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Pricing 2

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  • #31
    RE: Pricing 2

    In previous versions of Alpha, the only revenue source for Alpha was the developer. If you bought the unlimited runtime, you could have a million customers or you could have 1. The impact on Alpha was the same.

    Obviously Alpha wants to change this by charging us a "fee" per customer. Even the unlimited runtime is gone. I'm not passing judgement on this, just stating a fact. If you as a developer have lots and lots of customers, Apha wants a piece of the pie.

    The part I question is the amount of the fee. $695 is simply too much for most of us to pass on to customers. (Yes, I know the original plan was much worse). There are certainly some clients that will be able to pay this fee, but not the small clients. Not the ones that have been the traditional Alpha clients. And no, I don't want to run my own Web Host.

    I have a small database on the web (simply for fun) that I had a buddy code for me in PHP and MYSQL. It's a hobby thing, I had hoped to switch it to Alpha. Can't do it now.
    The apps the one guy was selling for $49 or$99?, can't make those web apps.

    But if the price for a WAS license was $50 or $100, Alpha could still get a fee for every site developed. Hobby type websites and small app websites could still use it. That $49 app? Web enabled version available for $149 !!

    I think that Alpha thinks the MYSQL people are going to gobble this up. I think they will NOT, and the traditional Alpha small developer will get squeezed out.


    • #32
      RE: Pricing 2

      tom says:

      "Obviously Alpha wants to change this by charging us a "fee" per customer. Even the unlimited runtime is gone. I'm not passing judgement on this, just stating a fact. If you as a developer have lots and lots of customers, Apha wants a piece of the pie. "

      actually this is not the case at all. tom is simply wrong. for traditional desktop applications, if you purchase a runtime (3, 5, 10 or 20 user), you - the developer - can create an application (or as many applications as you want) and sell those to as many customers as you can find. alpha does not want a piece of your pie, and alpha does not participate in your revenue stream in any way at all (beyond the initial price of the runtime). this was how it was with the runtime before V6, and this is how it still is with v6.

      the only difference between v5 and v6 is that the unlimited-user runtime is not sold on our web store, but is sold directly by our sales people who will quote a price that is fair to both alpha and the customer.

      the web app server is different. it must be licensed for use on every server on which it is run. this is in line with how all server based products that I am aware of are licensed.


      • #33
        RE: Pricing 2

        Hi Selwyn,

        Let me give you a tip:

        I think I understood how your runtime-policy worked pretty much at once. But there are lots of (potential) customers that do not have a clue about what are your regulations to that effect.

        I have email correspondence from German Users who did not understand that you could publish your app unlimited times but only the number of users using the app at the same time was limited. They did not understand right, so they moved on AND BOUGHT ANOTHER PRODUCT !

        My advice is to improve your communication and presentation about what can be done and what can not be done with your licenses, especially if you consider that some (I hope more and more...) customers are NOT native English speakers.
        You are loosing customers because of this !!

        Furthermore it might be true the licensing structure is in line with what others do (although I quickly found a company that does it per developer, see my earlier posting in this thread), that is not important for a company that wants to be a market leader. They set their own standards!

        The licensing structure is a difficult issue, I understood that reading all other users posts as well.
        In some cases the WAS costs may be easy to enroll and fully justifyable without effort. In some cases this may not be the case.
        I understood the problems are concentrated at non-profit organizations like churches etc. and low-priced customer apps. Maybe you can introduce special pricing for non-profits ? That is not a nasty thing to consider, there is a society responsability issue as well.
        To clearify: I am not involved in any Non Profit, just to avoid questions about that.
        Just some thoughts.

        Kind regards,



        • #34
          RE: Pricing 2


          I think your suggestion to have a lower pricing structure for non-profits might be an invitation to step on a slippery slope. To me it boils down to costs versus benefits. These judgments are unique to each customer, and involve careful comparisons of the alternatives.

          I also think it's fair to say that Alpha's vision of it's 'typical' developer/customer did not include folks who were producing shrink wrapped web enabled databases. Instead, I think maybe they targeted developers who are delivering custom solutions for individual customers, and folks who will be hosting web services for customers on their own.

          My father is 81. He and his golfing buddies would 'enjoy' a web enabled database for scheduling, scorekeeping, etc. However, I cannot imagine him buying a shrink wrapped package, negotiating its installation with a web host, and then maintaining it. He wouldn't pay thousands of dollars for this because it's not worth thousands of dollars to him.

          -- tom


          • #35
            RE: Pricing 2

            Hi Tom,

            I think you are right in the first two allineas.

            I share your perception of the typical Alpha customer.
            I also agree that low pricing for non-profits might be a step on a slippery slope. It was just an idea based on the assumption from reading the postings that most of the concerns came from developers working for non-profit organizations. It is just like Microsofts Student Licenses.
            At once everybody I know was a Student. Some even became student because of a Golf training....

            Point to consider in favor of Alpha's Pricing Policy is further, that Web functionality is not an all-purpose tool like the runtime. It adds functionality which CAN be implemented but MUST not be implemented only because we can. It has to service a function wanted by the customer.

            In your example of the golf software it might even be the question whether web functionality is of that importance for such an application. It would be if you wanted to present it as a database to be accessable not only by your father, but also by his buddies to maintain a club database for all. If it were to be just for his own use, web functionality would not be an issue at all.



            • #36
              RE: Pricing 2


              I agree with much of your discussion. The new version does many things and is a great tool, but it may not be the correct tool for every job. I doubt it was ever intended for inexpensive, prepackaged applications. It is a tool for specific applications.

              I know some people in the past purchased the unlimited runtime and then effectively "gave" it away as part of a packaged product. Since the runtime was cheap, spreading the cost over even a few sales was easy to justify. I don't have a copy of the runtime license at the moment, but I think the license was intended for a single installation with unlimited users connected, not redistributed to unlimited installations. But since there was no registration, people treated it as shareware.

              Not many companies give away their software like Adobe and Adobe reader. But Adobe knows that someone has to create the original, and there is where the money is made.

              Another example is PKZIP. You can purchase a single user copy for very little. But if you want to redistribute it as embedded in another program, legally, you need to buy a distribution license. That is priced by quote only and is probably based on how many times it will be distributed. Winzip is similar. A single user is $29.95, but volume discounts are avail based on a cost per user. For example, it is $4.00 per user for 500-749 PCs ($2,000 +). But some users just buy the single user and attach it to every install. Yes that makes it cheap, but is also not legal.

              Alpha hasn’t created a pricing scheme for volume redistribution. Some people may not like that, but prepackaged inexpensive consumer products have never been their market. Sure, some of us have “prepackaged” solutions, but in most cases the market is a small specialty market and the cost of the core program or license is not a significant part of the overall cost. For the market that Alpha Software is targeting, the pricing is very reasonable and certainly in line with other similar products.

              This has been an interesting thread with many considered opinions. There have also been statements that show a general lack of knowledge of the marketplace. But they have definitely been in the minority.



              • #37
                RE: Pricing 2

                I don't believe the runtime was intended for a "single Installation"

                From the Alpha Store, 3 user runtime;

                Sell or deploy an application to users who don't have or need a copy of Alpha Five.

                This runtime can be used for an unlimited number of sites, provided no site has more than 3 concurrent users.

                Bill Belanger


                • #38
                  RE: Pricing 2

                  I am a long time developer.For some balance to this thread, I would like to state that I consider the $699 per server to be more than reasonable. Additionally, I was pleasantly surprised that the full version price stayed the same.

                  As Jerry stated, the web server is obviously not the answer for a $69 package, so for scenarios like that, you will have to find another solution.


                  • #39
                    RE: Pricing 2

                    John...for a long time now I've used ASPMaker from...
                    for prototyping...Web database applications

                    It sells for US$39.95 (US)...and I believe it to be the best value for the money "Simple Web database application building tool" in the world.
                    For example...import the Northwind.mdb & it takes less than 10 minutes to create a application web site with a menu...and all the tables etc.
                    Numerous additional options...included in the price...can be turned on/ ticking/un-ticking a check box.
                    Like every good golfer...database/web developers mustn't be blinkered...they need to have a bag of additional "tools".
                    Tony Moriarty


                    • #40
                      RE: Pricing 2

                      Thanks for the tip.This could possibly be an answer for those folks that are designing the $69 web based apps ( not my market now or ever ).
                      However, I still feel that as long as the Alpha server product is robust, the ability to interact with the Alpha data using genie created Xbasic commands is a home run for Alpha developers, and that the price is reasonable.
                      Why do you only use this product for protyping??


                      • #41
                        RE: Pricing 2

                        Hi All,

                        The link below is for a FREE ASP.NET tool



                        • #42
                          RE: Pricing 2

                          I use ASPMaker for Web application prototyping John BECAUSE
                          most clients have existing I can quickly import their tables .dbf .mdb mysql or whatever...and get an immediate 'feel' for the data in the Browser.
                          ASPMaker also gives me an instant view of any table changes/adjustments.
                          This 'visualisation'...along with my clients brief etc...helps me to prepare a better client project/solution.

                          Having said conjunction with learning A5V6 I'm adding WinDev v8...along with all it's pretty database 'things' to my toolkit...BECAUSE I don't have any other distractions or time problems & I'm not blinkered.
                          Tony Moriarty


                          • #43
                            RE: Pricing 2


                            Suggestion for your Pops golfing buddies and scheduling; try a yahoo! group. It's free. You can send one email to the email address of the group and all members of the group get the email. Reply, and a reply goes to all memebers of the group. I don't think there's anyway to track scoring on that though. Might be helpful.

                            Thank you,
                            Mike Konoff


                            • #44
                              RE: Pricing 2


                              -- tom


                              • #45
                                RE: Pricing 2

                                Sure, but 10 cents to a hole in a donut, you are better off w/o that customer.

                                Example, my wife and I owned a spa retail store. One day, a local motel owner came in for a bid. I knew this guy from all the times he called the Sheriff's Dept because of petty arguments with his customers. I got stuck answering most of his complaints but it gave me a heads up.

                                Anyhow, I told my wife to cahrge full retail and then add an extra $500 as we'll be getting a bunch of petty complaints from him and he either pays up front or I don't need his business. Don't get me wrong, we treated our customers well but this guy would cost me $$$$ (my time) if I wasn't careful.

                                She added $500 to the bid; we got the sale and after the sale, his calls began and I smiled all the way to and from his motel.

                                My point is that if we can't get a sale because the potential customer can't afford a WAS license, we are probly ahead not to have that customer. I know, for some it is truely a financial issue. But for those folks, either it's done right or you'll probably be an unhappy camper.

                                TYVM :) kenn

                                Knowing what you can achieve will not become reality until you imagine and explore.