Zero install

New zero-install for ArchivistaBox Community & Mini

Pfaffhausen, 3 December 2012: Theoretically, this new feature was planned for the 2012, but because we needed more time for this presentation, we haven’t been able to present zero-install for ArchivistaBox Community & Mini until today. In this blog post, the back story will be longer than the main part. Nevertheless, the result — zero-install for all Community users — is progress, as booting the ArchivistaBox is now completely automated. The IP data required is acquired directly when creating the ISO file; no manual interaction whatsoever is then required when booting the system.

ArchivistaBox Community: The back story

To date, ArchivistaBox Community users could only download a password-protected zip file. The password was published on our download page together with the licensing agreement. In extracting the zip files, the licensing agreement was simultaneously confirmed, as no one could seriously claim to have read the password without having looked at the licensing agreement. Of course it is difficult to ensure that ALL Community users have read and understood the licensing agreement before installing ArchivistaBox. However, this would not be the case to the same extent if a longer licensing text had to be confirmed with a check box. Even with signed contracts, it often turns out that the contractual partners have not read or understood the text.

It is interesting to note that in the case of the ArchivistaBox Community, as a rule there have been no problems with understanding the agreement. However, in the last two years there have been several cases where former distribution partners have had major problems when reading the licensing agreements for the Community versions. The process was always more or less the same. First, the distribution contract was signed, the training was completed on our premises (at greatly discounted rates), and then there was no more communication. The ultimate aim seems to have been to wait for the first distribution contract period to expire.

Just before or after expiry of the distribution contract, the former distribution partners sold commercially copied ArchivistaBox systems, but without using the original ArchivistaBox systems and without obtaining these from us. It goes without saying that our handbooks, all text (strings), the logos, our documents — in short, all our work — was literally stolen from us. Just to be clear: the ArchivistaDMS, ArchivistaERP and ArchivistaVM modules are open-source, the published code (see script in German for 2012) can be used for a project fork, but for trademark and copyright reasons, it is not at all OK to copy ArchivistaBox Community CDs or the software for any purchased ArchivistaBox systems (incl. handbooks) or our homepage in any form. While this should of course be clear, we have nevertheless had to contact our lawyer about this matter repeatedly during the last two years.

New private-use rule for ArchivistaBox Community as of 2012

On the occasion of 2012, we therefore decided to refine our licensing agreement, now explicitly prohibiting commercial use of the Community versions. But even before this, ArchivistaBox Community was never suitable for commercial use; not only because support was not available, but also because those modules that make sense in day to day business (e.g. barcode scanning), could not be put to use. It has always been clearly stated that these modules (released in 2007) are not activated in the Community version (e.g. Barcodes: NO).

However, some particularly clever people thought they could get around these limitations by doing a short stint as a distribution partner. It is doubtful whether this plan was fruitful for those involved, but we now require so many resources that this is no longer feasible. After the changes to the licensing regulations for private-use (see script of our presentation on 2012), we found that suddenly downloads were taking place on customer websites of former distribution partners. Here, too, we had to deploy a lawyer, who contacted the customer of our former distribution partner directly, asking them to license the software. The reply came within just a few hours:

Dear lawyer,

From your letter I gather that you are under the impression that we are using archiving software.

We did indeed discuss introducing such an application in the year 2011. However, for resource reasons we then decided not to acquire (or download) any software that meets these needs.

I can therefore confirm that company X did not at any point functionally install, introduce and/or use this software, neither for commercial nor for any private purposes.

Please inform your client about this.

As we know representatives from both company Y and Z, we ask you to refrain from such conjecture about our business practices and possible use of licensing. A private phone call would have served to clear up this obvious misunderstanding without the need for unnecessary legal action.

Company X is an honest, ISO-certified business, which fulfills its assigned duties at all times based on partnership. Of course you are more than welcome to find out more about our business procedures at any time.

If you would like to contact us in person, please find our details below. If you or your client would like to make a formal apology, please address it to my personal address.

X refers to the company where the download took place. Y is a current distribution partner and Z is a former distribution partner. The reply irritated us, for one because it is not explicitly denied that ArchivistaBox Community was obtained although this is implied, and secondly because such a reply is utterly naive; the corresponding downloads are clearly documented by log entries on the pages of the internet provider.

Even if the download was carried out not by X but by a third party, this does not mean X is off the hook. Anyone who runs an internet domain is, under certain conditions, liable for downloads in that domain even if it was hacked, but without a doubt if a known third party (e.g. an employee or delivery staff) carried out the download. In this specific case it must be added that the CFO of company X (which in fact declares a turnover of 145 million) who wrote the reply, also holds the office of President of the Administrative Board of the former distribution partner Z. As stated
above, this is all seems rather naive to us, to put it mildly.

Registration in the shop for Community users

For this reason, we have decided to rerail our downloads. In order to obtain ArchivistaBox Community, registration with is now necessary. The required ISO file can then be obtained free of charge. At the end of the process, an email containing a link will be sent, under which the ISO file will be available for a few hours. Should we also identify any misuse with this process as well, we would be forced to cancel downloads of the Community CDs entirely.

Finally: Zero-install for all (private use)

With the introduction of Community user registration, we have introduced another new feature: zero-install. This means that you enter your IP data in the shop (incl. Mac address) directly when making your free download. You then receive a CD which does not have be installed. Just insert CD (or USB stick), load ArchivistaBox and you are ready to begin using ArchivistaBox. Software couldn’t be any simpler, and that is why this section will be short and sweet.

Finally II: Zero-install for customers and companies

As of now, zero-install is also available for all customers. Furthermore, commercial ArchivistaBoxes can also be tested by commercial interested parties. Companies can test a virtualised entity (or the WebClient) without limitation for a few days or weeks on our server; in addition, you are welcome to contact our official distribution partners or us directly. We would also like to remind you here that an online demo with approx. 5 million pages is available. Here, too, the motto applies: DMS couldn’t be any simpler.

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