Customer Area for Software Downloads


We are selling software licenses and would like to allow our customers to login to our server with a username and password, and download their license keys, installers etc.

Are there any PHP/MySQ tools out there?

P.S. We can not use FTP accounts, non-technies have real problems with anything other than their browsers :(

Thanks, Paul.


asked Dec 12 '10 at 22:45
140 points

2 Answers


I use HTTP authentication for this, because it only takes a few minutes to set up. Send the customer a URL, username and password, and the users have no problem entering it into their browser.

Are you aware that browsers can use FTP? Use an URL like or you can include the username and password as ftp://username:[email protected]/ But it gets cumbersome with more than a few orders at a time, and I will be moving to a PHP system soon, once I get a few minutes to write one.

answered Dec 13 '10 at 02:43
Steve Hanov
596 points
  • If you only have a few customers, this solution is probably the simplest, but you do have to set everything up manually for each customer. This won't help, though, if you have large volume and want to auto-generate this stuff. +1 for simplicity. – Elie 13 years ago
  • Http authentication blows. Its not user friendly, and looks odd. Plus it doesnt do much to manage downloads. What you want would do in a professional sense is to create an expiring download link. You could do this simply by creating a token in your database with the download id. When the user visits the download page, you could force the download by using any scripting language such as PHP or ASP and streaming the content. I would also make sure to keep count on how many times the file has been downloaded, and from what IP address. This will help prevent fraud. Last make sure there is – Frank 13 years ago
  • a software activation structure that requires your client to be connected to the internet. You could use the same database, but this would keep your software from being used by more than one user, or at least you would know if someone is using your software in canada, ny, florida, and los angeles, seeing that as a red flag. – Frank 13 years ago


Should be pretty straight-forward to set up a basic eCommerce site with something like Drupal with Ubercart (if you want them to be able to buy it online without any direct interaction with someone from your company), or just plain Drupal if the purchasing itself is done offline.

I know a company that has set up pretty much this exact type of site before, so if you need someone to build it, get in touch with me.

answered Dec 13 '10 at 02:06
4,692 points

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