Creating Licenses

Use Keygen's API and your code to create new licenses for your product. If you need help after reading this, can reach out to us anytime at [email protected].

This tutorial is written in JavaScript, but you can follow along in any other language that you're comfortable in. Throughout this tutorial, you will see placeholders e.g. {ACCOUNT} within the code examples that will need to be replaced with your account's slug (or ID), or other resource information.

Before geting started, you will either need to log into your Dashboard and generate a product token, or generate an authentication token via the API. To create a token directly through the API, check out the code examples in the API reference or check out our guide on authenticating users.

If you are using product tokens, the code for this tutorial should not be written client-side. If you are wanting to allow users to create licenses for themselves client-side, then you should authenticate them and use an authentication token which belongs to them; otherwise, all code should be server-side.

Your admin and product tokens carry many privileges and should always be kept secret. Do not share your secret API tokens in publicly accessible areas such GitHub, embed them in client-facing code e.g. inside of your product, and so forth. Learn more.


Once you've created a user, you can create a license for them. This can be either be done client- or server-side, and depending on which one of those you choose, the tokens you use to make the request will be different i.e. product tokens vs. user tokens, for server-side vs. client-side license creation, respectively.

If you're not using Keygen to manage users, you may create user-less licenses and add metadata to the resource if needed to associate the license with records on your end. Simply exclude the user relationship when creating a license.

When creating licenses, we first need to determine what policy we want the license to implement. Policies are like blueprints for licenses—determining how a license is validated, how long it lasts, how many machines it can be used on, and more generally in relation to your product, what it's for. If you haven't created a policy yet, head over to your dashboard and create one for your product.

Once you've decided on a policy to use, we can make our request. Below you will see that we're using an authentication token which belongs to one of our user's, as well as including the user within the license's relationships object. This will make sure that our license is associated with the correct user resource so that we can query it later when we want to validate it.

You may be asking yourself about the license's key. You can manually specify a key by including it inside of the license resource's attributes object. When the license key is not manually specified, one will automatically be generated and included within the response body.

If your policy is encrypted, then the license's key will only be available after this request, so be sure to e.g. send it to your user via an email or else the key will be lost forever.

The response of this request will either be an error (e.g. if a required attribute is missing, or the key has already been used), or a license resource containing your new license's information (including the key).

const response = await fetch("https://api.keygen.sh/v1/accounts/{ACCOUNT}/licenses", {
  method: "POST",
  headers: {
    "Content-Type": "application/vnd.api+json",
    "Accept": "application/vnd.api+json",
    "Authorization": "Bearer {CURRENT_USER_TOKEN}"
  },
  body: JSON.stringify({
    "data": {
      "type": "licenses",
      "relationships": {
        "policy": {
          "data": { "type": "policies", "id": "{POLICY}" }
        },
        "user": {
          "data": { "type": "users", "id": "{CURRENT_USER}" }
        }
      }
    }
  })
})

const { data: license, errors } = await response.json()
if (errors) {
  // … handle errors
}

console.log(`Our license's key is: ${license.attributes.key}`)

Next steps

Congrats! You've created your first license using Keygen. Next up, we can learn how to validate it. If you have any questions about what you've learned today, be sure to reach out!