In a webinar last week (Syncfusion Licensing: Everything You Need to Know), Syncfusion Vice President Daniel Jebaraj, Product Manager Chad Church, and Client Relations Manager Pat Staley fielded questions concerning Syncfusion licensing. The following is a summary of the Q&A portion of the video, which can be viewed here.
Is the flat-fee license an annual renewal or is it lifetime?
It’s an annual renewal, and you have the option to lock in your licensing price for multiple years. Let’s say, for example, you want to guarantee the rate that you’ve been given, we can agree to lock in for three to five years. We are absolutely comfortable with that and encourage it.
Does the Community License, which is free, cover all of Syncfusion’s functionality?
The Community License covers everything. There are a few limitations in the Community License: With Dashboard Reporting and Data Integration you have a one-server limit and a limit on the number of users who actually get to use it. With the flat license and the global license, there’s unlimited usage within the company—unlimited servers, unlimited users, unlimited developers.
Are there any plans for real MDB?
We support all standard forms of data access with all the products. So, whether it has a REST API-based access system or a bit more standard access system—the older legacy systems—we should support those as well, but we will be happy to test it and also post an update.
Is the Data Integration Platform Syncfusion’s equivalent of SQL Server Data Tools and Integration Services within Visual Studio?
It is comparable. There are differences that are product-specific, but it’s fair to say that whatever you can do with one can be done with the other. The difference is in terms of pricing and also integration with our other platforms. The integration platform that we offer is very tightly integrated with the rest of our data stack; it’s integrated with our Big Data Platform, and it’s integrated with the Dashboard.
Ordinarily, you can go out and license these from different vendors, and by themselves that would cost a lot of money (you know a lot of these products are licensed by processor, by core, or by machine or users). With Syncfusion, everything is integrated. You get a complete data stack; you don’t have to go out and acquire another data stack to do your data transformation work and another to do big-data processing, and another to deploy a dashboard and have it available to your users.
All of this comes together. That is the biggest win for our solution: Everything is available and works together and it is all included within that price. So you’re not going to pay for users; you’re not going to pay for designers—everything is covered.
You can deploy the Dashboard to every user in your company and it’s all covered.
What is the limit of users who can access the controls in the Community License?
With our Community License, the term users really applies to the Dashboard and the Reporting packages, and those are 15 end users—so 15 people can log in and look at a report and look at the dashboard.
You have one server you can put it on, and 15 developers can actually create the reports or create the dashboards. With our Big Data Platform and Data Integration Platform, everybody with a license can download and play with it. To put it into production, you get one server.
Is the price for a $1 million company to a $100 million company still $3,995?
The overall answer is yes. We consider that as one block. But in practice, we do discount depending on the particular situation, so a customer who’s just over the threshold of a million dollars—who maybe was on a Community License prior to that—we will certainly take that into account and discount that and give them a longer price lock, so they have the assurance that they only pay that much for the next x number of years.
But a company that is $80 million or $100 million can avail the $3,995 price, so it’s not much of a discount. There will be some discounting in play, but that slab between $1 million and $100 million is $3,995 for a year.
Does my product stop working after the subscription period expires?
We don’t actually control the product once we give it to you. There’s no time bombs built in to deactivate it. That said, the licensing rights do end, so it is a strict subscriptions model. From a licensing rights perspective, the rights end once the subscription period ends.
I’m a small developer beginning to use the Community License, will the File Formats suite be included with that license?
Yes, a Community License gives you an active license for everything that we have—all the controls, anything on our website you have access to with your Community License.
Are you able to receive software updates after your license expires?
No. It is a strict subscription model, so you get support and updates as well as licensing rights only for the period of the subscription.
Are there DevOp components that help multiple developer teams with continuous building and testing?
We don’t directly work in the DevOps domain, so we haven’t put out any tools for that—that may be something we do in the future—but we do make it very easy for teams to work with our tools when operating in such an environment.
For example, we have a licensing portal system that allows you to dynamically add and assign licenses, but it also offers you a lot more behind the scenes. When you’re on a team that’s working together, then anything that we patch for your particular team is key to that particular portal ID. So you can always be certain that anybody who’s part of that portal will always be in sync with everyone else.
Another thing to point out is that with the way our product works, it’s easy to do x copy builds with them. There’s no complexity, so we don’t require you to build the software. Because you have blanket licensing rights, you can do whatever you want: You can put it on a share, and you can pull from there; you can pull from a prepackaged repository—anything of that nature.
We also allow unrestricted deployment to cloud-based systems.
Is there an option to convert the license to a perpetual one after the subscription has been used?
No, we don’t generally offer a perpetual option. We do have limited circumstances under which we consider such requests, but outside of that, we usually don’t offer a non-subscription license.
According to your Community License section, five developers are able to access it—is it 5 or 15 users?
The number of developers who can access the product for the components is five, but the number of enterprise platform users—people who use the dashboard—that can be 15.
When a company that makes less than $1 million builds an application, and then later goes over $1 million, what are they supposed to do?
You have to contact Syncfusion at that point to obtain a license. Once your company crosses that threshold of revenue, you can talk to the sales team, and they’ll set you up with a license.
Some customers have a fixed road map—they have a five-year road map, for example—and they don’t want to deal with signing up for a commercial agreement two years down the road when they may be making a lot of money. So, they come to us and say, “We qualify for the Community License but we want to sign up for a commercial agreement upfront for the next five years.
I can use the Community License if my company has revenue less than $1 million, but what if the customer my company is developing for has revenue over $1 million? Can I still use the Community License?
If you have the Community License and you’re making less than a million dollars, you can go out and give your product built with Syncfusion components to anyone in the world, you can sell it to anyone in the world; the redistribution is completely covered. We don’t charge you for that. It’s only your revenue that matters.
If you are developing an intellectual property (IP), and handing over that IP—the source code, the ownership—to a large company, then you have to let us know, because at that point, you’re no longer the owner of the IP. The new owner may or may not qualify for the Community License.
But if you own the IP and are simply selling a finished product, you can sell it to anybody.
How do I move my current license to a global license?
Once you let Syncfusion know that you want to move to a Global License, we’ll work with our renewals team to get everything set up. We’ll walk you through the portal management in Direct-Trac so that you can have all of your users in one spot to help track incidents and support.
What about support for a Global License?
Syncfusion support gives you access to the client relations team. You can register your support incident in Direct-Trac, and then you will be assigned an account representative who will be your point of contact to make sure that everything is facilitated in a quick and timely manner.
How many developers are able to access the unlimited flat-fee license starting at $3,995?
That is unlimited. The simplicity of that license is the fact that it covers everybody.
As a Community Licensee, if I create software that embeds your dashboard controls using the SDK, how must it be licensed?
When you use the Dashboard SDK to create a product, the distribution is governed by the standard license. You can distribute your software to anybody you want.
The only point to note is that if you also need to distribute the designer to users, then you would have to take that into account because the designer is not free-and-clear deployment unless you have a global license.
Under the Community License, my company owns the IP, but the customer does not; however, we have an escrow clause in our contract with the customer. As long as the escrow clause is not exercised, do we still remain under the Community License?
Yes, you do. As part of the escrow agreement, you probably have a rider that requires the acquirer to obtain licensing rights from Syncfusion at the point that such an acquisition is triggered.
Must the Community License be renewed every year?
No. The Community License does not expire. Technically, as long as you continue to meet the requirements of the Community License, the license stays valid.
Is there a limit to the number of 24-hour support incidents that can be submitted with the Community License versus the Global License?
We don’t have any limits. Syncfusion’s Community License is just as full-featured, in terms of support, as our regular license. You can have as many support tickets as you need.
With the flat-fee license, you get a response within a 24-hour period. With the Community License, we do our best to respond, but it may not be as quickly as that. Support is unlimited for both, but response time is different.
Is there a guaranteed response time for incidents submitted under the Community License?
We work very hard to respond as quickly as possible with at least an email recognizing that we have received the incident from your Direct-Trac portal. Depending on the incident, we usually respond within three days.
If you post the issue in a forum, we won’t find it as quickly as we would if you post it through your Direct-Trac portal.