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Changes To Onshape's Plans

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Comments

  • tom_scarincetom_scarince Member, Developers Posts: 47 ✭✭

    As a free user so far, I can't complain - I believe in TANSAAFL. 

    However, Pro users have now lost the functionality to fully collaborate with free users on their private docs.

    I will have to search the forum, but I recall an Onshape employee stating that they anticipate something like a small company with one pro account supporting several occasional light users with free accounts to be a valid use case.   

  • JlabsJlabs Member Posts: 28 ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    3dcad said:
    Not too much comments from paid plan users.

    Well, I would like to drive Tesla - for me it would be enough to accelerate 0-100km/h in 5sec and top 200km/h and I could pay $30 000 for that.
    It would be technically possible to deliver me such car and it would bring them money.
    So I'm asking for middle tier, something I can afford - will I get it? No. Because they have something others don't and there is price to pay for development.

    Same thing here, the price tag for developing something like Onshape is enormous. And like every other free beta software, there will be a day when developer needs to start earning money.

    I don't see a problem with evaluating using public space, evaluating is testing and work is work - there is a difference.

    Of course I'm bit concerned if they someday send me email that pro plan new price is $5000 per year. But I feel confident as they didn't change anything for current pro plans, for us it's still $100 / month even if paid monthly. And they have stated few times that $1200/year is the price that should be enough to keep things running.

    Ok, no problems for early pro adopters.. unless your working like me, pro plan is for designer who does 95% of work, then there are free plans for suppliers, sales, support, production, customers etc. who need to access and make small adjustment / testing for models - that 5%.

    I did ask about this and free users are not able to edit docs even though they have been shared by pro user. That is because there was some idiots trying to save money by violating this perfect environment using single pro account to assign actual work into multiple free users. Damn you!

    How can Onshape come up with rules to prevent violating but still allow editing for free users if doc is shared with them by pro?

    Or should they introduce small company pack with 1+x license where one has pro plan and rest can only edit private docs that are shared with them?

    Any other thoughts from paid users?
    First of all, your argument is absurd. A software product isn't a Tesla. And since they're offering all the functionality for free the "price tag" argument is invalid because the cost is already baked in because the product is already developed. Basically, most of the users on this thread are telling OnShape to take our money for private documents. Offset the cost of all the freeloaders a little by offering a middle tier. I don't buy the "we're focusing on pros and open source" bull, because it makes no financial or market sense. I think it's more likely professional arrogance. They want to position to serve pros and the founders probably have a grudge against the current top of the CAD market so anything that dilutes the perception that OnShape is a pro tool isn't acceptable, namely mid-level casual users. 
  • lemon1324lemon1324 Member, Developers Posts: 185 EDU
    edited November 2016
    @3dcad Not a pro user, but some thoughts:
    3dcad said:

    Well, I would like to drive Tesla - for me it would be enough to accelerate 0-100km/h in 5sec and top 200km/h and I could pay $30 000 for that.
    It would be technically possible to deliver me such car and it would bring them money.
    So I'm asking for middle tier, something I can afford - will I get it? No. Because they have something others don't and there is price to pay for development.

    Same thing here, the price tag for developing something like Onshape is enormous. And like every other free beta software, there will be a day when developer needs to start earning money.
    This would be an argument that makes sense (albeit disappointing) if OS were scaling back the free program entirely. The difference is that unlike Tesla, there's not a significant development cost associated with a middle tier, since it's fundamentally the same product. This is assuming that keeping track of how many private documents one has is not more difficult than building the CAD product. Instead, OS is allowing unlimited storage for free plans, but no private documents; unless droves of users leave, which I don't think will, this is only likely to increase the cost sunk into supporting free users' data. Why not recoup some of that cost? I'm not trying to be antagonistic, and surely OS has a good reason for not supporting such a plan (and of course they don't really exist for most desktop software), but it's a pretty common model for internet services.

    I did ask about this and free users are not able to edit docs even though they have been shared by pro user. That is because there was some idiots trying to save money by violating this perfect environment using single pro account to assign actual work into multiple free users. Damn you!

    How can Onshape come up with rules to prevent violating but still allow editing for free users if doc is shared with them by pro?

    Or should they introduce small company pack with 1+x license where one has pro plan and rest can only edit private docs that are shared with them?

    Any other thoughts from paid users?

    What's the legitimate purpose where a pro user would need to have a design edited by a free user rather than just viewed? I may be missing something obvious, my not having been in industry, but I wouldn't want a customer/contractor to have edit privileges, and anything inside a single company should probably have another seat license.
    Arul Suresh
    PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University
  • tom_scarincetom_scarince Member, Developers Posts: 47 ✭✭
    So rather than document number and size limits, how about a usage limit?  For instance, a limit on the number of new feature tree items added per month in private docs?  This works well for Workflowy which is an outlining app which limits the number of line items added per month for free users - no size limits. 
  • lemon1324lemon1324 Member, Developers Posts: 185 EDU
    So rather than document number and size limits, how about a usage limit?  For instance, a limit on the number of new feature tree items added per month in private docs?  This works well for Workflowy which is an outlining app which limits the number of line items added per month for free users - no size limits. 
    So I was in on the beta, back when the limitation was "five active documents," which seemed too good to be true.  But the point of this is I had a phone call with an OS engineer to whom I suggested usage-based restrictions, and at the time the response was that it would take too much code refactoring (now you need the pricing code inside the CAD code, not wrapping it).  It makes sense to me that this would still be infeasible without having designed it in from the start.

    I think @robert_morris is probably on to something with the issues counting documents, but that only makes me curious how one could have a database of documents associated with each user without being able to easily count them.
    Arul Suresh
    PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 542 ✭✭✭
    Surely maintaining an accurate ongoing count of private documents is not beyond the programming skills of the Onshape team?  I would think it is more likely that they are finding their tech support resources are heavily skewed toward intermediate or serious hobbyists that tend to need more hand holding than Pro users.  Or perhaps they don't want a reputation as a program of choice for the Maker crowd.  In any case, there is probably zero chance for their rescinding the new free plan.  The decision may also have something to do with their business plan and in that case we will never get an authoritative answer for this change.OS has been steadfast in their refusal to support an intermediate tier over the past year so their mind certainly seems set in that matter.   It also seems like a curious time to make this change since drawings are still so immature and neither sheet metal nor configurations have been released yet.  There must be some serious investor concerns responsible for the change.

    I am disappointed that private documents will be dropped from the free plan because I assumed we would always have some sort of private document capability when OS confirmed some time ago that we would always have a free plan.  No doubt that was naive on my part but I really feel more than a little used and led astray by past OS promises about the perpetual free plan.  I'm especially upset about having to replicate my private documents in another CAD program.  The advantages of cloud computing mean nothing if you lose access to your data.  I let maintenance lapse on my previous CAD program (Geomagic Design) earlier this year but at least I can still access the 2.5 GB of designs I developed in that program.  That won't be the case with Onshape in 6 weeks and now I get to spend time replicating the design work all over again in another product.

    @3dcad - don't get too comfortable with the feeling that the sort of pricing you are used to will not be substantially increased in future.  Maybe you don't remember, but Alibre promised many years ago that users (at that time) would never have their maintenance fees increased above $150 or $175 per year.  They are currently at $US430 per year and there have been no updates or signs of developer interest there in more than a year.  Marketing folks have no problem making promises or insinuations that they never plan (or are unable) to keep.  

    I downloaded Fusion 360 yesterday and will give that a serious try now, though I suppose that their free/low cost plan will change much as OS has at some point in the future.  

  • kevin_raleykevin_raley Member Posts: 5
    My initial read on this was that the hassle of maintaining the size limits and documents limits for private documents for free plan users is not worth the OS corporate resources to maintain/correct the problems, so today ... we are disabling the creation of private documents under the free plan.  Now that makes a lot of sense from a corporate business decision perspective, and couple that with the increased load of support required for free plan users in general and you can see how a smart business would want to trim these costs. 

    The real problem is not the cost of the storage, if you extrapolate forward... all the free public use documents will end up a jumbled up pile of half finished, projects by people who just wanted to dabble with some 3D CAD for a while.  Now those files still take up space on a data storage device somewhere and OS can just buy more space as the "Junk Pile" grows over time, as long as the price they charge Pro users continues to support the OS development team, and storage infrastructure costs for the "Junk Pile". 

    The real question is for those of us on a thinner wallet is how do we adapt to this new paradigm, lets discuss some ideas how that might be doable for the average current free plan user.
     
    1.  Create a public document and download your project document and store it locally in a state you decide, then continue to modify the existing free public document to make it more unrecognizable with bad dimensions, missing or extra features, multiple branches, ... etc.  Essentially more incomplete, wrong, broken "junk" for the "Junk Pile" that just continues to stack up.
    2.  Import your locally stored correct / current version as a new document and move on with the new changes, again this can be repeated as often as necessary, or convenient.  So this method essentially gives the average single user/ hobbyist free user complete control over individual designs, you just have to manage your own files.
    3.  The "Junk Pile" gets really big to the point nobody wants to go digging through it, looking at something that is half baked.  Like others have pointed out you have your project hiding plain sight, but with out all the correct details, or changes, so why would anyone ever try and sort it out only to hit a dead end of something that may or may not have ever have worked.
    4.  This is all well and good until you need to start collaboration with another person or team, and at that point is when its probably feasible to pay to upgrade.  But using a file sharing service to keep the current "good" version updated with a small team could also be employed with this same technique, but not nearly as efficiently as with paying for the Pro version features.

    Now that I have postulated on the probable work around to these changes, I wonder how long it will be before we see some "other changes"  to prevent this, if the OS people really are just reducing overhead costs then they have no reason to prevent this use case.

    Now all that being said, I am not really trying to subvert OS as company at all, as I believe that the product and concept of full cloud CAD has place.  But as a disgruntled Solidworks user who recently paid my subscription invoice for the next broken version due out soon, I just cant justify paying 90% of that for OS as it is right now, considering OS doesn't do 90% of what Solidworks does today.  

    While I doubt that it will happen, but it seems to me there is sizable group of OS users that would be willing to pay $30/month for or so for the "Pro-Lite" plan that could be graduated based on something easier to monitor such as logged in online access time. As an example for for that $30/ month you get 30 hours of logged in time, and then could get billed based on actual usage above that to some additional rate up to the Pro level rate.  Solves the whole data storage fee model by something easier to monitor, track, and measure.
  • Kevin_at_BCWPKevin_at_BCWP Member Posts: 7 PRO
    edited November 2016
    If OnShape allowed exporting just PDFs of drawings from a shared document in the free account(read only private share from a pro account), that would solve 99% of my issues with this change. 

    Please.

    Thank you.


  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,455 PRO
    edited November 2016
    Jlabs said:
    First of all, your argument is absurd. A software product isn't a Tesla..
    First of all, I don't have an argument as nothing changed for me and the amount of happy Onshape users is not my concern. I have my own business to run.

    I referred to Tesla as a product that everybody want's (Onshape with Private docs) but only few can afford. I'm sorry if that thought didn't open for everyone.

    lemon1324 said:
    @3dcad Not a pro user, but some thoughts:
    What's the legitimate purpose where a pro user would need to have a design edited by a free user rather than just viewed? I may be missing something obvious, my not having been in industry, but I wouldn't want a customer/contractor to have edit privileges, and anything inside a single company should probably have another seat license.
    For example sales ask for new product - designer creates new product and share with sales - sales make few changes (like adjust certain parameters) and share with customer -  if they get green light, share with production who makes some adjustment for better productivity - then share to product support who might add some tab for support purpose.

    And another example is that I create doc for customer who is about to order my products. They can use whatever cad but they have also free plan of Onshape.
    In the beginning they upload dwgs, floor plans, step files or whatever needed for quote. Then we proceed with models I create and they can always follow with a single link shared in the beginning.
    At some point I might go in wrong direction and they can make a small fix or upload more stuff to push me back on track - a lot easier than explaining on the phone.
    I can also create options for customer to review as they can change parameters (and hopefully configurations in near future).
    In the end of project, they can download project files and I will stop sharing. 

    Now we are back to email attachments and controlling what version has been uploaded =(

    In this perspective Onshape lowered also the value of Pro plan as you can't have free plans supporting paid plan to get more employees / customers into live cad model. So we are back to one guy editing models in the basement according to others comments and companies remain with only few people with cad knowledge.

    I don't see getting temporary pro license as a solution, we are not going to pay cad licenses for our customers and they are not paying for another license if they are not planning to change their primary cad system at this point. It is not matter of $100 or so, it's matter of principles and policies.

    @jon_hirschtick

    What downsides can you see in allowing free users editing / adding stuff into pro plan owned documents other than some users exploiting the system? 
    In my opinion this added great value for pro plan and was one of the reasons I decided to go pro at early stage.


    //rami
  • peter_hallpeter_hall Member Posts: 196 ✭✭✭
    I posted earlier in the thread and have put a personal email concerning my problems with this. So without any ability to keep private files on a free user basis Onshape would need to reduce the Pro Fee from $125 a month to about $30 a month as currently it is not software with a full set of capabilities. Maybe increasing to $125 a month once you have sheet metal etc in place.

    The big concern for Pro users is this : given the changes that have been made rapidly to the free user basis do you have confidence that Onshape will maintain the pro charge at $125 a month once it has Sheet Metal , surfacing etc mastered. Surely the more likely scenario is rapid upward increases over the next couple of years to around the $250 a month mark.  A breach of faith has occured @darren_henry @jon_hirschtick .
  • lni64lni64 OS Professional Posts: 38 ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    I just got budget released for another two seats for next year. This strange move and the absolute quieteness of onshape made me wondering if a further investment of time and money into this product / company can be justified risk wise. I'll definitely hold back the order until I exactly understand what is going on. I definitely don't want to sit on a pile of more ore less useless exported STEP files next year.

    We will start evaluating Fusion360 next week.
  • cody_armstrongcody_armstrong Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 202
    edited November 2016
    If OnShape allowed exporting just PDFs of drawings from a shared document in the free account(read only private share from a pro account), that would solve 99% of my issues with this change. 

    Please.

    Thank you.


    @Kevin_at_BCWP  Exporting as a free user is allowed (assuming the free user has been given that permission by the Document owner)
  • øyvind_kaurstadøyvind_kaurstad Member Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
    It is interesting to see that Onshape employees are active in this thread, but that absolutely no comments are offered to the political side of this. The only questions answered are the pure technical ones.

    Come on guys, put this to rest by giving us the political rundown also. I think we deserve it.
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,534 PRO
    3dcad-

    you're a brave man getting in the middle of this......




  • nyholkunyholku Member Posts: 58 PRO
    I think this line in Jon's message is one of the key reasons why free private documents have been removed:
    Finally, maintaining and debugging the code that implemented storage calculations and limits was taking real R&D time -- time that we can better use for new CAD features.
    <snip>
    They obviously have not figured out a way to do this accurately and tracking down these bugs and fixing the user's account is taking a lot of there developers time and slowing down how fast new features (like sheet metal, etc.) are introduced.

    I'm a professional programmer and software development manager and I call this BS.

    Any organisation that is capable of producing anything like parametric CAD must be able to come up with plan and system to manage these things without putting more than negligible R&D resources into it! If not, then the people in charge and implementing these are not worth their salt.

    Purely an excuse!


  • JlabsJlabs Member Posts: 28 ✭✭
    kustaa_2 said:
    I think this line in Jon's message is one of the key reasons why free private documents have been removed:
    Finally, maintaining and debugging the code that implemented storage calculations and limits was taking real R&D time -- time that we can better use for new CAD features.
    <snip>
    They obviously have not figured out a way to do this accurately and tracking down these bugs and fixing the user's account is taking a lot of there developers time and slowing down how fast new features (like sheet metal, etc.) are introduced.

    I'm a professional programmer and software development manager and I call this BS.

    Any organisation that is capable of producing anything like parametric CAD must be able to come up with plan and system to manage these things without putting more than negligible R&D resources into it! If not, then the people in charge and implementing these are not worth their salt.

    Purely an excuse!


    Right? Something like SELECT COUNT(column_name) FROM table_name; is a good place to start. Leave unlimited storage and just have private document limits. Profit.
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,534 PRO
    kustaa_2-

    I've been trying to get OS to advertise and offset their costs. Can OS sell the names of the maker universe to offset development costs? How about a large banner streaming nut & bolts ads to non-paying people? My favorite, pop up lunch specials of local restaurants in your maker community and the charge restuarants a finders fee?

    Google is offset by selective advertising, but OS doesn't want this. OS wants/needs a community of supporters. 

    The internet can't be free. The biggest issue with the cloud, everyone wants it to be free.

    Oh snap! 3dcad, I didn't want to get involved with this,


  • øyvind_kaurstadøyvind_kaurstad Member Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
    @billy: Those of us showing our disappointment in this thread are not asking Onshape to be free, we're just asking for some middle ground to be used for our non-commercial use while still retaining some privacy for stuff that we for some reason do not want to be accessible to anyone. And we want to pay for that, just not at the current Pro prices. If you think about it, it really isn't fair that a maker or hobbyist should pay the same price as a (possibly) multi-billion dollar company, which uses Onshape to earn money.

    Now, the suggestion to obfuscate documents will most likely be quite effective (after all, there is an ocean of crap already on Onshape), but what does Onshape have to say about such a practice? Will it be met with improved searching capabilies, so that searching for all documents by a specific user can be done? @cody_armstrong or @darren_henry, is this something you can comment on?


  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,534 PRO
    micheal, coleman & yvind I agree with you all, 
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