Building Design & Truss Software Blog

Truss D&E Software Hardlock/Dongle/Protection Key – The value of little things


It is about the size of your pinky finger.  You receive it at the time of purchase, plug it in your computer USB port, and then… you forget about it.  It is your hardlock.  This little thing controls your access to your software, so the dongle IS YOUR SOFTWARE.  Without the hardlock, access to the full software is denied and it will go into demo mode.

Over the years, we have had several clients lose their hardlocks…sometimes clients have even reported them stolen.  Most times because users do not realize the value of the hardlock, they just call us up to replace the little thing.  Unfortunately, we do not replace hardlocks.  We have to tell the client to file a claim with their insurance company and they are forced to purchase another software seat.  With a software cost of up to $17k, this can be a big setback to profits.  JFBA understands the purchase of this software is a substantial investment and want you to know that you should safeguard the software protection key. 

So, what should you do? 

First, make sure you are covered against lost or stolen property with your insurance company.  Review and verify your policy and make adjustments for coverage as needed.  Do this at the time of purchase and do not wait until after a loss has occurred. 

Second, know the value of the hardlock.  Knowledge is power and when you realize the value of the hardlock, you will employ measures to protect your investment.  Entrust the hardlock with employees that you fully trust.  It is very easy for such a small device to walk out the door unnoticed.  Also, make sure your staff knows the value of the hardlock.  There have been cases where a well-intentioned employee organized a co-workers desk and discarded the hardlock in the trash.  This is a costly mistake.

Finally, know that JFBA will support you by providing you with invoices or statements for your insurance claim.  Sometimes, insurance companies require these documents for policy changes and claim submittals.

We always hate to get that call from a client who has lost the key to their software.  It is painful financially and can stop production on projects.  We want our clients to be successful.  Take the necessary precautions listed above and you will not be the client making that dreaded call.

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