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Thread: Identify the system uniquely over the internet

  1. #1

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    PowerPoster make me rain's Avatar
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    Red face Identify the system uniquely over the internet

    Using MySQL + Vb.net ( Connectivity, over the internet)
    I am struck in a logical issue
    it is an inventory system with various stores connected together and i need to identify the each system uniquely so that the stores are identified uniquely in the table, and here the problem is client systems are NOT HAVING THE STATIC IP but DHCP ,

    i need some way out , i thought of creating user level security so that the user belongs to the store XYZ and data too belongs to store XYZ., But this is a ridiculous idea What if the user belongs to XYZ logged in at system ABC ?.

    alternatively what if i distribute some kind of certificate (may be some encrypted SERIAL NO xml file) which recognizes the computer + the user belongs to store XYZ, but this also not less than a horrible idea since this idea can not give the authenticity like one the static IP provides over the network.

    How to handle this please
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  2. #2
    Still learning kebo's Avatar
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    Re: Identify the system uniquely over the internet

    How about using MAC address or machine name?

    The machine name can be changed, but AFAIK the mac address cannot.
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    Fanatic Member PlausiblyDamp's Avatar
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    Re: Identify the system uniquely over the internet

    Quote Originally Posted by kebo View Post
    How about using MAC address or machine name?

    The machine name can be changed, but AFAIK the mac address cannot.
    MAC addresses aren't guaranteed to be unique globally, I have even encountered a situation where in a batch of NICs (cheap ones admittedly) bought at the same time had duplicate MACs. Some network cards allow you to change a MAC and later versions of Windows 10 will even do this for your WiFi adaptor when connecting to public networks if you desire.

    Machine name name could certainly be changed as well.

    How are the computers managed in each store? Does the store have control over the naming and addressing information or is that centrally managed? If it is centrally managed then there is probably some unique way of tracking things, if each store manages itself then this could be tricky unless there could be a policy put in place that dictates how things are named.

    Have you considered generating a GUID at installation time / first run and using this as a means to identify each server?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Identify the system uniquely over the internet

    I did something like this by giving each user a unique ID, but my case may have been simpler than what you described, because my users had to install something. There was basically a client application that called back to the server. That meant that each client application could be uniquely identified. If you are using a browser based system, that isn't a real option, because the web won't retain much of anything.

    What I was doing was that the application created a database on first use, and when the DB was first used, the DB was given a GUID. That GUID became the unique identifier for the DB (a single user could have multiple DBs, and all I really cared about was the DB ID, not the user). Another advantage that I had, though, was that the user had zero motivation to game the system in any way. That may not be the case for you, either.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Identify the system uniquely over the internet

    What I was doing was that the application created a database on first use, and when the DB was first used, the DB was given a GUID. That GUID became the unique identifier for the DB


    great idea
    , but i have an doubt, in this case the GUID is static and stored in the database of the client machine (lets say it stored in a accdb file) while registering the client application.
    accordingly
    (1) Who serves the GUID is most important i believe , (since lets assume a client store XYZ is having 3 systems, and all the 3 system GUID must be same i mean UNIQUE for the store XYZ and then additionally another GUID must be there & UNIQUE for the each client computer (just as good as like the IP))

    (2) GUID is unique for the each application installation on the client machine (lets say one in program files , another on D:/ i mean one can install multiple copy of application & register each copy of installation with different GUID, i mean one client can access multiple stores)

    (3) User's are identified by user name + GUID of the store in the database server , its good
    (4) What if the application is reinstalled by the client , then he needs a fresh registration, it is fine
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Identify the system uniquely over the internet

    Making a GUID unique to a database gets around that problem, and that's all I needed to do. What it does not do, and cannot do, is uniquely identify a user or a store. In my case, I realized that I didn't really care who the user was, I cared what the database was. When I got data, I wanted to know which database the data came from, not who pressed the button to send it. That's why I said my case may have been simpler.

    Once you get into identifying users, then that design doesn't work. After all, when you create a new DB, it is pretty easy to create a new GUID, but tying that GUID to one user is much harder. If you can assume that there will be only one DB per system, and that the user can't tinker with that, then the DB (and therefore the GUID) could uniquely identify the system. If a different person used the system, you wouldn't have a means to identify that unless the DB held logins for the various users, and gave each of them a GUID.

    Quite possibly bigger is the fact that there then exists a DB that identifies the users or the machine. In my case, I had no fear of people tampering with that DB, as there was no incentive for them to tamper with it, and plenty of incentive not to. Your case seems more difficult. You could lock the DB such that they couldn't see what was in it, but they could still just delete it.

    I really think my suggestion was too simplistic for your situation.
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