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AddOn range not protected anymore?

ajhvdbajhvdb Member Posts: 672
We have an AddOn which is protected by an object range received from Microsoft and always thought this way our code is protected.

One of our customers has been using our AddOn for 5 years now and it's working still excellent. After a management change, the new ceo, who admits to be a n00b at IT, but thought our hourly tarif is to high and wanted to use a local partner.

We allowed this of course but they can't change our AddOn so we still give support. In short; the new partner and a consultant are making us look bad but we still are giving support on our addon. Last year the customer wanted new functionallity and instead of doing business with us, they started to make us look bad and even complained to Microsoft. An internal Microsoft consultant looked at the NAV implementation and couldn't find anything wrong with it. So we got the order and started coding the new functionallity.

In direct talks to Microsoft NL we asked if our AddOn/code is still protected. The NL ceo of Microsoft confirmed this.

Two weeks ago I was informed (not by Microsoft) that this customer still wants our code and are requesting a new meeting with Microsoft. Now a second partner is helping them too (money can buy anything I guess) which makes me scared of course because why doesn't Microsoft inform us about this.

I was hoping on some help or hints how to get out of this situation without giving away our AddOn and of course some confirmation about the protection of an AddOn.

Please take it from me. Our AddOn is working great and it's just a bad situation which we didn't want but must respond too.

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    David_SingletonDavid_Singleton Member Posts: 5,479
    Well I actually would take the customers side on this.

    In my opinion, a customer has the right to change partners and have someone else service their system. Navision has always been built on an open platform and customers buy into this and then get quite surprised when they want to change partners and suddenly find that their partner has a hook into them and they really have no options.

    Of course I also see your side of the argument of protecting your intellectual property, but Navision just works different to the rest of the world, by the simple nature of the fact that "your" code is interwoven with code owned and developed by Microsoft and licensed to the customer.
    David Singleton
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    ajhvdbajhvdb Member Posts: 672
    I have seen your remarks about this and do not have any problems with that.

    The Navision code is open for the customer and other partners. The AddOn extends it and needs to be protected because of the time and knowledge we spend on it. The customer was notified about this from the start and didn't have any problems about it. The new ceo does.

    Please let's keep the discussion on the topic of; can Microsoft unprotect your code?
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    David_SingletonDavid_Singleton Member Posts: 5,479
    ajhvdb wrote:
    can Microsoft unprotect your code?
    Yes.
    David Singleton
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    ajhvdbajhvdb Member Posts: 672
    Please do not hijack this topic to make a statement. Let's stay on topic. Of course they can do it because they created the license to protect it.

    Also if we go out of business the AddOn is automatically unprotected for other partners.

    It was confirmed to me by Microsoft that they will not do this for customers or other partners without the consent of the partner who created it.
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    Luc_VanDyckLuc_VanDyck Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 3,633
    ajhvdb wrote:
    It was confirmed to me by Microsoft that they will not do this for customers or other partners without the consent of the partner who created it.
    I would presume Microsoft will ask permission of the ISV first before opening an add-on objectrange ... unless they are out of business off course. But I don't know for sure.
    No support using PM or e-mail - Please use this forum. BC TechDays 2024: 13 & 14 June 2024, Antwerp (Belgium)
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    Alex_ChowAlex_Chow Member Posts: 5,063
    Microsoft owns your code. They can do whatever they want with their property. The add-on you developed is their property.

    There's really nothing you can do about it if you're doing business with Microsoft.
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    kinekine Member Posts: 12,562
    In most cases the problems is somewhere else: if customer buys application designer or solution developer granule, they can design ANY addon they have in their license. And this license could be used by the second partner to do what they order... it means, the addon is still "protected" from Microsoft point of view, but customer could change it. Of couse, it all depend on your agreemend with the customer, what they can and what is forbidden, but this is just "paper" which will not protect anything in any technical way. Even in official Microsoft documents you can read, that partners, which want to protect their IP should create dll with the core functionality and use it from within NAV code. Than this dll you can protect in standard ways...
    Kamil Sacek
    MVP - Dynamics NAV
    My BLOG
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    ajhvdbajhvdb Member Posts: 672
    Well while phoning around to NL and BE partners got some more info. Microsoft NL did as has to be expected and asked the partner if they would allow a customer read rights to the objects. The partner denied this but they didn't get any info whom the customer was.

    Our lawyer checked al the documents too and officially they can release it but it will have consequenses for Microsoft too. Im a little bit relieved but will keep you informed.
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    Gaurav_RoyGaurav_Roy Member, Microsoft Employee Posts: 6
    The rules about Add-ons are described on the "Microsoft Dynamics NAV Add-on Registration" page on PartnerSource https://mbs.microsoft.com/partnersource ... ext=add-on

    Here you will find information about how to manage access to objects including how to give another partner access.
    Make sure you read the guide "VOICE add-on Self Service Partner Guide 1.1"
    https://mbs.microsoft.com/partnersource ... nVoice.htm
    Gaurav Roy [MSFT]
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    mdPartnerNLmdPartnerNL Member Posts: 802
    Its a slow site but I guess it's running under apache :wink: , more and more can be done without calling Microsoft first. Thats nice :)

    I can confirm microsoft did NOT open up our object range.
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