Subject Re: Advice sought on protecting code/design
Author Myles Wakeham
Bala wrote:
> Started working on PHP recently. We added a web module successfully
> to a Delphi application with Firebird. We also used CodeIgniter
> framework for this.
> Now we are planning to develop a new browser based product. Here we
> want some advice. We are not comfortable in coding fully with PHP as
> the code is totally exposed. Ours is going to be an intranet
> application and we would be supplying the code to the customer.
> We want to know what best strategy can be followed in such
> situations so that the design is not copied easily. We understand
> DLLs can be called from PHP.

If I were in your shoes, I'd really consider whether the technologies
you are choosing are the best fit for this. I'm thinking, given your
requirements, that a CGI type solution where you provide compiled code
for this, would be a better fit.

Using an open source collection of solutions exposes you to lots of
technologies that may not be licensed under the same licensing model as
Firebird. You will need to be sure that you don't, by accident, involve
a technology in such a way that forces you to open source your own code
legally as well as technically. PHP, CI and others involve the use of
lots of other 3rd party open source technologies and each comes with
their own licensing model, so you will want to be absolutely sure that
you don't accidentally defeat yourself with this approach.

Using DLLs immediately assumes you can only deploy this on Windows. I'm
just wondering why you didn't choose to develop this as a CGI rather
than PHP considering that you are constraining the solution only to
Windows and that you don't want to give out the source code here. A CGI
solution for this might be a far better fit than a PHP open source approach.

Alternatively you could offer a 'cloud computing' solution for this that
you host, rather than a solution that your clients have to host. This
will definitely protect you from exposing the source code of the PHP
applications if you need it. I know that is very different to what you
are probably used to, but these days its a very popular alternative.

Myles Wakeham
Director of Engineering
Tech Solutions USA, Inc.
Scottsdale, Arizona USA
Phone +1-480-451-7440