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,
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
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
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
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 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
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.