10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 30, 2010 6:47 PM by Lonnie Bowling

    The Appstore Development Topic


      A few days ago I blogged about the development of a 3rd party appstore.


      There has been a lot of really positive feedback on it, which encourages me to keep developing it. There has been a lot of changes in the last few days, a lot of them 'under the hood', but also some on the UI.


      You can visit the appstore (under development) here: http://vcampusappstore.cloudapp.net


      You will get a SSL certifcation error, please ignore and continue. The reason for this is that the SSL certificate is self signed (testcert issued by hydralisk).I will have to buy a nice SSL certificate in the near future]


      Please login as guest (button on the lower right). Please note that if you order , request information, or use the contact option, you are sending emails to me [:).


      Any feedback is greatly appreciated!


      Currently, I'm at version 0.1.4.


      OSIsoft Appstore Changelog

      Author:   Michael van der Veeken - Copyright 2010 (C) M. van der Veeken
      Date:   Nov 9 2010
      Contact:  michael.vanderveeken@atosorigin.com

      OSIsoft Appstore is a 3rd party appstore for software based on the OSIsoft PI system.
      Please goto http://www.osisoft.com for more information about the PI system.


      This website uses the terms OSIsoft, OSIsoft vCampus, etc... These are all copyright by
      OSIsoft Inc. (http://www.osisoft.com"). OSIsoft Inc. is not affeliated with this site in
      any way. Please do not contact them in regard to this application.

      View the Disclaimer for more information.

      Version 0.1

      - Initial version support product categories and associated products. Users can select based on category
        or supplier company. Product details are displayed.

      Version 0.1.1

      - Products now support external links, viewable at the product details panel.
      - Added disclaimer
      - Added changelog
      - Fixed issue with ExpressionDark theme and ChildWindows (root element not found).

      Version 0.1.2
      - Added emailing support for Product ordering and Product information requests
       - Mail support now uses gmail (osisoftappstore@gmail.com)
      - Added message templates for emails
      - Added 'sending message' overlay in the contact windows while sending the message
      - Added Contact option (email)
      - Added rating for products (ratings are not registered yet, purely esthetic)

      Version 0.1.3
      - Added SSL support
      - Added Authentication support

      Version 0.1.4
      - Added user login and guest login
      - Added front portal/login page
      - Added role based security


        • Re: The Appstore Development Topic
          Lonnie Bowling

          So, I was thinking, it would be cool if people could post about apps they wish were for sale. Like a wish list.  That could help drive what developers work on.  Someone would post a discription and people could click on like (simlar to youtube), and maybe have a simple discussion thread.  If there is a really good idea that comes up and there are a ton of likes then there could be a good chance of that happening.


          Another though, what do you think these app would be like?  What platform and how do they get distributed?  It really can't be like iPhone, is there something simlar out there that we could get ideas from?

            • Re: The Appstore Development Topic

              Michael, you rock!


              Agree with Lonnie, it'd be cool to have some kind of wishlist... in fact I think this is where the connection point could be between the App Store/user community, and vCampus/technical community: users could request apps and these would appear as challenges in vCampus - depending on the request, the community would then take this as a Community Project, or a particular software vendor would tackle it in a "real commercial software" fashion.

                • Re: The Appstore Development Topic
                  Ahmad Fattahi

                  It's awesome Michael


                  As to Lonnie's point, it's a very good idea. Until we settle on a final marketplace why don't we use OSIsoft vCampus forums to serve as that bridge? It's very easy and compelling to start a new thread on any product. the same has already happened in a number of cases such as the App Store itself, future of PI Processbook, iPad/iPhone apps, etc. with lots of feedback from the community.

                    • Re: The Appstore Development Topic
                      Lonnie Bowling


                      As to Lonnie's point, it's a very good idea. Until we settle on a final marketplace why don't we use OSIsoft vCampus forums to serve as that bridge? It's very easy and compelling to start a new thread on any product. the same has already happened in a number of cases such as the App Store itself, future of PI Processbook, iPad/iPhone apps, etc. with lots of feedback from the community.



                      vCampus would be nice to throw around ideas, but what I want to know is what Users and Potential Users are wanting.  Here at vCampus we are a bit exclusive and won't get that kind of data.  It is like "preaching to the choir", not that we could not guess some of the wants and needs, but that would not be the same.  I just think that we are pretty small and young here.  But I'm all for getting some ideas anyway we can.

                        • Re: The Appstore Development Topic
                          Ahmad Fattahi

                          Completely agreed Lonnie. This is a very good point you are raising.in fact the audience here does not necessarily coincide with who you'd want to sell your production to. That's why I started my statement with "Until we settle on a final marketplace "


                          one idea flying around was that the eventual solution would be moderated/staffed/managed in a joint fashion by OSIsoft and some partners. How would you see the ideal level of involvement we should expect from OSIsoft partners? Or does this question deserve its own blog post?

                            • Re: The Appstore Development Topic

                              Thank you Ahmad, Steve and Lonnie for all the (positive) feedback! It's really helpfull.


                              About the request/forum option. I haven't thought about that. That would be a real nice feature. I had thought about product rating and comments on products.


                              I think this is something that could be implemented, and would really enhance the possibilites. But, it shouldn't be a rent-a-coder type of thing, where you get 'developers' to bid on a project or something.


                              As for the distribution of the applications: I'm not really sure about that yet. I have 3 options in mind.




                              My initial thought would be that the 'client' buys the application from the supplier directly. The appstore is a marketplace/advertising place. The main advantage of this is that we can get off the ground early, don't have to bother about payments and deliveries (not our concern, concern of the client and supplier parties). The supplier sends the software directly to the client.


                              This would also make the legal stuff a lot easier in my opinion!




                              Software from suppliers is uploaded to the appstore. Customers order an application, and pays the supplier. The supplier now confirms that that particulair customer is granted a download right, the customer get's an email from the appstore with a link (and some security code), and downloads the software. Updates are also issued trough the appstore. So, it's a bit of a workflow thing in the appstore.




                              Same as 2, but payments are done trough the appstore.


                              Legal nightmare maybe? , but it would sure be the most complete solution.


                              As for how it will be operated? I have no real idea yet. My goal is to make it possible for suppliers to configure/add the applications they offer, and that users can register themselves. The goal is to make it as 'self operation' as possible, so it wouldn't require much maintenance and management. I haven't implemented any payment options or something, but that's something that would have to be discussed by OSIsoft/partners that will participate.


                              I can imagine that OSIsoft would want some level of control of what will be offered. I can imagine they don't want products competing with their products or something.


                              At this time it's in such early stages, that it first needs a signed SSL certificate and a proper domain name I think.


                              ps: we already received our first order from a customer named 'Lonnie', he wants 1000 deployments of product #9, and asks for a bulk discount

                                • Re: The Appstore Development Topic

                                  My wishlist:

                                  • Ratings on products (Demo, Purchased, Idea) / Or at least like system with summaries (2,123 people like this, 500 got the demo, 765 bought this)
                                  • Ratings with different weigths wheter you used the Demo, Purchased the product or just read the description.
                                  • Downloadable Demos (whenever possible)
                                  • Email this to a friend (suggest word-of-mouth viral)
                                  • Monitor this product (with email if new product is available)

                                  I know this is not easy, but it does improve a lot on functionality. My 2 cents (which converted to USD amounts to 0.015). :)

                                    • Re: The Appstore Development Topic

                                      First of all, thank you for all the feedback. I'm trying to use all of your feedback in the development of the software, however, some basic things (like authentication, SSL, basic stuff etc.) take precedence for now. However, I try to keep the feedback/comments in mind developing the basics. 




                                      I have uploaded a new version of the OSIsoft Appstore. This version includes some major functionality upgrades, and a brand new domain name!


                                      The AppStore can now be reached at https://osisoft.thirdpartyappstore.com [Ignore SSL certificate warning]


                                      Version 0.1.5
                                      - Added Account Creation
                                       - Password strenght indicator
                                       - Username availability check
                                       - EULA
                                       - Newly created accounts require Activation (an email is send to activate the account).
                                       - Password reset (an email with new password is send)
                                      - Added comments/posting utilities
                                       - Added Product Comments
                                       - Added discussion Forum
                                      - Added 'My Account' section
                                       - Account management
                                        - Password change option
                                       - Company management
                                        - Company details management
                                       - Message management




                                      I've spend about 50+ hours of my free time developing this so far. It's going great, and in my opinion it's making good progress. I have decided however to suspend active development for now. The main reason for this is that development is reaching a point where real decisions have to be made about the procedures and operation of the store.


                                      My main goal of this project was/is to prove that an OSIsoft 3rd party appstore is technically viable, and can be jumpstarted from within the community. At this point, I have no idea about the future of this project. If an 3rd party appstore should be created, we need the support and commitment of OSIsoft and OSIsoft's partners.


                                      I would like to invite all of you who are interested in this concept to engage in a discussion on the how's, why's and whom's, this would specially include OSIsoft.


                                      I have no idea if any future AppStore (backed up by OSIsoft) will include the here presented technical concept, so the risk of putting too much effort into a product that will maybe never see the light of day is a bit too big.


                                      If OSIsoft decides to commit, I will make the project (sources) and domain name available if OSIsoft/vCampus community needs it. If needed, development will continue in full strenght


                                      Again, thank you all for the support! And let's please start a discussion to get this going !