View Full Version : Vue 11 warning, sadly

11-16-2012, 07:02 AM
E-on software have changed their business model so that you now *rent* the license server that polices Vue floating licenses (including render nodes). The license server used to be a perpetual license, requiring no payment to migrate the server to another machine and it would run forever (supporting licenses up to the last version released under your maintenance contract). This was a pretty fair and reasonable approach. Thinkbox, for example, requires 100 USD to issue a key to activate a license server on a different machine out-of-maintenance.

With version 11, e-on now provides only a 365 day license for the server. After that point, if you're not on maintenance, they require 199 USD to issue a key to keep your license server running for another year. It's really distasteful. E-on's beancounters have apparently chosen to keep customers hostage - you'll pay if you're on maintenance; you'll pay if you're off-maintenance.

Something to be aware of - even if you never plan to use another version of Vue because the current version does everything you want, you'll need to pay them every year to keep using it, if you have render nodes or floating licenses.

It's massively disappointing from a company that seemed to have made great inroads into correcting both their software and their customer focus.

11-16-2012, 07:14 AM
That is really sad news :(.

11-16-2012, 10:16 AM
So you're basically renting their software rather that purchasing it outright? Is that retro-active or does that start with the most recent version?

11-16-2012, 10:22 AM
So you're basically renting their software rather that purchasing it outright? Is that retro-active or does that start with the most recent version?

The standalone Vue application with a node-locked license won't expire. Floating licenses to render nodes or the main application will die with the license server after 365 days. It's a new change with License Server 3.6, which is a required upgrade for Vue 11 licenses that are not node-locked. Customers out of maintenance are required to spend the 199 USD to upgrade the license server in addition to any upgrade fees.

11-19-2012, 08:36 PM
Can they actually do that if you haven't upgraded to Vue11? Seems to mew that they're changing their terms AFTER you've already purchased. Not that it means anything to me since I stopped upgrading at v6 xStream and even though I've considered upgrading to Vue11.5.... this is just yet another nail in their coffin for me. As much as I've railed against Newtek for recent problems, E-on can't seem to get their act together in regards to their customers. Oh well... Vue is STILL out.

11-20-2012, 05:43 AM
It's not retrospective. It is an under-the-radar change as part of the upgrade to 11.0, to affect it and newer versions.

11-20-2012, 05:51 AM
(double post)

11-21-2012, 06:06 AM
Vue rendernodes are also no longer covered under maintenance - they are now 30 USD each to upgrade for each release. *sigh*

11-21-2012, 05:31 PM
But nothing changes if you have a single licence attached to one computer by the looks of it?

11-21-2012, 07:54 PM
But nothing changes if you have a single licence attached to one computer by the looks of it?

That's the one situation that remains unchanged. Sadly, I'm not in that position, and I'm kind of pissed off that they'd pull this without appropriate warning, including flashing lights and months of notice. I don't like renting software, especially after the fact (having renewed maintenance just prior to the 11.0 release).

11-22-2012, 02:22 PM
It really does sound like a kick in the proverbials. I'm considering upgrading my standalone, and thank bod that I'm in that position rather than yours, which sound exceedingly more painful :(

12-14-2012, 05:40 AM
A few people have PMed me about this, and after I constructed a detailed reply to a public question over at CGTalk, perhaps this is also useful here :

The issue is about floating licenses. You can opt to have a floating license for the main application (xStream, certainly, and I think Infinite supports this as well). That license is delivered by the license server (http://www.e-onsoftware.com/products/license_server/). If you follow that page, and click on requirements/pricing (http://www.e-onsoftware.com/product..._server/?page=1), you will see that there is an up-front charge and then an annual renewal fee.

If you don't pay that renewal fee, e-on tells me that the server stops serving licenses. Any e-on product that needs the license server will then stop working. This is a change from previous versions. The license server used to have a perpetual license. With the version 3.6 update, required for Vue 11, it's time-bombed to 365 days. So, you've been charged up-front for the license server (which is very cheeky) and it will die 365 days later and become worthless without a further payment.

Where this is a problem is rendernodes. which you also pay a decent sum for. These *require* the license server to operate. There's no 'standalone' node-locked option for rendernodes (unlike the main application). So, you will have to pay a yearly fee (currently 200 USD) to keep the renderfarm running even if your main application is standalone (node-locked) and you have no intention of upgrading the software itself.

Note that you can opt for maintenance (http://www.e-onsoftware.com/support...phh#Maintenance). This avoids the annual license server renewal fee and does include the upgrade to the current version of the main application as well, but maintenance does not cover rendernodes any more, so your annual maintenance cost will also go up by n*60 USD where n is the number of nodes you have in use.

In my case, I have three rendernode licenses (I was planning to buy more, but this whole thing has stopped those plans). So, I can pay either :

a. 200 USD every year to keep the license server running and stay with 11.0 (although with no rendernodes upgraded up to now)
b. 339 + (3*60) USD every year to run the latest and greatest.

There's no other option other than downgrading to 10.5 in terms of keeping the renderfarm running without expiration and without additional fees.

I renewed my subscription 23rd October and, at that time, there was no indication e-on would make these changes. I wouldn't have renewed because I didn't budget for an addition ~200 USD to bring forward the rendernodes (although that's not so bad) and I don't want to endorse a rental license model (which is what the license server has become, although e-on claim otherwise).

Let's review the costs so far :

Vue xStream license (1695) + license server (495) + n nodes (n*149)

Those last two expenses will become useless after 365 days unless you pay maintenance (remember to add n*60 to the base maintenance price for the rendernodes!) or the license server renewal charge.

It's become much more expensive and yet you only get to use much of it for one calendar year.

EDIT: e-on told me that upgrade prices for rendernodes were 30 USD, but it looks like they are in fact 60 USD. Updated prices throughout this post.

06-09-2013, 01:11 AM
does anybody know if e-on provides bug fixes for their vue product line even if one does not buy into maintenance?
By reading their terms I understand that new minor or major versions are not included. But after reading a lot on their site I am still unsure about what happens if the software has bugs. Tried to write a message to them using "contact sales" but the web site answered with "this service is only for registered users ..."?

06-09-2013, 06:59 AM
There are updates available for the product even when off-maintenance. Those are confined to bug fixes, for the most part, although e-on did issue host application support updates for xStream (Autodesk 2014, Cinema 4D R14, LW 11.x) during the life of Vue 11.0. Historically, newer versions of host applications for xStream are deferred until the next release (.0 or .5), however e-on's release cycle is not tied to any other vendor so that policy causes considerable irritation.

Updates are generally not issued for releases other than the current version of each application (i.e. 10.x will not be getting updates now that 11.x is available). 11.0 gets updates despite the existence of 11.5 because 11.5 is only available to maintenance customers. New features do not appear outside of the initial releases themselves.

06-09-2013, 11:41 PM
Thanks Phil, that information I was searching for.

07-25-2013, 01:55 PM
Be aware - xStream is not compatible with 11.6. Layout will just crash out. e-on are aware, and will likely need to deliver a 11.6-compatible separate plugin. I've no news about any ETA for this.

07-29-2013, 01:15 AM
Another reason not to upgrade... I'm still with Vue 9, which is only used now to convert my objects to Vue and sell them on Cornucopia3D. Even for creating landscapes and atmospheres, I plan to shift to Terragen...

11-06-2013, 08:25 PM
Vue 11.5 is compatible with 11.6. Vue 2014 has just been released.

Meanwhile, it seems that the first people being caught out by the time-bombed license server (a shiny new addition to Vue 11 floating/renderfarm deployments) are now making their unhappiness apparent.

12-05-2013, 10:32 AM
e-on have decided to correct their policies (http://www.e-onsoftware.com/support/forum2/viewtopic.php?p=39467#39467):

Following this discussion, we have been reflecting internally on the License Server policy and can see why some of you feel that our policy is not fair, especially towards users who just want to use the License Server to drive a small render farm of RenderNodes.
We also understand that the yearly license fee can be viewed as unfair for those who are happy with a given release and don't wish to upgrade to a newer version of our products. Consequently, we have decided to make the following changes to our License Server policy:

- We will modify the Windows and Mac RenderNodes so that the License Server is no longer required in order to use RenderNodes.

- Using the License Server will no longer require the payment of a compulsory yearly maintenance fee.

- Compatibility with the latest versions of our software will require that you upgrade your License Server as well. Upgrades for the License Server will be available like other product upgrades. If you decide to keep your License Server under maintenance, you will continue to receive free upgrades for your License Server at no charge; if you don't get maintenance for your License Server, you will not receive these upgrades, but you can still continue using your existing License Server with your existing software forever.

12-11-2013, 06:47 PM
Yes, I was quite surprised. FINALLY... they listen.

02-24-2014, 03:36 PM
Thank you for the update. What a shame cuz so far I had a great customer experience with E-on.