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Thread: Pricing

  1. #1
    "Certified" Alphaholic Charles Hoens's Avatar
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    Default Pricing

    OK I'm going to post this here, and before anyone has a hissy fit, I just don't know where else to put it.

    With my V6 upgrade I also purchased runtime (5 seat license). I then went back and asked for another 5 seats to get me to ten because of my small office. The charge for this additional upgrade I was quoted at $400. I complained and Richard Rabins and I have had a long discussion about this and he encouraged me to put my thoughts here.

    Besides the issue of the high price, my feeling is that runtime should be free or minimal and unlimited. Because it is the developers who are using this, it's my thinking that this is helping Alpha in that it gets the product into the hands of more people.

    Here's the rub. I am telling Richard that the developers would be willing to trade a small start-up trademark telling people where to purchase the product in exchange for the unlimited runtime. Richard thinks that the developers would object.

    So what do you guys think and should this be a topic at the conference?

    Charlie

  2. #2
    Kevin Willis
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    Default RE: Pricing

    I have no objections - I think it's a great idea! :)

    Besides, clients can easily tell already who the
    software vendor is by examining the shortcut properties
    for icons used to launch an Alpha5 application:

    (i.e. c:\family\alpha5.exe "c:\family\family.adb")

  3. #3
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default RE: Pricing

    Charles,
    If you were using Filemaker the extra 5 seats would have cost $1,500 (per installation). Don't know about access.

    Bill Belanger

  4. #4
    "Certified" Alphaholic
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    Default RE: Pricing

    I'm satified with it the way it is.

    - Although a startup trademark probably wouldn't be an issue in most cases, there are a couple apps where I'd rather not have it.
    - A few people on this board are upset that the A5 logo/name can't be removed from some current error messages.
    - Any charge I pass through for the runtime is peanuts compared to the cost of the application development itself. Typically my clients don't even know I'm passing through any part of the runtime cost.

  5. #5
    Member Bob Houle's Avatar
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    Default RE: Pricing

    Charles,

    Remember that the 10 user runtime licence you've purchased can be used over and over (applied to many different clients).

    Also $80 per seat might seem like a lot... just remember how much work the additional users can do in the space of even one year. Cheap when you think of it.

    --Bob

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator Peter.Greulich's Avatar
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    Default RE: Pricing

    a small start-up trademark telling people where to purchase the product

    Isn't that the default splash screen?

    in exchange for the unlimited runtime

    I guess we all want things for free. I'm with Cal. One hour of my time is billed at $110/hour. By comparison the runtime is "peanuts". And I DON'T want the default splash screen or its equivalent appearing in the startup. I think a lot of people would be screaming bloody murder if they did that.

    -Peter

  7. #7
    Jason Edwards
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    Default RE: Pricing

    I think the price for the run-time is very fair considering its a unlimited use run-time. I guess for those building inhouse projects you dont reap the benefit of that, but for those developing projects for a living its very beneficial.

    Jason

  8. #8
    Jack Burrows
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    Default RE: Pricing

    I would be very much opposed to Alpha advertising in the runtime. I have no problem telling my clients what tool(s) I use for a project, but if Alpha is actively showing ads, it cheapens the look and feel. And my customers are buying my app, not the Alpha runtime. An Alpha ad would only serve to confuse them and make my finished app look unprofessional. I'd probably stop using Alpha for client projects altogether if they did this.

    JB

  9. #9
    "Certified" Alphaholic Marcel Kollenaar's Avatar
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    Default RE: Pricing

    Keep it as it is.

    Marcel

  10. #10
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    Martin W. Cole
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    Default RE: Pricing

    Yes, I agree, keep it as it is: when you develop a really custom app, you want it to appear as much as possible as if YOU created it, displaying no underlying info.

  11. #11
    VAR Howard G. Cornett's Avatar
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    Default RE: Pricing

    If pricing of the runtime is an issue (and, by the way, I think it more than reasonable), have your client purchase the WAS license for $699 (or buy it yourself and pass the cost on) and build the app as a browser-based database. Then you can have unlimited connections to the server and the added features of being able to access it from any OS or over the Internet if you choose to do so.

    Just offering another view on the situation. And I can't see how your suggestion would be of any material benefit to Alpha anyway. Maybe I'm just a little dense, but if the unlimited runtime is free and I build a database for my client, why would he need to buy any Alpha products at all? And if they have hired me to build their database, they either don't have the time or expertise to do it for themselves so what good would an ad do for Alpha? I just don't get it. :-(

    In any case, thank you for the thought provoking discussion. I look forward to hearing others' viewpoints.

    Howard

  12. #12
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    Default RE: Pricing

    OK, I am going to put my 2 cents in, which probably will get boooood and hisssssed by most.

    1) I do not think the pricing is too high.
    2) I do not think a developer should be giving away the runtime to their end users. With the possible exception if they are selling a store shelf package that really is not being customized for a specific user, but for a specific purpose or industry.
    3) My clients purchase their own runtime license for the number of users they need for their business.
    4) Some of my clients have even purchased the full developers version so that they can make small changes themselves without having to be concerned about contacting me.
    5) If we do give away the runtime, we should never, ever, ever charge the end user for this or pass our cost on to them in any way ... this is against the runtime user license that we purchase. We can give it away if we choose, we cannot sell it, it is not ours to sell.

    As a developer, purchasing a developer package and/or runtime licenses is simply a part of doing business. If a developer is charging $110/per hour to customize an application for somebody, surely they are making more than there investment back. Beyond the software, the only cost for the developer is their time ... and at $110/hour, they are being paid well for their time. Not all developers charge $110, some charge less, and some charge more. It is all up to how that developer runs their business.

    I believe that what goes around, comes around. If more of us had our clients purchase their own runtime licenses and stopped giving it away ... Alpha would obviously be making more sales ... the developer would get a commission on that sale, if they signed up for that part of Alpha ... maybe then Alpha could come down on their pricing, whether for all users or discounts for developers or whatever. Alpha would certainly have more bargaining power to work with. Even if the pricing did not come down ... if you are having your client purchase their own license and you are getting a commission, it is all a win win situation ... and you would not feel like you have to 'include in the cost' of the application to your client your 'cost of running your own business'.

    Just my opinion.
    Cheryl

  13. #13
    VAR Howard G. Cornett's Avatar
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    Default RE: Pricing

    I don't think anyone was talking about charging over and over again each different customer for one runtime license (at least I hope not). Rather, as you mentioned, if a developer is customizing a database for a client, THE CLIENT should pay for a new runtime license. But I know at least a few developers who will purchase it for their clients and include it in the package, and of course, pass the cost on to the customer. This is perfectly reasonable. However, NO ONE should be reselling the same runtime license over and over again to different customers if they are building custom datbases. This is a violation of the license agreement. The unlimited nature of the runtime is designed for shrink wrapped applications that are sold over and over again in the same format (like MS Word, etc.).

    I agree with you, Cheryl, that integrity is of the highest importance in our industry. All of what we do for our clients is based on that trust. And we need to honor that trust and integrity in all aspects of our businesses. What goes around does indeed come around, whether good or bad.

    Howard

  14. #14
    Member Jerry Gray's Avatar
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    Default RE: Pricing

    Thanks Cheryl for saving me a lot of typing. I echo your sentiments.

    For what it's worth, I just checked out the pricing for WINDEV. Their charge for a 10 user runtime is $2350.00.

    I'm content with the pricing structure of Alpha Software.

    The time savings in development pays for the product, including runtime licensing.

    Jerry Gray

  15. #15
    Member undix's Avatar
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    Teun van Unen
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    Default

    WinDev don't need runtimes !!

    Regards,
    Teun van Unen.

  16. #16
    Member
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    Troy
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    Default

    Untill they offer unlimited runtimes I will continue to use A5V5. My client has 70 employees. Untill Richard steps out of trying to compete with Access and Filemaker and realize Alpha is now getting to the point of being a development platform not just a 3 or 4 user as needed application. He will continue to market to end users..not developers(his driving market). In the meantime, I am going to continue to learn Visual Basic and eventually convert my applications.

    I'd be curious if other developers have considered moving to Visual Basic from Alpha because of this issue?
    Last edited by bergmd; 11-30-2005 at 04:42 PM.

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