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Making Business with the vf-Store

The vf-OS marketplace, called vf-Store, is the central point for different users to access vf-OS Assets such as vApps or drivers provided by developers to the industrial community. But users can do much more than browse for existing vf-OS Assets! They can also request vf-OS Assets tailored to their needs. The vf-Store is an expandable web-based system consisting of several areas. Through this diversity vf-Store users can access the functions provided from anywhere very quickly and easily. In this case vf-Store users can be developers or service providers, who wants to enrich the system and expand their business reach, or consumers who wants to download vf-OS Assets to address specific needs.

For those users, the vf-Store provides different frontends tailored to the different target groups.


Frontend for Customers

The area that most of the users will visit is the frontend for customers. This area meets the expectations of an usual App Store, such as the Apple App Store or Google Play. The main focus is on searching the existing vf-OS Assets. Of course, some comfort functions are available sorting and grouping vf-OS Assets according to ratings, prices and categories. In addition, further information can be accessed on all offered products. This includes a detailed description or ratings of other users. Since many vf-OS Assets require other components to run properly, these dependencies are listed and can also be checked separately.



Products to be purchased can be added to the shopping cart. This enables users to buy a product and all its dependencies in one step. The payment process is intentionally kept simple and open. All costs are clearly explained to the customer thus keeping payment cancellations and losses to a minimum. This also includes the fact that the vf-Store is equipped with an easily expandable payment interface that relies on external payment providers. This approach was chosen to guarantee the most secure user experience as possible.


Since the vf-Store is used in many European and international markets and the payment habits there can vary widely, hence new payment methods can be added and configured quickly. Payments by bank transfer, credit cards, direct debit and PayPal are already prepared as a basis.


A secure personalized area, accessible only to authenticated customers, allows the purchased vf-OS Assets to be downloaded or transferred to the vf-OS Platform.


Frontend for Developers and Providers

Developers can manage their vf-OS Assets in a specific frontend. This includes customizing the Asset name in different languages, the category, and the description. In addition, some attributes can be customized separately. An example of this is the price. In many App Stores it is only possible to choose a price from a predefined list of prices. In the vf-Store, on the other hand, the developer can freely determine the price and even choose different prices for different currencies. So the developer has complete control on how the vf-OS Asset is distributed. If wanted, the price can also be automatically converted into all available currencies. All offered setting possibilities were intentionally kept simple in the frontend for developers. The vf-Store wants to put developers in a position to concentrate on developing and maintaining their own vf-OS Assets without wasting too much energy on administration activities.



The fact that this goal was achieved could already be demonstrated in the vf-OS Hackathon on 10th May 2019 in Valencia. Students were given access to the vf-Store without a dedicated explanation in order to offer their previously developed vf-OS Asset for sale. The participants mastered this task and were able to give the World access to the results of the hackathon.


Request new vf-OS Assets

The vf-Store also offers a special feature that goes beyond the functionality of common App Stores. Users can demand new vf-OS Assets and get in contact with interested developers to negotiate their requirements and contract. For this purpose, a special area will be created on the vf-Store where users can suggest their ideas for additional vf-OS Assets or functionalities. Other users will be able to rate these ideas to find the favourite of many users. Developers can respond to these suggestions and engage in a dialogue with the users. In this way, developers have the unique opportunity to evaluate whether the finished product will meet the user's requirements before developing a vf-OS Asset.


Target Groups of the vf-Store

The vf Store is targeted equally at end users who want to expand their vf-OS platform and services, independent developers who see the possibility of a business model, and companies that want to connect their products and services even better with vf-OS.


The vf-Store offers Manufacturing and Logistic users the possibility and assurance of expanding their own vf-OS platform at a central point. Access is based on principles such as data protection, trust in software that is not dangerous and convenience. Because users perceive the vf-Store as a central point of reference for new vf-OS Assets, independent developers have a unique opportunity to know exactly where to reach new customers. They can use the vf-Store to enter new markets and boost the distribution of their products. Service and Solution provider companies also benefit from the possibilities of the vf-Store. They can offer easy-to-obtain additional software for their already sold products. The vf-Store's central position in the vf-OS ecosystem guarantees that potential customers will be made aware of these services.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 723710.