More Generic Device Licensing...

A plugin that allows for end user development of multiple RS232 device control systems.
User avatar
DaveB
Simply Incredible
Simply Incredible
Posts: 3143
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 10:57 pm
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Contact:

More Generic Device Licensing...

Postby DaveB » Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:20 pm

Smooth; I am begining to not like how you have implemented the licenses for MLGeneric device.

First, as part of the base driver license, I think you should allow One of each Basic and Advanced, rather than just one advanced.

Second, why not allow a user to load more than one device, but only make the number of devices active for the number of licenses purchased.

I for example really want to copy some commands from a device I set up during the beta process over to my perminant device. I do not want to purchase an additional license to do this; I can not do it since you can not load a device but make it inactive. I also at time take advantage, as other do with sharing work. This can not be accomplished even on a temporary basis.

The entire license schema should be tied to the actual connection to a port; Until you implement the connection, you should to be able to load the device at minimum.
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
:shock:

ricks
Is there life beyond Cinemar?
Is there life beyond Cinemar?
Posts: 1127
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 7:01 pm
Location: Latham, Massachusetts
Contact:

Postby ricks » Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:22 pm

Smooth; I am begining to not like how you have implemented the licenses for MLGeneric device.

That's the funniest line I ever read on this forum. :D

ML has so many licenses as it is that it takes longer to install MLserver and its plugins than it does to build a complete system from scratch including OS installation.

User avatar
DaveB
Simply Incredible
Simply Incredible
Posts: 3143
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 10:57 pm
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Contact:

Postby DaveB » Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:57 pm

Ricks;
Whats worse is managing those licenses when you always are testing multiple beta items like I am. Literally every day, I check to see what expired. At minimum of once per week I find myself sending an email to Dave P for updates. Not a day goes by that somthing is not expired. Very frustrating. I wish I could buy one super license that would just turn everything on.

Hey, I got an idea - License Lobby. Do you think that there is a market? 8)
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
:shock:

ricks
Is there life beyond Cinemar?
Is there life beyond Cinemar?
Posts: 1127
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 7:01 pm
Location: Latham, Massachusetts
Contact:

Postby ricks » Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:23 pm

Ya, I suggested that about a year ago. It was code named "Let's get Dave out of the basement and free him up to do real work" :)

I would guess that when Cinemar gets to the point where their Home Automation market equals or surpasses their Home Theater market integrators are going to want to utlilize the Golden Master method which would require an "integrator's" license.

With the housing decline and the increased competition in the HA market and with "time = money", doing the "request license then request activation code" routine a dozen-plus times per install will get real ugly. Since the licenses are tied to hardware, it would seem an easy migration to a comprehensive "single instance" license for integrators.

Sorry, off topic, but I'm cofident Cinemar will adopt the unlimited device license for MLGD. :wink:

User avatar
DavidL
Simply Incredible
Simply Incredible
Posts: 11071
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 9:39 am
Location: Metamora, Michigan
Contact:

Postby DavidL » Tue Apr 08, 2008 9:57 pm

I hope that you have seen MLServer's new license / registration window that allows for bulk licensing and activation. Takes a few clicks to register and activate.

Much faster than installing Windows :)

User avatar
DaveB
Simply Incredible
Simply Incredible
Posts: 3143
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 10:57 pm
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Contact:

Postby DaveB » Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:07 pm

Now this is really off topic;
2 problems;
1. That real cool license management window crashes MLS every time I try to close it on my 2008 Server.
2. When registering licenses and requesting an activation code, the web site is broken. The button links to a non-existant page. Dave P is aware.
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
:shock:

ricks
Is there life beyond Cinemar?
Is there life beyond Cinemar?
Posts: 1127
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 7:01 pm
Location: Latham, Massachusetts
Contact:

Postby ricks » Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:51 am

Bravo. =D> Nice move in the right direction.

Two things I had in mind though were license/activation without the use of email and one license/activation code per cpu for all authorized products. Well, one can dream.

But back to the topic. Does the future hold a new licensing scheme for MLGD? And maybe MLDB?

indecision
Intermediate
Intermediate
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 12:23 pm
Contact:

Postby indecision » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:25 am

I'll probably regret this but here goes...I have said before that I would love to see this plug-in take a different course all together. I really feel that a large database of plug-ins is vital to the success of any automation software. We all know that it doesn't make financial sense for Cinemar to take on every device that comes along. If you are letting the users create those plug-ins, over time you have incredible support for a large number of devices which serves to drive sales of the other products.

I am in full support of the pay-per-module, package, plug-in structure that is in place. However, I do feel that this is the one plug-in that should be free to spur the developement of a large database of supported devices. I am afraid that the registration, confusion of advanced and basic devices, and other items listed in this thread have kept some from embracing this plug-in and making a great automation solution even better.

Just my $.02

Davis

User avatar
DavidL
Simply Incredible
Simply Incredible
Posts: 11071
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 9:39 am
Location: Metamora, Michigan
Contact:

Postby DavidL » Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:37 am

Hi Davis,
We have looked at those "angles".

MLGenericDevice, MLDatabase, MLScripts are intended for very advanced users and dealers.

We are in this for the long haul, and we have to make it worth our and our customer's time. money and effort. There is a certain balance to all of this and the issue was providing it at all (and the very significant development time / cost to get here) or not. For Free, doesn't pay the bills. I am sure there aren't any suprises in this position. There is already near best in industry hardware support with MainLobby for the important devices, because there is good fiscal reasons to do that.

These generic plugins (if free) can "undermine" the applications that Cinemar pays the bills with and that doesn't help anyone in the long haul if Cinemar goes out of business and evolution with the industry halts.

When you compare what this suite can do compared to other options, there isn't a day that goes by that one of our dealers say we need to dramaticaly increase the price. A completely different perspective. We are trying to keep the balance point where all can be happy with what we believe this is becoming - a best in industry solution.

indecision
Intermediate
Intermediate
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 12:23 pm
Contact:

Postby indecision » Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:00 am

Smooth,

Thanks for the response, and I am in complete agreement with the model that the company has chosen. I also agree that the software suite is a great value and could certainly be priced higher and still be competitive in the marketplace.

I do however feel that If people embraced the MLGD plug-in the database would grow quickly and that would ensure Cinemar's long term presence in this industry. If you have the most available options for hardware support no one can touch you (which you already know). Please don't misunderstand, I am willing to pay for as many licences as I need to get the job done. I am just afraid that it may be a deturrant to getting those plug-ins created in the first place that Cinemar is unable or unwilling to tackle themselves.

Thanks for the healthy discussion.

Davis

ricks
Is there life beyond Cinemar?
Is there life beyond Cinemar?
Posts: 1127
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 7:01 pm
Location: Latham, Massachusetts
Contact:

Postby ricks » Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:26 am

Smooth,

Well said! Although I can't understand why any dealer/integrator would want Cinemar to raise prices unless its to discourage the DIY'ers. But DIY'ers probably wouldn't hire an integrator anyway.

In the field pricing is usualy based on hardware + software + programming + cableplant + labor + overhead (facility, insurance, licenses) + margin. With the rising costs of fuel for trucks and health insurance (mandatory here in Massachusetts) everything about this business is getting expensive. Add to that the drop in housing-starts and this business is getting tight.

So in times like these some companies may look to commercial business and that's where MLGD and MLDB play a much more significant role. And since Cinemar doesn't have to support any devices used in MLGD, $60 per comm port seems rather steep, especially when you add the labor for repeated licensing activation. I feel for the guy with the 3 Sharp TV's. That's $180 extra just to change channels!

So I don't think anyone is asking Cinemar to give away the shop, its just that someone would only use MLGD to support a device that Cinemar won't invest in anyway. Individual device licensing, building it yourself and supporting it yourself is a lot of work/risk for $60. And since all of the MLGD devices are locked into one shell, if something coughs in MLGD you've lost all of your devices. That's risky in residential and commercial.

So enough said. Just tell me where these dealers live so I can move there! Hopefully its somewhere warmer than here. :)

Rick

User avatar
DaveB
Simply Incredible
Simply Incredible
Posts: 3143
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 10:57 pm
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Contact:

Postby DaveB » Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:01 pm

Ok, so I am on both sides of the street here;

First; My oppinion of any dealer that is asking you to raise the price of the consumer product is that they are not properly selling there services. I make my money on value added, not software. The software is just a means to get there, and hardly works out of the box for a specific installation if you are lucky, as we all know.

Second, and back to my original point; I am not complaining about the license and control, but the fact that I do not think that you have made the best choice in your implementation. You know I support 99% of what you do, but this time it could be better. You should license the connection, not the addition of a component to the base plug-in. This way, you could build one item and cross copy it to another, but you may only be licensed for one connection, which would be fine.
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
:shock:

User avatar
cborod
Is there life beyond Cinemar?
Is there life beyond Cinemar?
Posts: 1208
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 5:26 pm
Location: Mount Gretna, PA
Contact:

Postby cborod » Thu Apr 10, 2008 12:13 am

my previous life in broadcasting, marketing, and pr gets me itching so much every time i think about Cinemar's potential....

For argumen't sake we take the "dealers" want higher prices...based i guess on perceived value....that if it's expensive it must be good and therefore is in the league of crestamx....which just doesn't fly.

the flaw would further require deep dealer and integrator discounts, so they can maintain their margins and the take home for you guys remains the same...but the "dealers" inflate their take.

Artificial inflation of price only works in a monopoly.....and this sure is not.

so what is the difference? what sets Cinemar apart? Is it cost? feature set? screens? hardware? support?

Cinemar' growth is dependent on perceived value..of its difference....something generated both by sales by advertising by marketing (hint hint) and maybe a key association or three. PR marketing is a wide open world...one angle alone..... if you are willing to endure the road, hitting every top 100 market home show and hosting builder events, doing local TV shows, etc, etc, etc, or putting your product in the home of an abc news prducer....or free copies for key bloggers....creating an alliance w electhouse mag to get a feature splash, doing something with a key group of influencers who create a buzz

or, rename the product and offer the other version as a high end product while ml remains the walmart version....

Standing still on the Internet is a lot like holding a sign on I95 advertising your product. Sheer volume of traffic will make some sales happen
but it is not a model that wins big without some fluke event that propels you into the spotlight.

At least you are open enough to allow us to chime in....you'll likely agree we are a rather pasionate bunch who whole heartedly support you...like family. Maybe too much like family.....
ChrisB


___________________________________
"Round up the usual suspects."

User avatar
DaveB
Simply Incredible
Simply Incredible
Posts: 3143
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 10:57 pm
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Contact:

Postby DaveB » Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:41 am

Ok, not to beat a very dead horse, but can I maybe get this topic back to where it started at the top;

With the base plugin license, what do you get? I thought it came with the ability to add one BASIC device OR one ADVANCED device.

With no devices installed, my installation is indicating that there are 0 basic licenses left and 1 advanced left.

Why is this?

How do I purchase an advanced or basic additional license?


(and just due to me never holding back; I could not agree more with Chris above - you need to get to the point where you hire a marketing company. SO much more could be done with this product. Typically programmers and designer geeks are bad marketers. )
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
:shock:

User avatar
DaveB
Simply Incredible
Simply Incredible
Posts: 3143
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 10:57 pm
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Contact:

Postby DaveB » Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:40 pm

Hey Guys; Just bumping this one up......

Dave
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
:shock:


Return to “MLGenericDevice”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest