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How do I structure the "Selling" of an Access Database I have Developed?

Posted on 2004-04-29
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Last Modified: 2012-05-04
I am a financial consultant and make my living "by the hour" providing consulting services.  I have developed an Access Database using Access 2000 which enables a Company to automate the process of documenting their internal control structures.  I have been approached by an acounting firm (the "buyer") that wants to use the Database in their firm of about 200 people.  About 40 people would actually have the application on their Laptops.

The buyer has offered:

1. To use their IT staff to migrate the Access Database toSQL and enable Web Access using ActiveX (or WebX) controls.  MS Access would continue to be the front end.  I was going to outsource this development using my own money and found it would cost around $15,000 - $20,000.
2. They would NOT own the software - I would always own it, and the intellectual property, and be able to use the newly improved version for my own consulting engagements on other clients.
3. They would pay me a retainer of sorts to provide training to their people and to modify the software as needed.  The "contract" would be for a year and basically say that they will pay me my hourly rate at say a minimum of 8 hours/week.  
4.  If a "major' tweak needed to occur, I'd price it out acordingly based on the time estimate.

My question is this - Am i getting screwed, or is this typical in such an arrangement?
Can anyone direct me to any websites that gets in to agreements of this nature?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks folks!!
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Question by:gastondef
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Plamodo earned 125 total points
ID: 10951163
Listening..
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by:nico5038
nico5038 earned 125 total points
ID: 10951549
Hmm, is indeed a complicated matter and I guess few will be able to give a sound advice.

About the pricing of a database I've once posted a question here at EE that has some information from (most former) experts that create MS Access databases (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Databases/MS_Access/Q_10447918.html)

For the legal matter as ownership and e.g. a guaranteed number of hours instruction/consultancy I guess the advise of a sollicitor will be wise. Perhaps the creation of a separate company to carry all the risk could be beneficial.

I would also check the "small print" of some software products (like those of MS Office) for the statements they make.

Nic;o)
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by:TOPIO
TOPIO earned 125 total points
ID: 10954855
Since you're going to let them have access to your Source Code (i.e. the database) you will need at least the following in you contract with them.
1.- Non - Disclosure Agreement. This  is the document where they basically refrain from ditributing your intellectual property.
2.- Development Contract. Where it specifies in Detail the work that they will do , the ownership of any and all modifications, alterations etc. etc.
3.- costing. A goo rule of thumb to determine pricing is what a consulting engagement to develop this for the customer would entail and price accordingly.

And if you've invested plenty of time in this listen to nico and get professional help.
A good starting point for you would be
http://biz.findlaw.com/book/lg_contracts/articles/20.e..html
Is a basic review of what a bussiness to bussiness contract should include.
Hope this helps

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by:Karen Falandays
Karen Falandays earned 125 total points
ID: 10958641
Hi gastondef,
As Nico and TOPIO pointed out, there are many ways to look at this. If the company either paid for your development time or is going to pay a decent fee for the product, sounds like you are getting a good deal. With Access database design, I will usually bid a base project, based on a minimum number of tables, forms and reports that I will design. If client wants more than that, it is $100 US per hour.

For those rates, client can have the database to do with what they want, but I own the design. This is a real selling point for many companies, as they can modify the database years down the road, even if they can't find the developer. Good luck and hope you make lots of money on this one!
Karen
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