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Vectorworks abandoning perpetual licences


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2 minutes ago, Anders Blomberg said:

@Christiaan I sure hope you're right! But is it possible to completely move away from major cycle releases regardless of licensing model? Looking at Autodesk I believe they still stick to major releases every year, while using a subscription model for licenses. Without having to much knowledge of software development it seems that new features might need to be tied to file/model format. Like a .vwx 2021 model vs. a .vwx 2022 model. Doesn't this mean that major release cycles will still be needed?

 

This is what I am wondering too

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29 minutes ago, Anders Blomberg said:

@Christiaan I sure hope you're right! But is it possible to completely move away from major cycle releases regardless of licensing model? Looking at Autodesk I believe they still stick to major releases every year, while using a subscription model for licenses. Without having to much knowledge of software development it seems that new features might need to be tied to file/model format. Like a .vwx 2021 model vs. a .vwx 2022 model. Doesn't this mean that major release cycles will still be needed?

Yes, good point, you're right, they can't get rid of the major release cycle. That's me wishing for something that probably can't be attained. Vectorworks haven't said anywhere that they will get rid of the annual/major release cycle. Only that they will provide more frequent updates during each version cycle.

 

What I hope that translates into is that features aren't held back for an annual release if they don't require a file format change, and that engineers don't get pulled off bugs to focus on the next annual release (or get pulled off less).

Edited by Christiaan
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From previous experience in an Autodesk dominated business, it was difficult enough to try and keep everyone on the same format of Revit with just the yearly releases. In the last 10 years I've seen a change towards people always using the latest version of their software, whereas some people tended to try and update as little as possible before. It created an absolute mess when trying to coordinate larger projects, so personally I'm rather in favour of the trend, but obviously there are many aspects to it. Can't say anything about the developer side of it though.

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Jumping in a bit late but...am I getting it right, for us VSS customers the annual subscription price will almost TRIPLE ?!!!

 

If so, this will KILL Vectorworks in the architecture business, at least in countries where VW is the minority software. Archicad subscription is about 1000e + VAT annually, Vectorworks will be  €1495 + VAT annually. One initially has to buy an Archicad license for 6400e + VAT though, but when one factors in that almost no-one knows how to use Vectorworks and has to be trained from scratch, the costs cancel each other out very quickly.

 

It's already a risk for an architect's practice to use a non-mainstream software since potential employees take this into consideration when thinking about their careers. Some have actually left because of Vectorworks and eg. project sharing bugs, back in 2017 and 2018. Now THAT is expensive.

 

It's really a no-brainer then. Too bad.

 

 

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Just now, JMR said:

Jumping in a bit late but...am I getting it right, for us VSS customers the annual subscription price will almost TRIPLE ?!!!

 

If so, this will KILL Vectorworks in the architecture business, at least in countries where VW is the minority software. Archicad subscription is about 1000e + VAT annually, Vectorworks will be  €1495 + VAT annually. One initially has to buy an Archicad license for 6400e + VAT though, but when one factors in that almost no-one knows how to use Vectorworks and has to be trained from scratch, the costs cancel each other out very quickly.

 

It's already a risk for an architect's practice to use a non-mainstream software since potential employees take this into consideration when thinking about their careers. Some have actually left because of Vectorworks and eg. project sharing bugs, back in 2017 and 2018. Now THAT is expensive.

 

It's really a no-brainer then. Too bad.

 

 

 

No if you currently have VSS + don't end it then nothing will change for you.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
3 minutes ago, JMR said:

Jumping in a bit late but...am I getting it right, for us VSS customers the annual subscription price will almost TRIPLE ?!!!

 

If so, this will KILL Vectorworks in the architecture business, at least in countries where VW is the minority software. Archicad subscription is about 1000e + VAT annually, Vectorworks will be  €1495 + VAT annually. One initially has to buy an Archicad license for 6400e + VAT though, but when one factors in that almost no-one knows how to use Vectorworks and has to be trained from scratch, the costs cancel each other out very quickly.

 

It's already a risk for an architect's practice to use a non-mainstream software since potential employees take this into consideration when thinking about their careers. Some have actually left because of Vectorworks and eg. project sharing bugs, back in 2017 and 2018. Now THAT is expensive.

 

It's really a no-brainer then. Too bad.

 

 

@JMR as a Service Select customer you are not being asked to move to Subscription, you will remain on your perpetual license with your Service Select maitenance plan as you are today. 

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2 hours ago, Christiaan said:

Sure, and claims I'm happy to take at face value. Those claims could turn out wrong, but I think they believe that they can make a more stable product by offering more frequent updates. Indeed, getting rid of the major release cycle and providing more frequent updates is something I've asked for myself over the years, for this very reason.

 

So when VW says 'we're going to change our pricing structure so we can provide more frequent updates, so we can make a more stable product' it doesn't make a very good argument to cite existing instability as a reason to stay with the current pricing.


Where did this notion of them getting rid of major releases come from?  That’s not what they said in their letter.  Vectorworks already pushes out frequent updates and new features between releases of major versions.

 

I can’t imagine anyone in the marketing department would want to get away from offering a new shiny model each year.  This is what justifies the annual press releases, journalist reviews, professional conferences, and new training announcements.  This drives the consumer to stay abreast of what’s going on and creates a bit of anxiety of being left behind… marketing gold.

 

Nothing is changing except the revenue model and its impact to their customers.

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25 minutes ago, Anders Blomberg said:

From previous experience in an Autodesk dominated business, it was difficult enough to try and keep everyone on the same format of Revit with just the yearly releases.

Cloud computing solves this problem.

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12 minutes ago, jeff prince said:

Where did this notion of them getting rid of major releases come from?  That’s not what they said in their letter.  

That's just something I've asked for in the past and I mistakenly implied was taking place.

 

It is something I'd like them to do, but it requires switching away from desktop to cloud computing.

 

12 minutes ago, jeff prince said:

Vectorworks already pushes out frequent updates and new features between releases of major versions.

New features between major releases has been a very rare occurrence.

 

Edited by Christiaan
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3 minutes ago, Anders Blomberg said:

Any indication this is coming? 

No, not that I know of. And I wouldn't be talking about it if I did because I'd be under NDA. I'm also guessing that if it was coming they would have waited to announce the shift to subscriptions alongside it.

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28 minutes ago, Christiaan said:

 

New features between major releases has been a very rare occurrence.

 


That’s simply not true.  Every service pack 3 typically has several new features in addition to improved stability, even if they are largely B side hits.

Edited by jeff prince
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25 minutes ago, jeff prince said:


That’s simply not true.  Every service  pack 3 typically has several new features in addition to improved stability.

I stand corrected:

https://www.vectorworks.net/en-US/public-roadmap/updates

 

Almost exclusively to do with interoperability, third party plugins or cloud services though. In the last five years the only features that don't come under this blanket are a couple of features for Spotlight and Vision.

Edited by Christiaan
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1 hour ago, ndavison said:

@JMR as a Service Select customer you are not being asked to move to Subscription, you will remain on your perpetual license with your Service Select maitenance plan as you are today. 

 

Can I clarify, current Service Select customers will be given a perpetual licence for VW2023 in September 2022 - but next year (September 2023) they will not be given a perpetual licence for VW2024. Have I got that right?

Edited by line-weight
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2 minutes ago, line-weight said:

next year (September 2023) they will not be given a perpetual licence for VW2024. Have I got that right?

You will keep your perpetual license for as long as you keep your Service Select active. 

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26 minutes ago, Christiaan said:

In the last five years the only features that don't come under this blanket are a couple of features for Spotlight and Vision.


They will need to keep the theater and events people happy, they might be the only source of new customers after this fiasco 😞

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
3 minutes ago, line-weight said:

I'm still not quite clear - do you mean that for as long as you keep SS active, you'll get a new perpetual licence each year?

 

@line-weight yes, that is true. We don't have any plans of changing the Service Select program at this time. As long as you stay an active member of the program, your perpetual license will continue to be upgraded each year. 

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Just now, ndavison said:

 

@line-weight yes, that is true. We don't have any plans of changing the Service Select program at this time. As long as you stay an active member of the program, your perpetual license will continue to be upgraded each year. 

Ok. And if I drop out of the Service Select program at some point, then I keep whatever the latest version of my perpetual licence is, and can use it for as long as I like after that?

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Wow have these replies filled my inbox, have had to turn off notifications for this topic!

 

So things seem a bit clearer since I last read..

1. Service Select   IS NOT THE SAME AS   Subscriptions

2. Service Select = Perpetiual License | ie | When you stop service select you get to keep Vectorworks whatever version you've stopped at

3. Subscription = Non Perpetual License | ie | When you stop subscription you lose access to using Vectorworks

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