Don't get it

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Don't get it

Postby davidkachel » Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:58 pm

I guess I'm dense, but I don't get the point of the headless client.
I read that each time a headless client is used, a client license is grabbed. So why not just use a standard client since you have to pay for client licenses anyway?
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Postby Harry Catharell » Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:41 pm

Well, if you think about the action of using a standard Servoy client then immediately you are tied and limited to the functionality defined solely within the Servoy environment.

Using Headless Client means that you now have both the option to offer access via another medium (some people would prefer the use of a standard browser application as opposed to downloading even a thin client) and you now have the massive extensibility of being able to integrate your Servoy solution within a much larger web application and calling it where necessary.

All bases covered - 'nuff' said :lol:

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Re: Don't get it

Postby davidkachel » Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:09 am

OK, but I still have to have an untold number of Client licenses to accomodate this; or is the client license just grabbed for the fraction of a second it takes the server to build a web page?
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Postby bcusick » Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:12 am

You need a client license per concurrent JSP session. Once the session ends, the client is "released" back into the pool of available licenses. You can also add a "log out" button (or similar) to your web application that will end the JSP session, and release the client license.

You can deploy with any number of thin client or web-based clients in any combination - the choice is up to you.

Hope this helps.
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Postby ROCLASI » Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:13 am

The license is taken for the session, which defaults to 10 minutes I believe, but that can be set to like 1 second if you want.

Hope this clears things up.
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Postby davidkachel » Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:12 am

So, if I undestand correctly, this would be the very last way on Earth I would want to built a shopping cart that might get thousands of hits per day.
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Postby Jan Aleman » Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:55 am

davidkachel wrote:So, if I undestand correctly, this would be the very last way on Earth I would want to built a shopping cart that might get thousands of hits per day.

I don't think so. Let's assume that users use the shoppingcart for an average of 5 minutes: there are 24*60: 1440 minutes a day, so if you set your timeout of the session to 5 minutes you would need: 1000/(1440/5) = 3.5 Servoy clients. Let's take 5 to be safe: $1445 and you're all set.
Now let's look at a comparable server: Oracle Application Server: $30,000 per CPU (excluding database license which Servoy includes). If you would like to license Servoy by CPU you can contact Servoy Sales.
Now let's compare to LAMP (Linux, Apache, Mysql, Php/Perl):
Let's assume you're building a moderate functionality shop: it would cost approx 80 hours to build in LAMP. In SHC (Servoy Headless Client) you'll be able to build the same shop (based on some testing I've conducted) in about 1/3rd of the time. Let's assume you charge your customer $150/hour:
LAMP dev: $12000
SHC dev + licenses: $ 5445
The calc above doesn't reflect your maintenance cost yet: With Servoy your backoffice integration will be way easier, as you know taking new versions in production is pushing one button, etc, etc.

ps: great shop if you get 1000 visitors per day! I suppose there must be quite some budget to host and make it as well then!
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Postby davidkachel » Thu Aug 11, 2005 3:51 pm

jaleman wrote:I don't think so. Let's assume that users use the shoppingcart for an average of 5 minutes: there are 24*60: 1440 minutes a day, so if you set your timeout of the session to 5 minutes you would need: 1000/(1440/5) = 3.5 Servoy clients. Let's take 5 to be safe: $1445 and you're all set.

Jan, with all due respect, I think that is unrealistic. It is unlikely customers would wait in line for their 5 minute slot. You would only need 6 clients hitting the site during the same 5 minute period for one of them to be locked out. A more reasonable estimation would be based on the maximum number of customers who might hit the site more or less simultaneously.. you'd be looking at a lot more than 5 seats.
In addition, this kind of pricing approach leaves a bad taste in client's mouths. It makes it appear as though Servoy, and me by association, is looking for ways to charge their customers at every conceivable turn, for every minute of usage, something clients know from experience will only get worse. It's a very hard sell.
If I tried to sell this idea to a client I would be laughed out of his office.

On an obliquely related subject; Never mind, I just found them.
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Postby Harry Catharell » Thu Aug 11, 2005 4:36 pm

Valid points made regarding maximum potential users at any one time.

If this does become a possible way of supporting a shopping cart solution then my advice is to speak to Servoy sales and see what the comparable cost would be for a license per cpu !

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Postby davidkachel » Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:39 pm

Harry Catharell wrote:If this does become a possible way of supporting a shopping cart solution then my advice is to speak to Servoy sales and see what the comparable cost would be for a license per cpu !

Harry, I've read or heard the "speak to Servoy sales..cost would be" suggestion a couple of other times.. don't recall the circumstances.

Perhaps there is a cultural difference involved here the Servoy folks aren't aware of. I don't know. Assuming, egotistically, that the US is the largest potential market for Servoy; is it possible that Servoy doesn't "get" yanks?

The aforementioned suggestion has a kind of Bazaar, "let's haggle" flavor to it that puts Americans off substantially. Most Americans will look at a price and either make a purchase or walk away. We will look for bargains, but absolutely do not want to bargain. The underlying feeling is that if the price is negotiable, then there is always a lower price than the one I'm being offered; the result is a nagging suspicion of perhaps having been cheated. This is why you see American tourists in the Middle East or Latin America do such a terrible job of haggling. We don't like it, have no experience and are no good at it. (I lived in So. America for a number of years, so I'll leave you standing there in your underwear. But most of my countrymen are not hagglers.)

I'd really like to see Servoy succeed, but frankly I have serious doubts. They certainly wouldn't be the first company with a brilliant and revolutionary idea to end up face down in the dirt due to overzealous price structure or poor marketing. (I remember making comments along these lines to two other software companies in the past, both of which are now belly-up. It seems that programmers, in addition to being lousy graphic artists, are generally also poor business people.) Perhaps they should consider taking on the services of a marketing firm(s) specializing in dealing with different parts of the world.

I don't think Servoy really understands that they are going head-to-head with the FileMaker juggernaut, and that though Servoy is the first product I've ever seen that is actually good enough to win (easily), it requires more than just a stellar product. Their marketing and price structure are going to have to be a lot more aggressive to have a prayer. On that note, I'll leave with just one word: "BetaMax"!
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Postby Harry Catharell » Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:18 pm

Hi David,

Servoy is an evolving product and there is no doubt that within the evolutionary process that change is coming thick and fast.

This is a given based upon that evolution bringing with it the reaction of the user base and market place.

I offer the example of talking to Servoy because these people seem reasonable enough to listen to a business proposition and move with it if it is the right model to suit.

The key reason, though, is that another Servoy product is in the pipe which is an Instant Publishing tool (mentioned in this forum) and because of the known impact of both Instant and Headless product on the user base, there is a dialogue going on about redefining the license model to more effectively reflect that browser based access.

So, the action of asking you to talk to Servoy if this was a critical client project situation was to see if they could flex based upon known movements that they would have with the licensing model as opposed to you beating them down to a reasonable cost :)

With regard to FileMaker, I am a staunch supporter of it and developer in it but still cannot get over the one seat, one license model that it still has and yet it has still flourished ! :wink:

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Postby bcusick » Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:30 pm

Hi David,

Thanks for your great comments!

Are you suggesting that Servoy simply create a tool that would create JSP pages for you automatically - and then just let you use it in an unlimited way for free? How is that a sustainable business model?

Even FileMaker charges $2,500 for their "Advanced Server" that has instant publishing.

FileMaker charges $231.13 per USER (Amazon.com as of today). We charge per CONCURRENT user - at a remarkably similar price. Our Server is FREE with 1 or more Client purchases. BUT if you want to take advantage of ALL the features in FMP7 - you need to buy Developer at $499. Then if you want to deploy to MOBILE users - you need to buy FMP7 Mobile at $79 per USER.

If you want to see "haggling" - then call up Steven Gallagher from FileMaker and ask him how much Disney pays for licenses versus Amgen. You can purchase up to 249 concurrent user licenses on our online shop - at a published price that even calculates for you. If you want to buy more than 100 - we may be able to offer you an even better deal - which is why we suggest that you contact our sales folks.

The great thing about Servoy is: You can develop once and deploy either by thin Java client AND/OR headless (web) client at the same time from the same server... in multiple languages... done.

I would LOVE to see your server logs where you have HUNDREDS of concurrent users on your site. If that's the case - then this discussion is a moot point - since you can choose from any development platform in the world. There is no way in hell you can use FileMaker to serve that kind of volume. The point of the headless client is to develop once - and deploy in multiple platforms (destop, PDA, phone) WITHOUT any additional code.

If you want a price per Server for unlimited clients - it's USD $25,000. No haggle, no worries. If you're interested in placing an order for the CPU license please feel free to contact me directly via email or phone:

Bob Cusick
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Postby coulombre » Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:29 am

Hi David,

OK... you've clearly stated your feelings on the marketing abilities of Servoy. What I'd love to do is turn this discussion around and find out what you and others think would be positive, constructive marketing plans and approaches for Servoy.

A couple of personal thoughts:

- I do not believe that Servoy and FileMaker are really competetive products. FileMaker is a database product, Servoy is not. Perhaps they compete at the most complex levels of FileMaker development, but I feel they appeal to very different audiences.

- I find the Servoy pricing models quite attractive, actually. It is rather unusual to find concurrent pricing models these days. Per seat licensing is far more prevalent.

- I'm a firm believer that, if a customer does not see the value in a product, they should not buy it. Buying a product is a value proposition based upon a rational evaluation of the needs and options.

If your evaluation suggests that other technology choices would represent better investments for you and your clients, that is what you should do. FYI PHP is free, and you can code in a free text editor. Why not use that option if you dislike Servoy pricing models?

If, on the other hand, you do believe that Servoy does have value to you and your customers, I know for sure that the folks at Servoy would gladly receive any and all positive, constructive feedback and advice. They really do listen.

If you don't understand, better to ask than to rant. Rants may make you feel better, but it does not help your cause. This business we're all in is about relationships... end of story.

Best,

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Postby davidkachel » Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:28 am

Rich,

I hope I wasn't ranting, but I suppose it could be taken that way.

Had an email from Jan Aleman this afternoon...
He seems to be saying what you are suggesting, that Servoy is not in competition for FMP developers. If that is really the case, then my criticisms don't apply. But it certainly seemed that way when I first learned about Servoy. I bought Servoy on a special offer designed specifically to lure FMP developers, and there was no lack of comparison articles and comments from Servoy people. Has there been an about-face?

You asked about a constructive plan...
Well I think I'd have at least the outline of one if the target audience were FMP developers as I had thought. But if Servoy is really after the big boys and no longer interested in the FMP crowd, then I don't pretend to have a clue.

My "rant" is nothing more than my frustration over the fact that I'd really like to be able to switch to Servoy. But in order to make that switch, I have to be able to consistently sell clients on it, and I think that could be a problem under the present circumstances.

But you guys tell me... If Servoy wants FileMaker converts and hasn't been able to get them in sufficient numbers, then I probably have a valid point re the pricing schedule. But if Servoy isn't interested or is no longer interested in FMP converts, then I've wasted my time and everyone else's.

One thing I've noticed in this exchange is that everyone is talking about Servoy's benefits and the marketing of Servoy from the perspective of selling to the developer. But you should all remember that the developer has to turn around and sell it to his client, who has an entirely different point of view. For myself, I couldn't care less what Servoy costs in any flavor the client is going to pay for. But I do care if that cost is going to make that client want to look at other options. Just like a lot of FMP clients balk when they see the price per seat, potential Servoy clients aren't going to balk any less when told the price is 'about the same as FMP'.
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Postby grahamg » Fri Aug 12, 2005 9:32 am

David

As an Alpha and Filemaker developer who has been working with Servoy for the last 12 months maybe I can add a little light here.

When I first became aware of Servoy two Devcons ago Filemaker developers were one of their obvious targets: the principals were well known/respected in the Filemaker community and superficially Servoy can create apps with the rich look & feel that Filemaker provides. However I believe that much of the emphasis has moved upstream to other 4GL development enviroments and most of the licences are sold through large Dev shops that are not active on the Forum.

I don't usually find licence costs an issue - although selling 'concurrent' rather than 'everyone' is helpful. But if my solution is not going to create a couple of hundred bucks of added value per user then it shouldn't go ahead anyway.

As a developer what I can sell to clients is the speed, stability & scalability of SQL databases, PLUS an efficient development enviroment so that I can provide a more productive solution for them that users want to work on. I'm sure everyone on the list has their own list of favourite Servoy features but mine are: updating solutions remotely - with version rollback, field events, genuine popup windows, cut & paste scripting, and a great debugger - not that I need to use it a lot :)

In general clients aren't buying Filemaker, Servoy or Worxinfo - they are investing in a solution that is going to make them a lot of money or save them a lot of costs - hopefully both. The tool that developers use to provide those benefits is usually not an issue.

Servoy isn't right for every environment (I still do work in Filemaker) - and can be frustrating at first for non-SQL developers - but it has to be worth considering.

One final point is to note the responsiveness of the Servoy Dev team. On this list bugs are called bugs and we are all told when they will be fixed. New features can be suggested and discussed with feedback on wether or not they will be included in future versions. Its a good enviroment for a developer. Hope you'll join us.

Regards

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