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Riddlemeright
Mar 28, 2003
The Riddler

Do you use a website change detection service/software? VisualPing seems like a big one in the space, but is pricey. I don't need something super robust. If page markup/code changes, email me. Any options out there?

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BaseballPCHiker
Jan 16, 2006



I've used Monitis in the past. It works well enough and is reasonably priced.

I feel like I got an email from them though about getting bought out by some new company recently so the name may have changed.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with


Grimey Drawer

How are these services allowed to charge this? I'm legitimately blown away at what SaaS products exist and what they charge.

A basic version of this is <100 lines of code. Standing it up as a service that is always on with a front end on a website - OK, that's actually some work, but I could build a desktop version of this in a day. If you want a really simple version of this, I'm tempted to just write it up for free.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with


Grimey Drawer

I made a thing:



Iunno if something like this would fulfill your needs, but this was kind of fun to make and also this loving SaaS garbage is such a joke. This is in .Net / C#, so Windows is a pre-req. It's not feature complete yet (viewable history isn't done yet, it has bad UI/UX notifications, etc. but it blasts emails with deltas correctly). I'll upload what I have done here to Github in a hot second and edit this post but you have to pay me $0.05 / button click billed as a monthly bucket... and also some of your soul. I'll add the last of the planned features tomorrow.

If someone else has use for this and wants features, let me know - I really like working on projects like this and I really hate SaaS poo poo.

Edit: Github Link

Canine Blues Arooo fucked around with this message at 08:10 on Jul 1, 2020

Space Gopher
Jul 31, 2006
BLITHERING IDIOT

Canine Blues Arooo posted:

How are these services allowed to charge this? I'm legitimately blown away at what SaaS products exist and what they charge.

SaaS is expensive because custom software is even more expensive.

The general rule of thumb for custom software dev work is a thousand bucks per developer-day. If your product takes two days to design, develop, deploy, and document, and then four hours of minor updates or troubleshooting every three months, it costs $2,000 to get it out the door and another $2,000/year in maintenance (plus the cost of hosting, but that's insignificant). There's also the risk that you're going to be blocked for a day trying to work through some issue in dev or deployment, which would quickly add on a lot more cost.

All of a sudden, paying for a couple of users at $20/month, with software that can be expected to work out of the box, looks like a great deal to whatever manager or director is buying this thing. And even if the tool is hot garbage, they're only on the hook to pay a month's worth of bills, not rework at a thousand bucks a day.

You're right that it's simple, but even simple things can end up costing quite a bit of money.

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with


Grimey Drawer

Space Gopher posted:

SaaS is expensive because custom software is even more expensive.

The general rule of thumb for custom software dev work is a thousand bucks per developer-day. If your product takes two days to design, develop, deploy, and document, and then four hours of minor updates or troubleshooting every three months, it costs $2,000 to get it out the door and another $2,000/year in maintenance (plus the cost of hosting, but that's insignificant). There's also the risk that you're going to be blocked for a day trying to work through some issue in dev or deployment, which would quickly add on a lot more cost.

All of a sudden, paying for a couple of users at $20/month, with software that can be expected to work out of the box, looks like a great deal to whatever manager or director is buying this thing. And even if the tool is hot garbage, they're only on the hook to pay a month's worth of bills, not rework at a thousand bucks a day.

You're right that it's simple, but even simple things can end up costing quite a bit of money.

I agree with all that, but I'm thinking about a business at scale who needs a service like this for whatever reasons - I'm unconvinced it won't just pay for itself eventually for two reasons:

- $50 / month / user is actually insane. Even if you have 5 users, I think you'd break even on paper after a year or so. The Adobe Software Suite costs that much and unlike this, I can't say I could stand up a simple version of the Creative Suite in a few hours.
- If you built it in house, you have all the advantages of custom software: Any feature is on the table for your specific business. Any process can be supported. Depending on what those processes are, this could break even way sooner than a year+.

They have an API to interact with this system so ostensibly developers are already spending developer time against this system and it blows my mind that they could rationalize the time fiddling with this API but they can't rationalize just sending an http request for a data stream and strcmp on their owns terms.

e: I am exaggerating a bit on the simplicity for effect - part of a better system would probably be targeting relevant bits of data and having nice comparisons. A 'good' version of this truly is probably a 40-60 hour project, but I maintain that the break even point is achievable with 5+ users in a relatively short amount of time.

Canine Blues Arooo fucked around with this message at 18:02 on Jul 1, 2020

BaseballPCHiker
Jan 16, 2006



I think we pay like $80 a year for monitis? Somewhere around there. We just have it set to go to a distribution group, then we get the alerts, or it'll robo call us if poo poo really hits the fan. For $80 a year who cares if you can spin it up in house.

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nexxai
Jul 17, 2002

quack quack bjork

Fun Shoe

Freshping is good and their free tier is still pretty powerful - https://www.freshworks.com/website-monitoring/pricing/

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