After a year programming a web based business management system, I got my idea divided into two differents ways to do what I'm doing... I will try to explain in follow lines:

First I will describe my enviroment:

  • Webserver: apache, ngynx
  • Programming Language: PHP, Shell Script, Java Script, SQL
  • Database: Mysql
  • Operating System: Linux, UNIX (All Distros) (If manually configured works on windows)
  • Authentication Server: FreeRadius

First situation

I have my application running on this enviroment that I had just described before, as my application is a SaaS app, then I have my own server to run it all and customers pay to use it as a service accessed by webbrowser.

Second Situation

The same as before but with one big difference, everything (environment) is installed in the customer, then I need to cryptography all my codes (It includes PHP and Shell Scripts). I think this situation is most difficulty, but I would like to hear it from different points of view.

4 Answers 4


Use SaaS:

  • You will update your product ASAP, users will always have last version
  • You will decide, which version of PHP and MySQL (etc) you will use
  • It's much more easy to users to pay per month / per day, than for whole product
  • "Cloud technologies" it's a future of IT world :)
  • It is my first idea, but I do not understand why some guys insist in thinks like old school.. thanks anyway, here I'm collectiong a lot of point of views, it is very important to me on this stage. Thank You very much for your reply. Commented Sep 13, 2011 at 15:06

Considered simply shipping a virtual machine image with your favorite Linux and your application to the customer?

Then you can have it exactly as you want, and then let the Linux update mechanism handle your application too.

  • well, but if some expert guy open that image and extract my application from the apache dir? Then the secret is not a secret anymore. :( Only the web app is not an open source app it is the controller (my business logic) I can not show. Is it possible to use Ion Cube by the way.. is this a good idea? Thanks @Thorbjorn Ravn Andersen Commented Sep 13, 2011 at 15:04
  • Use a compiled language.
    – user1249
    Commented Sep 13, 2011 at 15:23
  • Make sense if I really need to put it on client, but is too much code, I think to re-code the system now is not a good idea, specially because will take a lot of time. Anyway thnaks for your reply again. Commented Sep 13, 2011 at 15:52
  • 1
    While not a bad idea, it also depends on the target audience. If the business management system is targeted towards small/medium sized businesses, this option wouldn't make much sense as there may not be somebody on their staff that would be able to make this run and would result in many customer service tickets being opened.
    – Jetti
    Commented Sep 13, 2011 at 18:35
  • 1
    @Jetti, does not take expert knowledge to run vmware player or server on a Windows box.
    – user1249
    Commented Sep 13, 2011 at 19:30

You can also provide the system on an appliance box, the way barracuda does. (see http://www.barracudanetworks.com/ns/products/spam_overview.php)

  • Nice. But to much complex for a kind of system I have. Anyway Thanks @Christopher Mahan Commented Sep 13, 2011 at 18:32

Another option is to provide an API on your own server, then have a web server on a local server, and that server serves the web requests for thwe clients. The API could contain all your proprietary bits, and the web server could just be presentation layer.

  • I really like the idea. Are there a good start point about API/SaaS ? Commented Sep 13, 2011 at 18:28
  • Mmm, the api thing is a whole subject onto itself. Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 15:47
  • Yeah. You right. I'm dealing with Mikrotik API, it is a router and use linux embedded as well another programs like webserver, but everything is embedded, I have access only to Mikrotik API. No root access to the linux. Perheps I can control the access to my system with permissions like LINUX/UNIX do and build up my own API this way. Is that a good idea to follow? Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 19:30

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