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I've been looking all over for web apps that allows a software vendor to make app updates available for customers to download. A glorified (S)FTP server if you will, but with the following extra features:

  • Customer-specific access: different customers ought to "see" different packages. (This means there should be an admin GUI that makes it easy to do the mapping between customers and packages).
  • Reliable download tracking. I need to know who has downloaded what in a reliable way. (Again, an admin GUI where I can see the activity).
  • Branding the UI (logos, styles, etc).

I know I can crack out my own by customizing one of the various CMSs out there, but I'm wondering if there's any turn-key solution available?

  • What is your budget? – Nicolas Raoul Jul 1 '14 at 8:47
  • Free is better, but moderate amounts can also be considered (up to $500/year). – Guido Domenici Jul 1 '14 at 10:48
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As a first low-tech free solution, I suggest you create a folder per client on Google Documents.

Then you will just have to share each folder with the target client, as described at https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2494822?hl=en

A lot of drawbacks:

  • A lot of file duplication
  • No download tracking
  • No branding

But it is free, easy to set up, and probably reasonably secure.

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Answering own question: We ended up going for a custom solution, but starting from an excellent starting point: the Akeeba Release System plugin for Joomla.

Joomla is a very good and widely used CMS. As for Akeeba Release System, it is a highly-customizable download manager made specifically for software distribution, i.e. our use case. With a bit of work, it seems to fulfill perfectly our use cases.

Both Joomla and Akeeba Release System are open source (GNU GPL).

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