validate serial

Im fairly new to php and primarily a front end developer. Im wondering if anybody has and insight or information for this.

I was asked to setup a way to validate serial numbers with products we are selling to customers. Once they get the product and activate it they need to go into this client site that has this tool. With this tool they will enter the product serial and it will validate that its a legit serial and if if its legit add the product to their account for records and then they can keep track of the warranty and add comments if theres any service etc…

Any help will be greatly appreciated as Im in a place where im not sure where to start


Do it the same way you validate a user signing in. When they sign-up, create a unique identifier using datetime(); convert that to MD5 and convert their user ID to MD5 and you have a unique/random identifier.

  1. User signs up – datetime & userID converted to MD5
  2. Activated column is set to 0 by default
  3. User sent email with activation key
  4. User enters activation key
  5. Script checks if activated is 0 – if it’s not 0 go to step 6 else go to step 7
  6. Log the unauthorized activation attempt and use your own protocol to deal with it
  7. Success, product successfully activated, alert user via email

I’m probably asking a stupid question but isn’t the serial number a unique number? If so, could that not be a way to validate the user themselves? By that I mean the person could enter in their information, such as name, city, state, zip-code, etc plus the serial number of the product. The serial number entered could be checked against a database or an algorithm of some kind to validate the user? Like I said this is probably a stupid question.

the only thing is the account will have multiple serials numbers for multiple products

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