Sell definitions

My office sell grasshopper definitions to clients. At the moment we deliver a file and that’s it.

This means that the client pay a large amount to get the definition developed and then they do what ever they want with it. Now clients asks for subscriptions instead, meaning a smaller amount for the development and then a monthly payment for support and so on.

Is there a way to “protect” your definitions for a business model like this?

The consensus on this seem to land on selecting and issuing an appropriate license.

There are a few discussions here on Discourse regarding measures to protect Grasshopper code/defintitions, but there’s really very little one can do that a “hacker” won’t be able to get around. I my experience, the “best” approach to obfuscate code is to compile IronPython (i.e. GHPython), as this will decompile to complete gibberish. But again, I’m sure there are ways of making sense of this too.


Thanks for the answer! We’re going to take a look at IronPython.

I think after a certain point where it become as hard to “hack” as to write the definition it doesn’t make sense to make it more secure anyhow.

This thread covers some of the thoughts/options regarding code encryption:

I believe the new GHPython compile options implement the same .NET functionality that I linked to back then. So that might be a place to start.

Edit: And in turn, this thread:

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The only way you can take control of something like this is by making a plug-in which (a) performs some crucial role in your file and (b) checks for valid licenses.

But even then an experienced programmer with dubious ethics can find ways to get around that.

I suspect the best return on investment \left(\frac{\text{income}}{\text{effort}}\right) is just having your customers sign a license agreement.

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Thanks David!

I think I will go for IronPython or even just a password protected cluster + some kind of signed agreement.

So far, I think the best protection has been making a great job and clients life easier. Then most of them are happy to pay.

Hi Jesper,
We’re working on a system/prototype that might be able to address this. It’s in pretty early stage, but shoot me an email at EPoulsen at ThorntonTomasetti dot com and we can tell you more about it.