I'm hopeful someone out here in the netherworld can shed some light on my question, because at this point, I'm completely confused.
In short, I am a independent software developer which develops private applications for companies. I have a client (an individual with two separate companies) who wants me to port a CRM-like application I wrote for them, and is currently in use in the field by 500 of their sales reps, from the current platform (windows-based tablet computers, such as the toshiba portege) to the iPad. This company does not have an independent IT staff, other than one on-site person who handles their daily help-desk matters.
So, I have this CRM-like app which I want to port to the iPad. This app would not be sold in the app store. It does have marketability, however, to several other clients. I could market it to businesses for installation on their iPads or iPhones, after it is customized to suit their specific business environment and regulatory requirements.
The logical thing for me to do is apply to be in the apple developer program, where I can get the tools, etc., necessary to develop the app, and be able to distribute it to my customer(s) privately, not thru the app store, since this is a product which does not lend itself to mass marketing, specifically because each iteration of the product requires regulatory customization.
Visiting the apple developer program web site, I see two options. The first, $99, for people who wish to develop apps to sell thru the apps store. The second, $299, for companies who wish to develop private apps and deploy them in their own company.
Option #2 seems correct right?
I supply my company information, DUNS #, etc... and about an hour later, I get a phone call from someone at the Apple Developer program.
After a brief conversation (basically him asking what I'm attempting to do) he informs me that option #2 is not the correct program for me.
Well, option #1 isn't the correct program, either, because I don't intend to sell this application thru the apps store.
Instead, he starts to rattle off web pages on the apple site dealing with business to business sales, volume sales program, etc... most of which appear to have absolutely no applicability to what I'm looking to accomplish.
I mean, how hard is this concept? I've been a microsoft developer for eons now, pay my annual MSDN subscription fee, and I'm off and running.
Eventually, he informs me the only option available to me is to have the companies who wish to purchase the product I'm developing apply to be in the developer program themselves, and then assign me as some form of 'team member', etc.
The legality of which is, IMO, questionable, since the source code to the product I'm developing is my property, not the company who would be joining the developer program... and when I pose that scenario, I get a generic "well that's between you and your attorney" answer (uh... duh... how can it *NOT* be an issue for me to consider, since I have no idea what legal bindings the company joining the developer program would be making with regards to the product, etc.).
Ok, I'm getting aggravated again just typing this... I mean, how difficult is this concept? Its not like I'm unique. I certainly can't be the only person on the planet who wants to privately develop customized applications for iPad users, am I?
Point of this posting... Can someone point me in the correct direction here? Is the person who called me correct, there is no developer program option for me, which means, I convince my customer to nix the iPad concept and instead we move to Samsung tablets with the app developed for the Android OS instead? Or, is there in fact an option for me, and the person who called me on the phone is merely clueless?