The Nimbis Technical Computing Marketplace is a marketplace that brings together buyers and sellers of technical computing products in the cloud. The products that we sell represent a bundling of a compute platform (from one of our compute partners) with a software application (from one of our software partners) forming a scalable web accessible software-as-a-service product. Products and pricing are listed in our online catalog where buyers can configure a product for a price quote, add products to their shopping cart, and take the cart through checkout. We support both prepay and postpay payment options against a credit card, PayPal account, or purchase order. Products are “delivered” into the buyer’s dashboard where they can start, stop, modify, or terminate the services. Some products are delivered automatically after checkout and some require manual setup and configuration by Nimbis before they are delivered.
By default, signing up for a Nimbis account gives a user “buyer role” permissions to shop, buy, and use the products listed in our catalog. If you would like to add your own product(s) to the catalog, you must register in our Seller Partner Program. Registration in this program will give you “seller role” permissions. There is no cost or commitment to register and the tools that we provide to you to build, insert, and deploy your product are free of charge.
Following is a top-level diagram illustrating the Nimbis Technical Computing Marketplace. The concept is similar to an “App Store” for smartphones. The majority of users buy and use the apps offered in the store. Other users build and insert their apps into the store, offering them for sale. Some do both.
Because of their differing roles, permissions, use cases, and workflows, buyers and sellers have different views into the system and different controls over what they can and cannot do within the App Store and with the compute platform. For example, the seller’s account on the App Store allows the seller to create products, assign pricing, and add their products to the store’s catalog. In contrast, the buyer’s account on the App Store will not allow them to perform those functions, however, they can view the catalog, add products to their shopping cart, take the cart to checkout, and pay for the products.
Likewise the seller and the buyer have different views and controls over the compute platform. As illustrated above, they both have a dashboard view into the platform. In the case of the seller, their dashboard functions support their need to select and configure the cycles, software, and storage requirements for their specific application domain portal(s). In the case of the buyer, their dashboard functions support their need to set modeling parameters, upload and download files, and launch simulation job runs. Where the seller has a direct remote desktop view into the compute provider for their portal app development and configuration, the buyer has a view only of the running portal application. The entire complexity of the platform resources (cycles, software, and storage) that provide the portal application view to the buyer has been configured and tested first by the seller.
Following is a diagram that illustrates the workflow for a seller. There are four primary steps: Signup, Build, Insert, and Deploy.
Step 1: Signup
Step 1.1: Discover the program on our website. The signup process is initiated through the discovery of our Seller Partner Program on our website. If you are a visitor or a registered buyer, you will discover this program through various points. It’s advertised in the home page slider which highlights our offerings and it’s listed in the “Partners” area on the main menu.
Step 1.2: Signup for a Nimbis account. Before you can register in the program and become a seller, you must signup for a Nimbis account. Click on the “Sign up” button on the visitor home page and complete and submit the signup form. A verification email will be sent to the email address that you provided. Follow the instructions in the email to verify your email address.
Step 1.3: Login to your account. After successfully verifying your email address, login on the site.
Step 1.4: Register in the program. You will now be able to access and submit the registration form located under the “Register” area on the main menu. Nimbis will review the registration and contact you with further instructions.
Step 2: Build
Step 2.1: Add a new product to your dashboard. Under “My Account” click on “Dashboard”. This brings up your main dashboard containing a list of products you’re selling and products you’ve purchased. In the selling list, use the add function to add a new product. For each product that you add, there will be a separate “product admin dashboard” for building and managing that product. The admin dashboard will be used to carry out the following steps.
Step 2.2: Authenticate with your chosen platform.
Step 2.3: Open a remote desktop to the platform.
Step 2.4: Transfer your app files to the platform.
Step 2.5: Config and test your app on the platform.
Step 2.6: Create the buyer’s product dashboard.
Step 3: Insert
Step 3.1: Create your product’s catalog listing. Use the product admin dashboard.
Step 3.2: Create the registration form (if applicable). Use the product admin dashboard.
Step 3.3: Specify the checkout process. Use the product admin dashboard.
Step 3.4: Test your product.
Step 4: Deploy
Step 4.1: Publish your work.
Step 4.2: Test your published work.
Step 4.3: Monitor your sales. Use the product admin dashboard.
Step 4.4: Get paid.