Square is taking its mobile payments circus to the online world, launching a e-commerce marketplace that integrates with its other merchant tools.
I had the opportunity to attend the July 10th meeting of Seattle Xcoders (a local group where Mac OS X Cocoa programmers can connect) that featured Wil Shipley giving a talk on his latest initiative – Golden % Braeburn.
Golden % Braeburn is a company that has been setup to license the storefront used to sell Wil’s most excellent Delicious Library. He tried to find a usable storefront to license since there are many pitfalls to creating your own. Security concerns, state & federal tax nuances, international fees & taxes considerations, interfacing with banks and credit clearinghouses and management of product keys are just a few of the nightmares awaiting those DIY’ers. Mac developers could just use sites like Kagi, but you are then limited by what they provide and must fit into their box. Not being satisfied with any of those options, Wil rolled his own.
With Golden % Braeburn, Wil licenses the full source code to you to do with as you please (except for the removal of the code which calculates his “piece of the action”). If you make changes, Wil will evaluates the efficacy of the feature(s) and can choose to incorporate them into the main codebase to share with other Golden % Braeburn users.
Here’s everything you get:
- a 100% Cocoa app & app components
- store front-end
- store back-end (credit card processor / transaction keeper)
- remote client (to manage licenses and the store)
- expo store (allows on-floor credit swipe & receipt/license print)
- QuickBooks integration
- on-the fly localization (Wil talked about this library he wrote and it is pretty neat stuff …if you’re a developer)
- AppleScript integration
Users experience the store within your application as a sheet. The interface is completely customizable and has some advantages over web apps, like population of fields from the Address Book and a much more secure feel when the user clicks “buy”. Everything is automatic – you do not need to sit and respond to license e-mails or hand-generate keys. It is all handled between the front-end and back-end seamlessly.
A Mac Mini has enough horsepower to run the back-end, but you will need a static IP address and a bit of bandwidth. Will highly recommends a RAID configuration for your disks (hey, it is customer data)
There is no sign-up fee. There is no annual fee. There are no monthly fees. There are no fixed per-transaction fees. The only fee is 5% of the transactions that are fulfilled via the storefront. You are still free to sell your wares on any other site. There are other non-GB fees that are required, but you can read more about Golden % Braeburn on their site. The best part about it (in my opine) is that even if Will decides to disband Golden % Braeburn, you still have the source and can continue to use it (without the cut!). Think about what would happen if Kagi went out of business and it was your only means to sell your app.
The talk was highly interactive and it was great to see so many developers interested in this offering. They had double the usual attendance and folks were not afraid to ask questions and challenge assumptions.
When you are in the Seattle area, I highly recommend popping in on the Xcoders meetings. You can find out more about the group and subscribe to their various calendar and content feeds right on the main page.
If you have questions or experiences with about Golden % Braeburn, drop a note in the comments. I can consolidate them and shoot them Wil’s way for response (or encourage him to respond directly in the comments if he has time). Feel free to drop a note with your experiences with his storefront (if you are a Delicious Monster aficionado) or OS X software storefronts in general (the good, bad and ugly).