Introducing new licensing model for SharePoint apps
As you know, we've been working hard converting our products into apps that can be installed by Office365 customers. It's a long and labour-intensive process, especially considering the drastic paradigm change. But we already have 5 products in the app store with 2 more coming up early next month. Most of the others are expected by the end of the year.
App store provides a convenient way of licensing and selling apps, the sale process itself as well as licensing are provided by Microsoft as a service, so we, as developers, do not need to be concerned about it. It sounds good in theory, but unfortunately we found this system to have severe shortcomings:
- We have no direct knowledge of who the customers are and what they bought.
- We have no control over license prices, we cannot provide discounts or free licenses to our partners.
- Only per-user and per-site license types are available. The subscription model is monthly only.
- Per-user licenses must be assigned to named users before they can be used. It's a manual process and could take some time to accomplish.
- We cannot provide support with any license related issues.
We decided that we needed our own, alternative licensing model, without relying on the one the store provides. We developed our own infrastructure and modified our existing products to use this new system. We now have the ability to sell licenses directly, licensed by user / site / site collection / web application, with the ability of providing discounted developer licenses as well. We can manage and provide annual support as well as extend trial periods if needed. An additional benefit is the way per-user licenses now work. When you purchase a set of per-user licenses, they will be automatically assigned to your users "first come - first served" until the license pool is exhausted. Then you can manage your user licenses through our website (noticed License Management in the top menu?).
To our existing customers, who purchased license through the store: please contact us directly with your proof of purchase and we will convert your licenses free of charge.
I hope you will find the new licensing model more convenient and better suited for real life scenarios!
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