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The forum to discuss the Headless version of Servoy. Web, Java and Servlet development questions can all be posted here.

Postby patrick » Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:02 am

Hello,

I would also like to add some comments:

- in years of FileMaker development I found FileMaker to be increasingly expensive. Especially their update policy made things tough. I remember one release (was it 6 or 5.5?) where almost all they added to the feature list was some layout enhancement, the ability to directly download images from a camera and the execution of SQL statements. We only needed the last feature, but that was an expensive enhancement for our clients. It looks like FileMaker is doing the same now. You have huge version jumps (from 7 to 8 for example) with big update prices, but the world hasn't really changed that much. That is completely different with Servoy. A version jump from 2.1 to 2.2 offers more changes/enhancements than the move from FM 4 to 6 and is free.
- the concurrent user pricing model of Servoy is far better and understandable to everyone than a a per seat license, in my eyes. In our FM projects, we usually had a situation, where a lot of batch jobs had to run every night. This meant, that I had to explain a (usually Windows) Administrator, that I first need a dedicated hardware for the job, second a user logged in on that machine and third a full license for that. They were never amused.

To be honest, I am pretty astonished that price could be an argument against Servoy if compared to FileMaker...
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Postby david » Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:13 pm

To jump in:

- I totally agree on this point: coming form the FileMaker world the concurrent license model can only be regarded as something that is an easy sell to a client. Add in zero deployment, painless updates, freedom from corruption issues, stability of mainstream technologies, etc -- what is there about Servoy that is hard to sell?

- If you are expecting spikes in your web application that a 5 to 30 seat license of Servoy can't handle, $25,000 for an unlimited server license should be a drop in the bucket for your budget. Headless client opens up a whole new way to build web applications that can easily marginalize the per client expense under the right circumstances.

- IMO, Servoy is and isn't competition for Filemaker. FM has been trying to target the "higher end" developer market for a number of years. FM7 was initially marketed directly at developers as the solution to solve all of their issues with the FM platform in large installations. The fact that they came up a bit short in the minds of many FM developers doesn't mean they still don't want that market. A market that Servoy is currently occupying with stellar success. As a personally database tool, Servoy is not a competitor to FM -- but as a developer tool, it very much is.

Bottom line, Servoy is a product built for developers and it shows. What is good for developers is good for the client. In my experience this is the easiest thing in the world to sell to clients. Even in the U.S....
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Postby coulombre » Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:43 pm

David,

Getting back to your original question regarding the value of headless client. We recently went through an exercise for a potential customer, looking at the pro's and cons of this technology. The one downside we came up with was cost of licenses. When you start looking at the alternatives, however, there truly are numerous benefits.

Enclosed is an image showing some of the considerations. Sorry for image format, but a screen shot was the easiest way for me to grab this info.

And please let me know if this makes sense, or if there are any additions or changes you would make. This is an important distinction for our customers.

Best,

Rich
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Postby davidkachel » Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:12 pm

patrick wrote:To be honest, I am pretty astonished that price could be an argument against Servoy if compared to FileMaker...

Patrick,
The original "price" discussion may have become lost in the ensuing discussion. I was talking about the headless client specifically and the fact that my type of client, small to medium-sized businesses, would possibly have difficulty accepting that approach.

Few would object to a server price of a couple of thousand dollars, but it is the limitation on the number of hits in a given time frame, based on the number of headless client licenses, that would stick in people's craw.
And the suggestion, "well then, just spend $25,000 instead", is hardly going to make anyone happy.

No client, at least my type of client, is going to want to be concerned that he may be losing customers because he doesn't have enough licenses. He wants to know his web site is going to work, period. I just think there is a better way to approach this than what essentially amounts to charging on a per-hit basis.

Servoy certainly deserves to be paid for their software, but the client also deserves not to have to constantly worry whether or not he has enough licenses to keep his web site from turning customers away.

I think charging for seats for direct use of a Servoy solution is just fine. Charging for seats to access a Servoy solution through a web browser is fine also. But charging for "seats" on a web site is not. See the difference?
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Postby davidkachel » Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:25 pm

Rich,

My suggestion would be the following:

LEAVE AS IS:
Charge for seats to access a Servoy solution directly through a thin client.
Charge for seats to access a Servoy solution through a web browser and a headless client (i.e., company employees need to get into the DB and want to user a browser instead of a thin client).

CHANGE:
Charge a reasonable flat fee to enable an existing server to provide web pages to the general public on a web site, without limit. Since Servoy is about DB's and not web servers, this fee should be low enough to make small clients feel as if they are getting a valuable added bonus for a low price, and not getting gouged.

SUGGESTION:
In this same vein, I would add a feature to Servoy. I would add an "emergency" seat. This would be a seat that can always access the DB's, even when all the seats are occupied, for 5 or 10 minutes.
Last edited by davidkachel on Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby coulombre » Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:37 pm

Hi David,

I think it is important to understand the Servoy licensing model. When Servoy is managing the interaction with the user, via any method, they require a concurrent license. Using headless client still causes Servoy to create a server based session and manage all Servoy resources, including automatic updates of data changes to all users (yes, even the web based users). Try it... it is really amazing! But you pay for that.

If you don't need that level of functionality, certainly you can create separate interfaces to the same data using other technologies. Again, PHP comes to mind. But certainly there are many others.

One of our clients has chosen to have use Servoy for their internal uses of managing and reporting on all data. But they have also chosen to create a PHP based customer facing application that will utilize the same database/tables. They understand that this will require that we code many portions of the application twice, and maintain system changes, resources, business logic in two places. But truly the customer facing portion of their systems are quite minimal as compared to their internal needs. And I wonder what this customer will think when the rumored web publishing interface of Servoy is available. IMHO that changes the playing field considerably!

Best,

Rich
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Postby davidkachel » Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:58 pm

coulombre wrote:And I wonder what this customer will think when the rumored web publishing interface of Servoy is available.


Why not help spread that rumor? What is it?

I must admit, Servoy's development schedule makes FMP's seem glacial.
Come to think of it, FMP's generally appears glacial without Servoy's help.
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Postby Harry Catharell » Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:14 pm

Hi David,

Have look here for a short ruminate about Instant Publishing.
http://forum.servoy.com/viewtopic.php?t=3665


It is the original point I made ever so long ago now regarding the reasons for looking at change to the licensing model !!

Cheers
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Postby bcusick » Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:25 pm

davidkachel wrote:
coulombre wrote:And I wonder what this customer will think when the rumored web publishing interface of Servoy is available.


Why not help spread that rumor? What is it?



Well - we're working on a new technology called WebDirect(tm). This will allow you to have Servoy generate all the JSP pages necessary to replicate your entire solution using headless client (i.e. you don't have to write any JSP if you don't want to). Version 1.0 of this will be in public beta within 60 days. Version 1.x will use the AJAX technology (like Google Maps) to update only the parts of the screen that change - will include onEnter, onDataChange and onLeave EVENTS in the browser (executing the same code as you have in your solution). There will be some limitations - it won't do 100% of the things that the thin client can do - but it will be pretty close.

Any thoughts on this type of technology? Helpful? Not? Suggestions?
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Postby bcusick » Fri Aug 12, 2005 9:32 pm

UPDATE!

After the very informative webinar today on "Overview of Headless Client" - I learned something new today - that directly impacts this discussion thread:

You do NOT have to "bind" the headless client to the JSP SESSION (thus spawing a new client for each visitor) - you can bind the headless client to the JSP APPLICATION - which means that you only need ONE Servoy Client License for UNLIMITED users. :D

Where would you bind to session versus application? Use SESSION BINDING when you need to setup USER-SPECIFIC things on your page (personalized colors, features, saved lists, shopping carts, etc).

Use APPLICATION BINDING for everything else!!

Hope this helps.
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Postby davidkachel » Fri Aug 12, 2005 9:50 pm

bcusick wrote:You do NOT have to "bind" the headless client to the JSP SESSION (thus spawing a new client for each visitor) - you can bind the headless client to the JSP APPLICATION - which means that you only need ONE Servoy Client License for UNLIMITED users. :D


Looks like I wasted billions of electrons complaining about nothing.
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Postby Riccardino » Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:21 am

davidkachel wrote:
bcusick wrote:You do NOT have to "bind" the headless client to the JSP SESSION (thus spawing a new client for each visitor) - you can bind the headless client to the JSP APPLICATION - which means that you only need ONE Servoy Client License for UNLIMITED users. :D


Looks like I wasted billions of electrons complaining about nothing.


Weren't you asking about building a shopping cart?
In this case, you've to bind to the JSP session anyway...
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Postby david » Sat Aug 13, 2005 3:56 pm

davidkachel wrote:Looks like I wasted billions of electrons complaining about nothing.


I think we all learned something with this thread. Thanks for bringing it up.

bcusick wrote:Use APPLICATION BINDING for everything else!!


Brilliant. Can you post an example of this?
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Postby Jan Aleman » Sat Aug 13, 2005 4:03 pm

david wrote:
davidkachel wrote:Looks like I wasted billions of electrons complaining about nothing.


I think we all learned something with this thread. Thanks for bringing it up.

bcusick wrote:Use APPLICATION BINDING for everything else!!


Brilliant. Can you post an example of this?


Bind to app scope instead of session scope:

Code: Select all
ISessionBean servoy_hc = (ISessionBean)application.getAttribute("servoy");
if (servoy_hc == null)
{
servoy_hc = HeadlessClientFactory.createSessionBean(request,"headless_client_demo");
application.setAttribute("servoy",servoy_hc);
}
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Postby david » Sat Aug 13, 2005 5:07 pm

bcusick wrote:Well - we're working on a new technology called WebDirect(tm). This will allow you to have Servoy generate all the JSP pages necessary to replicate your entire solution using headless client (i.e. you don't have to write any JSP if you don't want to). Version 1.0 of this will be in public beta within 60 days. Version 1.x will use the AJAX technology (like Google Maps) to update only the parts of the screen that change - will include onEnter, onDataChange and onLeave EVENTS in the browser (executing the same code as you have in your solution). There will be some limitations - it won't do 100% of the things that the thin client can do - but it will be pretty close.

Any thoughts on this type of technology? Helpful? Not? Suggestions?


Thoughts? Servoy direct to an AJAX web application? You're kidding right?
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