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Do you opon or lock a solution


wingwalker
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Maybe a stupid question but I don't think I've seen it discussed. If you are developing a solution for a company as an independent contractor/developer. Do you provide it "open architecture" where they or another developer can make changes to it. Or do you keep it locked and unavailable for changes, other than by you the developer.

I guess this could vary based on the circumstances and customer. But what would the rational be one way verses the other. I guess the question is, "Do you portect your code or does it go to the one paying for the solution?

Thanks for your help,

James

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I think in general, if you're building a custom solution for someone, you would give them the full access password, and change them full price for your time.

Or you might build a solution that could be used by various customers, sell each customer a license to use that solution, and maintain ownership of the design and code (and the full access password.) This type of solution would be less costly for the customer, but it might be more generic in functionality.

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I have done both. Like Ender said, the solution that I kept locked was a solution that I planned on reselling. My original quote included an additional fee if they wanted to buy the master password from me.

With all the customizing they've had me do, that fee is actually very low, but they're happy with my work and are uninterested in hooking up with a new developer.

The open solutions that I've done have been pretty much the same result.

I include a line in all my quotes now that says I will supply them with the master password, but encourage them not to use it, to make it easier for me to know what state a database has been left in. So far, they keep calling me for modifications.

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For a custom solution that I developed for a customer, I kept it locked down. I did provide the master account password to my primary contact, but she has it locked away and doesn't admit to anyone else that she has it. This particular solution is used in a manufacturing plant by everyone from the sales office down to the guys on the shop floor and if it wasn't locked down, they would pay more for me to fix it rather than calling me every two weeks asking for more features.

Of course, I've also warned them that if they do make (or try to make) changes that my hourly rate triples to fix any problems caused by them.

Mike

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