CAD Manager's Newsletter (#377)8 Feb, 2017 By: Robert Green
The rental software licensing model has benefits, but in order to make wise decisions for your company, you must also learn about potential problems.
In the previous edition of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, we discussed the tsunami-like effect of software companies transitioning from perpetual licensing to rental usage models. I included a checklist of action items to perform so you can be ready. (If you haven't read it yet, you may wish to do so before continuing.)
While rental software will certainly change the costs of our software tools, it'll also change how we administer and run those tools from an IT point of view. In this edition, we'll explore some of those changes so you'll be prepared to survive — and thrive — in the coming year(s). Here goes.
Licensing Terms Change
With traditional software, you buy the license, then purchase an annual maintenance agreement to receive updates. At the end of the year, you can choose to renew the maintenance agreement — or not — based on your own determination of value. In this mode of operation, you only worry about your software licensing situation once per year, and even if you decide not to renew a maintenance agreement, your software will still run.
How might this scenario change with rental? Let's ponder some possible complications:
- Multiple license periods. Software companies are now offering rental periods of a year, three months, and even one month, in some cases. While this approach does allow control for staffing up/down as project load dictates, it also makes license management a much more time-consuming problem for CAD managers because there are more license types to track, and licensing may need to be addressed more frequently than in the past.
- Token tracking. Some software products use a "token" or usage-based system to bill for software when actually used. The typical implementation is that a fixed number of tokens are purchased, which are then debited as software is used. Under this licensing system, CAD managers must constantly track token usage, which is a hassle. It can also be hard to control costs with token-based systems, unless users are restricted from use — which is yet another CAD management hassle.
- Software time-outs. With a variety of rental periods and usage tokens for various products, it becomes a real chore to keep track of how many licenses/uses are available at any given time. And if you mess up and miss a renewal deadline, the software simply stops running, which can be a serious problem for your users.
Do you have a good feel for how these factors may impact your company, based on your software product usage and software company policies? If you haven't considered these potential issues already, you need to — now! Read more »
RAPID Offers Free DFM Guide
RAPID is offering a machining design guide to those who register. The downloadable guide includes design-for-machining (DFM) best practices for wall thickness, hole depths, interior fillets, and more.
AutoCAD Video Tips: Grab AutoCAD Content — and Go!
If you're good with a keyboard, you can grab AutoCAD content (such as blocks and layers) straight from the Command line even faster than you can through the ribbon. In this video tip from Cadalyst and Lynn Allen, you'll see just how quickly you can access valuable content! Watch the video »
Starting Our First Sketch in Onshape
This tutorial leads viewers through sketching in Onshape, as part of a journey to designing a 3D printer. Watch the video »
Using Picture References in Fusion 360
This Pluralsight tutorial demonstrates how to use photos of a prototype as a guide in creating a parametric design in Autodesk Fusion 360. Watch the video »
New Nano Dimension Technology Embeds Components in 3D-Printed PCBs
Conductive ink eliminates the need for solder in printed circuit boards created with newly developed technique. Read more »
IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Learn One Joint to Revolutionize Your Inventor Assemblies
If you're still limited to using constraints because you've put off learning Inventor's joint relationship tool, this tutorial will expand your horizons. Read more »
Sponsored: Steel Detailers Make the Move from 2D CAD to 3D Workflows
As the industry evolves to rely on building information modeling (BIM), professionals have the option to change along with it — or get left behind. Read more »
In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!