Open Source Licensing Roundup for Sueetie v3.1

I’ve been putting a lot of effort into tightening down the new product key system coming in Sueetie 3.1, both in documentation and operationally for acquisition, installation, management and enforcement.  There’s a ton of new documentation and screenshots in the Sueetie Wiki, but I wanted to provide a one-stop summary and overview of what’s happening.

The Great Adventure Begins

It’s one thing to build a great application, it’s another to make a buck from it.  The coding is the easy part, making the buck is hard.  It’s a great adventure, really.  The bottom line is that I have to figure out a way to support ongoing Sueetie development or we all lose.  And I don’t care what anyone in the software biz tells you about their revenue strategy, they all make it up as they go along.  I created Sueetie to serve the little guys like me and small businesses, so putting them first in my decisions will hopefully result in everything else in the great revenue adventure to fall into place

Sueetie Has Not Gone Commercial

Let’s get rid of the first possible misconception.  Every line in Sueetie will continue to be released under GNU GPLv2.  With Version 3.1 I’m launching the start of a new category of products I’m calling The Triple Scoop Product Line.  The Sueetie Addon Pack and Sueetie Analytics are the first two Triple Scoop Applications.  "Triple Scoop," you know, like the third scoop of an ice cream cone.  You don’t really need it, but it sure is nice to have.  I’ve been writing a lot of Licensing documentation lately if you want to read more.  Here’s the revamped Sueetie Licensing Overview and a new page on Triple Scoop Product Licensing.

The Triple Scoop Product Line

Triple Scoop Offerings are GNU-licensed like everything else in Sueetie, but to keep them functioning after the 30-Day Trial period a free product key must be acquired in the Sueetie Marketplace.  Every app feature works with a free license, but with slight limitations.  For example, you can’t block more than 3 countries in the Addon Pack’s Site Access Control with a free license, but you can still block 3 which is pretty sweet!  For unlimited functionality I’m offering three levels of Paid License Keys based on Community Owner size: Entrepreneur, Small Business and Corporate.  Sueetie is for "the little guy with a dream," as I often describe guys like me, and for small businesses.  They pay less, Corporate types pay more.  More about the Triple Scoop fee philosophy on Triple Scoop Product Licensing.  Here’s the new main page for The Triple Scoop Product Line.

We’re Talking Product Keys

I essentially took the approach Roger Martin uses in Gallery Server Pro, who limits functionality after a 30-Day Trial period unless the user gets a free license. The intention is that the user recognizes what a fantastic product they’re getting a license for and will give Roger a PayPal donation in the process.  All Sueetie users have obtained a product key from Roger, and hopefully gave him a big donation.

The main difference between our approaches is that I think the donation model blows and am instead going with product keys that must be purchased in the Sueetie Marketplace.  This is what a Sueetie Admin will see if he hasn’t obtained a license for the Addon Pack.  The popup appears when the admin clicks on the Addon Pack links. Any Addon Pack processes like the HttpModules that monitor Site Access will stop working.

Beefing Up the Marketplace

Product Keys to Triple Scoop Products will be available in the Sueetie Marketplace when v3.1 is released.  Initially only the free license will be available, but we’ll get Version 3.1 out the door and crank out the paid license code afterward.  I have 30 days, after all.

Interesting sidebar, everything you experience with Sueetie Product Keys has been incorporated into the Sueetie Marketplace, the next Triple Scoop Product in the pipeline.  So in a way we’re building our Sueetie eCommerce app together, dogfooding it as we go.

Here’s a License Key Page with the intelligence to know it’s a Product License and that you’re a site member who can create one.  Your license will be created immediately for you to cut-n-paste into your Site’s License page.  (Screenpic of that coming up in a bit.)

Viewing Your License History

If you ever need to retrieve a license you’ll find a new "View Licenses" area on your Sueetie Profile page with a list of all of your free and paid licenses.  This is also where you’ll download the source code of the application.  For Atomo Users, there will be a reference to the addon pack and analytics source libraries for development, but for the source code a paid license is required.

Installing your Product License

One final step is installing your license so the Addon Pack and Analytics continues to function. You will enter the license on the new License Management page in Sueetie Administration, under Site Settings

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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.