When a License Isn’t a Valid License

I will preface this post with the usual disclaimers:  Not everyone will have this issue nor will it even apply to a vast majority of Xojo developers.  Take it with a grain of salt and if you disagree, that is your prerogative.

This week we had a little lull in the development of one of our bigger consulting projects.  It’s a Web Edition project that has 300+ web pages, 250+ WebContainers, 97,000 lines of code and compiles down to about 43 MB of code.  It’s a monster and we’ve been maintaining it in Real Studio 2012 R21.  This week we decided to upgrade it to Xojo 2013 Release 3.

We have 3 full-time developers and a DBA/QA person who is familiar enough with Xojo programming to fix some of the simple stuff.  We already had 2 Xojo pro licenses and bought a 3rd for our other full time programmer that had been working on this project.  The 4th team member won’t ever compile but will need to be able to save in the version control format that we use on all projects into Subversion.

Being a responsible and conscientious user I read the Xojo End User License Agreement (EULA).  Here is what it says:

• A Xojo License Key is required to save a project in Text or XML formats.

With that fairly plain English we bought a desktop license because it would be the most likely be relevant in the future for our 4th team member (since most of our work is desktop apps).  When our team member applied the license and worked on the Web Edition project every time she tried to save the IDE kept doing a Save As in binary format.  Obviously something was wrong with the licensing.

After checking with Xojo Inc. we discovered that the licensing text was incorrect, or at best misleading.  You need the target specific license key to save a project in Text or XML formats.   In other words, to save in Text or XML for a Web Edition project you need a Web Edition license, to do the same thing for a Desktop project you need a a Desktop license and so on.

For us it was not a huge deal.  We needed it so we bought another Pro license and Xojo Support quickly lupgraded our license.  I understand the reasoning behind it but the fact that I looked it up in the EULA just to make sure says the EULA language needs some additional clarification.  I was pretty mad at the time because it wasted my time and a team members time for a half day while we got it all straightened out.

So be aware of those restrictions when you buy Xojo for your team.

3 thoughts on “When a License Isn’t a Valid License

  1. I brought this up last year. I felt that it would have been nice to allow for a developer who’s never going to compile the application (read: built an executable) at least be able to generate the needed output to use Git or SubVersion. Like you guys, we have one person that does the builds. Everybody else runs in the IDE and never does a compile to executable.

    The answer I got was “buy the pro version.”

    I actually think having it generate the XML or text formats would promote the use of Xojo in the open source market, thus creating more demand and adoption for the product…

    • I believe that every developer should be using some form of source code versioning system (Git, Subversion, CVS, etc). Your source code is the most valuable asset you have and using the binary format isn’t nearly as atomic as you need.

      In my opinion, forcing non-license holders to use Binary format is awful. But then I’ve been arguing this point for a long time.

  2. The more users Xojo has, the more profitable they will be. The problem is, I don’t think they see the value in allowing people to just “code” in Xojo as a open source developers do. This is, in my opinion, going to stunt the adoption rate. It would be smart to allow for people to use the IDE and code normally. If you wanted to develop applications and generate an exe, then buy a license.

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