Monday, September 10, 2007

Serial Number URL Scheme in Cocoa

Bob Warwick:

In this post, we’ll walk through the steps of creating Simple Serial, a Cocoa application whose sole purpose in life is to tell you if it’s registered or not. When a user goes to register Simple Serial, they’re sent an email, including a link. When they click the link, OS X launches the application and passes along the correct registration information to it. The user has never had to type in a serial number.

My applications have been using similar URL schemes since January 2006, and they’ve really helped cut down on errors during serial number entry. In addition to providing the URLs in the order confirmation e-mail, I recommend including them on the order confirmation Web page and when customers look up their serial number. Some people get really confused if their e-mail program doesn’t recognize your custom URL scheme, but I think this is far outweighed by the benefits.

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[...] I should note that this isn’t an original concept from me. Other developers like Michael Tsai have been smarter than me in this area for a [...]

To be clear, I’m not claiming credit for the original idea either. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t mine, but I don’t recall where it came from.

I do the same thing in my apps and I agree that it cuts support requests.

As for the origin, I shamelessly copied from Gus Mueller and I'm pretty sure Gus got the "inspiration" from Panic.

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