requently Asked Questions
This FAQ addresses questions about the new DataFlex WebApp Server licenses available as of the release of Visual DataFlex 2012/17.1. Updates will be provided from time to time based on license-related inquiries received from customers. If you have a WebApp licensing question not addressed here, please send it to Data Access Worldwide and we will either respond to you directly or post a general response here and alert you of the FAQ update. This page last updated: 22 August 2013.
Q. Does my current Visual DataFlex subscription apply to version 2012 / 17.1?
A. Yes! Customers can immediately begin using version 17.1 software for any Visual DataFlex product for which they have an active subscription on the date of release.
Q. Will I receive new registration codes for Visual DataFlex 2012 / 17.1?
A. No. 17.0 registration codes will enable all 17.1 products; new codes are not required. Customers using stand-alone registrations for subscribed Connectivity Kits will receive new CK6 registration codes.
A. A major enhancement of Visual DataFlex 17.1 is the capability to build and deploy complete business web applications. The new and changed names are the result of new web product licenses and capabilities:
- The enabling technology that developers now use in the Studio to build web applications is the “DataFlex Web Framework”.
- The pre-17.1 “Visual DataFlex Web Application Server” is now simply “DataFlex WebApp Server”. The new name is shorter and easier to understand. We will be using it in all of our product communications and we encourage you to use this more convenient reference too!
- “Web Clients” are a new form of user-counted license for applications running on the DataFlex WebApp Server. A Web Client is the web license equivalent of Visual DataFlex’s Client License concept for Windows applications.
- With the introduction of Web Clients, an easy, equivalent new name has been created for Visual DataFlex desktop deployment components: “Windows Clients”. Throughout our product materials, we will migrate to the use the simpler “Windows Client(s)” terminology to replace the Visual DataFlex Client License.
A. Data Access Worldwide has created new web deployment licenses to align with customers’ anticipated different forms of web applications use. Broadly, there are two DataFlex WebApp Server licenses: Web Clients and Web Applications. Web Clients licenses are user-oriented like Windows Clients; Web Applications accommodate deployments where users are not defined and administered by the application environment such as a customer service web site. For an easy description of the new web licensing, see thisinfographic.
Q. Must I buy the new forms of licenses for web application deployment now?
A. That depends on what you have now and what you need. If you have a subscribed DataFlex WebApp Server license, you can use it to deploy 17.1 applications – you do not need to buy new anything now. If you do not have an existing subscribed license for web application deployment, you must buy one of the new forms of 17.1 web license according to your usage and deployment requirements.
Q. Will subscriptions change in the future?
A. The subscription concept remains the same however, as licensing and pricing evolves and replacement licenses are introduced, future subscription costs may be affected. When subscriptions are renewed, if new licenses or prices are in effect for a particular product, the subscription renewal price will be based on the new license and its retail price. Specifically, new licenses for web deployment are in effect as of version 2012/17.1 so, when subscriptions for previously available web server licenses are renewed, customers will have the opportunity to choose the new license that best meets their needs. The new subscription price will be based on the newly selected form of license.
Q. What is the difference between concurrent user and named user licensing?
A. A “concurrent user” license is one that allows a defined number of users to use a software product at one time (i.e. concurrently) without regard for the total number of people that use the product overall. For example, a 20 concurrent user license might have 25 different people that use it. As long as the 25 people interchange as active users and no more than 20 people use it at one time (concurrently), the license is being used correctly.
A “named user” license requires that every individual person that uses a software product at any time must have their own license; they require a license whether they are actively using the software product or not. Licenses are assigned by name (Tom Jones, Jennifer Anderson) hence the “named user license” terminology. An individual’s named user license is not interchangeable with another individual – Jennifer cannot “use” Tom’s license. If there are 25 individual users of a named user software product, a 25 named user license is required. DataFlex WebApp Server Web Clients are licensed as named users.
In the real world, this means that while named users are not interchangeable on a day-to-day basis, a new named user can be assigned if use by a prior named user ceases altogether. For example, if Tom Jones is an assigned user in the sales department that has a 5-user Web Client license and Tom leaves the company (he will no longer use the WebApp software), then another person (Sally Smith) can replace Tom as one of the named users on the company’s 5-user license.
Q. How will the Web Client named users be tracked?
A. According to the License Agreement, it is the customers’ responsibility to manage the number of users of their web and Windows applications regardless of any technical control in the software. At this time, there is no technical control of Web Client users so it is up to customers to manage their user count and license compliance.
Q. The specification of a Lite web server has changed. Is the new version more restrictive than the prior version?
A. Since the Lite server specification is different, it is difficult to specifically state that the new version is more or less restrictive. Here are the facts of the change:
- Prior to 17.1, Lite servers could run up to five sessions and could not run the highly efficient “process pooling” mechanism of the application server. Practically speaking, that means that up to five application sessions could be run but that each session initialized individually, executed and was then closed upon completion. If more than 5 sessions were requested, an error was generated. The next application request repeated this high-server-overhead cycle.
- With 17.1’s Lite server specification, one pre-loaded application “process” is enabled. When a user request arrives at the server, no initialization is required and the request is executed promptly and the process is released to execute another request without re-initialization. Multiple application requests are queued and executed in the order in which they are received.
- For applications built with the new DataFlex Web Framework, the 17.1 Lite server specification is a much better match in terms of being able to handle throughput; for framework apps, the capacity of the new 17.1 DataFlex WebApp Server Lite is expected to be higher than prior Lite server specifications. Individual application profiles and user demands vary and will operate differently in these two different Lite specifications.
Q. What is a Web Application?
A. A “Web Application” is a technical definition that is also used as a metric for licensing purposes. Technically, a Web Application is one executable (by default webapp.exe) running in a web share on a licensed DataFlex WebApp Server. Each Web Application is one entry in the DataFlex WebApp Administrator utility. Creating the web share for the executable and adding it with the WebApp Administrator “registers” the application. Each registered application is counted as one Web Application for this form of license. DataFlex WebApp servers can be licensed for from one to ten applications; Fees stop at 10 applications however more applications can be hosted on the server after 10 have been licensed. A complete web business solution may be made up of one, two or several Web Applications.
Q. Is a Web application and a server “process” the same?
A. No. See above for the definition of a Web Application. Administrators can manage the number of processes running on a DataFlex WebApp Server to service both Web Application and web service requests. Using Web Client or Web Application licensing, there is no restriction on the number of processes (pooled processes) running on the server. For Web Application licensing, each Web Application is counted and has a license fee.
Q. Is a web service considered to be an “application” from a licensing perspective?
A. A web service is delivered by a Web Application. From a server perspective, a Web Application is the server-side facility to fulfill web services requests. From the perspective of a client web service, a Web Application is necessary to fulfill the client web service requests. For licensing purposes, web services can be run using Web Application licensing or on Lite servers. When Web Application licensing is used, one application is needed to support each defined web application. A Lite server can only support one application and therefore only one web service.
Q. Can customers upgrade a existing Windows Clients to Windows/Web Combo Clients?
A. Yes! A special offer is available to customers with Windows Clients purchased prior to September 1, 2013. A limited-time-offer (LTO) is available for the purchase of new Windows/Web Combo Clients until December 31, 2013. Contact your regional Data Access Worldwide office for details.
Q. What about Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) licensing?
A. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications can be deployed using the new Web Clients. For other forms of licensing for SaaS applications, please contact