Author Topic: Is the Altium Designer yearly subscription fee ever negotiable?  (Read 2478 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jmarkwolf

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 106
I'm nearly due and received a quote for $2000.

I'm a sole proprietor and am wondering if there is ever a discount like I got when Purchasing AD with the competitive product price I got last year.

Online T3sl4co1l

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 19245
  • Country: us
  • Expert, Analog Electronics, PCB Layout, EMC
    • Seven Transistor Labs
Re: Is the Altium Designer yearly subscription fee ever negotiable?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2021, 06:16:06 pm »
Not sure offhand, you can certainly ask.

Do you need the subscription service? If you aren't using the vault (as in absolutely newest content, anyway) or 365 thing, it might not be much value to you. Or there's the monthly mode too.

Seven Transistor Labs, LLC
Electronic design, from concept to prototype.
Bringing a project to life?  Send me a message!

Online dunkemhigh

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4155
Re: Is the Altium Designer yearly subscription fee ever negotiable?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2021, 07:09:44 pm »
IME it can be negotiated. Helps if you're trying around the time the salespeople need to show a result, but I think it's still possible at other times. Also probably depends on your contact.

Offline Wilksey

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1291
Re: Is the Altium Designer yearly subscription fee ever negotiable?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2021, 11:45:40 pm »
We didn't renew this year and we were offered 3 different prices, each time lower, but management said nope still, so they will in my experience drop the price if you say it is too expensive.

Offline ajb

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2205
  • Country: us
Re: Is the Altium Designer yearly subscription fee ever negotiable?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2021, 12:48:15 am »
I got it for $500 a couple of years ago. Just told the altium rep it wasn't worth $2k to us, rep asked what it would be worth and that was my answer at the time.

We're not renewing again at any price though. After not doing much in altium for a while I spent my last couple weeks using 21.7.1 and on top of the normal bullshit it just completely died several times while not doing anything particularly challenging. Just a bunch of those "please wait" windows popping up in a row, then it would freeze entirely before just disappearing. Draftsman is still a giant half-baked turd, interactive routing is still fucky, some shortcut keys (like single layer mode toggle) have randomly stopped working multiple times until I reload my saved preferences, the list of bullshit goes on and on. I'm not spending any more money on software that isn't actually getting any better in the ways that are important to me.
The following users thanked this post: Kean

Offline Wilksey

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1291
Re: Is the Altium Designer yearly subscription fee ever negotiable?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2021, 01:12:03 am »
Our last supported update was 20.something, but I find AD19 to be more stable than 20, was it AD18 they supposedly completely rewrote it?

AD17 was the most stable version I have used to date.

Offline Kean

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1516
  • Country: au
  • Embedded systems & IT consultant
    • Kean Electronics
Re: Is the Altium Designer yearly subscription fee ever negotiable?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2021, 02:59:45 am »
A couple of times in the past ~10 years when I hesitated to renew I was offered a discount.  And a couple of times I got an extra month, so it is always worth asking your rep.  I think being a small business gives you a bit of leverage to beg.  :-DD

I actually stopped paying last year as I couldn't justify the annual fees for the amount of work I've done recently in Altium, plus the business uncertainty at the time.  Similar to ajb I was called several times and was eventually asked what it was worth for me to renew.  I told them I just wasn't interested any more.  I still get emails about reinstating my sub.

I've been relatively happy using AD19 to just maintain the existing projects.  Most of the recent stuff in AD20/21 just isn't of interest to me, and I have no interest in investing in a more powerful PC right now, nor deal with a bunch of new bugs.

Edit: Forgot to mention that the sales rep may suggest the monthly subscription model to help with cash flow, but why would anyone with a perpetual license switch to that?  If you really need the newest features, I'm sure you could justify the maintenance subscription.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2021, 03:05:38 am by Kean »

Online tszaboo

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5917
  • Country: nl
  • Current job: ATEX certified product design
Re: Is the Altium Designer yearly subscription fee ever negotiable?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2021, 02:19:41 pm »
They will negotiate with you, because your BATNA is "I'm not going to pay you anything and keep using the product as is".
Don't expect any special deals or "30% off if you update from OrCAD" or anything like that, that deals are for people who don't want to negotiate. Just ask for a discount.

Offline ajawamnet

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 47
  • Country: 00
    • Porfolio
Re: Is the Altium Designer yearly subscription fee ever negotiable?
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2021, 03:45:11 pm »
Yes - for me AD17 was the most usable and stable.  It had issues but they were mostly manageable.   I just got kicked off their main forum for some odd reason - I've asked their upper management and still no reason why. I made a mistake in 2019 and agreed to be on their beta forum. Matt (been the VP there of some thing for 25 years) and some dude named Alexey called me an had me get on some sort of Goto thing. As it went I kept asking why they removed features that users have counted on for decades. Why they added more crap that is buggy as hell.  Even Matt was asking Alexey about what I was saying.

So I get on the beta.  Man, you gotta hand it to any user that signs up for that. It's like a full time job just debugging their stuff. As it went I kept getting the nagging feeling that something was extremely wrong with the place. As I and our Host here on EEVBlog (and former Altium employee) David have mentioned, they had moved dev to China around 2014. Dave states this was in a failed effort to get cheaper coders. Well, the CN coders are NOT cheaper.  I also felt that they moved there in an effort to try and keep places like motherboard mfgs, and commodity electronics guys from using cracked copies of things like Protel/Altium (you won't believe how many products have been done with cracked P99SE software). This is when our host David, said he had enough and quit (good for him).

So around 2014/2015 they release Ad15 (still 32 bit) which in it's initial state is a bit buggy to say the least.  But I have to hand it to the CN coders, within two point releases they had it fairly stable and fixed. By that point Altium was on record in various online electronic development publications stating that their suite  consisted of 15 million lines of code. 

So AD16 and 17 come along. Fairly stable, as best as I've seen since the early Nick Martin (founder)  days and up to when he got fired in 2012.  Even after they kicked him out, AD was still a pretty usable product.  I myself have done over 2,500 designs with versions from Protel  Client 3.2/Adv PCB 2.8 up to AD6.9.  Don't get me wrong, there were issues with all of the versions, but they seemed manageable to a degree as compared to the random shit that's happening now.

I never really needed to be on their forum - the shit just worked. Then I had to upgrade for some silly reason that John Hopkins wanted (solder mask sliver shit that any CM will usually handle) and so I had to upgrade. Got AD14 and 15 which added the push and shove, wiggly squiggly shit which was kinda nice. They did initially trash the Specctra interface in early Ad15 but fixed right quick after I bitched.  Cool.

So now the bullshit starts.  after the failed move to CN, one of the team mentions that they have some coders in the Ukraine that can code this stuff.  Well, not so much. You can't throw someone into coding a package like this that has no clue as to what it's even supposed to do.

There's a similar thread going on with recording software - commonly called a DAW. For decades, Protools was the standard. This was after things like SAW and early Cakewalk.  then a guy comes along - Justin Frankel. The guy that wrote Winamp and got bought by AOL.  He eventually quits (due to Time Warner getting pissed at him for various things they say he did) and he gets bought out. Having the luxury of wealth but still driven to write code - and being a musician and fascinated with audio/video - he writes Reaper.  At fist it's got growing pains. But eventually he gets it stable and in a lot of respects more useful that other DAWS. For instance during the "port everything to 64 bit" all the other DAW's could not handle 3rd party legacy 32 bit plugins ( a major component to producing/mixing audio) .

Now a lot of these are not being upgraded since the music biz was/is kinda in limbo - no real money in it (unless you're Taylor Swift or some big name that the MMA was legislated for - see this from one of the top entertainment lawyers: ) .

So just like altium, these commercially acceptable things like Protools bloat way the F' out and get more and more buggy:  See this rant here:
Pay particular attention to Point 13 at the end.

This is becoming endemic. Add to this the increasing reliance on inexperienced coders to just "let the OS or dev environment" handle the low level interactions is - in my opinion - leading to another "Tyranny of Numbers"" that Jack Kilby faced and was the impetus for the invention of the IC chip (of which he got a Nobel Prize).

So THIS is why we end up with shit. Altium did the same thing - rid of forced out the keepers of the clue and now is trying to just keep their head above the sea of bugs that their "corporate direction" has laid upon them.

After a year or so of me telling them they have lost control of their source code, they finally admit it's bloated to 40+ million lines of code and is almost unmanageable.  I use the term "almost" allegorically.

So let's look at Justin with Reaper.  This thing, among with an amazing amount of customization, has a built in 32 bit wrapper that runs 3rd party stuff better than Protools handles their native apps.

And like Altium - even more so since it's running some heavy math calcs and internal data management, along with a GUI IN REAL TIME - reliability is paramount to the end-user.

Well, unlike the the other DAW's like Protools with bloated installers that are gigabytes , Justin's installer is 14 MEGA bytes.  Yep - MEGABYTES.   When I first switched I thought it was a stub installer - nope - that's the whole thing.

Now how the F' can a guy like Justin do that when the rest of the software industry - seesm to be going the other way - a bloated POS that barely can handle basic functions without crashing?

Here - I'll let Justin tell you in his own words:

at 3:50 Where Justin states:
"when I left [AOL after they bought Winamp], I came away from it wanting to avoid that in the future; wanting to just make things for the sake of making them .. and not have to constantly justify everything with business decisions/motivations. The ability to just make software for the purpose of making it... for the end goal of making something that's really powerful and enjoyable to use"

Yea - that's why. 

Damn asshole man-bun, Java jockey, Pitiful Python Pirates... Wouldn't know a CPU register if it hit 'em in the forehead.

I found this GIF on the official Altium forum where another long-standing user has just gotten tired of the stoopid.


Offline jmarkwolf

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 106
Re: Is the Altium Designer yearly subscription fee ever negotiable?
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2021, 04:30:48 pm »

Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo