Perceptive Automation and 3rd Party Developers
With the invention of Indigo server plugins and the creation of the Indigo plugin bundle, several developers have asked about including 3rd party plugins in the Indigo installer and/or if we would be interested in co-promotion of 3rd party plugins. We've also been asked about using Perceptive Automation and Indigo images in 3rd party plugins. This statement will serve as our policy regarding these (and other) questions. Any changes to this statement will be published as change/addendum statements to this thread (for the time being).
3rd Party Plugin Distribution, Support & Sales
Currently, distribution of 3rd party plugins is a bit haphazard — we have the current File Library where developers can submit their plugins. This library is used for scripts, images, plugins, etc., and is a good central place for users to search for various solutions. This has served us well in the past, but with the advent of the more capable plugins, it's become apparent that 3rd party developers are looking for a more formalized solution that would also allow for them to sell their plugins. We encourage you to continue to post your plugins to the File Library while we're implementing the store (assuming your plugin is free).
So, cleaning this up a bit and making the process more formal is something we recognize we need to do. Also, monetizing the 3rd party ecosystem is something that we have considered from the beginning. We know that some developers will provide much more fully-featured plugins if they know they can get paid for their hard work. We definitely want to foster that kind of environment.
To accomplish these goals, we are currently working on a Plugin Store. This store will allow 3rd party developers to distribute and, if desired, sell plugins. Like most other App stores, we'll collect payment from users and do a revenue share with the developer (details TBD). Until the store is implemented, we encourage developers to submit their plugins to the File Library (if they are free) which will notify us that your plugin is considered "pubilshed". See the "Tweet and Newsletter Mentions" section below for details.
We've also created an area in our user forums, 3rd Party Developers, where developers can post announcements and documentation and where they can provide support for their users. When a developer wants to create this presence, send an email to developer-relations AT perceptiveautomation DOT com to request that we create a sub-forum for you (or your company). Provide the name of the forum (your name or company perhaps) and an optional one sentence blurb about you, your company, and/or your plugins. We'll create the forum and give you full access. You can post sticky posts, announcements, polls, etc. here to help support your customers. You can use URLs pointing to various topics in your area in the various URL fields in your plugin. This area will fundamentally replace the User Contribution area for plugin developers - that section can remain for sharing scripts, images, apps, etc. (and the File Library will remain for those types of items). If you already have topics in that forum that you would like to be moved to your new sub-forum, let us know and we'll move them for you.
Your sub-forum is there to use as you wish. However, we have some recommendations: post documentation for each of your plugins as sticky topics so it always floats to the top of the "Topics" list. You can post version announcements as announcements which will show up in an "Announcements" section, above the "Topics" list. So, when a user enters your forum, they'll see Announcements first in reverse chronological order, followed by the Topics section with your sticky posts (again, in reverse chronological order) the followed by normal posts by you and your users. FYI - you also can "lock" topics that you don't want users posting to - first, create and save the topic then edit it and click the "Lock Topic" button. You can unlock it temporarily if you want to post a reply to the topic then lock it back.
If you already have your own website for these purposes feel free to skip this step - it's provided merely as a convenience for those developers who don't already have some kind of web presence.
We've been approached several times already about doing co-promotion of 3rd party plugins. While we will do everything we can to assist developers in the creation and selling of plugins, we don't feel at the moment that we want to enter into any kind of co-promotion or co-marketing agreements. There may be cases in the future where we would consider doing so, but our primary focus right now is on developing Indigo and providing a Plugin Store for customers (and developers). We may, however, highlight 3rd party plugins for inclusion in our Newsletter. See the Tweet and Newsletter Mentions section below.
Use of Perceptive Automation Media
Use of any media from the Perceptive Automation web site or from any Perceptive Automation application (Indigo, Indigo Touch, etc.) without prior consent is unauthorized. Permission to use the Perceptive Automation logo or the Indigo logo will likely not be given. Indigo plugin bundles will automatically retain the Indigo plugin image (when Indigo 5 final ships). Developers are authorized to use screen shots of their configuration dialogs and any associated Indigo screens — as long as the shot highlights usage/display of specifics of the plugin. General screen shots of unrelated Indigo windows in marketing materials should be avoided.
We want our 3rd party developers to develop great plugins that will benefit and grow the Indigo community, and we've worked really hard to provide the APIs necessary. We feel that the new Plugin Store and these guidelines will allow all developers to successfully market their plugins to the Indigo community and create a thriving 3rd party ecosystem around Indigo.
Tweet and Newsletter Mentions
In order to help developers get some visibility with the Perceptive Automation customer base, we are going to start tweeting each new 3rd party plugin that becomes available. In order to avoid any kind of bias, we will only tweet a plugin when it becomes available in "release" quality. Until the Plugin Store is ready, this will be determined by when the plugin becomes available in the File Library OR when the developer announces availability in their forum (see the 3rd Party Plugin Distribution, Support & Sales section above for details on getting a forum). The order of tweeting will then be based on the submission date. We'll tweet a small synopsis along with a link to the forum (or if unavailable the File Library entry). Once the Plugin Store is available, we'll use that as the signal that a plugin is release quality. We will begin effective immediately. If you don't want your plugin mentioned just let us know and we'll skip it.
Following these same rules, we may include 3rd party plugins that have been released in the next Newsletter which we usually send out roughly three times a year. The mention may include expanded descriptions of the plugin but at a minimum will include what was covered in the Tweet. Again, if you don't want your plugin mentioned just let us know.
If you have any questions/comments about these policies please feel free to email us at developer DASH relations AT perceptiveautomation DOT com.