Providing source files

Subject: Providing source files
From: Ron Rothbart <ron -dot- rothbart -at- DOCUMENTUM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 1997 18:25:42 +0800

Some of our GUI client products are highly customizable. We provide an
application developer's toolkit to support customization. It's clearly in
the company's interest to support customization, because this helps
customers deploy our products. We produce manuals and online help describing
the out-of-the-box version, but some of our corporate customers naturally
want to modify the documentation to fit their customized versions of the
software.

In the past, sometimes we have provided source files upon request on an ad
hoc basis, sometimes giving them away, in one case charging a hefty sum.
Often this has eaten up time and has sometimes resulted in a number of
further requests from the customers for information about the files,
publishing tools, etc. We are now trying to standardize and routinize the
process, making certain source files official products on our price list and
setting policy regarding how we deliver and support them.

The reason for putting the files on the price list is not so much to
generate revenue (although we'd like to cover costs) but so that we can
distribute them efficiently and relatively effortlessly through a telesales
system. We also want to protect our copyright and minimize the time we spend
supporting customers in modifying the manuals. I think our general aim here
is to support customization while minimizing any drain on our resources.

Anyone have experience with this sort of thing? I would appreciate hearing
what has worked or hasn't worked for you, what you provide, what you charge,
and so forth...or why you simply refuse to provide source files.





Virtually yours,

Ron -dot- Rothbart -at- documentum -dot- com
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