Floating server license - how does the pricing work?

Please post all questions on Help+Manual 8 here

Moderators: Alexander Halser, Tim Green

Dave Gehman
Posts: 505
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:05 pm

Floating server license - how does the pricing work?

Unread post by Dave Gehman » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:40 pm

The floating server license (FSL) sounds like what we need: the ability for people in our (virtual, global) company to create and edit directly in H+M.

What's the breakdown of the pricing?

Like this?
1. One H+M license to each user, that is, users each with individual H+M installations
2. FSL corporate license

Is there an option to license departments (so that several people can share one H+M in each area, for example, one license for all in documentation, one for all in development, one for all in customer service)? Or an option for enterprise H+M individual copy pricing?

Machine translation is also attractive. I'm pretty sure our top people will say, "Looks great... can we put each domain expert* online, and can we afford it?"

___________________
*In our company, development, for example, has over the last year become four distinct work groups: kernel development, 3D graphics development, runtime (end-user UI) language development, base product development. Each is a bit of a black box...

User avatar
Tim Green
Site Admin
Posts: 21844
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 9:11 am
Location: Bruehl, Germany
Contact:

Re: Floating server license - how does the pricing work?

Unread post by Tim Green » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:56 pm

Hi Dave,

The floating licenses are now used in almost exactly the same way as normal licenses. Each user installs Help+Manual 8 on their own computer. There is no more server with a copy of the program, just our online license server. You give your users license keys and they just enter the key once when they start the program the first time. After that, the key is checked out when they are running the program and automatically checked back in again when they exit, freeing up that license slot for other users. They need to have an Internet connection when working like this.

Users who need to work offline with floating licenses can do that too. They just need to remember to "pin" their license before they go offline, with the Pin tool that appears in the Help tab when you have a floating license. Then the license remains checked out to them until they unpin it, or after 8 days automatically if they don't do anything. This allows work on planes and trains and anywhere else without an active net connection.
Like this?
1. One H+M license to each user, that is, users each with individual H+M installations
2. FSL corporate license
Option 1 is already available, option 2 not yet. However, we can make nice bundle offers depending on the number of concurrent users to need to cater to. Just write to sales AT ec-software.com with your needs. 8)
Is there an option to license departments (so that several people can share one H+M in each area, for example, one license for all in documentation, one for all in development, one for all in customer service)? Or an option for enterprise H+M individual copy pricing?
It doesn't need to be that complicated, since the licenses are checked out and in automatically when they are being used and not used. You just need to figure out how many people you are going to have working at the same time. Adding licenses is easy and they get cheaper the more you add.
Machine translation is also attractive. I'm pretty sure our top people will say, "Looks great... can we put each domain expert* online, and can we afford it?"
DeepL is far and away the best machine translation available -- orders of magnitude better than anything else. As a professional technical translator myself I can say that it's the first system I've ever seen at any price that isn't a (bad) joke. Even so, we're starting it on a quite low-key level. The DeepL organization is still ramping up and they are currently only licensing the API keys needed for programs like Help+Manual in Europe. These are also the reasons why we have started with just the simple interactive operation for the plugin, where you select text in your topic, the plugin translates it and then you select Confirm to replace the text in the topic with the translation. Early days yet, but DeepL has huge potential.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

Private support:
Please do not email or PM me with private support requests -- post to the forum directly.

User avatar
Tim Green
Site Admin
Posts: 21844
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 9:11 am
Location: Bruehl, Germany
Contact:

Re: Floating server license - how does the pricing work?

Unread post by Tim Green » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:12 pm

Also, note that it doesn't really matter which license key each user is using. Your licenses are managed in a pool and the server knows how many are in use. If you have ten keys it's quite possible for ten users to use the same key, since the server knows that many slots are available. 8)
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

Private support:
Please do not email or PM me with private support requests -- post to the forum directly.

Dave Gehman
Posts: 505
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:05 pm

Re: Floating server license - how does the pricing work?

Unread post by Dave Gehman » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:23 pm

The floating licenses are now used in almost exactly the same way as normal licenses. Each user installs Help+Manual 8 on their own computer.
Sorry to be dense -- this sounds as though, if we want 11 people to draw on the FSL, we need to buy 11 H+M individual licenses for each of the 11 local computers. Right?

(At any point in time, I can't imagine more than 2 in concurrent use).

User avatar
Martin Wynne
Posts: 2616
Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 3:21 pm
Location: West of the Severn, UK

Re: Floating server license - how does the pricing work?

Unread post by Martin Wynne » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:52 pm

Dave Gehman wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:23 pm
Sorry to be dense -- this sounds as though, if we want 11 people to draw on the FSL, we need to buy 11 H+M individual licenses for each of the 11 local computers. Right?(At any point in time, I can't imagine more than 2 in concurrent use).
Hi Dave,

My reading of Tim's explanation is that if there will only ever be 2 in use at any one time, you need only 2 licences. Each of the 11 copies of H&M will connect to the EC-Software web site to see if one of your 2 licences is currently available (not being used by any of the other 11). If none available presumably they won't run, or they will run in a restricted read-only mode, until a licence becomes available.

cheers,

Martin.

User avatar
Tim Green
Site Admin
Posts: 21844
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 9:11 am
Location: Bruehl, Germany
Contact:

Re: Floating server license - how does the pricing work?

Unread post by Tim Green » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:51 am

Martin Wynne wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:52 pm
My reading of Tim's explanation is that if there will only ever be 2 in use at any one time, you need only 2 licences. Each of the 11 copies of H&M will connect to the EC-Software web site to see if one of your 2 licences is currently available (not being used by any of the other 11). If none available presumably they won't run, or they will run in a restricted read-only mode, until a licence becomes available.
Exactly. 8)
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

Private support:
Please do not email or PM me with private support requests -- post to the forum directly.

Dave Gehman
Posts: 505
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:05 pm

Re: Floating server license - how does the pricing work?

Unread post by Dave Gehman » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:57 am

Tim Green wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:51 am
Martin Wynne wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:52 pm
My reading of Tim's explanation is that if there will only ever be 2 in use at any one time, you need only 2 licences. Each of the 11 copies of H&M will connect to the EC-Software web site to see if one of your 2 licences is currently available (not being used by any of the other 11). If none available presumably they won't run, or they will run in a restricted read-only mode, until a licence becomes available.
Exactly. 8)
I am too dense still to fathom how this works, for which I apologize. Something of the electronic payload is eroding before it reaches what's left of my brain... or my brain, fogged and feeble, is refusing to allow it all in.

So, the 11 don't need to purchase 11 individual licenses? They each just download and install the H+M trial, no money involved, and at any given time, 2 of the non-paying individuals's copies will be fully functional?

User avatar
Tim Green
Site Admin
Posts: 21844
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 9:11 am
Location: Bruehl, Germany
Contact:

Re: Floating server license - how does the pricing work?

Unread post by Tim Green » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:51 am

Hi Dave,
So, the 11 don't need to purchase 11 individual licenses? They each just download and install the H+M trial,
Yes, then you give each of them either one of your two purchased license keys and they all activate with the license you give them. Then when they start the program up to two of them will be able to work at the same time.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

Private support:
Please do not email or PM me with private support requests -- post to the forum directly.

User avatar
Martin Wynne
Posts: 2616
Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 3:21 pm
Location: West of the Severn, UK

Re: Floating server license - how does the pricing work?

Unread post by Martin Wynne » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:52 pm

Hi Tim,

I don't need a floating licence, but I'm interested in the mechanism. I understand the process of "pinning" a licence before an intended disconnection from the internet.

But what happens in the event of an unintended loss of connection? How does your server know that connection has been lost? How long does the unpinned copy of H&M go on working without a connection? Presumably a running unpinned copy will keep repeating at intervals the request for a licence update. This could be a problem if after a few hours work you find you can't save it because at some stage earlier unknowingly your internet connection was lost. I think I would want to pin my licence every time before doing any significant work, even if I didn't intend to disconnect.

cheers,

Martin.

User avatar
Tim Green
Site Admin
Posts: 21844
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 9:11 am
Location: Bruehl, Germany
Contact:

Re: Floating server license - how does the pricing work?

Unread post by Tim Green » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:39 pm

Hi Martin,
But what happens in the event of an unintended loss of connection? How does your server know that connection has been lost?
If you lose the connection the license will remain checked out for a certain time. I'm not sure of the exact duration at the moment. However, this is easy to correct: The user just needs to start Help+Manual again as soon as they have an Internet connection and the program will connect to the license server using the same license token, so they won't be checking out a new license. To release the license they just need to exit Help+Manual while the connection is still active.

Same thing happens if someone has Help+Manual open and then just closes their laptop lid. The license won't be checked back in in that case.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

Private support:
Please do not email or PM me with private support requests -- post to the forum directly.

Dave Gehman
Posts: 505
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:05 pm

Re: Floating server license - how does the pricing work?

Unread post by Dave Gehman » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:41 pm

Tim Green wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:51 am
Hi Dave,
So, the 11 don't need to purchase 11 individual licenses? They each just download and install the H+M trial,
Yes, then you give each of them either one of your two purchased license keys and they all activate with the license you give them. Then when they start the program up to two of them will be able to work at the same time.
I have fathomed this at last. Thank you for your patience.

The rest will be up to my management... there might well be some follow-on questions. They are not nearly as dense as I, but they enjoy asking penetrating questions and they are hybrids, mechanical and software engineers, so no detail goes unexamined.

User avatar
julio
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 12:06 am
Location: Porto Alegre, RS - Brasil
Contact:

Re: Floating server license - how does the pricing work?

Unread post by julio » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:13 pm

According to the documentation, before using H&M via command line, we must activate a license by using a command line like this: helpman.exe lic:XXXX. The documentation also states that this procedure only needs to be performed once. This means that this license is now attached to that server for as long as we need it to build our documentation? Let's say I start a build today and activate my license, tomorrow can I start a new build without activating my license again, provided that it is on the same server?

Thanks.

User avatar
Tim Green
Site Admin
Posts: 21844
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 9:11 am
Location: Bruehl, Germany
Contact:

Re: Floating server license - how does the pricing work?

Unread post by Tim Green » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:43 pm

julio wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:13 pm
Let's say I start a build today and activate my license, tomorrow can I start a new build without activating my license again, provided that it is on the same server?
Yes, that's correct. You only need to perform that action once. It writes a digital token to the program directory, after which it knows it can be used as a build server.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

Private support:
Please do not email or PM me with private support requests -- post to the forum directly.

User avatar
julio
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 12:06 am
Location: Porto Alegre, RS - Brasil
Contact:

Re: Floating server license - how does the pricing work?

Unread post by julio » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:18 pm

OK, thanks. Just one more question: Today we have four H&M7 server licenses on a server, let's say server1. We also have four other servers (server2, server3, server4, and server5) responsible for product builds. When we want to start a product build, our system picks up one of those build servers, if we do not specifically target a server, and that server contacts server1 to use one of those licenses there, so we can start four builds at the same time. How is that supposed to work on H&M8? We would put all four floating licenses on server1 or put one license on each build server?

Thanks.
Tim Green wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:43 pm
julio wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:13 pm
Let's say I start a build today and activate my license, tomorrow can I start a new build without activating my license again, provided that it is on the same server?
Yes, that's correct. You only need to perform that action once. It writes a digital token to the program directory, after which it knows it can be used as a build server.

User avatar
Tim Green
Site Admin
Posts: 21844
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 9:11 am
Location: Bruehl, Germany
Contact:

Re: Floating server license - how does the pricing work?

Unread post by Tim Green » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:00 pm

Hi Julio,
How is that supposed to work on H&M8? We would put all four floating licenses on server1 or put one license on each build server?
There is actually no longer any need at all to use individual license keys.

The first essential step with floating licenses is that the admin registers ALL of them together, using the same computer, to establish your pool of licenses and the number of available slots. After that any key from the pool can be used on any computer anywhere. It is actually easier and more efficient to use the same key for all computers. Or you could use one of the keys for human users and another one for your build servers. Completely up to you.

All the individual keys are only needed to define the pool and the number of slots. After that any key used anywhere can check out a license slot. Once you have done that individual users use any key from the pool once to register their copies of Help+Manual 8. Or you use the command line option to register for build server use. Both options can be used on the same machine, no problem.

So for your build servers you just need to activate them once for build server use with the command line option. After that they can be used to publish at any time, providing a license slot is free.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

Private support:
Please do not email or PM me with private support requests -- post to the forum directly.

Post Reply