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From Steven Siebert <smsi...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: distributing software built on mod_perl
Date Thu, 10 Sep 2009 14:42:28 GMT
Hi Mike,

The information you provided indicates that you have determined your
customer base for this application might not always have a dedicated IT
staff to conduct these installs.  Your company has a couple options in
achieving this "last mile", which can be observed across the industry,
mod_perl or otherwise.  These suggestions are at a very "high level" because
I really don't know anything about your product, your business model, and
what your business outlook is for the product or as a whole.  Unfortunalty,
this question has a mix of technical and business implications since it
deals with not only this project but potentially the software configuration
management of your business.

Some generic options:

 - One option is that your company can do the install for the customer as
part of the purchase price.  This may include consulting fees but would also
give you the ability to upsale any additional modules or features that
particular customer may need.  This is something you'll find from companies
like BMC and several other enterprise-level software providers.
 - Another option is to create a "certified consultant" program where
external companies can learn to install and maintain your system, you
certify them, and provide a yellow-book type recommendation to those
certified consultants.  This model is similar to what you may find from
PayPal and many open source projects that have taken off.
 - You could use a packaging and installation utility.  While this is
usually the most attractive option, both astetically for the customer as
well as the outward apperance of professionalism in your product...it is
also the most costly both upfront and long term.  These build utilities are
typically platform dependent and you must be concerned about different
adapter layers (ie the choice of web server...apache/iis/etc).  This is a
great option, and there are MANY utilities spanning from make, RPM, CSW to
Install Anywhere that may suite your needs.  However, you should be sure you
know what you are getting into, and have a good understanding why you are,
before doing so.

I was suprised to not find many books on this specific subject - but that
may be a result on my search parameters.  If your development team hasn't
done this before, and you do not have a business strategy to support product
delivery, you might look into hiring a consultant in your area to analyze
your situation and recommend some courses of action.

Regards,

Steve

On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 9:55 AM, Mike Barborak <barborak@basikgroup.com>wrote:

> Hello,
>
> We have built some software that depends on mod_perl and are working
> on how to distribute it to customers and have them install it. It
> seems the task we're asking of our customer is not for the faint of
> heart as it involves a lot of command line operations, an
> understanding of their web server installation, and the ability to
> install mod_perl and some number of Perl modules on which our software
> depends. Standing at the foot of this documentation and installation
> script mountain, we're looking for trails blazed by those who have
> come before.
>
> So, can anyone point me at other software with these requirements and
> their solution to this problem? Particularly ones that have handled
> theses issues well?
>
> Alternately, do you think our approach is fundamentally unsound for
> our intentions? Is there a better way to write and distribute Apache
> modules?
>
> Thanks,
> Mike
>
>
> Mike Barborak
> Technical Director
> barborak@basikgroup.com
>
> ------------------------------------
>
> BASIK GROUP
> 1201 Broadway, #704
> New York, NY 10001
>
> office: 646 201 9347
> cell: 646 263 7029
> www.basikgroup.com
>

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