08-30-2013 12:47 PM
Is there a place, preferably one hosted by SAS, where a programmer can sell their macros/programs? Something similar to an iTunes, but for SAS. My thinking is that someone would be able to license out their macros to organizations and people based on the setinit file with the hosting environment taking a 30% cut of the fees. Once a new setinit file is uploaded, the licensee would need to re-license the programs. If one does not exist, is this something that would be of interest to programmers?
08-30-2013 04:29 PM
Most people tend to give them away...see lexjansen.com and all the papers.
As an employee this makes sense, because I've been paid to develop it already, as a consultant less so, but I'd be selling my time as a consultant. To "sell" the code, SAS/Employer could argue that you're using the software against license and then you'd have to have your own license. As a license ranges from $3k - $10k a year it seems to be an infeasible model to me. But so does Twitter .
GitHub and other places are also designed to share code freely, there hasn't been a business model in any language I've seen of selling scripts/programs. It could be an untapped market or a sinkhole.
There's also the issue of how do you prevent illegal sharing beyond licensed use and that would be impossible to enforce.
08-30-2013 04:47 PM
Great response. If I started this company or if SAS had a version of it available, here are my responses.
The code would have to be developed by you the owner. Obviously your company isn't going to release the IP it paid you to develop, but many companies will split profit making on products developed.
Many places sell their code, but you have to go through their website. There is no central location for finding or depositing code like you might see with CRAN or iTunes. the other side of it could be a consultant resource. Consultant A has code that calculates HEDIS scores (I am in healthcare so examples will come from this). You can buy and run the code, but you might want to hire the consultant for interpreting the results.
As a consultant selling code, you would have an asset that can be sold many times to many people. It would generate profit for you with minimal upkeep or development (if you make the code flexible enough). Even if you are not consulting, your code could be earning you money.
My biggest area of expertise is in macros. The code could be copied and shared as much as you want, but unless running proc setinit on the machine matches provide the setinit stored in the macro, the macro will not work. I do this a lot for macro variables. If the macro variables are incorrectly specified, then documentation is surfaced in the log window. The macros will obviously be compiled with nosource as the option chosen. This would also force a company to perpetually license your code rather than a one time buy. I am sure their are ways someone could get around this security feature, but hopefully I would have figured out a stronger way to secure the program.
Finally, this kind of company would be similar to a social networking site. You are selling your code and consulting services. You would have a profile and availability. You are your own owner. Smith Hanley or any of the other SAS consulting services do not own you or your work. This companies cut would be for providing the service and keeping head hunters away. Companies could view your profile and seek out your services.