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    3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 7, 2008 1:15 PM by karnius

    Selling online applications

    karnius Newbie

      I'm working on a online application that I plan to sell online, the thing is, I would like to offer to download the application and install it on your server.

      My application can be bandwith hungry at time, in the possibility that this application would sell just ok, i'm not quite sure I could handle that much traffic easily, and this would of course, cause reimbursement. And i'm not sure i want to invest in a big dedicated server before knowing if I will get cash out of it.

      The thing is, if i do this, everyone will have my source code and can basically sell it to anyone without me knowing it, and this is troubling me.
      I want to market it to professional, with no necessarly with alot of cash, and I think a one time fee could prove to catch alot of sell.

      What do you guys think? Do you know any other forum specialised in online application business help?

      Thank you
        • Re: Selling online applications
          Lighthouse24 Ranger

          Without knowing your background or the specifics of your application and target market, I can only offer some general perspectives (which may or not be relevant). That said . . .

          As far as where to park the application initially -- I roll out new training apps with a pilot project in a limited geographic area or market niche. That lets me get a feel for the demand that the full-scale implementation will have to accommodate. These days, it's usually easy enough to add capacity if necessary -- so it doesn't make sense to pay for more than I know we'll need.

          As far as the dangers of being ripped off, off course your copyright and license agreements make reselling the source code illegal. Can someone still do it? Sure but what will they have if they do? It should be a fairly non-functional bunch of bits. Just as desktop software developers offer free trials and then include a unique registration number and activation code to use the product beyond the trial date, you could possibly build-in a validation code that prevents multiple or unlicensed installs.

          Further, if the application is designed to reside on a central server with any scalability, you probably have some controls over workstation and user access, as well as database calls and write/update transactions. You could make it necessary for the authorized licensee to import a start-up schema or to load a set of referential rules on the server side, and/or install a particular .dll or access key on local user platforms to use the central application.

          Finally, I've yet to see a software application that didn't require technical support, training, upgrades, etc. -- and in fact, providing all that is likely the more profitable element of your business model anyway. So if someone did steal a functional version of the application, it would be an unsupported one. In fact, that's often how unauthorized versions of business applications are discovered -- when end users (who don't know any better) submit help tickets.

          Hope that provides or triggers some useful ideas. Good luck.
            • Re: Selling online applications
              karnius Newbie
              Thank you for the insight Lighthouse, very useful.

              My application is primary aimed for freelance web designer and web design agency.

              The application is ajax/php/mysql based, witch make it difficult to compile without loosing performance, and anyway php compiling into bite code can be reverse enginered easily.


              Cedric Dugas
            • Re: Selling online applications
              DomainDiva Ranger
              You don't need a big dedicated server. A small one will work. Contact me, we have a security solution that will allow you to post your app on the internet without revealing the source code. We developed it in conjunction with a couple of guys from San Francisco for our biz app. I am sure that the application can be tweaked to meet your needs.

              Best, DD