first thing I always ask is why?
then what is the risk?
what is the benefit?
what is the cost?
what is the audience (users, who, sales market)?
most of the time the users are not going to mess with the code and the cost far outweighs the benefit.
if the users are tech-savy hacker types then the same thing happens as a determined cracker will break any protection if they are willing to spend the time and effort.
I often see similar types of responses when people ask about protecting their source..
I guess some people simply don't understand..
For a small operation like mine, code security is key to our business future. If we were to release our product in unencrypted .net, our competitors would gain substantial IP to help rocket them into markets where we already exist, and if our .net app could easily be reversed many new competitors would pop up.
You see, not everybody is a adobe, or microsoft, or even winzip or nero...
Some outfits have a lot of development time invested into developing product for consumers that have no current available options.. We invest heavily to make a product that most of the time, others don't know how to do. Again, if we released our .net unprotected well then these others would pop up out of the wood work.
Now, most people say, well you provide great customer service and a great product and you won't have to worry about that. That only works if your target consumer is willing to pay the premium for those services. If your target consumer (unfortunately) wants the product at the lowest price that argument goes right out the door.
read what I posted....
DID I say "Do Not Protect" ?
I said there are a set of things to know; who the threat is, why, when, where etc....
the company I work for has 3 people, I think I know what "small" is.
and your reply sounds like a lot of them I have seen.
WHO WANTS YOUR CODE?
ARE YOU SURE OF THIS ?
really I have to go back to what I posted:
what is the threat?
who are they?
why do they want to steal your work?
who are you selling to?
your reply shows you are concerned not that end users will copy but that pros will copy your work. that changes the threat.
on one side you mention others cloning your work and on the other side you speak of the user wanting it cheap.
sounds like you need to re-asses what you are developing and who you are selling to.
have you got any real proof that your code is going to be stolen?
how many copies a year do you sell ?
are you selling direct on-line ? in a box( retail)? thru a partner?
possibly you do not want .net at all?
afterall with .net you have to have the runtime and that tells the cracker a lot about what to look for.