact create a case (as per my post). Of course until someone looks at this case, I will not be able to register XE2 again, on any machine.

    My point is that it’s reasonable to assume that if the user who originally registered the product is re-registering, that it’s a legitimate activation, especially if it’s from the same IP. AFAIK, it’s been a while since I read the EULA in it’s entirety, the license is like a book. I should be able to install it on a number of VMs, or physical machines as long as I am the only one using it (which is the case).

    The limit restriction has to be pretty low for me to have hit it, and I don’t think EMB’s limit restriction takes into account the “updates” they’re shipping.

  5. Marius Says:

    The limit is there for a reason and in the base i dont mind it (i’ve increased my XE limit also and felt burned like you).

    But if could do my say i would automaticly reset the install number each 6 or 12 months. That should be more than enough to boost sales and ‘avoid’ illegal installations.

  6. LDS Says:

    Even if the readme for an update tells you to follow the uninstallation instruction (which includes clearing the registry data), you can avoid that step. It won’t ask to re-register, and settings - including installed libraries - will be retained. Instructions should have been better written.
    I understand the need of some protection, but it could be a little smarter (i.e. if the machine fingerprint is the same don’t increase the license count), although VMs and NAT/proxy server don’t make that task easier.

  7. Edson Lyra Says:

    “There is a registration limit imposed on every Serial Number. For any unforeseen circumstance, if you encounter this limit while registering your Serial Number, please visit http://reg.embarcadero.com/bump to get a temporary increment and register once again. It is not common for one to hit this limit.”

    From: http://edn.embarcadero.com/article/40860

  8. Larry Hengen Says:


    I clicked on the link you supplied but the site certificate didn’t match and after I accepted it, was told that ‘ increasing product registration limit self service is now disabled.’. No reason is given.

  9. Jolyon Smith Says:

    I can’t quite believe that nobody has yet mentioned the other aspect to the INCOMPLETE license activation system. Which is that UNinstalling an activated install should also DEactivate - decrementing the activation count.

    This would at least mitigate the problems caused by being forced to UNinstall and REinstall a product just to get the latest bug fixes.

    Any word on the excuse for this rigmarole this time around ? Last time there was some bleating about need to be sure that unlicensed source was fully removed.

    What’s the cover story for the inadequate installer/update technology on this occasion ?

  10. Damien Says:

    Not to mention the “formidable” AppWave install I tried approx. 10 months ago and where the only effect of a strange “apache like” icon installed with the product was to break my license activation on my 2 Delphi installations
    (D2007 and D2009).

    I proudly scored -3 for the activation counter of my Delphi licenses before finding the culprit and UN-installing this… software (I will stay polite).

  11. Warren P Says:

    I’ve requested bumps in the activation count, and if I make the request inside business hours, Eastern Standard Time, I find I get a bump within 8 hours. While it’s mildly annoying to run unregistered for a few hours, or a day or two, it’s hardly the big issue.

    I keep a VM environment all set, and all activated, and thus, even if i reinstall a machine, my VM environment is always ready to run. When I move machines, I can be up and running on my VM within seconds, whereas getting my new machines ready for business is a multi-day process.

    So, I can hardly blame Embarcadero if they add 5 minutes to my 3-day setup process. There are a dozen tools, components, languages, and SDKs that I use in my work, and whatever current Delphi IDE is just one of them. Several use copy protection, and the Delphi IDe copy protection is not as nasty as, for example, SmartBear’s AQTime nodelocked and floating license management crap, which uses some extremely nasty HASP stuff under the surface. Hate it. Hate hate hate it.

    Delphi XE and XE2 activation have been pretty painless to me, by comparison.


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