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As a software developer I regularly develop webbased applications commissioned by a client. I sell the intellectial ownership with it. As soon as it in production, this party lets his clients use it. They are my client's clients. It even happens that my client is a software publisher, selling licences of my production to companies which have clients using the software. They are client of a client of my client!

Using English as a non-native language, I wonder what could be valid, self-explanatory and nice definitions I could use in my documents and models, distinguishing clients and their clients. One way is to use the opposite term of client. In Dutch we have a term "opdrachtgever" which means something like order giver. On the web I found terms like client, customer, consumer, member, user, provider, contractor, mandator, principal... but I don't know how and when to use them at best. An extra complication for a software developer is that the term client is also used in technique as a consumer of a server.

I imagine no right answer, but I am hoping for inspiring suggestions how to make use of these kind of terms. Thanks in advance.

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    In design documents I think "end user" captures the client of client thing. An "end user" is the person actually clicking the mouse / touching the screen / typing on the keyboard etc. – Thruston Nov 12 '16 at 17:20
  • In B2B software like I produce, often an user is an employee of a client's client. The client's client is a party like a company. – Jorrit Steetskamp Nov 12 '16 at 18:58
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    Metaclient??? – David Handelman Nov 12 '16 at 21:45
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An organization which purchases a license to the software, regardless of how many intermediaries there are, is called a licensee.

The organizations between your immediate customer and the licensees are called resellers.

If you want to distinguish between the humans using the software who work for a licensee, and the humans using the software who work for some other company with a business relationship to the licensee, you could call the first type in-house users or internal users, and the second type external users or third-party users.

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users

I don’t think your client’s clients are your clients, too, because you don’t have a relationship with them. However, your client’s clients are users of the software you created.

  • Mostly the term user is used for every person using the system. In B2B software like I produce, often an user is an employee of a client's client. The client's client is a party like a company. – Jorrit Steetskamp Nov 12 '16 at 17:55

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