Comfort update and fee

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2 years 10 months ago #124517 by billboule
billboule created the topic: Comfort update and fee
Hello Carsten & Co !
I saw the introduction of Comfort update in the last weeks... Looking at the documentation, I'm reading

ComfortUpdate is currently a free beta test service. We considering that at some point in the future users might have to pay a small fee to purchase an upgrade key to continue using the feature.


Could you give some more infos about these fees ?

We are a small non-profit organization using limesurvey as an alternative of Google Form because we believe in opensource !
Making survey is not our main business, we are just using it as a tool and not making money out of it...
In other hand I know that the development and maintaining cost money to you creator of this app....

Would you explain more how you will deal with the different fees ?

Thanks in advance

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2 years 10 months ago - 2 years 10 months ago #124626 by holch
holch replied the topic: Comfort update and fee
Hi Bill,

I don't have any further information on this, but I guess the problem is (like always) that everyone is happy about free and open source software (by the way open source != free as in you don't have to pay), but when it comes to supporting the project (with donations or work) most users disappear.

I personally like that Limesurvey is free. But a lot of people spent a lot of time in their spare time to create the software. And even if all work is done for free, there is always something to pay for (server, etc.). I assume that there are not many donations coming in.

While I would prefer not to have this fee, I could understand if it would come. But I think especially for me, as I help out with support in the forum this will be a bad move, because a lot of users might reduce the update frequency or just stick with old versions anyway (we already have too many out there with old versions of LS).

But I guess this fee will not be too high (at least I hope so), so that a small NGO will also be able to afford it (most of the users of Limesurvey are not huge corporations with huge budgets). To be honest, NGO doesn't say much. I was once asked to quote for a project for a NGO. I was totally open to give them a special price. They invited me to their office (one of those Regus type furnished and serviced offices, but not the normal ones. It was a pretty expensive one). Seeing that for me there was no reason to cut down my margin anymore. The obviously had enough money. But this is just a little anecdote and has of course not much to do with this.

And, there is always the option to update manually.

Now let's see what the core developer team has to say about this.

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds
Last Edit: 2 years 10 months ago by holch.

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2 years 10 months ago #124627 by jelo
jelo replied the topic: Comfort update and fee
There are a few open source projects with such update keys.
E.g. the CMS project Contao.
There pricing looks like this:
update.contao.org/en/account/add-license.html
1 Domain 10 EUR per year
5 Domains 18 EUR per year

I would expect that pricelevel for Limesurvey too.

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2 years 10 months ago #124628 by holch
holch replied the topic: Comfort update and fee
I would find this a little high, especially as LS is often used by students for their thesis (OK, 2-3 beer less and the 10 Euro are financed).

But what would be interesting is to know how many Limesurvey installations are out there today. With the comfort update, this should be possible to find out, shouldn't it?

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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2 years 10 months ago - 2 years 10 months ago #124666 by billboule
billboule replied the topic: Comfort update and fee
Thanks Holch for your answer.... I actually agree with most of what you wrote ;-)
Let's see if anyone else has something to say....
Last Edit: 2 years 10 months ago by billboule.

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2 years 10 months ago #124760 by holch
holch replied the topic: Comfort update and fee
Well, seems like our questions are answered:
www.limesurvey.org/en/pricing

I personally find the pricing too high. I am using Limesurvey more for side projects and data entry and it has been good for this. Many of our questionnaire programming is outsourced. So I was fine with installing Limesurvey on a VPS (along with other software) and I could use it in some cases. As the comfort update was quick, I also didn't have to do much admin stuff.

Now, with a cost of $ 99 per year, I might have to rethink this.

However, what is more concerning is this section:
At first this Premium package will include ComfortUpdate only, which can be used to conveniently update LimeSurvey from within the application. If you don't want to use the ComfortUpdate function you can still update manually to the latest version. At a later point we will add more functions to the Premium package, so stay stuned!

That sounds to me that in the future, new features will be rather a premium addon than part of the base package (which explains some reluctance of including features into the core and rather keep them as addons).

Hmmm, not sure what to expect from that move. I thought it might be a rather symbolic value that someone who is doing a quick survey can also cover. OK, they might never update their installation anyway, but...

And another thing: We already have too many old installations out there which are impossible to support. With the comfortupdate being a premium feature, even more will stay away from updates...

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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2 years 10 months ago #124776 by jelo
jelo replied the topic: Comfort update and fee

holch wrote: That sounds to me that in the future, new features will be rather a premium addon than part of the base package (which explains some reluctance of including features into the core and rather keep them as addons).

You sound quite surprised for a member of "LimeSurvey Team". I would expect you get a free key for lifetime. Or just ask for posting of the key when someone needs help here ;-) But I wonder if any research has gone into the pricing. At least we know that Premium Package
is "Most buys!".
T&C is here: www.limesurvey.org/en/comfortupdate-terms-conditions

If the limit "up to 30 updates" is really in place and a hard limit, there will be blood.
At least it make sense that a Comfort Update section was added. I'm asking for a forum sections about LS-website for ages.
It will be interesting to see how the LimeSurvey GmbH keeps the "community" alive.

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2 years 10 months ago - 2 years 10 months ago #124777 by holch
holch replied the topic: Comfort update and fee
Well, I am quite suprised. I am part of the Limesurvey Team as of I was asked some years ago if I don't want to help out as a moderator. I agreed and here we go. I even only found out that there was something like this planned when you mentioned it in the forum. And I was not offered a free key for lifetime either. ;-)

I expected a small fee for the comfort update, but 99 Dollars is quite hefty I think. Especially with our currency being quite weak against the dollar.

I don't think that the problem is the up to 30 updates for 3 months. This means 10 updates per month (there will be never that many updates, so you should be able to update 2-3 installations). Who has more installations should be fine to be able to pay additional update packages. I think in general the price should be lower to make sure that a big amount of users are still updating regularly.

What I don't find good is also to have a "pricing" section on the website. This looks like you have to pay for Limesurvey, but it is "just" for the updates. As I was writing up their, I think it is not necessarily a bad thing to charge some money for the comfort update. But I was more thinking of the $10,00 per year we were discussing about. Now the price is basically 10x as much, which I think is too high for many of the Limesurvey users. For a big company that uses LS for many surveys, this shouldn't be a big deal. But I don't think that many big companies use LS.

Well, let's sleep about this and see if tomorrow there is at least some information about this on the website. Because I would have expected at least that.

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds
Last Edit: 2 years 10 months ago by holch.

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2 years 10 months ago #124786 by jelo
jelo replied the topic: Comfort update and fee

holch wrote: I don't think that the problem is the up to 30 updates for 3 months is a problem. This means 10 updates per month (there will be never that many updates, so you should be able to update 2-3 installations). Who has more installations should be fine to be able to pay additional update packages.

There is no direct way to get an additional update package then to create a new user account. They will be able to create a unique key, but you cannot buy additional via selfservice.

Update releases
2.06_plus_150825 …
2.06_plus_150824 …
2.06_plus_150812 …
2.06_plus_150731 …
2.06_plus_150730 …
2.06_plus_150729 …
2.06_plus_150723 …
2.06_plus_150629 …
2.06_plus_150619 …
2.06_plus_150612 …
Let's see how e.g. timeouts of the update-servers are counted.

In terms of stable releases there might be only 4 per year. 2.06 isn't stable. I am afraid that 2.06+ will hurt the userbase.
A multi-tier update system is needed badly.
www.limesurvey.org/en/forum/development/...pdate-process#121660

holch wrote: But I don't think that many big companies use LS.

The feature set isn't matching the demand. The price gap between solutions like Qualtrics is not wide enough. If that would be the cause, Universities would put more effort into LS.

Development of LimeSurvey has moved to a professional level, so we need funding to pay our developers. That is why we now offer a premium package for LimeSurvey.

Let's wait to see the new level to unfold and come into bloom.

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2 years 10 months ago #124801 by holch
holch replied the topic: Comfort update and fee

I don't think that the problem is the up to 30 updates for 3 months is a problem. This means 10 updates per month (there will be never that many updates, so you should be able to update 2-3 installations). Who has more installations should be fine to be able to pay additional update packages.
There is no direct way to get an additional update package then to create a new user account. They will be able to create a unique key, but you cannot buy additional via selfservice.

Well, I don't see a problem in creating a new user account. This is the smallest problem I think.

Update releases
2.06_plus_150825 …
2.06_plus_150824 …
2.06_plus_150812 …
2.06_plus_150731 …
2.06_plus_150730 …
2.06_plus_150729 …
2.06_plus_150723 …
2.06_plus_150629 …
2.06_plus_150619 …
2.06_plus_150612 …
So these are 10 updates in 3 months. You could update 3 installations with this, if yuo don't do every update, then even more. And we had some pretty exceptional months in terms of updates I would say. The frequency lately was a lot higher (150824 -> 150825 and 150729->150730->150731 indicate that there have been some serious problems in this version so that you have updates on consecutive days). You probably won't do each of those updates anyway, you might not even see each of these updates in your system (only if you check daily).

holch wrote: But I don't think that many big companies use LS.

The feature set isn't matching the demand. The price gap between solutions like Qualtrics is not wide enough. If that would be the cause, Universities would put more effort into LS.

Well, I am not sure if this is entirely true, because the Qualtrics costs were pretty high. For universities they offer huge discounts, I am sure. University budgets are usually pretty small and few universities have the additional budget that a package for their dimensions would require. So I am sure they offer the universities pretty good deals to get known and established and later those students will continue to use Qualtrics in their professional life. They are also pretty pushy in their sales approach. I can tell you.

Development of LimeSurvey has moved to a professional level, so we need funding to pay our developers. That is why we now offer a premium package for LimeSurvey.

Let's wait to see the new level to unfold and come into bloom.


If this benefits directly the Limesurvey base development this would be great. But reading the text again it sounds to me, that the money is for the premium package and thus the money stays within the premium package. So Limesurvey development will probably continue as is, but there will be soon a package with new shiny features. But you will have to pay for that. I guess we'll see soon.

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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2 years 10 months ago #124808 by holch
holch replied the topic: Comfort update and fee

holch wrote: And I was not offered a free key for lifetime either. ;-)


I have to at least particially correct this. I was provided with a long term key (not for life time, at least I expect to live a little longer... ), but I wasn't informed about it, so I didn't know about it when writing the text above. Just be totally transparent here.

This doesn't change anything regarding my opinion about this move in the rest of the post though. So the rest of my post is still valid.

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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2 years 10 months ago #124818 by LouisGac
LouisGac replied the topic: Comfort update and fee

holch wrote: So Limesurvey development will probably continue as is, but there will be soon a package with new shiny features. But you will have to pay for that. I guess we'll see soon.


I really understand that fear. But, that will not happen.
LimeSurvey is open source, under GPL licence, and it will stay open source, under GPL licence.

The next 'business' step is about creating a new interface for LimeSurvey Professional (previously LimeService), making of it a true modern web portal.
To reach this goal, the first step is to rebuild the LimeSurvey admin interface , and to provide a responsive template for the surveys. You will all benefit of this hard work , and you'll benefit of it before we can use it on the new LimeSurvey Professional (previously LimeService).

So, what's going on ? The online features are getting paying, or more expensive (comfortUpdate, LimeSurvey Professional (previously LimeService), etc.). The limesurvey software stays free, opensource, under GPL licence. It will benefit a lot of the new incomes.

So, don't worry. OpenSource developers love OpenSource. Nobody wanna see LimeSurvey becoming a privative software.

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2 years 10 months ago #124827 by holch
holch replied the topic: Comfort update and fee
Hi Louis,

Thanks for skipping in and making some clarifications. I can understand that Limesurvey needs some financing to go forward and you can see that I am totally in favour of a certain fee for the comfort update (see my first response to the OP).

However, I expected it to be a little more accessible to everyone (in the area of $ 10 per year and installation or similar). With the current pricing I guess that many users will switch back to manual updates and I guess we need to be prepared for quite a bit of support questions on the manual update process again (which were basically non existent anymore since the comfort update was introduced).

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds
The following user(s) said Thank You: DenisChenu

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2 years 10 months ago #124844 by billboule
billboule replied the topic: Comfort update and fee
Thanks Louis for these clarifications. Nice to see that the devs are taking part of the discussion !

Speaking about my use, we are not ready to pay 100€ (I'm situated in France, and the pricing is displayed as 100€ and not $100) for the comfort update. As most of the user (this is my guess), we would have been ready to donate something like 10€ a year/installation (I would say up to 20€ max).
I'm just wondering in term of income for LS development team and for the development of the community.... Is it better to have
  • 5 persons donating 20€/year
  • 1 paying 100€/year, 2 sticking with outdated version and an annual manual update, 2 going away for other solutions
It looks like, I will be one of the "outdated version and annual manual update"

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2 years 10 months ago #124847 by c_schmitz
c_schmitz replied the topic: Comfort update and fee
Hallo,

well, the pricing is debatable, of course. However please note the 50% discount we are currently offering and it will stick around for some time so that people now opting for the trial key first, will still be able to apply it if they buy a full update package later.

Best regards

Carsten Schmitz
LimeSurvey project leader

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