DesignBais is a great product and perfectly suited to the Pick developer who doesn’t know or care about .NET, ODBC, sockets, ActiveX, Java, PHP, Perl, or any of these other tools that we discuss in public forums. I tend to say DesignBais is not for us, the geeks in the crowd, but that’s not entirely accurate.
DesignBais is intended for the "meat and potatoes" Pick developers who want a great web interface without the complications of the web getting in the way. I don’t know about you but I personally know a lot of Pick developers who don’t know anything about the web, HTML, scripting, etc.. Sometimes they’re embarrassed to admit such a thing, but that’s not a problem anymore. To use DesignBais, all the developer needs is a browser, which everyone knows how to use, and Pick BASIC.
Who will really be maintaining the software anyway?
I sell solutions to VARs and end-users. As you’ve probably gathered from the Nebula R&D website and this blog, I can use a lot of tools for websites including ASP.NET, Java applets, VB6 ActiveX controls, and even some Perl and PHP. But some clients wouldn’t know what to do with such software. When the project is done they need something they can maintain without having to call me. I can’t very well write an ASP.NET front-end for a VAR who doesn’t know anything more about ASP.NET than how to spell it. They need to be able to deploy the solution and respond to their client requests for changes. So my set of solutions needs to include tools that will allow these clients to be independent of my company for perpetual services – and DesignBais fits this need perfectly.
What we’re seeing is that the DesignBais audience isn’t just the developer who will be producing the GUI. The audience also includes whomever will have to maintain that code later. While ASP.NET might be a convenient solution for me, it simply isn’t appropriate for some other people. If I want to continue to sell services to this audience, I need to use products that they feel comfortable with.
Preserve your investments
The DesignBais audience also includes companies that face a dilemma with personnel. You may have good people working for you, dedicated, skilled with MV-related technologies, just not "up" on all of these other technologies. Yet you need to build a GUI or your management or clients will get upset. Without a budget to hire separate people to do the GUI work, you may be faced with letting go of one or more of these other people.
With DesignBais, you don’t need to worry about training Pick people to use new technologies like .NET, hiring experienced developers who don’t know anything about MV, or losing well trained people. It does take some time and diligence to become competent with this software and become comfortable with how it handshakes from client to server, but this is more a matter of days than months. By working with MV-based tools, you preserve your investment in MV personnel and reinforce your investment in MV technology.
Price-conscious end-users and developers
It may come as a surprise to people who don’t know the DesignBais pricing models that this product is also sensitive to the needs of Pick developers who need to sell deployment licenses to their clients. I won’t get into specific finances here, but there are currently three pricing models to suit various end-user needs, one of which is very friendly for use in an Application Service Provider (ASP) environment. The question "how many licenses will I need" depends on many factors which are discussed in another article which applies to any of these web-based interfaces. What’s important is that application resellers have the ability to sell their GUI enhancements plus deployment licenses at a price that end-users can reasonably afford.
The audience for DesignBais includes VARs who are highly motivated to sell to new sites, and to sell enhancements to existing sites. Some VARs will want to provide a GUI to existing sites at a nominal cost just to keep them happy.
Not sure which way to go? Follow footsteps to success.
Consider that a number of companies have already gone through the sales cycle with this product, compared it to competing products, and made their decision in favor of this product. Many of these companies have already adopted and then discarded a number of products like mvDesigner, Visage, and/or XLR8. They’ve hired people to do .NET or Java work and the projects failed due to time or budgetary constraints. After going through all of this they adopt DesignBais, and after a couple months they have a new application for internal use or for sale.
If you have had a similar experience yourself, please feel free to post a comment to this article. Maybe we can look back at it after you adopt DesignBais and have a couple laughs.
The DesignBais audience includes sites that are on the fence about technology, sites that have tried and failed, sites that don’t have the people or the time for GUI, and sites that are concerned about "fad of the week" technologies.
Like I said, I keep saying "DesignBais isn’t for guys like me", but for some of my clients, I’m exactly the kind of guy that should be using it – and I do.
If after reading this you feel you may also be a good candidate for DesignBais, please let me know.