ECOGIS Geomatics - Unencrypt Avenue Code

Encrypting is a method provided by ESRI to codify source code programmed with the Avenue Scripting language. In contrast to other programming languages Avenue code thereby is not saved in compiled mode; instead the full source code including remarks is encrypted by a single algorithm. The encrypted source code is decrypted by ArcView so that the scripts can still be executed, even if the source code can not be read by human beings.

Help! I encrypted my project!

Encryption is not a safe method to protect Avenue source code. Every encrypted Avenue source code, be it inside of a project or an extension, can be unencrypted easily with the ArcView extension Scripttool Pro. Since 04/2005 I don't sell this extension anymore because of possible misues of the software. If you my have encrypted your project, extension or script, and have no access to the current original version, you can send it to me (with a statement that you are the author) and I send you an unencrypted version. If You have any comments or questions concerning unencryption you can also send an email to me:

Here you find some different reactions on my unencryption project:

Conversation with Bruce Cheney (GIS Development manager, J-U-B Engineers, Boise, ID) about unencrypting Avenue scripts [english]

Conversation with Damian Spangrud (ESRI Product manager, Redlands, CA) about unencrypting Avenue scripts [english]

Konversation mit Thorsten Behrens (Uni Gießen) über Entschlüsselung von Avenue Scripts [deutsch]

Konversation mit Dirk Loss (Uni Münster) über Kryptographie und freie Software [deutsch]

More about unencryption:

I found that I wasn't the first to decode Avenue encryption. In 1996 Mark Ontkush published a full description how Avenue encryption works and how it can be decoded.
In 1999 Bill Huber , an Avenue programmer who is extensively posting scripts on the ESRI download site, cracked Avenue encryption, but decided not to publish the procedure. Bill Huber is certainly the developer who has been engaged most intensively with Avenue decryption, so feel encouraged to visit his website. The site also provides a tool called Uglify. It is a method to make Your decrypted source code look so horrible that nobody may find any sense in it. Uglification is certainly the more reliable way to protect Your source code if You are looking for alternatives to insecure encryption



last edited: Johannes Weigel, Jun. 27, 2003