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Progress from one off Alpha Five application into selling as a commercial entity

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  • Progress from one off Alpha Five application into selling as a commercial entity

    Hi,

    Bit of background, while having limited programming/IT skills I designed and developed a v11 web application for my current employer that took ERP data into a SQL server database and categorized that data, allowed for users to quickly review and analyse the issues along with some workflow elements(escalate to other people/teams on issues etc) and some reporting elements. It got great feedback internally and I have now shown to some external people who feel that it may solve issues faced by their own companies and potentially others.

    So I'm considering whether to attempt to bring this on further as a standalone product. I have concerns mainly stemming from my lack of technical knowledge about how I would do this with Alpha v11. Up to now, I have the Application server running through the same instance as my Developer display. How do I start deploying a solution to other companies? Would it be a case of changing the settings such as Database connection strings in Developer, saving this and putting onto their server along with a new Application Server licence? Is there a way to package your app so that when you install a new instance of it each new user can specify thier specifics such as database connection strings, URL (and I'm sure a host of other things I haven't even started to think about)

    In summary, I'm looking for any pointers/information on to change from being someone who used Alpha Five v11 once to being someone who would actually start selling my Alpha Five solution to others.

    Many thanks.
    Last edited by incremental; 10-03-2013, 03:07 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Progress from one off Alpha Five application into selling as a commercial entity

    Hi Dave or John,

    If this works for your situation, the easiest method is for you to remain in control, you publish a copy for each new customer all to the same server, each with a different Instance of the web server, different IP, and domin address pointing to that IP, etc. You would maintain the SQL database, and alter the connection string for each customer. If all customer applications are exactly the same, you could even just maintain the one master copy, but have a different publishing profile for each customer and set the connection string in that profile. (The publishing profile is where you set the connection string parameters).

    Also, since you built this as an employee, be sure you hash out your rights for the program with your employer. Technical, if you were an employee while you built it, it belongs to your employer. Get an attorney (really) to draft that agreement and any master agreement you might have with potential customers <-- don't skip this part.
    Steve Wood
    Join the ALPHA DEVELOPERS NETWORK
    There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
    Web - Mobile - Hosting - Products - Frameworks - Developer Resources
    AlphaToGo | IADN (100% Alpha Anywhere Websites)

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    • #3
      Re: Progress from one off Alpha Five application into selling as a commercial entity

      Thanks Steve, I had initially thought that customers would install this on their own internal servers but I can see your point. The move to cloud is now standard, I just need to educate myself on providing assurance on data security.

      I get you on the Intellectual Property, the idea was completely mine and the application I have written for them is bespoke to them. I would be doing a complete re-write on my own time/hardware for any resale. All that said if I continue forward with this it's an important area to get squared away.

      Thanks again for your input, much appreciated.

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      • #4
        Re: Progress from one off Alpha Five application into selling as a commercial entity

        If the customers deploy on their own servers then at least two options:
        • If they have a full copy of Alpha Five Developer and are given access to the code, then they can publish on their own and manage the connection string.
        • If they are not to have full access to code, you can still publish from your location to their internal server, either via FTP if physical environment and permissions allow, or by publishing local (your machine) to a temp folder location, and then sending them the entire contents of that folder.


        The server file that holds the connection string and other server-related constants, is named a5_application.a5i. You will see the connection string(s) either plain text or encrypted. You can edit the file and replace the encrypted string with the plain text version. Note that a5_application.a5i is always replaced every time any file is published to the server.
        Steve Wood
        Join the ALPHA DEVELOPERS NETWORK
        There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
        Web - Mobile - Hosting - Products - Frameworks - Developer Resources
        AlphaToGo | IADN (100% Alpha Anywhere Websites)

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        • #5
          Re: Progress from one off Alpha Five application into selling as a commercial entity

          There is a LOT more to selling software than banking the cheque.
          Who will run the help desk
          How will bugs be fixed
          Who will do the training
          Who will do the enhancements - there will be enhancement requests, believe me!
          Who will do the implementation

          If you get your employer on side, he may assist with this, else you are out on the "after 5.00 pm" limb.

          It's a great opportunity, but there are other thing like User Licenses - EULA - and contractual obligations, so I wish you well, however the bit you have done is the easy bit. The rest is not nearly as much fun.
          Ted Giles
          Example Consulting - UK
          .

          sigpichttp://ec12.example-software.com//
          See our site for Alpha Support, Conversion and Upgrade.

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          • #6
            Re: Progress from one off Alpha Five application into selling as a commercial entity

            +1 for Ted's reply
            Cheers!
            Lyle Chamney
            http://www.2ninerniner2.com/
            Websites rebuilt with WordPress
            http://goodcheapfastwebsites.com/
            Complete, ready to install WordPress websites
            http://snifflevalve.com
            WordPress training and tutorials

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            • #7
              Re: Progress from one off Alpha Five application into selling as a commercial entity

              Hi guys,

              Wise words and it is something I have made a mistake on before when I developed a simple website for a charity organisation.

              I am very much at a feasibility study stage with this, doing market research with a number of companies to see if there is a potential demand for what I'm thinking of.

              I also don't believe I possess all the skills to bring this to market and am also very unsure if Alpha is the platform to develop a commercial concern on. From my limited viewpoint, Alpha is an excellent tool for the Bespoke application especially internal company applications but given the hosting costs/complications is it the right tool to develop a web app for multiple companies/users??

              I've got a lot of research and learning to do :)


              Thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Progress from one off Alpha Five application into selling as a commercial entity

                Alpha Desktop is solid as a rock.
                Can't confirm Web side but Steve could. Might be wotth a PM to him.
                Ted Giles
                Example Consulting - UK
                .

                sigpichttp://ec12.example-software.com//
                See our site for Alpha Support, Conversion and Upgrade.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Progress from one off Alpha Five application into selling as a commercial entity

                  When you enter into a website application, the clients are going to want: "cloud", ability to change images, ability to change words, etc. Other than the information in the database, there is little they can do in a website built in alpha without the programmer do a lot of setup work in advance. A smart developer charges a yearly/monthly fee for upkeep and changes based on hourly so the site does not get real bad real fast.

                  Client and developer is a marriage of sorts. Neither needs to keep secrets from the other and they have to depend on one another to pull their load.

                  Selling something on the web is a skill set all it's own. There are various software packages and companies that just do SEO work. The good ones are not cheap, but without either the knowledge or the money, it gets to be a hard road.

                  There is also the try before you buy. Letting the potential client use the software for 90 days works real good. Why 90 days? He gets used to it, has his data in it and does not want to give that up because he has learned to depend on it. This is good for packaged applications.

                  I have many client sites on the weband most are corporate where there are no pictures and you have to sign in just to get to the work pages. The largest will have about 3200 workers on it all day long for 5 days a week.

                  I am just trialing alpha right now and already know from the threads on here and testing that it will not be a primary tool. I could use some tax write offs though.

                  Glad I read this post because not having tried to distribute an alpha website, I had no idea that it does not compile into a file that can be simply ported to a hosted site and installed. To understand how most apps are distributed, go to a host control panel and click an app like drupal or word press. In a couple of minutes it is on your site and set up ready to go.
                  Last edited by Skipperj; 10-10-2013, 02:14 AM.

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