I have a business question regarding web-based software licensing. A number of web sites offer software as a service for various APIs. A good example is Google's Custom Search API. The process to use web services typically resembles:
- Account. User creates an account.
- Server. User defines the IP address(es) of the server(s) that will make API requests.
- Key. User receives a public API key for the desired API(s).
- Guide. User is given documentation that shows how to use the API key to make a request.
- Test. User can make test requests to verify integration functionality.
- Billing. User pays to activate the account.
- Production. User integrates the web service into their applications.
- Deactivation. System deactivates accounts when expired, exceeds request limit, etc.
These requirements are in addition to integration with the service being licensed.
That is a lot of work for a small business.
What off-the-shelf, open source projects address this problem?
If there are no such projects, what would you do to architect a viable, low-cost solution (ideally, a percentage of each license)? That is, what software or existing commercial services would you use for a small business (having little to no income) that seeks to license web-based services?