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LabVIEW subscription model for 2022

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Thanks Eric for officially clarifying that “upgrading” to the subscription from an SSP does not convert the existing perpetual license into a subscription license but rather starts an entirely new license with its own serial number. That info was glaringly missing so far and the way the subscription model was sprung on the users as a complete surprise, it seemed actually pretty logical to think that NI would use the nearly 50% discount for up to 3 years as a justification for the license conversion. Good that that is not the case!

As to license servers not being able to handle both, I never intended to mean that. What I meant is that they might “forget” about the old serial numbers after a certain time. That’s a difference! If you say that they won’t and rather provide activation for these licenses for virtually forever, that’s an assuring statement.

Rolf Kalbermatter
Averna BV
Message 51 of 307

@RTSLVU wrote:

LabVIEW Community Edition is "the bait" and the LabVIEW subscription model is "the trap".

I hear that, but it doesn't seem like they should expect it to work on very many smart people who can do cost/benefit analysis.  With exceptions of course, but I think a large majority of newbies would and *should* legitimately consider the high and certain costs to be much greater than the speculated benefits.


As most of us who've been around a while know, there's a large population of LabVIEW dabblers and tinkerers who don't want to and will not make a career specialty out of LabVIEW.  There's a significantly smaller population who want to and do.

    I spent several years as just such a dabbler and tinkerer, learning LabVIEW in "self-defense" so I could control my own tests, data, and timeline.  It was a small and non-essential part of my job for quite a while. 

    Neither my usage frequency nor proficiency would have been high enough to have justified a perpetual-cost subscription in those early days, so I *would* have been one of the ones to slough off long ago and if so, I wouldn't be around here these days to help or critique.



-Kevin P

CAUTION! New LabVIEW adopters -- it's too late for me, but you *can* save yourself. The new subscription policy for LabVIEW puts NI's hand in your wallet for the rest of your working life. Are you sure you're *that* dedicated to LabVIEW?
Message 52 of 307



I'm going to send you an email requesting an opportunity for me to learn more about this scenario from you.  I'd like to learn more about your thoughts on this topic. 


For reference, I'm directly responsible for both the Community Edition of LabVIEW, as well as the current move to subscription programs at NI.   While neither was an individual effort, I want you to understand my background and my reason for reaching out.


The scenario you are pointing out is one I want to talk more about is the "ongoing access to the code" angle that you are talking about, assuming you are willing to talk about it with me further.

Eric Reffett | Director, Product Management | 1.512.683.5858 |
Message 53 of 307

Eric, thanks for speaking up. It's definitely helpful. Could you comment on why NI wanted to move to a subscription model? And could you give us insight on the large and sudden price increase? I know existing SSP holders get a discount, but stepping back a bit, LabVIEW just got dramatically more expensive to maintain while simultaneously losing your perpetual licenses. The only benefit is that new users no longer have to pay a large upfront price. Thus, in the long term it's considerably more expensive.

Message 54 of 307



Just to put a point on this, I don't see any way for NI to stop handling the perpetual licenses.  Regardless of what licensing model is being employed for current software purchases.  Once the product was sold perpetually, it needs to be able to continue to be activated perpetually. 

Eric Reffett | Director, Product Management | 1.512.683.5858 |
Message 55 of 307



I can and I am eager to do so here, but its 5pm for me so I'll pick up this thread again tomorrow. 


I'll also state that my purpose in the post that I make later won't be trying to convince you to agree with me.  I want this group to understand the rationale and to engage in a dialog on feedback. 


I also want to gather some pain-points from the group because we will almost surely continue to modify the ways we make and sell our products over time.  So while this can be looked at as the next step in our evolution, I would hesitate to call it a final destination.

Eric Reffett | Director, Product Management | 1.512.683.5858 |
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Message 56 of 307

Thanks Eric, looking forward to it. I appreciate the opportunity to have a dialog. I'm an Alliance partner myself so this doesn't directly affect my usage, but it does affect how my customers handle things. Most of them want to be able to look at and view their code and make "small tweaks". I don't think many of them actually DO that, but they like having the option and it helps them avoid feeling locked in to a specific developer.

Message 57 of 307



That specific scenario is a great one to discuss.  What you sell to that end user should be one of our Debug or Deployment licenses and those remain perpetual software licenses.  Those are different scenarios and I want to be clear on the distinction when we have it.


NI recently published a "primer" of sorts for reviewing these different options:

Eric Reffett | Director, Product Management | 1.512.683.5858 |
0 Kudos
Message 58 of 307

Yes I'm willing.  My account uses my home email so I'll check after I get there.  I'd also be interested in your perspective on how the strategies for the Community Edition and the subscription model fit alongside one another.  They seem like natural enemies to me.


Short version of my "ongoing access to code" perspective:  I don't mean literal access.  I know the .vi files will continue to exist on my hard drive where I can literally access the indecipherable bits.  I mean practical access -- the ability to use the LabVIEW dev environment to view, bugfix, add features, build a new executable.


I think a lot of people will (and, again, *should*) view the perpetual subscription model as a *prohibitive* cost of entry.  The sooner you start coding LabVIEW, the more times you'll have to pay to maintain that code.  And how do you amortize an infinite sum?   

    Yeah, I know infinite is an exaggeration, but it's kinda true that for an organization there'd be *literally* no definable upper bound on the maintenance cost of LabVIEW code.  Whereas individuals at least get to count on dying eventually, so their payments can stop the following year.


For now my signature remains, I'll check my email at home.   Thanks for reaching out.



-Kevin P

CAUTION! New LabVIEW adopters -- it's too late for me, but you *can* save yourself. The new subscription policy for LabVIEW puts NI's hand in your wallet for the rest of your working life. Are you sure you're *that* dedicated to LabVIEW?
Message 59 of 307

I see there's been more activity from when I started my most recent msg until I finally came back, finished and posted it.  I feel like adding a couple more thoughts.


FWIW, I expect no discernable personal impact from the change.  My employer has a sizeable investment in NI equipment and LabVIEW, including a large volume license that's on an annual renewal cycle already.   And now that I can count down my remaining working years without taking my socks off,  I expect that to continue for *my* duration here anyway.


So while I'm speaking my own opinion in these critiques, it really isn't on my own behalf.  


Basically, I'm trying to speak for the trees.



-Kevin P

CAUTION! New LabVIEW adopters -- it's too late for me, but you *can* save yourself. The new subscription policy for LabVIEW puts NI's hand in your wallet for the rest of your working life. Are you sure you're *that* dedicated to LabVIEW?
Message 60 of 307