Code Security? Do you Trust your customers?

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I was recently asked “How do you protect your code from someone just copying everything you’ve done?”  I sat there with a straight face, and said… “Well…  I don’t”.  The simple question got me to thinking about this interesting question.  Do you take efforts to make sure (or least make it difficult) no one can copy your code?

Now, if you live in most programming languages, they require a compiler, and your code is instantly safe.  But in ABAP, when you write something, it’s out there for any halfway decent programmer with some time on their hands to pirate everything you’ve painstakingly worked on.  Now of course, there is the legal recourse, disclaimers, contracts, etc.  But at the end of day, many of us are small companies, and a big legal battle is the last thing we want to deal with.  So I started googling.  The general consensus seems to be of two camps.  One, you need to trust your customer and to go through and encrypt/hide/etc your code shows bad etiquette.  Two, why bother because any 1/2 way decent programmer in ABAP could get to it anyway… and by you hiding your code, just makes it even more appealing to crack the code.

Now Google/SCN talks about adding a strange character string:  *@#@@[HOME:SAP] that if you put this in front of code it hides it “forever”.  I haven’t tried it out… but I am tempted to just to see if it works.  But at the end of the day, is it worth it?  can customers be trusted?  can you afford not to trust them?

I’d love to hear your opinions.  And as always, thanks for reading,

As always, thanks for reading and don't forget to check out our SAP Service Management Products at my other company JaveLLin Solutions,

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