Subscriber Discussion

Suppliers Of VMS Software Component Modules

Has anyone had experience with software devlopment firms that provide program modules that are designed and licensed to be incorporated into an overall package such as an enterprise VMS? For example a recording codec or an analytics module like a people counter. These modules would have to be code that is designed and licensed to be incorporated by an OEM, not just an SDK for another seperate product.

The provided code itself would likely be either Windows C# or C++ and probably be delivered as one or more DLLs which require an internal license key provided by its suppliier. Some components might be a bit more loosely coupled, such as with a network API for input and output, but would still be completely embedded in the OEM's VMS installer.

We currently utilize CODECS this way but other types of specialized components would be of equal or greater interest to many.

Hi Paul, do you mean as one off custom development or available for re-sale? I assume you mean the latter. That I have not seen. I know there are quite a number of extensions for Milestone and Genetec but I do not know how often or readily available they are for re-sale from third parties.

John, you have assesed my request quite accurately. I am thinking about special purpose functional modules that can be dropped into a VMS (or PSIM) design by the developers of that design. I don't think our industry is generally mature enough to permit plug-ins that requried a fully standardized interface (like Photoshop), but a lot can be done at a bit lower level.

I am envisioning the equivalents of the Active-X controls often provided by camera manufacturers but for other purposes but not necessarily Active-X since it is not very friendly to modern languages.

My main concern would be financial, not technical. Let's say you and I run an ISV and decide to build special purpose functional modules. Question 1: How many can we sell? Probably not a lot, given how fragmented the market is, and especially unless the VMS sales team pitches us (else how will they know about something so niche). Question 2: If it is successful, what happens if the VMS decides to just build it in themselves?

Converting software from internal use to resale should raise a number of significant questions which may not make it past marketing, legal, or management because of risk and costs incurred:

Short and long term installation and support requirements

VMS configuration differences break it

VMS upgrade breaks it, and your organization doesn't implement every VMS upgrade

Multiple potential liability issues: merchantability, serviceability, failure to function as expected leads to customer losses somehow, ...

With widespread reviews to internet audiences, unanticipated adverse experiences with your software can potentially affect your corporate identity adversely

If software is your business area, you have widespread experience across multiple configurations of the particular VMS, you understand other hardware and software configuration issues, you have legal and technical support staffs, etc., such resale might already be well aligned with your business' selective advantages.