5 Replies Latest reply on May 11, 2016 11:25 AM by richardcarlton

    FLT licensing seems like great value to me


      I've seen a lot of negative discussion and howling about pricing on here (mostly to do with cost of legacy concurrent connection licensing) but isn't FLT actually great news and potentially a huge cost saving in most circumstances?


      For no extra cost my teams of users can now use FileMaker Go and WebDirect when they are remote, in addition to FileMaker Pro when they are at their desk, whereas previously I would have needed additional concurrent user licenses which cost almost as much as Pro itself!


      I’m in the UK and the cost per user to have Server 15 with 10 FLT users and be able to use Pro, Go and WebDirect always available is £8.50/month - less than an Apple Music monthly subscription (or say 3 Starbucks coffee’s per month) for something that is their primary business management system at work on a daily basis. And for non-profits, it’s half this… Pretty damn great I think. Surely if a business can’t pay these amounts for crucial business systems, then they must have much bigger problems to contend with.


      I realise that the legacy concurrent licensing may be needed for publicly facing WebDirect solutions, but really, are people using WebDirect for that? It doesn't really seem suitable for general public access due to its browser requirements (are you actually going to present a website that can't be used on Firefox or older browsers that don't meet the WebDirect requirements) and certainly not suitable for high traffic/many simultaneous users. For that, then using CWP if direct access to the FileMaker database is absolutely necessary, otherwise using more conventional php/MySQL based web site tech would be more suitable - possibly with FileMaker importing data to/from the MySQL tables via ESS where required.


      To me, WebDirect and FileMaker Go are designed for use by workgroups/teams and FLT caters perfectly for this and I'm really looking forward to moving some of my existing clients that typically have Server + 5 or 10 Pro licenses onto it so that they can really get into using Go and WebDirect when they’ve been reluctant to do so before due to the additional costs of concurrent licensing.


      I do have a slight issue with cheap shared hosting no longer being available for FMS15 as it is really useful when I need to get files hosted in locations closer to my far away clients in other countries, but already I see that fmphost are offering dedicated servers for FMS15 at about $60/month which is very reasonable.


      Anyway, that's my thought today...

        • 1. Re: FLT licensing seems like great value to me

          +1 skywillmott


          Its VASTLY better for people to learn and understand.   For a business with Pro Users...who also sometimes use Go ro WebDirect... they SAVE money...and its cheaper!!


          ----- So, next steps...


          The Pro FLT is a great strategy.  I would urge FMI to see if they can make Pro FLT .... FREE for download... without the 20 minute cut off.


          Basically making a FREE thin client.  That would seem to be the logical progression here... although I have NO inside info on this.  It would be very nice...and REALLY help expand the user base.


          I don't know how much budget this would kill... but it would ALSO REALLY help expand the user base...and then people would connect...and pay for the Server User Connections.

          • 2. Re: FLT licensing seems like great value to me

            I see that fmphost are offering dedicated servers for FMS15 at about $60/month which is very reasonable.

            The difficulty for developers selling solutions to really small business (ie. a couple of employees on a budget) is that they used to pay about $650 up front for two copies of filemaker pro and then $20 a month for hosting (including web direct and go).  Now they will have to pay $74 a month for FLT (since they must have server now) and $60 a month for the dedicated server.  Thus the price has increased by over 600%. 


            But the real kicker to all of this is that Filemaker can no longer be used offline with the FLT model.  If your internet drops out you no longer get to work with an old back up for reference.  No, for that you have to drop another $320 on the legacy Filemaker 15 (I'm referring to clients that are new to Filemaker and don't have an old copy lying around).

            • 3. Re: FLT licensing seems like great value to me

              from the faq

              Your users may use any client (FileMaker Pro 15 (for User Connections), FileMaker Go 15, or FileMaker WebDirect) to access FileMaker Server 15 for Teams, but they must first sign in to FileMaker Server 15 for Teams. Users may use only one client at a time.


              How is this enforced ? Using the IP address ?

              • 4. Re: FLT licensing seems like great value to me

                Not undermining completely what FMI is doing, certainly the FLT is a very welcome change that makes much more sense to explain to clients rather than concurrent users. Still though with such a major change on the licensing model it does come with some significant shortfalls that I believe are trivial and just don't make sense.


                1) Blocks of 5. This still bothers the heck out me and clients. Let's take examples of small businesses. Starting from a sole trader plus a secretary, that makes 2 people. With Shared Hosting supposedly gone, how can these 2 use FM platform? They need to buy a server or virtual server plus FLT with 5 users. I will leave you do the math on the effective cost per user. One can also say that they can just buy a couple of FMP licenses and share it over LAN. But that makes the whole marketing of FMI fall off and also FMI is not recommending to use this method continuously. And what about scaling? What if the team is 5 people and they hire 1 more? They need to buy one whole block just for one new recruit. Is it really so hard to sell individual user licenses? If so, just make it individual for 1 to 10 users, from 10 users upwards the cost of buy 5 more is justified by the business size.


                2) Concurrent users still make sense in some cases. Small business XYZ has a dozen employees and 100 suppliers that need to connect for a brief period of time.


                3) The FMPFUC is a great new thing period. It certainly helps out a lot but sends the message that WD has probably reached its limits. There is no explicit and well advertised improvement to WD like 13->14 while there is some certainly. Having FMPFUC instead of WD makes the strain on the server far far less which is certainly a large cost saving. With WD still not having THE single most wanted feature since its release...PDF/printing, then using WD would make far less sense now! Whilst previously I thought FMI would move into an almost entirely web/mobile based environment, now I am just confused.


                4) Definition of a user, it's validation on the server and non-use of more than one device at a time makes very very little sense. Why give the "right" to open up 10 tabs on the web for WD but don't allow the user to open the app on FMG at the same time? Also the validation of the server on what constitutes a user is still very very weak. The FAQ is far from explanatory and should be enhanced immediately.


                5) Changing the licensing model, adding security and calling it a new version is not the way to go. I have only used FMP since v12 but I believe this is the thinnest by far upgrade ever. A 12month cycle is very much welcome but certainly a few more things should have been added on this version.


                I really love the FileMaker platform but thankfully I am complementing my business with a range of other services as well.

                • 5. Re: FLT licensing seems like great value to me

                  Hi Guys,


                  FLT is going to be great for probably 80% of the folks.   Edge cases... should purchase other licensing.


                  The only problem with this license is that some users will legitimately use two clients at a time.   I typically use 5 or so.

                  So for these people its not a good fit.   FMI doesn't really have a reasonable way of tracking users... They would like to have a way... I know... but there is no easy answer.


                  So because of the edge cases, etc... the old licensing program still exists.


                  - RC