Gluon Mobile: Change project from Free tier to Indie tier - licensing

I'm confused about the licensing options. Can anyone explain to me whether I can start developing my project with the Free tier and later change to an Indie tier? The reason I'm asking is because the possibility of changing tier wouldn't make sense from a business point of view, since that would mean that developers could simply develop their app under the Free tier until the end of the project and switch to the Indie tier right before compilation and distribution and cancel the Indie subscription after a month.
So this must mean that I have to start developing with the Indie tier from the very beginning of the project if I don't want a nag screen, right?

from the documentation
the free tier is available and fully functional for you to test with before parting with any money.

You can switch anytime by adding the valid license to your project. Applications compiled and distributed with valid license will work without showing the nag screen


Checking a voucher code on a Demandware online store

I'm working for a startup and we have a customer who uses Demandware for their online store.
Our company provides vouchers which are worth a specific amount of money. So customers on the retail site can enter the voucher number near the end of the checkout experience and if it's worth, say, 10 dollars, their shopping cart is updated (-10).
I have the CTO saying we just need to "drop a few lines of javascript" onto the retailer online store. But I think this requires a Demandware plugin (especially updating a shopping cart), which involves signing up for a developer or partnership account (which takes some time), learning Demand Script and building the plugin, then releasing it to Saleforce's app store. Am I correct? Is this the only way to achieve this?
Just to be clear, the functionality is: the voucher code box needs to take a voucher number, an API request is made to our service to check what it's worth, then update the cart.
That's a pretty broad question but I'll try to explain.
First off, Demandware has gone all JavaScript.
But yeah, it has a huge API so the process sounds about right the way you've described it.
Ask your client whether they have a service integrator they're working with, because that would be their job. Your job would be to provide an API so that Demandware can check whether the voucher code is valid.
Demandware is a closed community so it's unlikely to learn it unless you're working in a company that is doing Demandware development.
Oh, and if it somehow ends up being your job to develop this, a tip from me - you probably need to get access to their site's files and use the LineItemCtnr class to createPriceAdjustment() :)
The first tip from me is that Demandware got bought by Salesforce and is now branded as Salesforce Commerce Cloud, so if you hear either, they are the same thing.
You are right that you are going to have to work with Salesforce to get going. They are a cloud provider and there is no self-hosted version of the platform, so in order to do any development, you need to have a relationship with them.
So then it depends on how you get access. If the client has any sandbox environments they are willing to share with you, you could do this as a custom build working in their environment, modifying cart code to make the service call as you ask and as the previous response suggests. But then (depending on the terms you have with the client) your company may or may not be able to reuse that code for other clients. You will also have to work with them to get that integrated into their existing site, get it deployed through their processes, etc.
If you want to write something that other Commerce Cloud clients could use, then you should set up your own partner relationship with Salesforce and get a software package they call a cartridge to what they call their LINK marketplace, which is basically a big clearinghouse of integrations like yours.
Technology-wise, the platform has gone through some changes recently, going from an XML-based GUI tool to specify business logic to using CommonJS scripts to define them. If your client is a new client within the last year or two they probably have this new fully javascript implementation, but if they are an older client than that they may be using the old way, which has a steeper (read: more proprietary) learning curve.

Steps to take when planning and executing a new project (say mobile app)

I want to build a free app to become familiar with what is required, but I was always confused about the steps one needs to take to START a software project.
What are the steps required in order to develop a mobile app?
I will list some of the things I think should be done but I don't necessarily know how to do. Any advice, details and technologies you have to accomplish these steps would be awesome.
Decide which platform you want to develop. What are some of the pros and cons in this area for android vs iOS vs Windows8?
How to test the app - can you get free hardware to test with a well detailed app plan? Emulator?
Detail what you want the app to do and which functionalities you want.
Research if this app already exists. What are some areas of concerns in terms of not breaking the law such as patent infringement etc?
Setup a source repository such as git (google a guide I guess?)
Look at guides to familiarize yourself with APIs and write sample code to learn what you need?
Start the development and keep doing the above as needed.
Starting a software project can be as easy as start writing code. Most programmers will have an intuition as to what needs to be done and how it could be done. The other extreme of starting a software project is to start with talking to a client (or looking at the world) and figuring out what the problem is. I find that a thorough understanding of the problem you are trying to address with a project is already a long way into getting the project done painlessly. It'll give you a good understanding of what is required for you to call your project done.
So I guess point number one becomes: know what the problem is you're solving. Knowing this will also tell you if any existing app solves the same problem to a satisfying standard.
NOTE: I am not that familiar with the Windows 8 platform so my answer mostly talks about iOS and Android. The issues raised however are broad enough to cover large parts of the Windows platform.
Selecting a deployment platform is an important part of a launching a product, and a lot of other decisions depend on the platform. We are in the unfortunate state that two major mobile OSes exist that are separate in terms of code development and reuse. When considering selecting your deployment platform you'll want to think about the audience, and the (potential) sub set of the audience that is willing to pay for your application. Android might have to most devices out there but iPhone makes the most money (also for developers). However, remember that there are lots of apps out there and most developers don't ever make any (or not enough) money out of their apps.
Getting into app development with the aim of getting rich is going to leave you dissappointed. That's not very likely, then again someone always wins the lottery as well. It is a good way though to get employed and make some money that way.
Then there is the question of programming language (Java, Objective-C or C#). This is largely decided on what you are already familiar with, and if you aren't then refer back to the previous point.
Testing the product is a tricky thing. You'll have to start off with the emulator (which is usually provided with the development pack). Sooner or later however you'll have to test the app on hardware. I doubt you'll get your hands on free hardware but borrowing from friends and relatives is always an option. There may also be businesses that rent out test hardware to developers, if there isn't then I suppose that's one business idea to work on.
The platform choice will affect this also. Android is running on a much wider range of hardware than iOS.
Patent infringment
I don't know that much about patent issues, other than software patents are nasty. As a single developer I wouldn't be too worried about infringing on patents, the main purpose of them is to keep competitors at bay. What usually ends up happening is that big companies kill off competition with patent lawsuits, or they buy a smaller company that holds a nice collection of patents.
If you want to be on the safe side (meaning you own a company and are really doing this to make money) then talk to patent lawyers.
Code repository
A code hosting service like GitHub is fantastic in that it not only provides a place to have you code, but it also provides issue trackers for keeping notes on the functionality that is still missing or bugs that have crept up in your software.
The best places to start learning about Git are and the GitHub help pages.
Software development plan
Your last point explodes to a thing called software engineering. There has been lots of research into different ways of managing software development projects. The idea being that software development tends to be extended over long periods of time, the requirements of the project change during the project (as you learn more) and the project can involve anything from 1 to 100s of developers. Some way coordinating work between those developers (and all other parties involved like customers) has to be formalised, enter software engineering. The aim is to define a methodology and project structure that guides the development process and makes it more likely that the requirements are met at the end of the project.
Some models worth looking into include (Test Driven Development and other agile methods).
Finally I would add to the list of things that need to be done
Research libraries, note that this comes before familiarising yourself with the APIs of those libraries.
What software already exists that does a part of what you want to achieve. This goes partly back to the question of what platform to use. Apple has put a lot of attention in developing easy to use frameworks to support iOS app development. I am not that familiar with Andoird's or Windows 8 but the less code you have to write the faster the product will be done.
There is only one step needed: Just start that project!
You are going to develop a free application, so it should be fun to do that. Choose whatever you like and keep going:
Make sure you are productive enough -- 10 Laws of Productivity
Avoid complexity -- Occam's razor, KISS principle
Let CI system do the boring stuff -- Machines should work; people should think.
Read books and improve yourself.
Please also avoid blind decisions. If you simply try several available options you'll eventually find the best way to achieve your goals. Do some PoC and decide. Nowadays 1-2 hours should be enough to start with any technology. This is the rule of maturity. You have your own goals, so it is better to avoid immature solutions.
Happy coding.
CPlayer I came to this forum with the same question since I am new to mobile app design and want to make my own app. I realize it is important to take certain steps in the correct order so that wasted time is minimized or eliminated. I did some research and came across two online sources I believe, if they are put together as one, will make one better source. The links are:
Good Luck,
laroice ISV development, deployment, support

We're an ISV that's completed our first app on It's an xRM-like app with extended workflow to build out complex campaigns (not simple marketing-like campaigns) and integration with on-premise software. The platform brings enormous value, and at the same time some challenges. Interested in other ISV experiences around the following:
Application upgrade process. Customers expect cloud app upgrade to "just happen". Reality is that there's inevitable manual pre- and post-upgrade steps that can fill many pages. We don't want to burden the customer with this, and at the same time while we're happy to do the upgrade work for the customer, we don't want access to customer data and the need for elaborate security assurances that come along with that access. A conundrum.
Development environment. Agile/scrum development relies on achieving full test automation and continuous integration, yet full automation beyond unit test seems difficult or impossible.
Background processing. Constraints on scheduled jobs, callouts, and futures, and issues with transaction management present challenges to traditional software development.
Curious what other ISVs have found.
I am now working at my second ISV and so have a fair amount of experience in releasing products on the platform (have seen 4 separate products releases, 1 which included 3 version releases and 1 including another version update).
If possible, you should try to remove any pre/post install steps that the user requires to do. It sounds tough, and it is, but its the biggest reason people don't adopt a product. The idea is that it is quick and easy to install, one click, and any extra effort detracts from the user experience. Ensuring your system is data independent is a good way of getting around the data security issues you referred to, and obviously you can offer a consultancy to do the upgrade work. A sensible idea might be to have a list of all the objects and fields that are affected by your products installation and then to do a check of the customer org before installing. I would also say that installing in sandbox and doing a couple of weeks user testing can highlight any problems you may have in future very effectively.
It is not true that full test automation beyond unit tests cannot occur and is actually very simple. The key is having the necessary framework setup. So you would have a central version control system where your code is stored (a key agile part). Then you create a script so that when code is committed, it runs an install on a SFDC org, running all tests and reporting back. You can then get this script to run a set of apex classes or upload a bunch of CSV files to put data in with either further fuller apex tests to run functionality or selenium running to do a set of tests. You can then also use this test data and script for knocking out demo environments for sales guys.
The governor and background processing limits are a bit tight, but they keep on being increased. Maybe you should integrate with Heroku or similar to do some larger external processing? I will say though I think it improves programming abilities in general, making you think about what it is your doing and the best way to do it. This then leads to a more pleasant end user experience. Batch apex jobs area a good way of doing this processing and you can use the asyncapexjob object to report back on the status f a run to users.
Hope that helps and gives you a different perspective!

Using virtual machines for development

I've recently been given the role of managing or development environment which includes:
Managing the version control system (subversion) in which we typically have one major branch which is released to production every 6 months, a maintenance branch which is released every 2 month to fix non-major bugs found by users and a couple of branches related to bugs which just can't wait for the maintenance release.
Managing our databases so that we have a development database for each branch of the code
We've not long moved over to using the version control system and have had the following issues:
Developers who work on a number of branches concurrently can quite often end up developing against the wrong database (we have around 15 developers)
A lack of a decent strategy for managing the release of branches into production and the propagation back into other branches
A lack of a decent strategy for managing the databases associated with each branch (i.e. should we keep a script which is aligned with the production environment and then a script to bring each database user in line with the needs of the branch)
I had thought of using a Virtual Machine for each branch of the code (i.e. A VM containing an Oracle Express database user, a Coldfusion Administrator with the correct setup for things like data sources, and development tools like the IDE and Tortoise).
I was looking for any suggestions anybody might have to help with any of these issues as I'm finding it really difficult to manage the process. I understand that no 2 companies have the exact same setup but I'd welcome any help.
I think that the best solution for you can be to start using continuous integration applied to your product life cycle strategy.
You can read about it over the web:
Continuous integration
Great open-source framework for continues integration!
I hope this helps you, but your question is quite hard to answer 'cause there are a lot of parameters to answer which always very from company to company, you should consider hiring a consultant to help you. He/She will have to come to your company and help you decide and implement.
I would start by asking each of the developers why this kind of mistake happens. If a developer has recently made the mistake, then get them to explain how they did it and what might help them in future. Also talk to developers that have not recently made a mistake.
I'm assuming that you have a server with Oracle and all the different flavors of the db running on it using different port numbers. In that case you would create a new db instance to go with each branch and the problem is how to help the developer set up a context before working on the branch.
Tortoise SVN is a nice tool, but perhaps this is a situation where it would be better to have some kind of small app that does the checkout, and remove Tortoise from the machines. The small app could keep a window floating on screen showing the currently active branch, and it could handle checkout and checkin, as well as making sure the right port number is used.

Does anyone have database, programming language/framework suggestions for a GUI point of sale system?

Our company has a point of sale system with many extras, such as ordering and receiving functionality, sales and order history etc. Our main issue is that the system was not designed properly from the ground up, so it takes too long to make fixes and handle requests from our customers. Also, the current technology we are using (Progress database, Progress 4GL for the language) incurs quite a bit of licensing expenses on our customers due to mutli-user license fees for database connections etc.
After a lot of discussion it is looking like we will probably start over from scratch (while maintaining the current product at least for the time being). We are looking for a couple of things:
Create the system with a nice GUI front end (it is currently CHUI and the application was not built in a way that allows us to redesign the front end... no layering or separation of business logic and gui...shudder).
Create the system with the ability to modularize different functionality so the product doesn't have to include all features. This would keep the cost down for our current customers that want basic functionality and a lower price tag. The bells and whistles would be available for those that would want them.
Use proper design patterns to make the product easy to add or change any part at any time (i.e. change the database or change the front end without needing to rewrite the application or most of it). This is a problem today because the Progress 4GL code is directly compiled against the database. Small changes in the database requires lots of code recompiling.
Our new system will be Linux based, with a possibility of a client application providing functionality from one or more windows boxes.
So what I'm looking for is any suggestions on which database and/or framework or programming language(s) someone might recommend for this sort of product. Anyone that has experience in this field might be able to point us in the right direction or even have some ideas of what to avoid. We have considered .NET and SQL Express (we don't need an enterprise level DB), but that would limit us to windows (as far as I know anyway). I have heard of Mono for writing .NET code in a Linux environment, but I don't know much about it yet. We've also considered a Java and MySql based implementation.
To summarize we are looking to do the following:
Keep licensing costs down on the technology we will use to develop the product (Oracle, yikes! MySQL, nice.)
Deliver a solution that is easily maintainable and supportable.
A solution that has a component capable of running on "old" hardware through a CHUI front end. (some of our customers have 40+ terminals which would be a ton of cash in order to convert over to a PC).
Suggestions would be appreciated.
I should note that we are currently performing a total cost analysis. This question is intended to give us a couple of "educated" options to look into to include in or analysis. Anyone who could share experiences/suggestions about client/server setups would be appreciated (not just those who have experience with point of sale systems... that would just be a bonus).
For anyone who is interested, we ended up going with Microsoft Dynamics NAV, LS Retail (a plugin for the point of sale and various other things) and then did some (and are currently working on) customization work on top of that. This setup gave us the added benefit of having a fully integrated g/l system, which our current system lacked.
Java for language (or Scala if you want to be "bleeding edge", depending on how you plan to support it and what your developers are like it might be better, but also worse)
H2 for database
Swing for GUI
Reason: Free, portable and pretty standard.
Update: Missed the part where the system should be a client-server setup. My assumption was that the database and client should run on the same machine.
I suggest you first research your constraints a bit more - you made a passing reference to a client using a particular type of terminal - this may limit your options, unless the client agrees to upgrade.
You need to do a lot more legwork on this. It's great to get opinions from web forums, but we can't possibly know your environment as well as you do.
My broad strokes advice would be to aim for technology that is widely used. This way, expertise on the platform is cheaper than "niche" technologies, and it will be easier to get help if you hit a brick wall. Of course, following this advice may not be possible if you have non-negotiable technology already in place at customers.
My second suggestion would be to complete a full project plan, with detailed specs and proper cost estimates, before going with the "rewrite from scratch" option. Right now, you're saying that it would be cheaper to rewrite the system than maintain it, and you don't really know how much it would cost to re-write.
I suggest you use browser for the UI.
Organize your application as a web application.
There are tons of options for the back-end. You can use Java + MySQL. Java backend will save you from windows/linux debate as it will run on both platforms. You won't have any licensing cost for both Java and MySQL. (Edit: Definitely there are a lot of others languages that have run-times for both linux & windows including PHP, Ruby, Python etc)
If you go this route, you may also want to consider Google Web Toolkit (GWT) for creating the browser based front-end in a modular fashion.
One word of caution though. Browsers can be pesky when it comes to memory management. In our experience, this was the most significant challenge in doing browser based POS You may want to checkout Adobe Flex that runs in browser but might be more civil in its memory management.
What is CHUI? Character-UI, as in VT terminals? Or even 3270 style?
It sounds like you need a 3-tier system - the database backend, a middle-layer that runs the bulk of the back-end business processes, and a front-end layer for the CHUI / GUI / data-gateway.
All three layers can reside on one machine; or you can distribute the tiers out to various servers. The front-end layer would control the actual terminals, whether they are VT-terminals, or a web-browser, or a custom-written 'client' application.
Make sure you have considered the hardware needs here -- are you going to have barcode scanners, cash drawers, POS debit/credit terminals, et cetra? If you are using a standard browser, it might be hard to reliably integrate those items. (At the very least, you're likely going to have to write special applets to handle them.)
Finally, consider the possibility of a thin-client technology on Windows. It greatly simplifies system management, since you only have to upgrade the software centrally. Thin-client PC's are cheap -- sub $200.
Golden Code Development (see has a technology that does automated conversion of Progress 4GL (the schema and code... the entire application) to a Java application with a relational database backend (e.g. PostgreSQL). They currently support a very complete CHUI environment and they do refactor the code. For example, the conversion separates the UI, the data model and the business logic into separate Java classes. The entire result is a drop-in replacement that is compatible with the original (users don't need retraining, processes don't need to be modified, the data is migrated too). This is possible because they provide an application server and a set of runtime classes that provide that compatibility. The result of the automated conversion is not something that needs further editing before you can compile and run it. True terminal support is included so hardware terminals still work (it requires a small JNI library to access NCURSES from Java). All the rest of the code in the runtime is pure Java. No Progress Software Corp technology is used in the resulting system and it runs on Linux.
At least one converted system is already in production, running a 24 by 7 mission critical environment. It is a converted ERP system that their mid-sized pilot customer uses to run their entire business.