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Using a Hosted FM Solution in a Paid Business Model


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I am in the final stages of develpment in FM Pro 12 for an application that I am going to attempt to market and sell. The market I am going after is a small one and I'm not going to get rich, but it is something that I think will have value to my target market and make me a little walking around money. It is an RV logbook program, useful to people who own motor homes and travel trailers.

 

I have designed this solution to run on a computer and a tablet. It works very well on an iPad with Filemaker Go. It will work on an iPhone too, but things get too small to read on that platform. I don't know if it works on an Android device - I have never tested it on that platform.

 

How should I go about selling and distributing my program?

 

THE "OLD" WAY?

Sell runtime copies of the program and distrubute it via CD, download, etc. Updates are fairly easy in that I can make a download available and update the solution via the usual methods with import steps in the script and appropriate tables for the import of the old data into the new, updated solution/app.

 

 

THE "NEW" WAY?

Host the solution somewhere and charge each user for his access on an annual basis. This gets into an area where I know nothing and have a LOT of questions:

 

1) How do I provide each customer with his own copy of the solution/app so he can only see HIS data and not others?

2) How do I charge for access and then restrict that access if someone does not pay their annual bill when we hit year two?

2) How do I udate the solution/app as development progresses beyond version 1.0?

 

Obviously I have a lot to learn here and I will appreciate any help/advice you folks can provide.

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These questions and more are going to be answered at the FileMaker Product Conference in Chicago Next week.

 

http://fmproductconference.com

 

Here are some ideas off the top.

 

1. If you employ a SYNC solution perhaps using goZync  (

 

2. Setup a hosting or service fee reoccurring monthly / quarterly charge ( stripe / paypal / amazon ) annually it may get forgotten and subsequent renewal anniverasary may be inconvenient time to renew (holidays , travel, economy ) Don't chase the money keep it flowing. after X# attempts to collect - you can turn off access to server backup or something, after adequate warnings.  you may need to provide user an raw export of their data as it may be "theirs" and holding data hostage may be a topic for your attorney. 

 

3. Using goZync you can push out upgrades to end users where FMP can download a new template and import the data again.

 

-

 

Alternatively if you don't wish to employ a MULTI Tenant solution you can create a new database for each new client then host these in house our with a hosting company - this way each client will have their individual database. 

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Thanks for the reply, Stephen. I wish I could go to that conference in Chicago, but my schedule just won't permit it.

 

Are there some on-line resources where I could begin to learn about how best to do this?

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  • 7 months later...

RPM,

which choice did you decide?  how your users taking to the app?

 

I'd take the

""Alternatively if you don't wish to employ a MULTI Tenant solution you can create a new database for each new client then host these in house our with a hosting company - this way each client will have their individual database.

 

I like FM.. just too much sometimes moving up the web ladder, concurrent users, etc learning this stuff

I  am looking for ways to to get users do 'somethings, let the desktop admin the rest   

.. all these years..  best regards

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