Xojo, Inc. confirmed last week that the licensing for Xojo is changing. The IDE now costs nothing. Free. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Now we all know that it’s awful hard to stay in business by not charging any money, so the catch is that to make a build you need a license. If you’re building for desktops (Mac, Windows, Linux) you need a desktop license. Building for Web you’ll need the web license. Building a console app you’ll need a console license. The only oddity in the mix is if you’re using database servers which requires an additional license SQLite is included in all licenses).
Now that the IDE is free all users can take advantage of all Xojo features. Item encryption, server sockets, SSL support, database encryption, remote debugging, container controls, code profiling, IDE scripting and build automation are the big items that were not available to all users depending on what license they had for Real Studio. This has some advantages for training and getting people to actually use those features. Everyone has the same set of features and all are available on all supported platforms.
Announced Pricing is this:
Console Licenses $100 ($50 renewal)
Desktop $300 ($150 renewal)
DB Servers $300 ($150 renewal)
Web $400 ($200 renewal)
So what does this mean for those with existing Real Studio licenses? Real Studio personal licenses automatically get a Xojo Desktop license. Real Studio Professional get Desktop, Database, and Console licenses for Xojo. Real Studio Web licenses get converted to Xojo Web and Database.
Real Studio Enterprise licenses now get what’s called Xojo Pro. Xojo Pro gives you all licenses. You get desktop, console, web, and database licenses. It comes with Priority Support which means that Xojo Inc. will handle all Priority Support issues first and then everything else. Pro licenses also work on three machines (in contrast to the two for other licenses).
Another feature for Xojo Pro is that it gives you guaranteed access to the beta’s. The Real Studio beta list really had no restrictions. You signed up and you got access. They didn’t say this but I suspect this is in response to the many people on the beta list that never reported anything but generated a ton of useless chatter. This will definitely cut down on that problem.
Some people have taken offense to this. They are not going to be Xojo Pro users so they feel that they’ll be cut out of the beta list. The wording in the keynote was very specific. Xojo Pro gives you ‘guaranteed’ access to the beta list. That does not mean that you can’t join the beta it just means that it’s up to their discretion. Those that have contributed in the past will most likely be welcome. Those that have not are probably out of luck.
Another advantage of getting a Xojo Pro license is access to a Xojo Pro Only forum. They figure it will most likely be the full-time developers (such as BKeeney Software) that use it. Honestly, I have a problem with this even though I will most likely have several Pro licenses. I have been a top 10 poster in the Real Studio forums for many years and I just don’t see how this helps me, or the community. It seems like it will introduce some stratification into the community where there is none now. I can’t imagine having an issue that I wouldn’t ask the entire community about. I could go on about this but it seems to me that it’s a marketing bullet-point to make Pro look better. I think it’s a bad idea and probably won’t use it.
The final ‘advantage’ of the Pro license is that Feedback cases now get a 3x multiplier. Real Studio licenses are a little different. I believe Personal licenses get no multiplier, Pro/Web gets 3x and I thought that Enterprise licenses now get a 5x multiplier. So in this scenario everyone else gets no multiplier but Pro users are the only ones to get it.
The Feedback multiplier isn’t a huge change but it definitely favors the Pro license. I like this but I have my doubts that it will change anything significant. As a pro user I have needs that are not being met by Real Studio (and now Xojo) despite many years of blogging and generating feedback reports. Instead they have consistently gone for marketing bullet-point solutions and solutions that make it easier to sell to beginner and hobbyist developers.
Don’t get me wrong. The free licensing has the potential to introduce Xojo to a lot of people that would consider themselves hobbyist or part-time developers. That’s a good thing. But it’s the folks like me (the Pro’s) that spend serious cash. I want and need features that a) make my development life easier or b) help make me money (usually in completing things faster). Not a whole lot of those types of features have been introduced in the past five years.
What do you think about the new licensing and the Xojo Pro features?