12 Replies Latest reply on Jun 5, 2007 5:56 AM by (Tom_Warfield)

    Central License Price

      We are currently investigating use of Output Designer 5.6 and Central Output Server 5.6 - with good success in our prototyping efforts.
      Adobe sales is now reporting that the new version of Central Pro, to be released in May/June 2007, will see a list price of around $40K, a hike of more than 100%. Have anyone else heard about this? Therefore we are seriously considering alternatives to this combination - any help would be appreciated,
        • 1. Re: Central License Price
          Level 1
          Wow! That is quite a jump. I wonder what functionality they are adding to justify that. I'm glad we have the premium maintenance agreement that provides upgrades at no additional cost. Particularly since we are running 12 copies. The timing couldn't be much worse, though; we are just now deploying new hardware. So far the Central Pro upgrade mechanism is to totally uninstall the current version and install the new version, thus loosing all customization of the software and folder structure & rights.

          Get the current version now with the premium maintenance if you think you will need any new features. Other than built-in support for the newer printers I can't think of anything we'd take advantage of. But then, we don't use the advanced features so we don't know of any problems there might be with them.

          I hope they are not going the route of their "filler" product. A few years ago they totally revamped "Form Designer" into "Livecycle Designer" and made it totally incompatible with all the training & development we were doing for a major conversion. Doing the same type of thing to Central Pro would probably mean it would no longer accept "Field Nominated" files and only accept XML files or some proprietary format. Not that we can't produce XML files or some other format but it would be a major effort that would affect other projects so we'd probably downgrade from the premium level of maintenance, keep using version 5.6 and save $20,000 a year.

          I wouldn't be surprised if it was a total revamp, including a name change. I've heard from our reseller that Central Pro is being dropped from their product line-up in 2-3 years.
          • 2. Re: Central License Price
            Level 1
            I understand that the main functionality in the new version is ability to have unlimited print-locations (as opposed to the current max of 10) - am assuming that print-locations means distinct printers that each Output Server can be configured with.
            • 3. Re: Central License Price
              _MDI_
              Do you have a limit on the number of printers you can print on?...
              • 4. Re: Central License Price
                Level 1
                I don't know what they are referring to but it isn't the physical number of printers defined within Central. We have
                b 148
                defined. It is the same for all 12 of our locations for ease of maintenance (change one file and copy it to all of the servers) as well as the capability to have any location be the backup for any other location.

                Perhaps it is printer types (presentment targets) within Output Designer? We've only had a maximum of 5 so I don't know if there is a limit but you can certainly select more than 10. We currently only use 2 for a multitude of reasons. Just our main printer type (the same at all locations) and PDF. We do print to other printers in the HP line with the same config file. Other brands of printer do have various problems with just the single file. The more presentment targets selected, and the more available fonts, the longer it takes to compile a form and the bigger the compiled file gets. Moving from 5 targets with the default fonts selected (16 or more) to 2 targets with only the necessary 4 fonts reduced the compiled file size from an average of 700K+ (some were well over 1000K) to them rarely being over 200K with quite a few being less than 100K.
                • 5. Re: Central License Price
                  _MDI_ Level 1
                  Right. I think I had tried up to 6 presentment targets at the same time, so I don't know if I have any limits, but I agree with you that usually PDF and a "general one" (like hplj4) is enough.

                  Even because more specific ones have their little problems :)
                  But I don't want to go off-topic.

                  I don't know about the next release, so, better not to stop the thread for the future, whoever has any news, please post it.

                  Thanx to all,
                  • 6. Re: Central License Price
                    Level 1
                    I want to correct my earlier post where I indicated that Central Pro was going to be discontinued. While looking for something else I've ran across the email from my reseller that I was referring to. It turns out that it isn't Central Pro that is being phased out. It is Output Designer, the form design software that goes with Central Pro. I had discovered a bug in Output Designer and an Adobe tech person responded to my reseller tech person with:

                    > ... it is unlikely that we will address this problem in Output Designer unless there is considerable impact to the problem. Output Designer will come to end-of-life in 2010 so there will likely only be maintenance to the product when there is a significant impact to the problem

                    According to my reseller tech person Output Designer is apparently going to be replaced by the LiveCycle product.
                    • 7. Re: Central License Price
                      Level 1
                      Is there anyone who can independantly confirm this piece of news - perhaps through resellers and other sales account managers.
                      • 8. Re: Central License Price
                        Level 1
                        Hey. If you consider my posting, including a direct quote from an Adobe tech person, to be hearsay then why ask for others to "confirm" this? If you don't believe me, then why would you be any different for someone else?

                        After forwarding Adobe's response, quoted above, my reseller tech went on to state:

                        >From Adobe's response on this issue and on the fact that they are phasing out output designer and adding the functionality to LiveCycle Designer, I don't think that they are going to address this issue with any earnest.

                        This and the prior quote are direct cut & paste from emails I've received.
                        • 9. Re: Central License Price
                          Level 1
                          Tom, sorry I didn't make myself clear. I was looking for independant verification of the license price hike of Central Pro from the current ~20K to ~40K in May/June 2007.
                          • 10. Re: Central License Price
                            Level 1
                            Sorry. Reading sequentially it appeared that you were questioning the "end of life" / "replace by LiveCycle" quotes that I had made.

                            You might contact an actual reseller for verification of the price hike. You can contact my reseller via their web site at http://www.tci-usa.com/
                            • 11. Re: Central License Price
                              Level 1
                              Wonder if this could be the "new version" of Output Server that the sales rep told me
                              http://www.adobe.com/products/livecycle/
                              http://www.adobe.com/products/livecycle/output/

                              There is are eSeminars scheduled for June 19,26 & July 17.
                              http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/event/index.cfm?event=detail&id=905615&loc=en_us
                              • 12. Re: Central License Price
                                Level 1
                                Yes. It looks like my worst fears regarding this software have been realized. According to the "update" page on Adobe's site "LiveCycle Output ES" is the upgrade path for "Central Pro Output Server 5.6".

                                http://www.adobe.com/products/livecycle/upgrade.html

                                with the footnote of "Available as an optional migration for maintenance and support customers who wish to move to LiveCycle ES".

                                The current product supports data files in XML format. I wonder if the new software will support "field nominated" files or will all current "DAT" file creation software that makes field nominated files need to be changed.

                                This is quite an about face for this software. Years ago there was a single designer used for both the filler and server-based printing software. Then they separated it into two distinct products, removing the filler features from Output Designer. Now they are dropping the Output Designer product altogether and having the LiveCycle filler product be the designer for the server-based processing.

                                We are going to have to have a long & serious discussion regarding whether we can continue with the direction Adobe is going. When Adobe switched the filler product to what is now LiveCycle Designer they did not support the immigration of the files from the predecessor software - particularly where they dropped support of VBScript. Now I'm expected to believe they will adequately support conversion of Output Designer files.

                                The LiveCycle change to a new object model and scripting languages was bad enough. It also came in the middle of our conversion so we could not follow along. If we follow along with Adobe now we'll have staff from both sides (filler & printing) needing to learn everything over again.

                                Our original conversion/development of our 100s of forms took years and we are just now to the point we can begin doing some serious enhancements. To go into conversion mode again (and this soon) would be a major and expensive undertaking, likely taking several years again. This is job security that I just don't need since I'm retiring in less than 2 years.