SecureBlackbox 2020: Transition Guide

The newest version of SecureBlackbox comes with a bunch of exciting new features and performance improvements. Along with evolutionary changes, the libraries have been carefully redesigned and extensively improved.

Whereas the goal of the redesigning was to make the product cleaner, simpler, and easier to use, some of the changes may come as a surprise to our long-term customers. This article is intended to highlight the most significant changes between the previous versions of SecureBlackbox and the new one, and to help you familiarize yourself with the new incarnation of the product.

What has changed?

SecureBlackbox 2020 packs the functionality you are familiar with into a brand new collection of components. The scope of functionality and the list of supported technologies have been largely preserved, but the API is now simpler and more in tune with the /n software product line.

Can I upgrade from SecureBlackbox 16 (15, 14, …) to SecureBlackbox 2020?

You most certainly can (and we would be happy if you do!) However, please keep in mind that the transition might not be as simple and straightforward as you may be used to from past version updates. You might need to re-write reasonable pieces of your existing logic using the new components.

My project uses SBB 16 extensively and I am reluctant to rewrite it; will the old API be available in SecureBlackbox 2020?

It depends on the edition you are using. .NET and Java editions of SecureBlackbox 2020 provide access to the old API (it is still there, under the hood). The source code package of the Delphi edition includes the old API too.

Will all former editions be available in SecureBlackbox 2020?

Yes. The initial release includes support for Delphi (including NG/FMX), C++ Builder, .NET (including .NET Standard), Java, Android, C++, and PHP.

Are there any reductions in the scope of functionality compared to SBB 16?

Since the new components are much simpler and higher-level than those in SBB 16, you may at times feel a certain lack of flexibility or control over the technology internals. This is OK - the new API was designed with the intention of removing deep technical matters off your shoulders and encapsulating them into the new components. Some of the largely exotic features may no longer be available, but we hope that all such features should now be taken care of by the controls themselves, rather than your code.

You may also notice that some of the technologies that were available in SBB 16 are absent in SBB 2020. We are still catching up on integrating less popular technologies, and hope to gradually make them available over the coming months.

Another word should be said about the Distributed Crypto module. Following the deprecation of the applet technology, we will no longer distribute the Java applet. The technology has been re-thought, and now is represented with a DCAuth control, which is a single universal replacement for all private key-side elements.

Will the licensing model change?

Yes. SecureBlackbox 2020 will be distributed alongside other /n software products as part of the Red Carpet Subscription. More details are available here.

Because of the differences in the licensing scheme, the license keys you may have obtained in the past (long hexadecimal strings) will not work with SBB 2020; and the SetLicenseKey() method that you might be used to no longer exists. Instead, /n software will provide you with new, shorter keys, and a different way of applying them.

Will the source code be provided?

Yes, under a separate license.

What about technical support?

Our skilled support team will be happy, as always, to help you with matters concerning all versions of SecureBlackbox, from SecureBlackbox 1 to SecureBlackbox 2020.

Will the old API be supported?

The old API stays at the core of SecureBlackbox 2020 (it has only been moved to the infrastructure layer). In that sense it will be taken care of, updated, and extended as necessary to maintain the quality and performance of SecureBlackbox 2020 up to the highest standard. We will be more relaxed about dealing with its interface though, so we can’t make promises of its consistency between versions.

As a general recommendation, we strongly suggest sticking with SecureBlackbox 2020 for any new projects you might be starting. Its simplified and more integrated API will make development quicker, and help you avoid performance and security flaws in your code.


We appreciate your feedback.  If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this article please contact our support team at kb@nsoftware.com.