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Runtime License Registration and Risk Management

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  • #16
    Re: Runtime License Registration and Risk Management

    Originally posted by DaveM View Post
    Why? the custom app will probably make less money in the long run. If a company is hiring me to do a job, they should supply all software. If I am selling a finished product, I should supply all software.
    Isn't that what Richard said, e.g. With custom apps, the customer pays for a RT themselves, if you sell your own app, you can use your own over and over again.

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Runtime License Registration and Risk Management

      When I upgraded to V8 I never looked at the page defining runtimes, I had spent my time on the what's new page. Why? A Alpha telemarketing rep called me. Gave me a 30 second sales pitch, I already knew I was going to upgrade because I had already bought every version since 4.5. They gave me the upgrade price for V8 with the 10 user RT and I gave them my credit card. They did not define the "new" RT and I did not ask. I did not know to ask. I had already read the section pertaining to runtime licenses in the help file, which is still there and is still worded the very same way it was ever how many years ago that I bought my first runtime.

      I was happy when I bought V8! I was initial discouraged about V9 RT, but am hoping(even praying) something can be worked out so that I can keep up my tradition of staying on the current version with a 10 user RT.

      While initially I, like a lot of other people, was angry and emotional over the change, I have calmed down and I really want this to work out for Alpha and for us. The fact that Richard has been monitoring the forum and replying at all hours is a testimony to his commitment and interest in what we have to say!

      A worker is truly entitled to his wages. They are entitled to make a profit, to stay in business, to write V10, V11, V... I look forward to each of these.

      My problem with the pricing is that I am a hobbyist who, when he grows up, would like to be a programmer/developer. It is kind of an expensive hobby, but one that I enjoy. Most of the programs I have written, which aren't many, were given away. From a monetary since, it would be difficult if not impossible for me to do what I have done on past versions.

      Happy Easter to all on the Board and all at Alpha Software!

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Runtime License Registration and Risk Management

        Originally posted by Alan Lee View Post
        When I upgraded to V8 I never looked at the page defining runtimes, I had spent my time on the what's new page...
        They did not define the "new" RT and I did not ask. I did not know to ask. I had already read the section pertaining to runtime licenses in the help file, which is still there and is still worded the very same way it was ever how many years ago that I bought my first runtime.
        Yes the license agreement, help file etc. Haven't been worded to make this clear, so while*I have always been aware of this condition since before purchasing our first copy of A5 last November, I really can't blame anyone for overlooking this tiny disclaimer, especially when they just ugraded instead of being first time buyers.

        The fact that Richard has been monitoring the forum and replying at all hours is a testimony to his commitment and interest in what we have to say!
        Indeed - and my boss thinks I am mad for expressing my disappointment at not getting her to buy me V9 WAS already so I can set it up over Easter! (Still not forgiven her for the typical delay, no atter how far in advance I put in a request, our company never acts without a lengthy back and forth and weeks of lack of response.

        Most of the programs I have written, which aren't many, were given away. From a monetary since, it would be difficult if not impossible for me to do what I have done on past versions.

        Happy Easter to all on the Board and all at Alpha Software!
        Likewise, I hope others were blessed with nicer weather than the snow sludge we got here!

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Runtime License Registration and Risk Management

          I can agree to the custom app only in this manner: company/enduser pays for developer's time only. The company should have their own runtime, computers, and everything else necessary including the developement software. Granted most developers will do their work in their own office so the developement software for the company may not be needed.

          If a developer contracts a set price to make a program/app for a company/user, he should supply everything necessary to make that project work including his PAID FOR runtime. Very few apps made like this are not sold to more than one company, taking it out of the custom area.

          Question. If I take my app that I sell to several people and make a deal with a new client to change the input form to comply with what they do, is it then a custom app? I customized it whether charged or not. If not, where does the line stop between? If it is a custom app, I broke a rule.

          Real deal. You can not change the rules from version to version and
          expect to keep your base... My question now is: If things were to go back to V7 for runtime, how long before it is changed or attempted to change. I did not see that last line in the runtime when I purchased V8. Luckily, I never got the runtime. That was something I intended to do this month along with the was except v9 came out.
          Dave Mason
          [email protected]
          Skype is dave.mason46

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Runtime License Registration and Risk Management

            Easy fix.
            Go back to the V7/V8 runtime licenses method with V9 and start charging an annual maintenance fee to the developers. This way, if alpha software is gone, we can still distribute the runtime.
            I think the OEM product with no SQL capabilities will restrict me in the future with regard to MySQL and SQL Express.
            I would rather pay a maintenance fee than a fee for each runtime. As for now I will stay on V8 for my own business but move to V9 for my corporate users.
            Greg

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Runtime License Registration and Risk Management

              The value of this message board and customer feedback

              Firstly Best Wishes for Easter to all of the Alpha Community reading this board!

              Secondly I want to thank all of you who have posted for giving us at Alpha Software the opportunity to get instant feedback on the new licensing plans. (As an aside - think about earlier times - when the feedback mechanism for companies was either non-existent or so slow to render it effectively useles. In that sense, all of us in the Alpha community are incredibly fortunate to live in this "always-on interconnected" age!)

              There have been many very worthwhile and informative viewpoints, perspectives and suggestions raised.

              I would like to assure everyone - that we take this feedback very seriously and also view it as a big positive. i.e. People are clearly incredibly pasionate about Alpha Five and want Alpha to have licensing/pricing policies that continue to make it attractive to build their products and businesses around.

              Give us a few days to go through all this feedback and respond in a way that I am confident will make the vast majority of our developer base feel very much at ease and also will also allow you to focus on the wonderful capabilities (yes I am biased - but this is truly an astounding product) that Alpha Five v9 PLATINUM brings to you, your market place, your businesses and your business plans!



              Thanks very much for hearing me out.
              Best Regards - Richard

              -- On this topic - I would like to take note of the comment below from Dr David Volgas - a long time Alpha user who posted on one of these threads as follows

              it looks like a very busy week for you guys at Alpha . At least you guys are willing to listen. It's like having the ear of the small-town mayor versus trying to talk to the federal government. It's why we are so much more comfortable with Alpha through the years.

              Keep it up, but don't go crazy!
              Dave

              __________________
              David A. Volgas, MD
              __________________
              Richard Rabins
              Co Chairman
              Alpha Software

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Runtime License Registration and Risk Management

                I am going to chime in here even though I am a newbie. I always thought Alpha 5 and other development software was a tool. The Developer then uses this tool to create a usable device that he was paid to build. If all things were created like this proposed license fee, in everything we used we would then pay GM,Ford,Chrysler per use evertime we used our car. The mechanic that fixes the car would then pay Craftsman, Proto, or whatever tool company they buy there tools from for each use on each car they repair.
                This is just my impression.
                If Alpha 5 is not a tool then there would be no need for developers to design and build an application for someone.

                I Understood years ago that alpha 5, was designed for nonprogramers designed for people and small companies that could not afford to hire a developer to build an application for them.

                I miss the days when your average Joe would build a small application that served a purpose, and alot of times they gave it away for free. Those people also used some developement software to create these little programs. Sometimes larger programs were made from a collection of these smaller programs.
                Would Alpha 5 be what it is today if it wasn't for the applications that these developers made, showcasing the power and possibilities of Alpha 5?

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Runtime License Registration and Risk Management

                  :)

                  Here is something to add even MORE confusion to this issue--actually just makes the ambiguous nature even more extreme!!

                  I have a copy of the runtime documentation that was included in a download dated as originating on 1/27/08. It is Exactly the same as it was for version 5--word for word.

                  it states:
                  Distributing Runtime Applications Licensing
                  Issues
                  You can distribute as many copies of the Alpha Five Runtime as you wish. The number of users who can use your
                  application concurrently on any network is based on the type of Runtime that you purchased. The people to whom
                  you distribute the Alpha Five Runtime may not, in turn, distribute any copies of the Alpha Five
                  Runtime.
                  For example, if you purchased an "Unlimited 10User
                  Runtime", then a maximum of 10 users can use your
                  application concurrently on any particular network.
                  If you purchased an Unlimited User Runtime, then there are no limitations on the number of concurrent users of your
                  application.
                  Nothing is said regarding custom applications at all!!

                  Guess Alpha really needs to hire a documentation person REALLY soon to try to alleviate such discrepancies in the future.
                  Last edited by MikeC; 03-23-2008, 11:51 AM.
                  Mike
                  __________________________________________
                  It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
                  It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
                  Henry David Thoreau
                  __________________________________________



                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Runtime License Registration and Risk Management

                    Originally posted by MikeC View Post
                    :)
                    Nothing is said regarding custom applications at all!!

                    Guess Alpha really needs to hire a documentation person REALLY soon to try to alleviate such discrepancies in the future.
                    And the unlimited RTs haven't been around for a while so yes I agree there needs to be someone to update the documentation faster than is currently the case, otherwise it just generates more work for the developers and sales folk!

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Runtime License Registration and Risk Management

                      And this is from AlphaFive's website on 01/14/2007 regarding version 7.

                      Runtime Products
                      Alpha Runtime products are ideal for developers who want to sell their applications. They prevent your application from being modified (and damaged) by your end users. And they let you distribute your application(s) without paying additional license fees to Alpha Software.

                      With a runtime application, your users don't need to have Alpha Five installed.

                      Alpha sells two variations called Runtime and Runtime +. Runtime + allows your customers to edit and create new reports, mailing labels and form letters. Besides that, the two variations are the same.

                      Once you decide on Runtime or Runtime +, there are several runtime packages available.

                      3-user
                      10-user
                      20-user

                      The numbers 3, 10 and 20 refer to the number of people on the SAME NETWORK who can connect to a database at the SAME TIME.

                      For example, let's say you developed a package for insurance agencies. And you want to sell your application to multiple agencies. Further suppose that EACH agency would have no more than 10 people who need to use the system. You would buy a 10-user license.

                      No matter, which package you buy, you can make and distribute as many copies of your application as you want.
                      It seems that either Alpha Five wants to sell one way and license another OR the rules have changed. Regardless, this makes me even more certain that I will look elsewhere for development tools.

                      There are just too many other options that are better known, more respected, less risky, and have a lower total cost of ownership. Would I prefer to continue working with Alpha Five? Absolutely. But given what I now know about v8's runtime licensing, I will be moving away from v8 and will definitely not be signing up for v9.

                      Tom

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Runtime License Registration and Risk Management

                        Tom,

                        As others have stated, why not wait to see exactly how the runtimes are to be before changing "horses in midstream" as is said?

                        In fact regarding the version 8 runtime...even though it is stated at the top of the pdf I received with a download of version 8 dated 1/27/08 that it could change without notice at any time (how often have we heard that!?).

                        It states this in my copy of the runtime documentation I had when I purchased the runtime---and no update of this has ever been sent to me regarding a change which I guess I falsely assumed would be if it was changed.

                        Distributing Runtime Applications Licensing
                        Issues
                        You can distribute as many copies of the Alpha Five Runtime as you wish. The number of users who can use your
                        application concurrently on any network is based on the type of Runtime that you purchased. The people to whom
                        you distribute the Alpha Five Runtime may not, in turn, distribute any copies of the Alpha Five
                        Runtime.
                        For example, if you purchased an "Unlimited 10User
                        Runtime", then a maximum of 10 users can use your
                        application concurrently on any particular network.
                        If you purchased an Unlimited User Runtime, then there are no limitations on the number of concurrent users of your
                        application.
                        So this apparently has been superceded by another which until now I was completely unaware of!! SO what to do---I think Alpha has a point that they need to be compensated....but then what about their obligation to honor what was said when the product was purchased? (IE.; what my original runtime document said). Truth be told, I am still pondering this as even though it is stated things could change at the beginning of the PDF, a notification of a change is the very least I expect and in this case I am not certain that it would be even eithical to make such a change that would have influenced user's decisions to even buy a product to begin with!

                        As far as ethics I want to make something VERY CLEAR! I truly believe that Selwyn and Richard are extremely ethical and moral people from what I have read and in any dealings I have had with them personally...not a question in my mind regarding this! I feel what happened with the documentation was a mistake or accident is all---NOT intentional. A more honorable and commited group of people such are at Alpha would be hard to find... if even possible.
                        Mike
                        __________________________________________
                        It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
                        It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
                        Henry David Thoreau
                        __________________________________________



                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Runtime License Registration and Risk Management

                          Originally posted by MikeC View Post
                          As far as ethics I want to make something VERY CLEAR! I truly believe that Selwyn and Richard are extremely ethical and moral people from what I have read and in any dealings I have had with them personally...not a question in my mind regarding this! I feel what happened with the documentation was a mistake or accident is all---NOT intentional. A more honorable and commited group of people such are at Alpha would be hard to find... if even possible.
                          Oh I do agree, they are extremely quick at responding to most bug reports and other requests and I suspect any developer knows that one can only expend so much effort on a finished product, and as far as customer service is concerned a functioning product is more important than a well-documented one that is extremely buggy or limited in usability!

                          Of course better documentation is essential, and I do really REALLY hope the help file doesn't take as long to update as it did with V8*!!! But I'd rather have a product that works well enough for me to simply experiment (without breaking everything!) with than one with to-the-dot documentation that doesn't give me as much freedom as A5 does...

                          * I know there is a lot of it but there's a lot to A5 full stop, and I have learned more about programming in the last month or two by just trying out bits from the help file/Xbasic function listings than in several years working with PHP and Powerbuilder among other things...

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Runtime License Registration and Risk Management

                            Ok, I am going to make this simple, I think. I bought V8 when it didn't exist. I got a second v7 and then when v8 came out as a beta, I received my copy. I paid $149.00 for it. I then purchased a 3 person runtime for $181.00. Why would I buy that IF I could only use it one time on one other machine? The runtime does nothing but enable a completed application to run on another machine without the original V8. So all this talk about the runtime having limited use is nonsense. It was sold for one purpose and only one purpose, to enable one to include it with a newly created app without having to purchase a fully functioning v8.

                            Access gives away their runtime. I have two commercial apps that use Access as their engine and I don't even need or have to download a runtime to make it work. I have one commercial Access engine program where I was asked to download the free runtime from the Microsoft website if I did not have a full version of Access to run that program. I did and that commercial program runs without having a full version of Access on the machine that uses that commercial app.

                            Alpha v9 was asking me to pay $599 for an unlimited version of the runtime. In communicating with Richard on this it was clear to me that the new runtime could be used for unlimited distribution of an application I created for distribution. At least that was how I understood his comments. This new runtime was limited to single user and no SQL.

                            So, I will patiently wait for the Alpha team to sift through all the comments they have received.

                            By the way, I have three full Alpha programs, two V7 and one V8 and I have one runtime 3 person program v8 and yet have not used the runtime or created a completed program I could share or sell to anyone. So, I have spent almost $400 for the privilege of playing with Alpha Five. I would have gladly spent another $300 for version 9, as the new changes to the desktop were very nice. That brings me up to $700 for a database program that has had three major version changes since I came on board in November of 2006. So, I don't consider myself cheap in asking to not have to pay another $600 for a runtime that is limited in its distribution.

                            If Alpha continues to make changes every 18 months, I think they are doing quite well by me just selling me each new update. I bought MS Office Pro with Access 2003 for $79 educational price and haven't had to pay anything additional. That is the competition Alpha faces, don't you think?
                            "Ollie, remember how dumb I used to be? Well, I'm much better now."

                            Pete

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Runtime License Registration and Risk Management

                              For me this really just comes down to a developer/business decision. It isn't personal and I do not question the ethics or integrity of anyone at Alpha Five. They're just trying to find ways to move Alpha Five forwards. I get it.

                              Now, I also wanted to say that I have licensed various combinations of Alpha Five products over the past few years - v5, v6, v7 and v8. I am currently using Enterprise v8 with a 5-user Runtime Plus. I have only used Alpha Five for non-essential purposes inside our company. And the runtimes have only been deployed on our company's network in a single location. So, why should I really care about this new understanding (new to me) about v8's runtime licensing, and the even more restrictive and expensive licensing scheme for v9?

                              It is just one more hurdle to overcome when it comes to choosing Alpha Five over other development options. It limits the option to dream. I really like Alpha Five both as a company and a group of development tools. And I do hope that Alpha Five comes up with a new licensing scheme that will enourage rather than discourage developers from choosing Alpha Five today and tomorrow.

                              Tom

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Runtime License Registration and Risk Management

                                Originally posted by tcausey View Post
                                I am currently using Enterprise v8 with a 5-user Runtime Plus. I have only used Alpha Five for non-essential purposes inside our company. And the runtimes have only been deployed on our company's network in a single location. So, why should I really care about this new understanding (new to me) about v8's runtime licensing, and the even more restrictive and expensive licensing scheme for v9?

                                Tom
                                Why would you care? With V9 If you only have 5 users and no need for ever adding one of your apps to another workstation, you would not care. But the new licensing, as it stands today, will allow you to install the runtime on 5 workstations, thats it. No concurrent licensing. One run engine license = one computer, period. If you have 20 or more users on your network that occasionally use your apps, you need 20+ run engine licesnes. I am in this same situation and yes, I care. BUT, that said, this is as of today. It "seems" like Alpha is listening and are going to do something about it. (Hopefully)
                                Bill Griffin
                                Parkell, Inc

                                Comment

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