Author Topic: Altium is killing off perpetual AD  (Read 10378 times)

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Offline ajawamnet

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #75 on: June 14, 2024, 10:23:36 pm »
The Kicad KiPro business model is like Red Hat is to Linux.  https://www.kipro-pcb.com/faq/


With that model the software is free and they actually have people willing to pay them to help manage and develop the code - which is always open and free. 

And Red Hat did $6.6 billion last year.   

https://techcrunch.com/2023/07/21/red-hat-ibm-earnings/

When my sales guy told me how all the other companies are going SaaS and comparing Microsoft to Linux I had to mention that all the 365 stuff hosted on AWS is Linux.  Not Microsoft. 

So it's possible that in the future most software business models will go that direction.  The user maintains control of access to their data, and the Red Hat model will prevail.  Sounds like a win-win to me. 

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
~~R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983)



Offline Someone

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #76 on: June 14, 2024, 10:41:13 pm »
Is it time to download the offline installers for the latest version our perpetual licenses allow? I'm losing trust here.
Until you download the "offline" installer and discover it requires an internet connection to install.  :-DD

The Kicad KiPro business model is like Red Hat is to Linux.  https://www.kipro-pcb.com/faq/

With that model the software is free and they actually have people willing to pay them to help manage and develop the code - which is always open and free.
In theory, for most users (who aren't software devs) the perpetual licence for Altium should have been comparable. Pay money to get support or don't pay money and get no support (after the initial buy-in). Except for all the money people have thrown at Altium their reported bugs and workflows never seemed to be prioritised.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #77 on: June 14, 2024, 10:43:59 pm »
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
~~R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983)
That is an interesting quote. It reminds of a documentary (released last week) called 'How music got free'. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt31189881/
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline bookaboo

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #78 on: June 15, 2024, 08:19:12 am »
They certainly seem to want to see how far they can push the user base on pricing. We have two perpetual licences here, and to switch one of them to a different geographical location we has to go back on subscription and pay a £400 fee (yes , that's correct, to move a licence we bought and paid for to another office).

The rep did put the other subscription on for no extra charge and I planned to use the subscription to see if 365 could get our component libraries into a better state. However given this latest gouge, I'll probably just solve the libraries some other way, and just sit on AD25 with no subscription for as long as practicable when the subscription lapses.

They know the crazy prices are no problem to people using it all day every day, or inefficient corporations / public bodies. But for the small development team, it just feels like a shakedown. If I could go back I'd have stuck with Diptrace.
 

Offline PlainName

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #79 on: June 15, 2024, 11:31:13 am »
When my sales guy told me how all the other companies are going SaaS and comparing Microsoft to Linux I had to mention that all the 365 stuff hosted on AWS is Linux.  Not Microsoft. 

So it's possible that in the future most software business models will go that direction.  The user maintains control of access to their data, and the Red Hat model will prevail.  Sounds like a win-win to me.

I think you are conflating two different things, or I've misunderstood your point. There is nothing to stop some company using Linux to host their SaaS cloud and  lock in user data as tight as a puckered arse. In fact, I'm sure we could spot plenty of such instances. The user is sure of access and control of their data on Linux only if they own the Linux instance it's stored on.
 

Online Gerhard_dk4xp

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #80 on: June 15, 2024, 09:57:06 pm »
Pay money to get support or don't pay money and get no support (after the initial buy-in). Except for all the money people have thrown at Altium their reported bugs and workflows never seemed to be prioritised.

I also had the case of paying the subscription for my eternal license and
getting no support nevertheless. AD crashed within 10 seconds after start,
and that could be repeated. The excuse was that my WIN ran in a virtual
machine, and they said that VMware could not handle networks.
Eeeh, what is the core of THEIR business?
And network traffic on a stand-alone machine, usually without internet access?

I found it out myself: Renaming an old but immaculate Protel library from
.lib to  .schlib crashes AD when loading. Probably NOBODY checks what's
really inside. (2016) I did not tell them their bug, but cancelled support
for 6 years.

Virtual machines make you free. If my windows machine dies, I throw it
away and fetch a new incarnation of it from an external 10T drive.
I have a second one in the basement that will survive if the house burns
down and one with my brother's 250 Km away. Libs and designs are on
d: which maps to /d under Linux. The generous virtual machine is just a
200G folder. There can be many variations on a 10T drive.
And moving to a new, fatter workstation is a 2 minute copy.
Everything like it used to be.
Why should I give Microsoft control over a full hardware machine?

cheers, Gerhard

ps: VMware16 performs much better than 17
« Last Edit: June 15, 2024, 10:18:09 pm by Gerhard_dk4xp »
 
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Offline ianm42

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #81 on: June 17, 2024, 01:45:46 pm »
In fact there has possibly has been a change in licensing (in UK) at least since the original announcement.

I got an email today offering to "migrate" my perpetual license to "Term Based Commercial License" 12 Month Pro Subscription for bargain price of £1522.50 per seat !!!

However also attached was an FAQ:

Can I still buy perpetual licenses after the transition?

Yes, but after 1 July, 2024, you will no longer be able to purchase a subscription contract
for a perpetual license.

So you will be able to get perpetual license but there will be no upgrades or support or way forward. Great.
 

Offline PlainName

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #82 on: June 17, 2024, 02:02:33 pm »
I am not sure the lack of subscription is that important. Sure, you won't get fixes straight away but if you're happy to wait a year for non-critical stuff (which, let's be fair, probably won't have arrived by then anyway) then the upgrade cost to a new no-support perpetual may be in the same ballpark.
 

Offline ianm42

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #83 on: June 17, 2024, 02:05:53 pm »
I have been allocated a week, shortly, to evaluate alternative more cost effective schematic and PCB tools to replace our Altium. KiCad and Proteus are looking possible.

 

Offline PlainName

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #84 on: June 17, 2024, 04:27:57 pm »
I switched from Proteus to Altium (via CircuitStudio). Proteus is OK but the interface shows its DOS heritage (don't they all!) and it is quite a bit behind Altium in several respects. Good if you want to simulate your circuit, though, particularly if you use a microprocessor that they support.

One of the things that turned me off it was the move to an integrated design file. That is, instead of having separate schematic, PCB, simulation files, they are all stuff into a single file. In some ways that might be nice, but for source control it's a right pain in the arse: you cannot make a minor change (say fix a typo) to the schematic without the PCB 'file' also changing, so the temptation not to fix things, because other things will show a change for no reason, is there.

OTOH, it's a fair bit cheaper than Altium :)
 

Offline Smokey

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #85 on: June 17, 2024, 04:55:05 pm »
I switched from Proteus to Altium (via CircuitStudio). Proteus is OK but the interface shows its DOS heritage (don't they all!) and it is quite a bit behind Altium in several respects. Good if you want to simulate your circuit, though, particularly if you use a microprocessor that they support.

One of the things that turned me off it was the move to an integrated design file. That is, instead of having separate schematic, PCB, simulation files, they are all stuff into a single file. In some ways that might be nice, but for source control it's a right pain in the arse: you cannot make a minor change (say fix a typo) to the schematic without the PCB 'file' also changing, so the temptation not to fix things, because other things will show a change for no reason, is there.

OTOH, it's a fair bit cheaper than Altium :)

So for me the big question is:
.....What is the industry acceptable lateral move away from Altium for a pro business user?  Some of you guys can say KiCad all you want, but you probably don't need to justify that to a manager.  You probably also aren't a consultant who needs to justify that to their clients.
Is there a clear right answer to this?
 

Offline PlainName

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #86 on: June 17, 2024, 05:36:58 pm »
I imagine it depends on your (present and likely future) requirements. If you need the things that only big boy's toys provide then it's going to be expensive either way. For that, Cadence seems to be the alternative (but note that I don't have an opinion, having spent perhaps half an hour playing with it).

Kicad may not be an option for you now, but it is progressing at a rapid rate and the user base is well above critical mass. I think if I had to give up Altium I would probably try to suffer the Kicad user interface for at least an extended test. I have no object to paying for a good product, but at that level Kicad would look more future-proof in the way of fixes and features. I'd really be pissed to base my workflow around a product going nowhere slowly, and have paid for the pleasure to boot.

As a consultant, wouldn't you need to have feet in most baskets? You'd surely be more likely to go with whatever your client du jour is using unless the job is to get them started in design.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2024, 05:39:06 pm by PlainName »
 

Offline trevwhite

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #87 on: June 17, 2024, 07:44:32 pm »
I would talk to cadence guys and see if they can offer you a few days training to see if it’s worth the switch. They will likely want to take a client from Altium and may well give you a good deal
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #88 on: June 17, 2024, 08:26:41 pm »
I switched from Proteus to Altium (via CircuitStudio). Proteus is OK but the interface shows its DOS heritage (don't they all!) and it is quite a bit behind Altium in several respects. Good if you want to simulate your circuit, though, particularly if you use a microprocessor that they support.

One of the things that turned me off it was the move to an integrated design file. That is, instead of having separate schematic, PCB, simulation files, they are all stuff into a single file. In some ways that might be nice, but for source control it's a right pain in the arse: you cannot make a minor change (say fix a typo) to the schematic without the PCB 'file' also changing, so the temptation not to fix things, because other things will show a change for no reason, is there.

OTOH, it's a fair bit cheaper than Altium :)

So for me the big question is:
.....What is the industry acceptable lateral move away from Altium for a pro business user?  Some of you guys can say KiCad all you want, but you probably don't need to justify that to a manager.  You probably also aren't a consultant who needs to justify that to their clients.
Is there a clear right answer to this?
I'd say Orcad. I have been a long time Orcad Capture CIS user (25 years) together with various PCB design packages and switched to Allegro (Orcad PCB Designer Professional) a couple of years ago. I have to use Altium every now and then just to look into designs or to make small changes or check things but it is a mess. Part properties are lost between versions. Component database doesn't seem to work right (Orcad got this sorted 25 years ago) and Altium is slow and prone to crashes. Sure Allegro has an old school extremely not sexy X-windows style user interface, but it is very productive and fast to use once you go through the learning curve.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2024, 08:31:54 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline chris_ee

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #89 on: June 18, 2024, 04:47:27 am »
I asked my sales rep a few questions since the language in the email was kind of vague on specifics.  Here's their response:

1. You will continue to have ownership of the perpetual license.  That will not change.  You own the license outright and it will be available for basic design functionality.  All of the subscription features will now live with the term based license + subscription.  Your perpetual license will live in the account alongside the term based license.
2. If you decide to make the conversion now and do not renew next year, you'll lose the term based license and the price guarantee.  The perpetual license will still be on the account, just frozen with the last available update released for AD24.
3. You are not obligated to renew.  If you choose not to renew and then need to access the latest and greatest available with Altium, you'll then be subject to current list prices of a term based license.
4. Yes, the perpetual license is yours.  It just won't have the subscription features : updates to AD24+, Altium 365, library component management, library parts updates, support, and bug fixes.
5. Yes, you can use both licenses alongside each other.  Since the perpetual license will be frozen with previous updates, it might not be as fast as the term based license but you will still be able to use both at the same time.

I was concerned about being locked into paying all 3 years in order to keep the perpetual license, but that's not the case.
 
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Offline Someone

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #90 on: June 18, 2024, 06:00:35 am »
4. Yes, the perpetual license is yours.  It just won't have the subscription features : updates to AD24+, Altium 365, library component management, library parts updates, support, and bug fixes.
What's the bet it will have greyed out dialogues/panes and continue to push the features in your face even though you cant access them?
(there is already a bit of that going on when you opt out of/disable the cloud features)
 

Online voltsandjolts

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #91 on: June 18, 2024, 07:11:41 am »
2. If you decide to make the conversion now and do not renew next year, you'll lose the term based license and the price guarantee.  The perpetual license will still be on the account, just frozen with the last available update released for AD24.

So, you have AD24, then pay for 'n' years of updates, but you don't get to keep those updates if you quit subscription at some point in the future. Back to AD24 you go. IIUC.
 

Offline bookaboo

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #92 on: June 18, 2024, 12:33:04 pm »
When we let our subscriptions lapse we got to stay on the latest update version before the licence ran out, the rep confirmed this will be the same in 12 months time.

I also asked for clarification around whether subscriptions will be available at that point, the rep reply came:

"I think it's unlikely that in 12 months time you'll be able to renew again, as the plan is to phase out subscriptions. Although we haven't been provided with a definitive answer to that question yet, so there is a chance. "


 

Offline JohnG

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #93 on: June 18, 2024, 01:31:12 pm »
I have been allocated a week, shortly, to evaluate alternative more cost effective schematic and PCB tools to replace our Altium. KiCad and Proteus are looking possible.

One week, eh... Your management probably thinks this is a generous offer.

My company has spent a lot more than that, but probably because we have a significant investment in workflow. We have a lot of similar designs made in relatively small quantity (100s to 1000s). However, we have evaluated KiCad and any new seats are going to KiCad, though we are keeping our existing Altium licenses. We have a common parts database that works for both KiCad and Altium, and that part was relatively straightforward. The bigger challenge was duplicating the board manufacture workflow, where we had a significant investment of time in Altium's outjob files. We have a fair number of scripts and use plugins to make this work, but it does work mostly.

We have an additional use case, which is that our company has a number of field application engineers scattered about the world, and one of their jobs is reviewing and evaluating designs of our customers. Getting an Altium seat for everyone who needs it gets really expensive, very quickly. Doubly so for us, because a lot of these FAEs are not in the US and the cost goes up a lot. We tried shared licensed and the licensing was some expensive and complex we gave up on paid software. We couldn't justify the cost.

What do we miss in KiCad?
Output file management (outjobs) - really miss this
Full padstacks - we work around it, and we still have some permanent licenses for Altium if we really need
Full IPC-2581 for 3D FEM software - KiCad only has partial support ATM
A fair number of bugs get introduced with each major update (roughly annually)

What do we like in KiCad?
Free and bugs get fixed relatively quickly
No onerous licensing and no pushy salespeople who play obnoxious and time-consuming games
Can read and view Altium designs
Starts up fast (Altium takes forever to start up, and this sucks when you are working directly with a customer)
HTML BOM!
Better community support

Your use case may be different, but I hope that this is at least useful information to consider.

John
"Reality is that which, when you quit believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick (RIP).
 
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Offline PlainName

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #94 on: June 18, 2024, 02:17:38 pm »
Quote
We have a common parts database that works for both KiCad and Altium

Can you share how that's set up?
 

Offline JohnG

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #95 on: June 18, 2024, 03:01:00 pm »
Quote
We have a common parts database that works for both KiCad and Altium

Can you share how that's set up?

We use a git repository that contains the database file (SQLite), along with the footprints, symbols, and step files. There are two directories for Altium (symbols and footprints) and three for KiCad (symbols, footprints, 3D bodies). The database was originally done for Altium, but we simply added some columns to handle the KiCad libraries and it worked. Only a few people can update the database, and the remaining team simply updates the their local repository from Github, and their local Altium and/or KiCad installation points to their local repository.

We started by converting the original footprints and symbols to KiCad. This was done by a contractor, and I don't know the fine details. We already had an Altium project that contained each symbol and footprint in our library that we used for review and training, so we imported these into KiCad and generated the KiCad symbols from there. For new symbols, we do roughly the same.

In hindsight, we could probably be more efficient about the whole process. It's got a couple quirks, but it actually works fine.

Hope this helps.

John
"Reality is that which, when you quit believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick (RIP).
 
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Offline ajb

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #96 on: June 18, 2024, 03:09:26 pm »
2. If you decide to make the conversion now and do not renew next year, you'll lose the term based license and the price guarantee.  The perpetual license will still be on the account, just frozen with the last available update released for AD24.
[...]
5. Yes, you can use both licenses alongside each other.  Since the perpetual license will be frozen with previous updates, it might not be as fast as the term based license but you will still be able to use both at the same time.

So they're saying that the offer to "convert" a perpetual license to a term license is really converting the *subscription* on the perpetual license to a new term license?  So you end up with your now-subscritption-less perpetual license PLUS a new term license.  If so, they sure as shit should've communicated that better, because it's a MUCH better proposition than what it sounded like.  But then this whole saga has been a case study in how NOT to communicate big changes to your customers, starting with the fact that so many of us only heard about this with ~2 weeks to the cutoff, and are only getting as much info as we are by specifically asking wtf is going on.
 
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Offline 55pilot

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #97 on: June 19, 2024, 01:47:57 am »
2. If you decide to make the conversion now and do not renew next year, you'll lose the term based license and the price guarantee.  The perpetual license will still be on the account, just frozen with the last available update released for AD24.
Apparently you are new to Altium. Their salespeople lie more than the most dishonest politician. Everyone who has dealt with Altium for the long run has experienced that.

Pretty much every year I have renewed, they have made promises, in writing, that the company has refused to honor. Altium's position has been either that the salesperson was misinformed or that they did not have the authority to promise what they promised.

The key word in this offer is "convert." When you do not renew in a year, or two or five, and discover that your perpetual license does not work, you will be reminded that you converted your license. When you send them this e-mail, you will be told that (1) the salesperson no longer works there, (2) they did not have the authority to make that promise, (3) you should have known better than to believe that because it was clearly stated that you were converting your license and (4) you should pick up a dictionary and learn the meaning of "convert"

Been there done that. Sad to see people falling for it.
 
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Online jusaca

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #98 on: June 19, 2024, 11:10:56 am »
Yes Altium is playing really stupid games with their customers.
Whenever I have a pretty direct question to our salesguy about a new license or something, I ALWAYS get some convoluted BS as answer. They always push and try make you pay more money, wether it is good value for you or not. It always is such a hassle to get a real answer that they will commit to... I don't buy a single word an Altium Rep tells/writes me  :-//
 
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Offline cadguy68

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Re: Altium is killing off perpetual AD
« Reply #99 on: June 19, 2024, 07:00:07 pm »
Can a software company be Fascist ?
« Last Edit: June 19, 2024, 07:29:59 pm by cadguy68 »
 


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