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Easy Digital Downloads Documentation
Documentation, Reference Materials, and Tutorials for Easy Digital Downloads

Recurring Payments – Software Licensing Integration

Software Licensing works seamlessly with Recurring Payments. Here are some of the highlights:

  • It fully integrates with software upgrades.
  • Renewal discounts are applied properly.
  • Canceling a subscription partway through the subscription period does NOT expire the license key, it remains valid for as long as was paid for.
  • It supports upgrading to a one-time fee lifetime subscription, which ends the recurring billing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if a license key is renewed early?

If a license key is renewed early, a “subscription” (which is created by EDD Recurring immediately upon renewal) is created and the license key expiration date is extended by one period, where a period is whatever the store owner has set (12 months, 6 months, etc). This can cause the subscription and license key expiration dates to become out of sync. This isn’t an issue, when this happens the customer is essentially pre-paying for their license key.

For example, assume a store is set up with annual licenses:
  1. A customer purchases a license on January 1, 2022, setting the expiration date to January 1, 2023.
  2. The store owner changes that product to include a recurring subscription on June 1, 2022.
  3. The customer decides to renew their license early on July 1, 2022.
  4. The license will now expire on January 1, 2024.
  5. The subscription payment will be automatically processed one year from the early renewal, on July 1, 2023.
  6. The expiration date of the license will now, after the automatic payment is processed, be set to January 1, 2025.
What happens if a license key was purchased without a subscription but then renewed with the purchase of a subscription? Do expiration and renewal dates get synced?

When renewing a license and converting it to a subscription, the expiration of the license and renewal date of the subscription do not synchronize. The subscription will extend the license’s expiration date in accordance with the license length configuration. The subscription will also set a renewal date for itself, in accordance with its own configuration. For example:

  1. A yearly license purchased on January 1, 2022, will expire on January 1, 2023.
  2. On June 1st, 2022 the license is renewed early and converted to a subscription:
    1. The license will have its expiration date extended by 1 year to be January 1, 2024
    2. The subscription will have a renewal date of June 1st, 2023
  3. On June 1st, 2023, when the subscription renews, the license key will again have its expiration date extended by a year, to January 1, 2025. This 3rd step will continue to happen yearly, so long the subscription on step 2 remains active and is not canceled or expired (due to failed payment)
Can you sync a license key and subscription expiration dates?

If the customer or store owner wants to re-sync the license and subscription, the subscription can be canceled and manually renewed when the license is set to expire. This may not be in the best interest of the customer if the license key price has increased. Manually renewing would create a subscription at the new price.

What happens if renewal discounts are enabled? How will the subscription be charged?

Renewal discounts are applied to renewals only, not the initial payment. If a product costs $100 with a 50% renewal discount, the initial payment will be $100, and every renewal after that will cost $50.

Renewal discounts are created in the Software Licensing extension under Settings → Extensions → Software Licensing.

How do discount codes affect renewal discounts?

In Recurring payments, there is a setting for One-Time Discounts. If this box is checked, the discount code will only apply to the initial subscription, and all renewals will be processed at their normal amount. When unchecked, a discount applied to the initial subscription purchase will continue to be applied to all automatically renewed payments.

With Software Licensing renewal discounts, they will apply as they normally do to automatic renewals, so if the One-Time Discount is unchecked, and there is a Software Licensing renewal discount, both will be applied to the automatically renewed amount.

What if a customer upgrades a license key?

Upgrading license keys are fully supported. The upgrade cancels the original subscription purchased and creates a new subscription record. All license keys retain their original expiration date, and any prorated and additional discounts associated with the Software Licensing upgrade path are applied to the purchase. Not only do the upgraded license keys retain their expiration date, but the new subscription’s expiration will match the license’s original expiration as well, regardless of the date the upgrade was done by the customer.

How do site admins find the license key associated with a subscription?

To see the license key associated with a subscription, you can go to Downloads → Subscriptions, and click on the View link next to the subscription. The license key associated with the subscription will be located in its own section on the Subscription Details view.

What about bundle products that use a subscription?

Bundles that are subscriptions and have licensing enabled work just like a single product. A single subscription is created for the customer, that contains the bundle product. The recurring renewal of that subscription will maintain access to all the bundled products. See Product Bundle Licensing for details.

How are email notifications for license keys with subscriptions handled?

When both Recurring Payments and Software Licensing are activated, there are two sets of email notifications that can be configured, one in the Software Licensing settings and one in the Recurring Payments settings. When a license key is associated with a recurring subscription, the renewal/expiration notices configured in the Recurring Payments settings will be used. Those notices configured in the Software Licensing settings will be ignored for license keys that are connected to a subscription so long as the subscription remains Active. If a subscription for a license key is canceled or becomes expired, the emails configured in the Software Licensing settings will be used.

How do renewal discounts work with free trials?

When using free trials and renewal discounts, the renewal discount will be applied to the first payment processed after the free trial is completed.

For example, if you sell a $100 / year product with a 1 month free trial and a 20% renewal discount, the payments will be as follows:

  • $0.00 for the first month
  • $80 for the first payment after the trial is completed
  • $80 for each year following

If you sell a $100 / year product without renewal discounts, the payments will be as follows:$0.00 for the first month

  • $100 for the first payment after the trial is completed
  • $100 for each year following