Why no FrameMaker concurrent licensing for Windows?

Subject: Why no FrameMaker concurrent licensing for Windows?
From: Richard Inch <rinch -at- INFICON -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 08:31:30 -0500

FrameMaker does not allow concurrent licensing for Windows. Therefore,
FrameMaker must installed directly on each computer. When a workgroup
publishing project finishes, our Information Systems group must uninstall
FrameMaker from the finished project's Source Material Experts (SMEs), then
reinstall it on the computer of the SMEs for the next project. This is a
real pain for everyone involved. Maintaining everyone at the same
FrameMaker version level is diffcult, too.

I came from a UNIX environment to my current NT Server / Win 95 client
environment about three years ago. In the UNIX environment, I used
FrameMaker. That company had a set number of concurrent use seat licenses,
all administered by the Systems group. Anyone at any time could go to any
computer in the building and run FrameMaker. If all the licensed copies of
FrameMaker were in use, a message would appear stating that all FrameMaker
licenses were used and instructed one to wait until license became open. If
this happened often enough, we would simply buy more seats for our license.
There were VIP licenses for those of use in Technical Publications group to
ensure we always had an open license. FrameMaker upgrades were administered
from one source by the Systems group. Manuals were created/revised in a
workgroup environment with the SMEs using FrameMaker to work directly on
the "live" documents. This worked very well.

I brought this workgroup publishing method to my current employer's NT
Server / Win95 Client environment. Everyone here has MS Word (the corporate
standards are MS Office Pro, SAP, Lotus Notes). I tried for two years to
use Word, and last year changed to FrameMaker 5.5 for Win 95. FrameMaker is
now the standard for Technical Documentation (User Guides, Service Manuals,
Instruction Sheets.)

We have a very powerful, very fast network with (almost) all new computers,
servers, wiring, etc. (a major upgrade took place last year). (250 seats.)
Honestly, this NT Server / Win95 client networked environment is
significantly faster and much easier to use than the UNIX environment of my
previous employer.

Our Information Systems Manager is an absolute fanatic when it comes to
software licensing issues. We have 10 copies of FrameMaker. He has a
license metering tool that can ensure that no more than 10 copies are in
use at any given point in time. He tells me that it would be very easy for
him to make FrameMaker 5.5 available to every seat in the building and to
absolutely ensure no more than 10 copies are used at any one time. He would
prefer this. So would I. But, Adobe will not give us the permission to do
so because they do not offer concurrent usage/server installation of Adobe
FrameMaker on Mac and Windows.

I've tried talking to my sales rep, have sent emails here and there, phoned
here and there, in a fruitless attempt get Adobe to respond to my needs.
Even Adobe's own Tech Support people kinda mumble it should be OK. Then,
they send me to a sales rep who tells me that concurrent licensing in
Windows is an idea whose time has come, but states that Adobe simply will
not allow this. Is there anyone else out there who is frustrated by Adobe's
lack of concurrent licensing for Windows? Any ideas on how to get them to
change this archaic policy would be appreciated.

Richard Inch
Technical Documentation Manager
Leybold Inficon
Two Technology Place
East Syracuse, NY 13057-9714
rinch -at- inficon -dot- com

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