The Big Think – Part 2

One downside of my app is that it obviously needs to connect to the database directly. This could be an issue for some companies that might not want to open up the necessary ports on their server so that a little app from an unknown company can connect to one or more of their key databases that potentially have some very mission critical data in them. Although my app in its initial form is going to be read-only, how would a company know that there isn’t some malicious code in there that deletes all entries from a table? They don’t, they have to trust me and that could be a hard sell. And I’m not ruling out creating a version of the app that can update the target database if enough customers ask for it, and if the core vendor gives me the nod.

Which leads me onto another potential problem, although I hope I’ve read the core vendor correctly and it will not be an issue. What if the vendor of the web app takes offence at me trying to make some money out of providing some complimentary tools for their product? I don’t really think this is an issue as the company’s track record is good, they have other products that have gained some complimentary tools and I think I have even seen them recommend them in their forums. I believe having complimentary tools like I intend to sell generally help the core product as it creates a community around it that attracts more attention. It’s still something to think about, and I fully intend to have a little chat with the vendor in due course to sound them out, and hopefully get their blessing.

No comments.

  1. Does the core product have an API you can go through instead to avoid direct access?

    This would be the best way to overcome the trust issue especially for a read/write version.

    If you really think trust is going to be a big issue though, I’d try and find a few beta customers and get testimonials from them. Try and get testimonials from as many customers as you can once you start selling to real customers.

    In regards to the core vendor’s opinion of their products I’d agree with you that they’d be glad to see you supporting their product. If you do it well enough they may even stay away from your feature set and concentrate on other areas. If you do it really well, maybe they’ll buy you out.

  2. There are some API elements I could use, but only really for data entry at present, it’s a thought I’ve been bouncing around from the start as a potential “Pro” version that allows writing of data as well as reading, it’s quite a nice and obvious upgrade feature. But there are problems with that, such as really taking a slice out of the core vendor’s pie in such a case, unless I integrate into their licensing mechanism to ensure that the user already has a license. It’s no good me creating something that reduces the licenses sold for the core product, I’d only damage their revenue which is bad for both them and me.