FoCal 2.0 and Beyond, New Licence Terms

FoCal 1.0 was released in January of 2012, from that time there’s been in excess of 20 significant updates leading us to where we are today, very close to the full FoCal 2.0 release.

The first licensing policy, to charge an upgrade fee for a new major revision (e.g. FoCal 1 users receive all FoCal 1.x updates and then pay for FoCal 2.0 to have all FoCal 2.x updates included) hasn’t worked. One of the most frequent support tickets we see asks “If I buy FoCal now how long will I receive updates?”. It’s a good question but not so simple to answer, more recently we adopted a stop-gap position of saying “free update to FoCal 2.0 for all FoCal 1.x users”.

The nice thing about this stop-gap position is that even if you bought FoCal in 2012 you will have access to use FoCal 2.0 and enjoy many improvements. It’s however not so fair if, for example, you bought FoCal just after Christmas (say at FoCal 1.9.10) you’d get access to 2.0 but then need to pay for the further updates (e.g 2.1 onwards up to 2.9).

With the introduction of FoCal 2 and the FoCal Data Subscription in FoCal Pro, things have got even more complicated, it’s time to simplify things. It was never the case that a one time fee would provide a lifetime of included updates. With FoCal 2 being the first time across three years we’ve actually changed major revisions and before FoCal 2.0 hits full release we are making this change.

This type of change is not simple and we appreciate the crossover between the old system (which presented it’s own set of problems) and this new one might seem confusing at first but will create a more easily understood licensing model going forwards.

The new approach:

When new users purchase FoCal they are entitled to 12 months of software updates from their date of purchase. This includes the currently released version of FoCal and all software updates (both major and minor revisions) released over that following 12 month period.

When a user’s included updates period expires they will continue to be able to use FoCal at the most recent release covered by their included updates period. A new 12 month included updates period can be purchased, this will allow access to the more recently released versions of FoCal at a reduced cost (rather than having to buy FoCal again at full price).

Please note that ALL FoCal license holders are entitled to use FoCal 2.0 irrespective of the status of their included updates period.

The transition or crossover from the old licence to the new one is a little less simple, questions and answers below should help (we will add to this list and clarify things as needed).

I just bought FoCal will I have to pay to access FoCal 2.1 and further releases?

We wanted to allow those users who’ve recently bought FoCal a little stop gap rather than asking them to pay again to gain access to 2.1 onwards. We’ve gone back to 1st July 2014 (a little over a year) and made the included update period 15 months from their purchase date for those users.

I bought FoCal years ago (or before July 2014) what are my options?

You will be upgraded to FoCal 2.0 without charge. If you wish to have access to future versions of FoCal (e.g. 2.1 onwards) then you will need to purchase a new 12 month included updates period. This new included updates period will run from the date of its purchase, e.g. if you buy an included updates period today you will get the current release of FoCal and all updates for the following 12 months.

What if I upgrade from FoCal Standard to FoCal Plus or from FoCal Plus to FoCal Pro?

An upgrade is counted as a new purchase and the period of included updates runs from that date of purchase. Note as this is a new purchase it will not extend any outstanding included updates period but rather replace it.

I’m thinking of buying FoCal soon should I just wait till 2.0 goes to full release?

We expect 2.0 to go to full release during next month (the exact date always depends on any issues that surface during the test release phase).

I really like FoCal 2.0 will I see much advantage to having say FoCal 2.1 or 2.2 etc?

FoCal 2.0 in a lot of ways is a starting point. Much of the code is re-written, a lot of the user interface is re-designed and it gives a very solid foundation, we have much more planned. FoCal will be actively developed from 2.0 onwards 🙂

How much does it cost to extend my period of included updates?

Cost is 40% of the current price of the version of FoCal you are using.

How do I purchase a renewal/extension of my Included Updates Period?

Login to the License Management System and you will see a new Included Updates Period section.

Please use the comments section to ask any questions 🙂

22 comments on “FoCal 2.0 and Beyond, New Licence Terms

  • I was no fan of the subscription model for the data feed, to say the least. I highly apreciate it now being included with the Pro edition.

    Similarily, I can’t say I cheer for the new 12-month-support terms – but I understand the reasoning, and I can live with it. Yes, I know it’s no less a subscription than the old data feed model, but – somehow it’s different. 🙂

    As I was about to put my money where my mouth is (ordering a support extension right there) I noted a few peculiarities: I sit possible that the shop transmits credit card info over clear http, not SSL? I didn’t see any signs of an encrypted connection.

    Also, the shop didn’t “remember” me from previous orders. My “lifetime order history” is blank. Shall I take that personally?

    Reply
    • Hi VGER,

      Thank you for your feedback 🙂

      The FDS data model was confusing (a fair number of feedback tickets on the test releases are a good indication!) and was set to become more confusing as time went on. The FDS subscription isn’t totally gone so much as included within the updates period but at least now it’s just one thing to keep track with(!)

      The shopping cart system sits on top of PayPal’s secure payment processing system (you don’t need a PayPal account, they just provide the underlying transaction handling). It is totally secure, if you look at the code, or right click in the payment section and pick ‘view only this frame’. You’ll see all sensitive/private information goes to the payment processing system at https://securepayments.paypal.com

      The cart system and whether it remembers user details depends(!) it can be used both in a single purchase mode and as a login system if you created an account.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • I just bought FoCal some months ago and I really love it, I calibrated all my lenses on all my bodies. In the past, I had to install a new version of FoCal to get the Support for the newest cameras. With the new license terms, do you backport the support for the newest cameras, or to I have to buy the newest FoCal release to get my new Cameras working (after the 12-month free update periode)?
    Thanks Julian

    Reply
    • Hi Julian,

      Glad you’re enjoying using FoCal and hope you’re enjoying the new updates as we approach FoCal 2.0 full release 🙂

      If you login to the LMS ( http://lms.fo-cal.co.uk/ ) you should see that you have 15 months of included updates from the date of purchase. As new releases are made to get access to the new update you’ll need to install the newer version of FoCal (this is as it worked before).

      With the old system you would have had to pay again for FoCal 2.1 to have all 2.x releases and then again at FoCal 3.0 (presuming you wanted to have access to those releases). The uncertainty of how long you’d get to have access to new updates is what we tried to remove (for example it’s possible 3.0 could be out as soon as next year). Release numbering in some ways is arbitrary and we don’t provide a published roadmap of what’s upcoming or when say 3.0 is expected (that would allow users to calculate ahead of time how long their updates period would last).

      To answer more directly, yep after your included updates period ends you would need to pay to extend that period and gain access to any releases made after that date.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Ian Douglas says:

    Hello Dave,
    As a recent purchaser of v1.9 of Focal Pro with a promised free upgrade to v2.0 when released, I must say I am still surprised that when v2.0 is released that I might have to pay for any interim upgrades (within a version). The norm would be to pay an upgrade price for version 3 only but not for v2.1, 2.2 , 2.3 , ….?
    These within version upgrades are necessary to support new cameras as well as new features I understand that, However as a Nikon owner we already get a non-automatic version whereas Canon owners can sit back.
    That said I really like version 1.9 and hope v2.0 is an improvement with new features.
    regards
    Ian

    Reply
    • Hi Ian,

      If the logic was strictly updates until next major release then buying at 1.9 would mean a payment to gain access to 2.0. Since FoCal hasn’t arbitrarily bumped major release number (v1.9.0 came out in June 2013!) this causes “holding off” behaviour. Potential new users decide to wait for the next major release before purchase. We know this happens because we see a lot of tickets asking “how long will I get updates if I buy now?”

      More recently we put in a stop gap position, saying “anyone with FoCal 1.x will get access free of charge to 2.0”. If we remain with “updates through to next major release” then we could technically expect users who bought FoCal last month at 1.9.11 to pay again to have access from 2.1 through till 2.9. Obviously that isn’t very fair and it’s an option we didn’t consider.

      Another way could be to charge no upgrade fees at all, users buying FoCal 1.x would gain access all the way to 3.0 without charge. I’m not sure that’s fair either 🙂 (it also doesn’t solve the “holding off” problem at all as anything numbered from say 2.5 onwards will have potential new users asking when 3.0 will come out and should they wait till 3.0 before buying)

      The “hands free” mode is not a Canon / Nikon thing, rather annoyingly the camera manufacturers don’t allow programmatic change of the AFMA / AF Fine Tune value with certain cameras. The updated supported cameras page at http://www.reikan.co.uk/focalweb/index.php/why/camera-compatibility/ shows it’s both Canon and Nikon cameras which require “user assistance”.

      At this time we’ve worked on making the “user assisted” part of the process easier (less AFMA steps required and “Voice Prompt”) and this is happening with FoCal V2.

      You do have access to download and use FoCal 2.0 test release, it’s called a “test release” but actually it’s very usable and is very close now to how FoCal 2.0 full release will be https://blog.reikanfocal.com/2015/08/focal-2-tr4-now-available-with-5dsr-support-windowsmac-stdpluspro/ 🙂

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • This new licensing model is not unreasonable. Most importantly, users that don’t need an update, can just continue to use the version that works for them.

    One comment though: long term this will only work if you prove that you can actually deliver interesting updates within a 12 month cycle. I appreciate the version 2 rewrite has been bigger than you anticipated, but only future upgrades will tell…

    Reply
    • Hi Stefan,

      Thanks for your feedback 🙂

      I would tend to agree, it gives users choices, whether and when they wish to update. FoCal 2 has been a huge effort and there was more that we wanted to squeeze in, perhaps 2.1/2.2 etc will see some interesting features 😉

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • I’m not surprised to see a different licence model. You should perhaps have increased the version number more often so 2.0 was back in early 2014?

    I bought FoCal Pro back in 2013 so I’ve personally had a good run of updates, only question is whether to jump now and get 15 months of updates, either way keep up the good work! 🙂

    Reply
  • Mark Williams says:

    Wanted to say as a long term FoCal user I’m not a huge fan of the new licence terms. If it allows more of what I’ve seen with FoCal 2 Mac improvements it’s a good move (expected to have to pay for 2.0 in any case)

    Reply
    • Hi Mark,

      Thank you for your feedback, there are features we wanted to get into 2.0 that didn’t make it but the improvements that did make it are getting a lot of positive feedback 🙂

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Hi,
    I have mixed feelings about this new licensing model, I purchased a Focal pro license in 2012 and for a long time the program never delivered what I was hoping for, actually I gave up on it (and my Nikon D800 camera).

    I’m willing to give Focal a second chance with the 2.0 release and I really hope this release will deliver without some nasty bugs, that urge to purchase a new update period.

    Regards, Juergen

    Reply
    • Hi Juergen,

      Thank you for your feedback and giving FoCal another chance 🙂

      Very early releases of FoCal definitely had issues for some users. Later releases, for at least this past year have seen many improvements and the Mac system especially by switching to Mono framework 3.12.1 (N.B. Mono framework install is not required at all for FoCal 2 on Mac).

      FoCal 2 is a huge leap forwards, much of the code is re-written from scratch with what we’ve learnt over the last few years. It’s had extensive internal testing on all supported platforms and large selection of cameras. It’s more stable and easier to use with many useful improvements.

      All existing FoCal users have the free upgrade to FoCal 2.0 and we’re seeing a lot of very early FoCal users returning which is brilliant!

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • I am a possible new user. I understand that if I buy a new FoCal 2 Pro license I will have 12 months of upgrades. My question is:
    If I do not continue my subscription after 12 months, but then want to buy a subscription after say, three years from initial purchase, what would be my cost and how long would the subscription last?

    Reply
    • Hi Fred,

      It’s a good question and worth clarifying.

      I’ll use some made up release numbers by way of example. NB these are truly imaginary and bear no relation to any planned release numbers or timescales

      Say product is at 2.0 when you buy and after 12 months is at 2.5, you get access to 2.5 all is well. You decide that you don’t need any newer features and you stick with 2.5.

      A few years (or months whatever!) a feature comes along and you decide to buy another 12 months of updates. You get the most current release at that time (could be say 2.8) and all subsequent releases over the following 12 month period.

      There is no sense in which you need to pay to ‘catch up’ with the releases you didn’t get in time you were not receiving updates.

      Hope that is clear 🙂

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
  • Kaining Zhu says:

    Hello,

    I bought my Focal product on September 1, 2014 and my free upgrade period ended September 1 2015. I have 2 questions.
    1) I would like to install the free Focal 2 to my new IBM computer. Could you advise how to do it?
    2) I forgot whether my Focal is a plus or a pro version. Could you check it our and email the version to me.

    Thanks,

    Kaining Zhu (call me ken)

    Reply
    • Hi Ken

      Always great to hear from early FoCal adopters!

      Yes, no problem to install 2.0 and yes we should be able to figure out your license details.

      Can I ask you raise a support request as the support team are best placed to help (blog comments aren’t a great support channel!) 🙂

      Best,.
      Dave

      Reply
  • Peter Looper says:

    I have used 5 of my 15 cameras in Focal, but I no longer own these bodies. So I went in and deleted them all before calibrating my new Z6 and Z7. However, once deleted I have nothing showing registered, but it still says I have used up 5 licenses. How can I reset my available licenses?

    I’m looking forward to the final release soon as my license expires on 27th April and all I own now are the new Z6 and Z7 cameras that are just being added.

    Reply
    • Hi Peter,

      Yep, there’s a counter on the number of changes, when it gets up a bit higher just drop support a note and they can reset.

      We’re working on full support for Z6/Z7 as you mention, we’ve back-dated that release (the whole of the 2.9.x release) so if you had access to new releases even back to 1st October 2018 you will have access 🙂

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply
    • Hi Peter,

      Sorry for the delay, blog comments don’t get checked that frequently and we might sometimes miss the odd comment(!)

      Please can you raise a support request, the support team will be able to help and will normally answer within 24 hours during the week 🙂

      Best Regards,
      Dave

      Reply

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