It had been quiet around the blog for a few weeks, we know; but consider it an above-water view of the proverbial swimming duck – our feet are paddling furiously below. We’ve been planning some good stuff that we’re finally able to start talking about. You likely saw Varun’s post earlier this week, aiming to get your feedback around our pricing model (take the survey!). Today we wanted to talk about how we’re driving to commercial availability for AFCS.
One of the questions we’ve been asked pretty consistently is whether or not it’s ok to build a commercial application with AFCS (currently in beta). Usually, the answer is “no”, but once in a while the answer has been “well, that’s really too cool to say no to, let’s talk”. Sometimes it’s been a lone developer or small-to-medium-sized ISV, sometimes a major corporation or enterprise; regardless we wanted to be able to see these really good ideas in the wild and allow them to make money for the developer, who is spending their time learning the service and helping us find bugs.We’re announcing 2 programs to help us fill that need : AFCS Pilot/Commercial licensing and a partnership with ConnectSolutions.AFCS Pilot/Commercial licensing is a program intended for small-to-medium-sized ISVs or developers, who want to be able to commercialize, but whose needs in terms of service resources and support are relatively small – “small” here still being a very generous number, which many many apps will fit within. The price to them? Free, until our paid service becomes available. Even once that happens, there will be a level of utilization that will always be free, even for commercial use. For companies/devs who are over that level, they will have the option to pay for the service, based on that utilization.The Pilot/Commercial program will be a manually screened process – we can’t open up the floodgates completely until we’ve built a self-service e-commerce system. A new license will need to be signed by the pilot participant. We recognize that there’s a certain leap of faith here in terms of how long the service would be free, and what the costs will be once it’s not. We’re going to speak more on timelines and pricing publicly in the next couple of weeks, but for Pilot/Commercial customers, we plan on having an advisory council that will have much more detail about future plans. If you’ve got an idea that you think can make the coolness cut, feel free to mail us at afcs (at) adobe.com – please note, we can’t accept every idea, so the more info you can provide as to your idea, the better your chances.ﾠWe feel comfortable that we can fit many such developers in the Pilot/Commercial program, and we’re working on e-commerce infrastructure to serve even more people, but there are some customers for whom we’d need more dedicated infrastructure to handle their business – in short, single-tenant hosting. In order to scale our infrastructure more quickly, and fulfill these larger projects’ needs, we’ve entered into a partnership with ConnectSolutions.ConnectSolutions have a huge amount of experience managing collaborative applications based around a similar technical stack to ours. What’s almost more important, we knew that we could work very closely with them, having done so in the past. They’ll be hosting the same AFCS we do, but aimed at very large projects, which need a custom SLA, dedicated hosting and more customized deployments. Due to the nature of these kinds of projects, the sales model is also very personalized, while our team is focused on more “self-serve” commercial use. This partnership allows us to explore both ends of this spectrum simultaneously, as well as explore more deployment possibilities for the technical stack. As time goes on, we expect to be able to take what we learn from both sides and offer a full spread of options to our customers.It’s an exciting time here on the AFCS team. If you have any questions about what this is all about, please visit us in our Forums (if you don’t have a forums account, post on this blog, but it won’t be as fun). Also, don’t forget to check out the pricing discussion post of this week and take the survey to let us know how you’d like to see us charge for the service.