1 2 3 Previous Next 556 Replies Latest reply on May 18, 2016 6:53 AM by steveromig

    Commercial hosting changes

    Mike_Mitchell

      Found this via a tweet from Soliant Consulting:

       

      http://www.filemaker.com/company/legal/docs/hosting_faq.pdf

       

      Very interesting impacts, potentially, for anyone who uses or owns a hosting company. If you're a consultant who typically starts a new hosting account for each client, then you might wind up needing to get yourself a dedicated server and work with that instead.

       

      Love to hear what the hosting companies think.

       

      Mike

        • 1. Re: Commercial hosting changes
          user19752

          Thanks for sharing this.

          • 2. Re: Commercial hosting changes

            It's very upsetting. Shared hosting will get more expensive just to sell more Servers and Concurrent Connections under the guise of security.

             

            Prior to this we had the massive price hikes:

            - FM 12 IWP connections were essentially $40 each

            - FM 13 WebDirect Concurrent Connections at $180 each

            - FM 14 WebDirect Concurrent Connections at $280 each

             

            No wonder people are leaving the platform. FileMaker is getting way too expensive.

            • 3. Re: Commercial hosting changes
              CarstenLevin

              I find the way we are going with hosting to be something that need a good and open discussion among us, developers and hosing companies. And to get a good discussion I think that we should rather ask about motives than starting assuming what they are:

              just to sell more Servers and ConcurrentConnections under the guise of security

               

              Many of os have been involved in discussions with Filemaker and have listened to their arguments. And I, personally, are now convinced that the raison d'être is not to sell more servers and connections.


              The security issue is crucial, and while FileMaker has so far not been in the middle of any hacking/cracking security breach I know of, it is becoming increasingly important that it does not happen.


              FileMaker has gone from a desktop application for individual and small work group solutions to being "a development platform" for more critical ERP solutions, integration and information systems.

              And FileMaker is closely associated with Apple Computer.

               

              This is in many ways setting the agenda: You and I as developers, FileMaker and not the least Apple can not live with less than optimal server-setups causing problems.

               

              I have some thoughts about things that could have been better timed, but I will spare them for the next post here.

               

              Pricing:

              Prior to this we had the massive price hikes:

              - FM 12 IWP connections were essentially $40 each

              - FM 13 WebDirect Concurrent Connections at $180 each

              - FM 14 WebDirect Concurrent Connections at $280 each

               

              Let me add that in FileMaker 11 and FileMaker 12 IWP was for free, if I remember right (you had to buy FMS Advanced). And connections for FileMaker Go was for free as well. So I admit that prices have gone up.

              I see an issue here: WebDirect is actually able to replace many FileMaker Pro desktop installations. Not for all solutions, but for many. And WebDirect has evolved tremendously from FileMaker 13 to 14. For some solutions you will find that WebDirect up against FileMaker 14 will work faster/better than a FileMaker Pro.

              We may or may not agree, but I see it like this: While FileMaker WebDirect get closer and closer to being able to replace FileMaker Pro for some solutions the need to raise the price of connections become inevitable.

               

              So I do not all together see FileMaker as becoming to expensive. Although I may find timing and the speed at which the prices go up, again the timing, to be something to discus.

               

              Best regards


              Carsten

              • 4. Re: Commercial hosting changes
                CarstenLevin

                Hi Campsoftware and others,

                 

                We will of course disagree about a lot of issues, and probably some of you will disagree with me on this, but let's listen to each others arguments.

                 

                This is what FileMaker has published (the short version)

                FileMaker strongly recommends that hosting companies do not support multiple customers at a time using a single license of FileMaker Server. In future versions released after FileMaker Server 14, the FileMaker Server End User License Agreement (EULA) will require commercial hosting providers to acquire a dedicated license for each customer, so please plan accordingly. The hosting company is responsible for using adequate hardware to ensure favorable performance and adequate security measures to ensure a secure customer experience. Please click here for additional information.

                I do not know of the plans, the timing or anything else that can sweeten this change of policy. So I do actually have some criticism. While I understand and agre with the direction FileMaker has chosen, and while I find the security issues to be very important for the platform as a whole, I do find that especially the timing could have been better.

                 

                It is a problem to change the policy without providing the alternatives we need to make it work. And I guess that FileMaker has a communication conflict here. They need to warn us of changes in policy a long time before, so that nobody can complain that they are changing the rules over night. Just like they are warning us years ahead of deprecating FileMaker Runtime Engine. And as they warned us about deprecating IWP.

                But at the same time they will and can not let us know about future features of FileMaker Server 15, 16, 17 or what they are going to be named. The same goes for other initiatives that would help developers and hosting providers. I hope that FileMaker will offer good solutions along the road ... in sync with the changes of the rules for hosting.

                 

                Somehow we must trust that FileMaker Inc know what they are doing, and of course at the same time communicate with our FileMaker contacts through FBA and our other channels ... like the community here. Letting them know what we worry about.

                 

                The now model will give continued and probably even better support for larger solutions within larger companies. But we will also need secure AND affordable hosting strategies for smaller solutions ... 1-2 files for maybe 2-5 users. Not all solutions are deployed within larger corporations with many users.

                 

                I think we will get a better discussion if we try to take it from real world cases and then to take a dialog with FileMaker about how to solve it .... at least I hope we can agree so far.

                 

                Best regards


                Carsten

                • 5. Re: Commercial hosting changes
                  CarstenLevin

                  And then again a word about assumptions:

                  No wonder people are leaving the platform. FileMaker is getting way too expensive.

                  I have not seen any published numbers from FileMaker on sold licenses. But the numbers published by FileMaker at deacon's in the US, Scandinavia and at other places indicate a robust economy and growing number of users.

                   

                  In Denmark and Scandinavia I know from my own company and fellow developers that new customers are coming in, new licenses are sold and the total number is increasing.

                   

                  I am meeting younger people who have no previous FileMaker experience. They are exited about the mobile strategy opening up for using Android and iOS with WebDirect and for the App strategy with FileMaker Go and the new SDK for iOS. But I am also meeting some old-time developers who feel that FileMaker is moving to fast and who are not happy about the more X-code like programming environment.

                   

                  I am also sure that there are people leaving the platform. And for many reasons:

                  • Change of their business model/merger/closure
                  • The professionalisation/Moving from being a desktop development tool to being a stronger client server development platform will for sure make some users stay behind with older versions.

                  And, I do not hope to offend any of you:

                  • If you where 50 years old when you started using FileMaker in 198X, then you are probably getting closer to 85 now. And you may consider stopping working with FileMaker within the next 25 years. Some of you may already have stopped.

                   

                  But it is my feeling that the general assumption about people leaving the platform may not be true.

                   

                  Best regards


                  Carsten

                  • 6. Re: Commercial hosting changes
                    monkeybreadsoftware

                    Some people may simply want to stay at FM 14 level.

                     

                    Others may move shared hosting to a new company which doesn't care for FM's blessing and continue to do it for FM 15.

                     

                    We'll see what happens.

                    • 7. Re: Commercial hosting changes
                      CarstenLevin

                      Some people may simply want to stay at FM 14 level.

                      Yes, that will be an absolutely OK option, and I guess it will work for at least some years for now.

                       

                      Others may move shared hosting to a new company which doesn't care for FM's blessing and continue to do it for FM 15.

                      No, as I understand it is a part of the EULA that you can not do so. It is not just a matter of "being blessed" but en violation of the licence. At least as I understand it.


                      Best regards


                      Carsten

                      • 8. Re: Commercial hosting changes
                        wimdecorte

                        campsoftware wrote:

                         

                        It's very upsetting. Shared hosting will get more expensive just to sell more Servers and Concurrent Connections under the guise of security.

                         

                        Prior to this we had the massive price hikes:

                        - FM 12 IWP connections were essentially $40 each

                        - FM 13 WebDirect Concurrent Connections at $180 each

                        - FM 14 WebDirect Concurrent Connections at $280 each

                         

                        No wonder people are leaving the platform. FileMaker is getting way too expensive.

                         

                        Not entirely sure where those numbers come from, but checking www.filemaker.com/store today, it comes down to:

                         

                        $29 per month for a server

                        WebDirect / Go connection: roughly $8 per user per month

                        • 9. Re: Commercial hosting changes
                          CarstenLevin

                          Hi Wim,

                           

                          Yes, it is a problem that so much misinformation is spread here. I am a bit puzzled and do not really understand the purpose.

                           

                          And ... all the misinformation is annoying because it make it more difficult to discuss real issues and get a good dialog about new policies and changes. Let's say that FileMaker does make some mistakes or could do something better, just assuming, how are we going to get a real discussion when the start point are a lot of way off assumptions.

                          • 10. Re: Commercial hosting changes

                            Hey Wim... From FileMaker Licensing Store - Volume Discounts it shows Server 14 with 50 Concurrent Connections is $15,444. The Base Server is $1,000. That makes the Concurrent Connections $14,444 / 50 = $288.88 each.

                             

                             

                            FM50ConConns.png

                            • 11. Re: Commercial hosting changes

                              Where's the misinformation? Pricing keeps going up. Folks will be prevented from offering shared hosting via the license which is effectively another price increase.

                              • 12. Re: Commercial hosting changes
                                monkeybreadsoftware

                                Sorry, seems I missed that point.

                                I thought it was just a requirement to be listed on FM homepage as hoster.

                                • 13. Re: Commercial hosting changes
                                  Mike_Mitchell

                                  I think where a lot of this gets lost - and people get upset - is that concurrent connections ≠ users. For example, if you have 50 users, you don’t need 50 concurrent connections. Those 50 concurrent connections might be just fine for 100 - 200 users, each of whom would be required to purchase a Pro license (at least), because those are based on the workstation. So if you compare concurrent connections against dedicated licenses, you find out it’s not nearly as expensive per user (not per connection).

                                   

                                  So for example, in your scenario, say you bought Server 14 without any concurrent connections at $1,000, then had to buy 100 Pro licenses. That’s $25,900. That means, given that you’re supporting only 50 concurrent connections, you come out WAY ahead with WebDirect ($145 / user instead of $259). And that’s assuming a 50% demand factor, which is probably generous.

                                   

                                  Naturally, you have a lot more functionality with the Pro licenses - you can actually build stuff - but using a mix of the two (Pro / Advanced for developers, WebDirect for everyone else), it winds up being cheaper than having to buy client licenses for everyone.

                                  • 14. Re: Commercial hosting changes
                                    wimdecorte

                                    campsoftware wrote:

                                     

                                    Hey Wim... From FileMaker Licensing Store - Volume Discounts it shows Server 14 with 50 Concurrent Connections is $15,444. The Base Server is $1,000. That makes the Concurrent Connections $14,444 / 50 = $288.88 each.

                                     

                                     

                                    FM50ConConns.png

                                     

                                    But look at the price on the left.  99% of all clients go for that one and makes a lot of sense since it keeps you on the upgrade path.

                                     

                                    Not debating that prices have gone up, they have.  But there are options and paying $29 a month for the server software is something that everyone can afford.

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