Monthly Archives: April 2011

Data Mashups in R By Jeremy Leipzig, Xiao-Yi Li

The Book Data Mashups in R gives a short tutorial using R to pull data from the web and analyse it. The specific presentation is looking at foreclosure auctions in Philadelphia. I used this book to get some practical hands on exposure to R.  It happily fulfilled this use case for me, exposing packages in R, and helping me gain an idea of how R can be used. It also provided a good idea as to what R does well, helping me know when to pull the R tool out of the shed.

I recommend the book to experienced developers who want to get their heads around what is possible with R and how R works by trying it out.

[this book was reviewed as a part of the O’Reilly Blogger Review Program]

A vocabulary for product licensing

Getting a shared vocabulary for conversations is always useful. Here’s a pattern/vocabulary that I’ve recently been introduced to for thinking about software product licensing.

  • Product Key
  • License
  • SKU

Product Key

A product key is the cryptographic software control used to control who/what can use the software


A license is the concept encapsulating that a customer is allowed to use the software. A customer is licensed to use software. This probably aligns with the legal contract that is used.


The SKU/stock keeping unit is how sales people can talk about the product. They sell a SKU to a customer.

The customer licenses the SKU (product), and then they are issued a product key which enables them to use the software.

The precise definitions for product keys, licenses and SKUs is valuable when communicating between product, sales and marketing teams. The list above seems to work pretty well. Let me know in the comments if you’ve got better ideas.