ninkik – Easier publishing of your digital products.
The year 2020 is not exactly that year you want to start something completely new. Nevertheless, here we are: In a blog post, writing about our developement of a new product.
In our roles as software engineers, architects and consultants in the last 15+ years we have supported a lot of software vendors to get their products shipped to their customers and marketplaces. Over the years our portion of this work transformed from writing business logic into customizing CI/CD pipelines, setting up E-Commerce shops and dealing with the integration of payment gateways.
Most of these requirements can be solved by using fitting tools, e.g. Jenkins or Concourse for Cointinuous Integration, Spinnaker for Continuous Delivery of your SaaS, WooCommerce for E-Commerce, Stripe as payment gateway and so on. If you are developing a SaaS application, it is easy to get large parts of your business automated or use one of these building blocks.
Dealing with on-premises software
But there is still a large portion of software which has to run on your customer’s infrastructure (on-premises). Compliance, white-labeling and required access to local resources are common reasons for this.
As soon as you have to distribute your software or your SaaS application to a local infrastructure you do not own, there will be questions:
- How do I distribute my application? A Docker image would be nice.
- How do I deal with updates of my application?
- How do I connect the subscriptions with the downloadable application?
- How do my enterprise customers get notified for new releases?
- How do I deprecate older releases?
Putting this questions all together, results in: How can I eaesily and reliable distribute my software?
Needless to say that every indie hacker, software vendor and – to a certain degree – content creator, is also dealing with these questions.
Platforms like ThemeForest or Gumroad and software like WooCommerce with its various WordPress plug-ins provide a few answers.
In the last years we developed internal tools, plug-ins and processes. They made our and our customer’s life better, by integrating these platforms into the internal processes. But all of them has been highly individually.
Those questions and experiences we have made led us to the idea of ninkik. It is our solution how you can connect your CI/CD pipeline to your storefront and customers.
Our mission with ninkik
Easily publish your digitial products – this is ninkik’s mission. We want to give developers the opportunity to use our APIs to automate their business:
- Faster and easier releases
- Simple integration into existing marketplaces to lower the barier for selling digital products.
- Secure access to updates on configurable subscription models
- Distributing on-premises software with modern tools like Docker images
- Traceability of the evolution of your products and their features
- Clean-up of old releases of your product
You will pick the marketplace of your choice to sell your software, connect ninkik to it and let your pipeline deliver the files to ninkik. Distributing the artifacts to your subscribers, granting access to new releases, managing different release trains or release channels is handled by our platform.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is ninkik an SaaS or on-premises software?
It will be both. Enterprise customers will get access to the ninkik binaries through ninkik itself. Smaller teams or indie hackers can go with an SaaS-based solution.
Which marketplaces can I use?
The first release will have support for Gumroad and WooCommerce. We have plans to integrate Shopify. In the end you can use each E-commerce shop or subscription management which is able to send webhooks to our platform.
What CI/CD tools can I use?
At the moment we already provide GitHub Actions out of the box. But you can use our API to fully customize your release process.
What you can expect for the next months
As you might already guessed it, ninkik fixes our own pain point. We want to automate the release of our own software products. The previously mentioned custom tools will be replaced in the near future by ninkik. Eating our own dog-food has been always a good way for us to eliminate bugs and identify problems in the processes.
We hope that we can give access to a handful testers at the end of 2020. This depends upon our available time. ninkik is fully bootstrapped and work is done besides having a full time job.
You can expect the following for this blog:
- Blog posts will be published irregularily. We do not have the capacity to write a new post every week.
- We will write about making decisions. This includes decisions about using technology X or Y but also how we want to approach the business side of this project.
If you are interested in talking to us, drop us a line at email@example.com or subscribe to our newsletter.