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    Connection Licenses - Alternatives?

    CICT

      This raised its head again last week, and again today, within 2 projects that FileMaker WebDirect and FileMaker Go would be perfect for, but both may never happen due to the price of licenses for quick or infrequent connections.

       

      Our own example initially involves between 100 and 200 iPads with FileMaker Go installed that are likely to synchronise with FileMaker Server for a minute or so once or twice a day. This could then scale up within the industry, but FM Licensing for Teams would be a non-starter with initial connection costs alone of between £8500 and £17,000 and some degree of nervousness regarding concurrency, despite the 3 x cost per connection, being under the label of 'legacy' licensing.

       

      We acknowledge FileMaker need to make money out of licensing to continue to deliver their great product, but there must be a case for a duration restricted lower cost concurrency license connection for occasional synchronising from FileMaker Go and WebDirect for data collection and a full price continuous connection license for administrative workers. This could easily be controlled by FM Server and help kick start many projects that never see the light of day, further expanding the sales of full connection licenses; every system that has occasional connections made requires management and admin teams to be connected throughout the day.

       

      I hope to hear other ideas along these lines, or whether you completely disagree with the above and why. Also, if you do have a project that FM Go and WebDirect would be ideal for, but the connection licenses prohibit it, please contact your local FileMaker sales team and give them the example. If we can't feedback examples, then FMI have no reason other than to believe we're all really happy as it stands?

       

      Constructive comments only appreciated please, the ranting about license changes happened with the introduction of v15, but it would be good to reflect on this and see what ideas appear.

       

      Many thanks

      Andy

        • 1. Re: Connection Licenses - Alternatives?
          jaythefirst

          OK, so here was my project.

          A database for the film industry. That would hold profiles for Actors and Models, Film Locations, Props, Suppliers and Crew.

          All the members don't need to get in, they may want to occasionally view their own profile or show it to a friend. They only ever post 1 single record. If its updated I do it.

           

          There is a group of Casting Agents and Location Managers / Scouts that I would allow to post multiple records of the above. They can afford $300 and get their own copy of FM Pro. This would be 20 -30 copies of FM Pro sold.

           

          Then there are the Producers, who use all of the above contacts. This would be a group of about 200 users, who would come and search the database. Probably only 5 or 6 of them online at any one time. If I cant display a working copy to them the project dies. I would say 50 of them can afford the $300. But the independent guys cant. But those independents do go on to work for larger companies, thus selling to them too eventually.

           

          Ive spent 2 months learning and testing to the point of getting a developer licence and yesterday building my first server on AWS. I was going to upload the beta copy of the file tonight for 4 good friends to test.

           

          But it looks like I will have to walk away from this, with my tail between my legs.

          Im trying to be constructive here, but I can only tell you my plight. I am one of the people I think CICT is talking about.

           

          There needs to be some sort of limited time use for the 5 minute clients who cant afford it yet. This is needed for Filemakers sales force, which is effectively the developers. Would anybody buy a new car they are not allowed to see, much less a prototype they cant test drive. OK there is a 15 day trail available to them. But I still cant afford the Licence on my side.

           

          Hope this helps somebody else.

          Jay

          • 2. Re: Connection Licenses - Alternatives?
            CarlSchwarz

            jaythefirst wrote:

             

            Probably only 5 or 6 of them online at any one time.

             

            Jay

            There are concurrent licenses for those 200 people, connect them using webdirect.  Buy only 5-10 concurrent licenses.  If they are only dong a one off search they probably don't want to go through the process of installing FileMaker Pro on whatever PC they would be using at that time for 5 minutes of access.

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            • 3. Re: Connection Licenses - Alternatives?
              CarlSchwarz

              CICT wrote:

               

              Our own example initially involves between 100 and 200 iPads with FileMaker Go installed that are likely to synchronise with FileMaker Server for a minute or so once or twice a day. This could then scale up within the industry, but FM Licensing for Teams would be a non-starter with initial connection costs alone of between £8500 and £17,000 and some degree of nervousness regarding concurrency, despite the 3 x cost per connection, being under the label of 'legacy' licensing.

               

              Many thanks

              Andy

              If you can manage the time of day that they sync then a handful of concurrent licenses would do.  FileMaker have not deprecated the legacy licensing so I don't think it is in their plans to remove it, I believe they are just trying to 'manage' it by putting the price up.

              • 4. Re: Connection Licenses - Alternatives?
                Markus Schneider

                - a company with a VLA (they got FileMaker for years), some of the staff would like to work on iPads during meetings, etc.

                -> two connections for iPads (employes already have a Pro licence) costs here more than 8000 bucks. (only packs per 5 connections)

                -> FMI couldn't tell how to migrate the existing VLA to a team licence, could have been an alternative

                 

                They did not do it, yelling out. Project's dead.

                 

                iPad are personal devices, fingerprint protected, credit card stored onto, etc...

                • 5. Re: Connection Licenses - Alternatives?
                  jaythefirst

                  There seems little point in FM Go being free, what if they made it a $5 App to cover individuals licence contribution.

                  • 6. Re: Connection Licenses - Alternatives?
                    CICT

                    Hi Carl

                     

                    To put some perspective on this, the cost for 10 concurrent licenses in the UK would be over £2500 per year - I don't know whether people would consider that good value or not? I would think £2500 / 200 users / 12 months

                    £1.05 per month per user cloud be viewed as good value assuming 10 concurrent licenses could service that number of people.

                     

                    Another idea could be a 'burst' facility on the server, similar to what many of the hosting companies provide, where extraordinary traffic can receive more resources for a short period of time?

                    • 7. Re: Connection Licenses - Alternatives?
                      CICT

                      Certainly knowing that 'legacy' licenses or some form of concurrency will remain available would provide a little more confidence than the way it is presented at the moment.

                      • 8. Re: Connection Licenses - Alternatives?
                        monkeybreadsoftware

                        Only FileMaker Inc. can explain you licensing exactly.

                         

                        But why not just start with a FLT license for a small group and see how it works?

                        Than add users and if you hit the limits (server will send warning), you can add more FLT users.

                        • 9. Re: Connection Licenses - Alternatives?
                          danielfarnan

                          Quote:

                          Our own example initially involves between 100 and 200 iPads with FileMaker Go installed that are likely to synchronise with FileMaker Server for a minute or so once or twice a day.

                           

                          This seems to be the key phrase of your post. And I am going to rephrase it as "I want a way to (infrequently) get data from FileMaker Server without needing a concurrent connection" because I think that will prompt some thoughts on possible workarounds for the limitation.

                           

                          For example, custom web publishing does not have concurrent connections. Write a PHP-based site that will provide the information needed as a website (maybe accessed via a WebViewer object on the iPads). Or buy REST-FM from Goya (if they still sell it now that we have the Data API; perhaps you can write your own) to provide an API that returns just the data that you need, and process it with the FMGo client.

                           

                          Of course, this is a very expensive process, because it's not just a matter of getting it providing data but also of getting it reliable and secure - still, depending on the scale of your solution it could be worth the investment.

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                          • 10. Re: Connection Licenses - Alternatives?
                            CarlSchwarz

                            CICT wrote:

                             

                            Another idea could be a 'burst' facility on the server, similar to what many of the hosting companies provide, where extraordinary traffic can receive more resources for a short period of time?

                            I wish FileMaker had a monthly licensing option for this reason (at a premium cost I'm guessing).  There are a number of projects that I do not tackle because of the up-front yearly cost.  I could be more flexible with monthly and add some more products/project options

                            • 11. Re: Connection Licenses - Alternatives?
                              CICT

                              The main reason I created the original post Christian, is that I believe internal licensing discussions continue at FileMaker and hoped some ideas would come out from here for them to consider.

                               

                              Regards

                              Andy

                              • 12. Re: Connection Licenses - Alternatives?
                                CICT

                                All worth taking on board. Thanks.

                                • 13. Re: Connection Licenses - Alternatives?
                                  jaythefirst

                                  @Christian Schmitz In some cases thats actually a months wages. People will just continue to use pencil and paper to do the job less well.

                                  Also if you run on AWS and have a small server set up for registration, a server for Pro & Go clients and a server for web direct because it needs a lot more power that = 3 of your 5 users. If 1 user logs on to 3 servers Filemaker deduct 3 of your 5.

                                  • 14. Re: Connection Licenses - Alternatives?
                                    CICT

                                    Another thing worth considering is that we could be having very similar discussions once the trial period expires for the FileMaker API in September next year.

                                     

                                    Food for thought.

                                     

                                    Andy

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