Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Friday, February 13, 2009
- There is a reluctance to make payments via PayPal, despite the fact that a PayPal account isn't required in order to use their payment facilities.
- The instructions for setting up the first of my products - Project Monitor - are not clear enough and prospective customers are scared off.
- My familiarity with the products has blinded me to difficulties experienced by first-time users.
- Competing products are light years ahead of my own.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
I guess my developer's toolbox has grown slowly as needs have arisen, but over the past few months as I put the final polish on a couple of saleable applications, acquisitions have become a more frequent event. As a software developer who has only recently thrown off the shackles of "real" employment to go it alone, there are several tools I've not previously had cause to use which have become indispensable.
For those of you who may be in the process of acquiring a suite of developer tools or updating their existing arsenal, here's what I use.
Primary development platform: C#, using Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Professional SP1
Databases: Microsoft Access, SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition, SQL Server 2005 Express, SQL Server Compact Edition 3.0
Integrated help: Microsoft HTML Help Workshop
UML and Data modeling: Enterprise Architect
Desktop virtualisation: Microsoft Virtual PC 2007
Version control: VisualSVN/Subversion
License key management: Infralution Licensing System
Automated license key generation: IPN.NET
Application installation: InstallAware Express
FTP client: FileZilla
Web forum: AspNetForum
Please feel free to suggest any other items you feel no Windows desktop developer should be without, keeping in mind that as a fledgling micro-ISV I've chosen affordable - if not free - products out of necessity. I'm pleased to note some Australian products in the list!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
After what seems an eternity, I find myself on the brink of offering a software product of my own for sale from my web site.
Rather than being born in one intense burst of developer zeal, Project Monitor has evolved steadily over the past couple of years, sometimes in brief fits and starts and at other times when the flow of other work has eased, in a slightly more concentrated manner. I've used my product on a daily basis throughout that time and I strongly believe that this - together with what's turned out to be a lengthy development cycle - has paid big dividends. In the course of using it continuously in one form or another for those two years, reflecting constantly on how it might be improved in terms of look-and-feel, functions and useability, features have been added, refined or even removed. In hindsight, I'm sure that this has resulted in an application that's more mature than would have been the case had it been conceived, designed, constructed, tested and unleashed on an unsuspecting world in a short space of time. If that's in fact true, it's gratifying to think that at least in that sense, the thoughtful, patient solo developers of the world can match it with the bigger players in the industry who sometimes seem driven by deadlines rather than product readiness.
I'm certainly excited by the prospect of finally having a product ready for sale but I must admit that my unbridled enthusiasm is tempered a little by reality - the recognition that having a saleable product is only one challenge among many and is really just the first step towards enjoying any measure of success.
The challenges now ahead in terms of promoting and marketing my product are unexplored territory for me, but whatever the outcome, I'm sure the lessons I learn will prove invaluable. I look forward in the months ahead to sharing my experiences with you - let's hope that in the fullness of time you're reading an inspirational success story rather than a cautionary tale!
Friday, June 6, 2008