Freelance assignments: How do customers think about B4A?

Martin Larsen

Active Member
Licensed User
Hi,

I am a professional developer working primarily with PHP, HTML, CSS, Javascript, MySQL etc.

But I am also greatly interested in Android development and have started working with B4A because it seems much faster to work with. I have done a bit of Java based Android development in the past couple of years, but now after only a week I can work faster with B4A than with Eclipse and Java.

But my question is: When taking in assignments, what do customers say when you suggest to develop their app with B4A? Are they okay with that, or do you need to persuade them? In that case, which arguments do you use to convince them?

Best regards,
Martin
 

imbault

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
Good question, any answers???

@Erel do you plan ton make some news, articles .. etc concerning B4a, B4j, B4i???? I didn't see lot of things
 

keirS

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
I don't tell them unless specifically asked. At the end of the day B4A is a Java code generator a very good one it has to be said. The client is getting a native Java app.
 

NJDude

Expert
Licensed User
That is irrelevant, unless you write the app and provide the source (if the customer has in-house programmers), I'm a freelancer and my customers only care about the app, not how is made or what language was used.
 

NJDude

Expert
Licensed User
I usually ask them if they want source, if they say yes, then I explain what B4A is.
99.99% of the time they have NO CLUE what you're talking about, if you are offering your services as an app developer that's what you offer AN APP.
 

thedesolatesoul

Expert
Licensed User
99.99% of the time they have NO CLUE what you're talking about, if you are offering your services as an app developer that's what you offer AN APP.
I guess its the case that I am not sure what services I am offering and what is my role. Am I doing outsourced work, or am I delivering an app?
Either way, I am probably talking to the wrong people, I need to talk to management (i.e. the people who have no clue).
 

Martin Larsen

Active Member
Licensed User
Do customers generally get the source? As a web developer I always by its very nature provide the source (HTML, CSS, PHP ...) so I am not used to that question. Do you charge extra for the source?

I think the framework used is relevant if they plan to take over the project or if they already have inhouse programmers.

Perhaps I should give two prices: with B4A and with traditional Java - then latter would probably cost twice as much!
 

keirS

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
Giving the source code usually means giving up IP rights. Something I have only ever done once and at a cost of 5 times the project value to the client (they wanted to resell the software). I have had escrow agreements in the past which is a sort of a halfway house in that under certain conditions the client can access there source code.
 

HotShoe

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
Most customers that want custom software written believe that they will own the software once it is finished. So, you have to be very clear while talking to them in the contract stage. The contract is everything. It has to be as detailed as possible, and state exactly what rights are being licensed to the customer and for what period of time.

As a rule, only large companies are going to demand all of the rights to the project. This is done mainly so that they control the source code in the future in case you disappear or they find someone cheaper to maintain it for them. If they had a string of Android programmers on staff, they probably wouldn't be asking you to quote a price on the project to begin with. With that said, it is very important that you discuss how the project is created and what language(s) are used. In my own experience, B4A is mostly unknown, so you do need to do some explaining if it is an exclusive rights contract.

Exclusive rights contracts also include a non-competition clause as a rule as well. That just states that you cannot create a competing product for an agreed upon amount of time (5 years is pretty common). It does not mean that you can no longer use any code related to that project. Only that you cannot create a competing product.

So, the contract is everything, and it needs to be agreed upon and in it's final state before you or anyone else sits down at a computer and writes the first line of code for the project. I very rarely do any outside work without a contract, just because it avoids any problems in the future over who gets what. When the client wants to make changes in the middle of the project, and they always do, this is called a change order. Each change order is written up as an amendment to the original contract and is CHARGED SEPARATELY for the additional work. It is also signed by all parties and attached to the contract.

Smaller companies or individuals soon get over the idea of owning the app once they get the licensing quote for exclusive rights. The licensing portion of the contract spells out who owns what and who is responsible for what over what period of time (if any). Most times, you are simply licensing the buyer to use your code in the manner agreed upon in the contract, and it is made clear that you (or your company) retains ownership of all intellectual property inside that project. It may or may not contain a non-competition clause as well. I don't offer it if they don't ask.

In most countries, without a contract, the software will be owned by the party paying to have it written (work for hire), or by your employer if it is done on company time or you are restricted by an employment contract. The contract explicitly spells out the rights and licensing of each party to avoid all of that mess. So I will say it again, the contract is everything.

I did not intend for this to turn into my next book, so please excuse the length. :)

--- Jem
 

Martin Larsen

Active Member
Licensed User
In my own experience, B4A is mostly unknown, so you do need to do some explaining
Do the customers accept it right away or is it frowned upon?

Smaller companies or individuals soon get over the idea of owning the app once they get the licensing quote for exclusive rights
Ok, so it is common practice to not handover the source? I didn't know that, but as stated before, I usually do web programming (frontend and backend) where the source almost always is the product itself.

So I will say it again, the contract is everything.
Do you also use a contract for small projects?

I did not intend for this to turn into my next book, so please excuse the length
Not at all! It was very informative!
 

sorex

Expert
Licensed User
If it is end user you can go and do your thing in B4A.

If it is a company that needs help from a freelancer to help out on a project for their customer then you can forget it in 99% of the requests since they want others to be able to continue on your work if needed.

actually quite silly since development times are probably (a lot) shorter with B4A so they can have a bigger profit is they stay to the eclipse project times while less hours were needed.
 

HotShoe

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
Do the customers accept it right away or is it frowned upon?
Most don't care one way or the other what it is written in as long as it runs smooth. As Sorex said above, large projets and big companies are going to want to know that the source code will live on even if you are not around. So their immediate concern is to make sure that others can carry on the project.

Ok, so it is common practice to not handover the source? I didn't know that, but as stated before, I usually do web programming (frontend and backend) where the source almost always is the product itself.
That depends on the developer. There is nothing wrong with providing source code as part of your agreement. I know several that do that automatically because they don't want to have to store that project on their systems. The key is in how you allow them to use that code in your contract. If nothing is said about their rights or yours, then they can sell it, post it on the internet, or anything else they want. That might be fine with you as well, but I think it needs to be written. If you don't care what they do with the source, then say that in your contract.

Do you also use a contract for small projects?
I do. If for no other reason than to make it clear that they can do what they want with the software, source, graphics, or whatever. Also to make it clear how long I will do free updates (if any) and that sort of thing. A contract does not have to be very long, it just has to be very clear. Also remember that just because it is written in a contract, that doesn't necessarily make it legal.

--- Jem
 

HotShoe

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
One other thought before it slips my mind again.

If you are supplying the source code, you need to be aware of the licensing terms of each library that you use in the project. Unless it is a custom library that i do for that particular project, I do not include libraries in source packages. I don't know the terms that informatix uses, but if you use his Ultimate List View for example, just because you bought a license to use it, does not mean that you can re-distribute it.

--- Jem
 
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