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Numanoid
KVRAF
 
23661 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Postby Numanoid; Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:37 pm Re: How do devs keep track of serials/licenses they sell?

JCJR wrote:So for one guy, if sales got "too good" there wasn't any time left for programming.

Yeah, it comes to a break point where a person need to decide if one should expand, and that creates a lot more issues.

u-he is an example for a best practice, he started out as a hobby, with initial success turning into business, and then 15 years or so later with 10+ employees doing code.
Truth is born of arguments
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FabienTDR
KVRian
 
851 posts since 23 Feb, 2012

Postby FabienTDR; Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:35 pm Re: How do devs keep track of serials/licenses they sell?

Numanoid wrote:
FabienTDR wrote:Tax authorities insist on it. Good morning!

That is an important part of it of course, but do they need to be notified when a user sell a license second-hand a couple of years after the original license was bought?


Sure, why not? Nothing's more valuable than a solid, up to date customer database. Well worth some effort, it's your next product's most likely customers. And most people enjoy being informed about updates and new products, second hand or not.

If a programmer is used to work on plugins, doing trivial things with PHP and mysql is relatively relaxing. Seriously, it's a matter of 1-2 days of work, and you're done forever.
Fabien from Tokyo Dawn Records

Check out my audio processors over at the Tokyo Dawn Labs!
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Guillaume Piolat
KVRist
 
88 posts since 21 Sep, 2015, from Grenoble

Postby Guillaume Piolat; Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:49 am Re: How do devs keep track of serials/licenses they sell?

I'm no good with PHP or databases, so I've used Gumroad to get started.
This service keeps a list of customers, send emails for updates, affiliate links, allows to refund and offer licenses. The big problem is that Paypal payment is actually disabled half the time, and they don't tell you that, and it is getting worse. Gumroad hits in margin hard too. It handles VATMOSS for you, you are a service provider for them. Do not use it!

Moving to itch.io because I've found specific advantages vs Gumroad :
- more payment providers that actually work
- Margins. No cut from sales if you want. That means 30c + 2.9% of sale like Paypal.
- Can do promo sales, bundles, coupon codes, press links
- itch.io can handle VATMOSS for you, or not depending on settings. If not, only Paypal and Stripe are available though.
- Tips! The user can spend more than the price.

I don't know yet if it converts well.
But I can't help to notice everyone seems to have its own cart, so I guess I'm just delaying the unavoidable and PHP. :neutral:
Especially if you want crossgrade, paid upgrades or complicated things.

EDIT: too much multiplication of databases and SaaS is not a good thing
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FabienTDR
KVRian
 
851 posts since 23 Feb, 2012

Postby FabienTDR; Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:50 am Re: How do devs keep track of serials/licenses they sell?

Well, e-commerce is something different of course, with much steeper technical demands.

But setting up 3-4 tables describing your license/customer relations isn't really hard. Like 3-4 lines of code. ONE database.

Setting up a simple coupons code system for license purchases, NFRs, license transfers is rather easy and doesn't have to (and really shouldn't) mess with e-commerce at all.

E-commerce, be it self hosted or not, then simply sells these coupons codes (or secret urls if you want). You just make sure to keep track of the contact data (provided either manually or by the payment gateways) and license relations. Divide and conquer!

No way around reliable (= not the cheapest) hosting. In case of proper ecommerce integration, you'll also need your own server, optimally a safely managed server. But book keeping and e-commerce (integration of payment providers) are really two different things.
Last edited by FabienTDR on Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Fabien from Tokyo Dawn Records

Check out my audio processors over at the Tokyo Dawn Labs!
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lorcan
KVRist
 
98 posts since 25 Sep, 2001, from Paris, France

Postby lorcan; Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:55 am Re: How do devs keep track of serials/licenses they sell?

I've rolled my own using the Django python framework.
It was a bit of work of course, but there's quite a few existing packages you can rely on to handle various aspects.
The most painful part I'd say was the integration with the payment provider, but for that you can also just redirect to the gateway's page.
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Guillaume Piolat
KVRist
 
88 posts since 21 Sep, 2015, from Grenoble

Postby Guillaume Piolat; Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:31 pm Re: How do devs keep track of serials/licenses they sell?

FabienTDR wrote:Setting up a simple coupons code system for license purchases, NFRs, license transfers is rather easy and doesn't have to (and really shouldn't) mess with e-commerce at all.

E-commerce, be it self hosted or not, then simply sells these coupons codes (or secret urls if you want). You just make sure to keep track of the contact data (provided either manually or by the payment gateways) and license relations. Divide and conquer!

No way around reliable (= not the cheapest) hosting. In case of proper ecommerce integration, you'll also need your own server, optimally a safely managed server. But book keeping and e-commerce (integration of payment providers) are really two different things.


Interesting point of view. I wasn't seeing all of this as two things rather than one.
syntonica
KVRist
 
232 posts since 24 Sep, 2014

Postby syntonica; Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:46 pm Re: How do devs keep track of serials/licenses they sell?

I've been looking at Word Press plugins and wondering if they're worth my time. Configuring a drop in solution like that may not be too bad if it handles the commerce side, the serial database side and the accounting side, even if it costs a few bucks. The most popular one was like $75 to buy and $75 per year thereafter if you wanted to keep up-to-date. Has anyone else gone this route, or used WooCommerce or similar?
stratum
KVRian
 
1057 posts since 29 May, 2012

Postby stratum; Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:46 am Re: How do devs keep track of serials/licenses they sell?

Software lilke wordpress is very widely distributed, there are many people who know their internals too. the result? there are many people who know how to hack such websites and you'll probably need to install new releases / security patches regularly.
~stratum~
syntonica
KVRist
 
232 posts since 24 Sep, 2014

Postby syntonica; Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:02 am Re: How do devs keep track of serials/licenses they sell?

stratum wrote:Software lilke wordpress is very widely distributed, there are many people who know their internals too. the result? there are many people who know how to hack such websites and you'll probably need to install new releases / security patches regularly.


That was my concern. I haven't used PHP since about v3.whatever and it was terribly insecure, internally inconsistent and generally not very elegant. I believe this has all been addressed, although I haven't looked into it further and tried the latest version.

Yeah, there's something about open source commerce software that just makes me say, That's probably just not a good idea. :lol:

But, I'm just information gathering at this point, setting what's out there, what others are doing. Eventually, I think I will be running my own server for this, that and the other thing, which is a while other kettle of monkeys, getting into Apache vs Nginx, etc. :scared:
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Nielzie
KVRAF
 
8264 posts since 28 May, 2005, from Netherlands

Postby Nielzie; Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:30 am Re: How do devs keep track of serials/licenses they sell?

SQL databases with PHP frontends FTW :tu:
None are so hopeless enslaved as KVRians with GAS.
mystran
KVRAF
 
4478 posts since 11 Feb, 2006, from Helsinki, Finland

Postby mystran; Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:50 am Re: How do devs keep track of serials/licenses they sell?

syntonica wrote:I haven't used PHP since about v3.whatever and it was terribly insecure, internally inconsistent and generally not very elegant. I believe this has all been addressed, although I haven't looked into it further and tried the latest version.


If anything, PHP has got worse as every new feature (whether core language or new libraries) tends to be inconsistent with everything else in the language. Other than it's popularity there isn't really any good reason to touch it with a ten-foot pole and if you need to implement a website, you'll probably save the cost of retraining people to use something better in roughly two hours or so (or maybe faster).

YMMV.
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JCJR
KVRAF
 
1910 posts since 17 Apr, 2005, from S.E. TN

Postby JCJR; Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:49 am Re: How do devs keep track of serials/licenses they sell?

syntonica wrote:
stratum wrote:Software lilke wordpress is very widely distributed, there are many people who know their internals too. the result? there are many people who know how to hack such websites and you'll probably need to install new releases / security patches regularly.


That was my concern. I haven't used PHP since about v3.whatever and it was terribly insecure, internally inconsistent and generally not very elegant. I believe this has all been addressed, although I haven't looked into it further and tried the latest version.

Maybe I'm a luddite but decided that anything fancy online needs a really bright full-time up-to-date network/web expert to deploy and maintain it securely.

I don't have time to learn to be even half-fast expert in that domain. Personally would hire it out if it needed done.

My little dinky largely-neglected personal hobby website-- Originally it was written years ago with one of the "online publishing" applications, and wasn't very fancy but did have a couple of simple scripts for a "contact me" page and such. I kept it around for private file storage as much as anything else.

Maybe four years ago it was hacked and got on google's un-trusted list. Had to go to some trouble cleaning it up and clearing google's blocks etc. So far as I know it was hacked via a security hole in the silly simple "contact me" script.

So I removed all fancy doo-dads and locked file permissions as tight as I know how to do. No scripts or accessories. The only content is vanilla html, image links, and some file download links. It looks ugly-as-sin retro, but maybe is somewhat hack-resistant and I don't have time or patience to keep anything fancier up-to-date and secure. Nowadays fancy websites seem one of those "eternal vigilance" tasks.

I just write the html in open office web editor. It tries to add some "unreadable trash" into the html, but I go over the raw html and delete anything that might be hard-to-read in the future if the page needs modification.

Over the years I used several "easy tools" to make pretty web pages, but each "easy tool" eventually went out of date, and no other "easy tool" could make heads or tails out of the html created by the earlier "easy tool". So every time a tool goes out of date it might be easier to just write everything almost from scratch in the new tool.

So wordpress or the other zillion "easy" fancy methods ain't for me. I'd have to educate myself on the safe ways to use the tools and apply "eternal vigilance" to the website, and life is too short for all that hassle.
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FabienTDR
KVRian
 
851 posts since 23 Feb, 2012

Postby FabienTDR; Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:43 pm Re: How do devs keep track of serials/licenses they sell?

@JCJR: Of course, if you literally have no motivation or simply no time to dig into the depths of web development, you can still outsource the matter. But don't do it with shady web2.0 short termed startups out of your control, do it on your own (again: Professionally managed) server. Pay a web dev once, maybe 2-4k. All you need is a bunch of forms calling a php writing into the database, these things haven't changed since 97. This is both cheap and secure. Raw HTML, no CMS or whatever. With a simple CSS making it look nice and pro (think bandcamp: easy and functional). A simple mechanical slave taking care of repetitive work, analogous to writing batch scripts for build chains.

We run a full featured shop, newsletter system, and and and. Fixed costs of our diverse web "things" are below 1.0% of our income! Paypal fees are higher! :)

As a personal recommendation, and as mentioned before, if you have no issues messing with threading issues, the audio plugin host terror, a weakly or literally undocumented ground under your feet... ...web development will be absolutely primitive effort.

Certainly not a problem for you, even the security consideration. If a day or another, you find yourself in a mood for it, really don't hesitate. Simply because the whole monetary aspect is dominated by this tech. If you don't, you'll have to share your customer's private data, your business model, give a relevant share with third parties, while fully carrying the risk!
Fabien from Tokyo Dawn Records

Check out my audio processors over at the Tokyo Dawn Labs!
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