Subscription / Product RoadMap
I have just read about every post in this thread regarding the new Subscription based licensing model. I have just recently purchased WA SuperSuite and PowerCMS about 2 months ago. Paid $900 US approx (over $1000 Aus). I live in Australia (so contacting your office by phone is practically impossible)
I have been in the IT Industry for over 20 years, mainly from a Windows Networking / Infrastructure point of view. However I am embarking on Web development now so I am certainly green where it comes to web programming. That is why I chose to purchase Dreamweaver CS4 with these extensions, to make my life easier and not have to pay a "Proffessional web developer" huge $ to manually build my sites.
I think a lot of these comments could have been not necessary if proper explaination about the New Subscription model had been delivered to all existing customers.
As I have purchased almost all of your extensions, I see that by signing up for the subscription would give me the latest version upgrades (2.x to 3 etc) and that I would still be able to use those extensions (eg. version 3) if I decided to end the subscription.
As a new member, I do not have the hindsight to know what your company's development plan is (ie over the last 10 years, how often have you released new versions / products etc). So I can see why a number of posts here especially from new members, may feel a bit duped for purchasing in the last couple of of months.
Question 1. So how many product upgrades do you anticipate over the next year. I know that is somewhat crystal ball gazing, but some indication would be very helpfull in deciding whether or not to take up this subscription model or to just purchase upgrades.
Question 2. So I take it if as a subscriber i would then receive the new CSS Sculptor Version 3. As I allready own CSS Sculptor, If I were to cancel the subscription, Would I still be able to use Version 3 or would I have to revert back to Version 2 that I currently own, or do I lose all access to any version of that extension?
New Product Extensions
If your company were to say come up with a new extension for example, A Calendar Date Picker (we will call it WACalendar), and its retail price would be say $100 US Outright Purchase. I take it that as a I subscriber I would have access to it while being a subscriber and would lose access to it if I cancelled the subscription. (Note: I just purchased a calendar extension from another competitior since you dont offer it)
Question 3. In the case of this new WACalendar extension, Will subscribers be able to purchase the extension at a later point in time, and if so will they receive a good discount based upon the length of their subscription. ie Say 1 year subscription = 10% discount, 2 year = 25% discount etc. At least this option would allow people like myself who have purchased the majority of your extensions prior to this point in time some guarentee that they have investment protection in the case they then decide to cancel the subscription for what ever reason. A bit like "Radio Rentals" Rent Now Buy Later type of option
Future Product Roadmap.
I was reading in one of your other announcements regarding PayPal changing their APIs which would impact on .asp code. After reading a number of posts on that, I have a couple of concerns.
It was mentioned that from now on only PHP extension model would be supported in relation to the PayPal issue. As Paypal is a 3rd pary provider, I can see if they drop say .asp APIs then it would be impossible for your company to provide an .asp extension. But is this the general future direction for WA.
Question 4. Are you going to only support PHP / MySQL for database side and dropping support for .asp coldfusion etc for all products say DataAssist, SecurityAssist etc.
One of the reasons I purchased Your product set from the word go, was that you offered these products such as DataAssist etc, for all .asp php coldfusion etc. (As mentioned above I purchased recently from another competitior some extensions e.g Calendar Date Picker. This company offers their extensions as either an .asp or a php product, so to get both I would have to pay for 2 individual extensions.)
So it would be very important for new customers to know where you product roadmap is leading, especially for those that have invested a large amount of $ to your company and have built large .asp or coldfusion sites.
Also from my point of view This is a very important. I dont have a problem having to go down a PHP / MySQL road as I have not invested a large amount of time building in either .asp or php yet, however I have allready come accross an Issue with using MySQL as a platform. This being the support for SQL Views.
In any relational database design, we require to use Multi Table select views of our data. I know that since the release of Version 5.0.1 of MySQL the use of views was supported. Im not sure if views were available in previous versions to that.
I have just started leasing a Server to act as a web hosting platform and the platform I have recieved is a Virtual WIndows 2008 Server (built on Parellels Virtuoso) and using the latest Plesk 9.2.01 Control Panel. THis product set includes MySQL 5.0.45 as its default SQL engine. From this control panel, I can create a database no problem but the rights, that Plesk gives the Database User is standard Table manipulation but excludes the Create / Modify View ability. Therefore unless I hack Plesk, I cannot use SQL Views in MySQL. Therefore I cannot use your extensions such as DataAssist where I need to use Multi Table data view.
Also If I dont go down the path of using my own webserver infrastructure, and continue to use the same WebHosting company that I am currently using to host one of my old sites, They only offer MySQL version 4 (which I believe doesn't even allow Views).
I am going to try to get information from Plesk regarding this View Issue, but my point in this is that I do not believe that I would be the only person in this situation. As I have seen the code that is generated by Dataassist (using the current .asp model) I can see that your extension builds its own complex code rather than trying to use standard Recordsets. As I dont know how you compile these extensions, im not sure if it is possible to recode your database based extensions to be able to use prewritten recordsets as an option.
I know this is a long post, but answers to these questions will certainly impact on wether or not I subscribe and or continue to use your product set at all in the future.