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  1. #1

    Online Remote Script Installer

    Hi, this is Matt Heaton. I am the CEO of Bluehost.com and Hostmonster.com. We are a Cpanel host but are interested in doing windows hosting but there doesn't seem to be any windows control panels that offers a product like Fantastico that installs scripts for customers. Some control panels have the option to install 5-10 scripts, but we want to be able to install at least 30-40 different popular scripts for our users.

    I am writing to see what you thought of an online site that would install scripts for customers remotely. Basically a host would provide information (FTP Info, path info etc) to a online script installer site and then the user would choose the script he/she wanted and then the site would remotely create the databases (MySQL through port 3306) and FTP the script up.

    By using this method you could have a single service that linux and windows hosts could use that could save customers a TON of time installing scripts etc.

    What is the interest level by customers or webhosts alike for a service like this?

    I know we would want it, but it doesn't exist (At least I don't know of one). We are considering creating this service if there is enough interest.
    Last edited by tickedon; 09-11-2006 at 02:55 PM.

  2. #2
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    Hi Matt,

    Ofcourse there's enough interested as you can see how successful fantastico is. It's always good to offer something extra and if you guys have the funding why not hire a team to code a little something for your windows hosting packages to work for you guys and your backend system. I'm sure it wouldnt be too hard to make it happen if you find the right people to work with on this one.

    Hopefully you can get this worked out and showcase with us what you come up with.

    Cheers
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  3. #3
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    Sep 2005
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    If anything, I would only have it support windows. There are already a few scripts kind of like this for *nix.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mheaton
    I am writing to see what you thought of an online site that would install scripts for customers remotely. Basically a host would provide information (FTP Info, path info etc) to a online script installer site and then the user would choose the script he/she wanted and then the site would remotely create the databases (MySQL through port 3306) and FTP the script up.
    I personally don't see the potential for this.

    1) Where is the automation? I would need to create the database manually (unless you are expecting hosts to give you root access to mysql?), then I would need to provide all the details to you, I'd be quicker putting the details directly into the script and installing it from there. These types of setups are supposed to remove the manual work by taking the details already in your system, not generate more work for the host.

    2) Things like databases would need to be created and you provided with the details. Now, because the scripts would reference those databases details, (meaning temporary passwords could not be used) what you are looking at here would be a security nightmare. Do I really want another hosting company having access to database/ftp details for my customers?

  5. #5
    Of course it would require access to the system. That is the whole point?!? That is what Fantastico does and everyone uses it. It would require access to MySQL over port 3306 and full FTP access. If I had it though I could write an online version of Fantastico that wouldn't require installing it on every server everytime and would work for both linux and windows. Windows is SORELY in need of a product like this.
    Last edited by tickedon; 09-11-2006 at 02:56 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mheaton
    Of course it would require access to the system. That is the whole point?!? That is what Fantastico does and everyone uses it.
    There is a massive difference between a local install of something that you enter details into and a remote installer that you provide your system information for. With one I rely on the security of our machines, with the other I rely on the security of your machines.

    Quote Originally Posted by mheaton
    It would require access to MySQL over port 3306 and full FTP access.
    Full FTP access to what? What MYSQL privileges?

  7. #7
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    I Guess this would work for your own servers. However no host (At least not me) would be giving you (or anybody else for that matter) full MySQL access. And that is kind of needed to automate the process

    And its like YetiHost says: Fantastico runs locally on the server itself. Not @ the creators of the fantastico tool

  8. #8

    Hmmm....

    Our customers all have their own user and all their scripts run as their own user. This is a little slower, but security is infinitely better this way. It also makes it better for outside programs like this online script installer to work. You wouldn't need root access for anything on the machines to make this work, and I wouldn't require any of the users to provide FTP info or MySQL info. I would require any webhost that wanted to use the product to provide the info direclty to our servers so that it was seemless for the user. We don't want to create any support issues at all with the product.
    The last thing a new user of a web hosting company needs is a prompt asking them for their database username and password and FTP info. Most users wouldn't even know what any of that is. It has to be 1 click install easy, or the product would be a failure.

    Frankly, I think if this product was created that windows and linux hosting companies alike couldn't afford to NOT use the product. Once a few of your competitors had the product if would be difficult to compete without the same or similar offering.

    This is all really just pie in the sky right now. I just don't want the windows hosting to be so far behind the linux hosting, but in my opinion that is exactly what it is - WAY behind.
    Last edited by tickedon; 09-11-2006 at 02:57 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mheaton
    It also makes it better for outside programs like this online script installer to work. You wouldn't need root access for anything on the machines to make this work, and I wouldn't require any of the users to provide FTP info or MySQL info. I would require any webhost that wanted to use the product to provide the info direclty to our servers so that it was seemless for the user.
    So you are basically saying that we create a database, FTP account etc and then give the details to you?

    1) You are asking hosts to remove the automation this type of software provides.

    2) For any company that has even a few users, those databases/ftp accounts would need to be created in the control panel, meaning the user could change passwords or even delete the accounts. If they are created out of the control panel, it would be a nightmare to support and also leave a lot of ftp/dbs active if the user closed their account.

    3) How does your system update to reflect a reseller's customer being added to the system? Or would the reseller need to subscribe to this and therefor remove the benefits you are implying about drawing in customers to businesses that use this.

    Quote Originally Posted by mheaton
    Frankly, I think if this product was created that windows and linux hosting companies alike couldn't afford to NOT use the product. Once a few of your competitors had the product if would be difficult to compete without the same or similar offering.
    Maybe for your customer base, but there are a lot of customers who have no need for this type of product. Why would your product be better than a local install of let's say Fantastico that the host did not need to manually create things in and it did the same job?

    Quote Originally Posted by mheaton
    I just don't want the windows hosting to be so far behind the linux hosting, but in my opinion that is exactly what it is - WAY behind.
    Again, maybe your Windows hosting is, but some of us don't rely on script installers to gain business. Sure a script installer may be a benefit for some, but there are other users that know the security implication of having 40 scripts available for anyone to install with no technical knowledge (other users not updating scripts they install, then the server is exploited) and implying that Windows hosting is way behind because this specific feature does not exist, in my opinion is totally ignorant.

    Linux doesn't offer MSSQL, true ASP.NET or ASP, does that make it way behind as well?
    Last edited by tickedon; 09-11-2006 at 02:58 PM.

  10. #10
    I think it is obvious that you aren't understand what I am trying to convey. I am sure the fault lies with my for not explaining it properly.

    Many 3rd party products have intergration within both windows and linux control panels. It is easy to pass ftp/MySQL information back and forth as accounts are created and deleted. It would all be automated. We do this now with our sitebuilder and it works fine without incident.

    You also say that I think my product would be better than Fantastico. I am only looking for something like Fantastico because it doesn't exist in a windows world. If you
    are going to write it you might as well make it work with ALL the windows control panels instead of just Helm, or Plesk. In my opinion the best way to accomplish that is by making it a web service instead of a local install.

    As far as windows hosting vs linux hosting I don't think windows hosting is far behind, I only think the windows hosting control panels are far behind. The functionality you get with Cpanel is yet to be replicated an a complete manner by Cpanel competitors. This isn't an opinion it is fact. It doesnt' mean it can't be fixed in a few months. It certainly can, I just wish it had already happened.

    Obviously this thread has gone completely downhill and the interested parties have already contacted me privately. Thanks for everyones input, and good luck to all.
    Last edited by tickedon; 09-11-2006 at 02:59 PM.

  11. #11
    Not sure if people would use it that much, Fantastico is easy, as it is in cpanel itself, and u install somthing click by click.

    Ur idea u say is true Ftp etc... sure, people would use it.
    But most of them, would still prefer Fantastico i think.

  12. #12
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    I think if the licensing were cheaper than Fantastico The interest would be shown, whether you see it in this thread or not.

    If you guys were interested in contributors or a joint venture feel free to pm us. We would be interested in seeing something like this in the future.
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