While I was working on the update of my book, Make Money Outside the Mac App Store, I compiled a comparison of popular e-commerce solutions. My first test reader Sascha found this to be distracting from the books technical objective, so I cut it out.
In my post about redirecting the DevMate update feed, I missed the opportunity to mention that you should probably also update your app very soon to not rely on DevMate’s framework.
Mr Boy van Amstel at Danger Cove picked up the topic and explains how you can change your feed URL inside the app using the Sparkle SUUpdaterDelegate methods. DevMate’s closed-source framework wraps this in its DM_SUUpdaterDelegate_DevMateInteraction protocol.
Your battle plan thus should be:
Redirect the remote feed URL to deploy updates to existing customers working with old versions, and
Change the feed URL used inside the app as soon as possible and deploy an update to not rely on the redirect for too long.
I use the SUUpdaterDelegate to switch feed URL’s in The Archive and WordCounter, too, in case you wonder if this is a good idea in the first place.
Fellow developer Daniel Kennett mentioned that he requested a HTTP redirect for the DevMate feed to his own server. I probably wouldn’t have thought of this, and think it’s a great idea. This way, you can reach DevMate customers long after their servers have stopped responding.
Server-side app license code validation, as I imagine it, in a nutshell: If the token expires and there’s no server connection, you have to figure out how punishing you want to be. I suggest you do not punish by default and assume people have good intentions. Possible escalations: Remote or server-side deactivation of licenses can be useful to prevent continued use after refunds.
DevMate are closing their doors. The announcement isn’t news anymore, but since I didn’t use their service, I didn’t think much of it. I did report back in 2016 when they changed their pricing model. Nowadays I discover more and more people struggling to migrate away, and my blog pops up in their searches – apparently because I wrote a book on selling apps on FastSpring.
When DevMate launched, I dabbled with the backend a bit and I really liked it. They use FastSpring for the store and enabling DevMate to integrate into your FastSpring account is very simple.
It seemed to be kind of expensive, though. Since then, they changed the pricing model once or twice and made the platform more attractive to upcoming indies and teams with a lower budget. Now it’s free.
Their SDK seems to provide easy integration. I think I’ll check it out with my next app to tell you more about the details. I just hope they’re doing well – lowering the price could just as well mean that they try to attract more devs because it doesn’t pay off to run the platform at the moment. (I think I’ll just ask them to be sure.)