Upgrade path options - not exactly linear

A few points to begin:

  1. I have no problem paying for software. I return functionality and talented software engineers get paid for their hard work. That’s as it should be.
  2. Most software publishers offer linear upgrade paths. Pay $x and move to their new version of the software you already have.

That’s where the problem starts.
DEVONthink Pro Office supports server functionality and has not restricted seat count in my personal use re multiple (3) macs.

As such my upgrade choices seem to be either:

  1. Pay $99 and lose server functionality which I have now and which has been removed from the current pro version and pay another $99 to keep it on the third mac I use for traveling or
  2. Pay $499 (including upgrade discount!) to move the functionality I have now to version 3.

Does that make sense to anyone?

Welcome @D3PO

And apparently it makes sense to many people, considering our new and upgrade sales volume :wink:

PS: The Server edition is marketed toward business, academia, and group collarboration situations. Also, the server in DEVONthink 3 is not the same one as in DEVONthink 2. It is rewritten and provides business-critical options like certificate support, secure connections by default, and per-database user permissions.

It’s a bit similar to upgrading to a new automobile with a newly redesigned and more powerful engine. The old car had an engine too, but the new one is not the same and far better.

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What an arrogant answer. Good luck with your sales volume. I used to recommend DEVONthink - now I will steer people away from the absolute greed of your company.

New engine analogy … what a joke. No … here’s the reality. You put in features that most individual users have no need for and stripped away the ones we do need. You also know that your institutional users - specifically in academia, are civil servants that couldn’t care less if you charged $2000 per seat as it’s not their personal money paying the bills. Every individual user is getting ripped off by your absurd pricing because you have pre-approved budgets in academia and large corps wherein the users aren’t the ones paying for your software. So that’s your business model? Price for the users that aren’t the ones paying for the software. Great idea … let’s see how that works out for you.

What a pity that you find our answer arrogant. We know that a switch from a person-based to a seat-based license model is not friction-less. We tried to put together feature sets that appeal to the largest number of users.

However, as we vastly extended the functionality of the web interface, which was, according to what we learned in the last eleven years (in which we didn’t charge at all for any new functionality including the synchronization), used my many small to medium teams. We added team functionality and gave it a pricing that reflects the work that went into it.

We’re sorry if the web interface was a core functionality for you as a single user.

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I don’t know many companies which are not interested in the price of what they buy.

But that said, I think it is about value. For me DT3 is paid by my company, but that is still my money that I could use for other reasons. What Devonthink does is deliver value - its ROI to me far exceeds the cost of the software, and I hope the price allows them to continue to provide support long-term. That is a win-win.


“For me DT3 is paid by my company, but that is still my money that I could use for other reasons.”

… really? You consider the fact that you could spend someone else’s money on something else for yourself the equivalent of SMB users having to spend $500 OF THEIR OWN MONEY to move to a current version of a license the already own? Only DT3 Server has all the functionality of DT2 Pro Office.

I’d also suggest that if Devon wants to transition from per user to per seat licensing that they at least be a little more generous as they move their current users forward. Anyone upgrading from a per user license vs purchasing new should be given 5 seats minimum. For new users … they can determine the value proposition of current pricing and 2 seats before they buy and commit time and energy into using the Devon platform. That’s fair. What is not fair is to arbitrarily grab $ from existing users based upon their use profile.

Further, in the direct reply I received from Devon Technologies … they suggested I’d have the added benefit of having the cost as an expense on my tax return. Wow. Wow. How out of touch can a company possibly be?

To Eric Böhnisch-Volkmann - don’t worry if the engine in your car blows a cylinder tomorrow. It’ll be fun … you can deduct the repair as a taxable expense. I bet you’re looking forward to it now … no?

Thank you rkaplan and thank you Eric B for demonstrating just how out of touch the new pricing and more importantly the Devon view of customer service actually is.

It’s my company. So yes, it’s the same thing. $500 to Devonthink is $500 less profit to me at the end of the year. Except the software lets me be more productive and earn way more than the $500 I spent on it.

That said - Devonthink is one of the few software companies that does not charge a subscription. It was a long time between DT2 and DT3; they didn’t ask for any money in the interim yet they were there supporting the software and adding features.

Bottom line- we all need to earn money to exist. Same for Devonthink. Compared to other software of similar sophistication I think DT3 is a very good deal.

Most notably, I suspect if they went out of business you too would be disappointed. There really is no competing software that does the same thing nearly as well.


I’ll post this one last comment … after that I’m done with this thread as it will obviously just represent an agree-to-disagree back and forth discussion that will yield no return unless Devon determines that existing users are brand ambassadors and implicitly drive sales and need to be treated accordingly.

I’ve never had an issue with the quality of the code. Devonthink is awesome / always has been.

Changing pricing and license models calculated on the most common usage scenario as Eric put it … makes sense for new users. As I detailed they can evaluate the value proposition before they hand over their money. Being punitive to existing users is another topic entirely.

In this regard, I will agree to disagree. I will also cease to recommend Devonthink.

Be well. I’m glad you’re happy with the product and pricing. I’m not.

The majority of old and new users agree with the pricing.
Like everything in life there is aways a few that will get in a way of moving forward.

Personally I like the way the new pricing is, I want DevonThink to be around. The App is one of a kind, others may come close but will never be as great as DevonThink. Good luck finding a similar app with powerful features and a reasonable price for its worth.

Also DevonThinkTech is a small company not Microsoft.

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I’m not sure how you quantified the majority agree with the pricing. I think there’s a big difference between agreeing with the price and paying for the software. I don’t particularly agree with the price, but I’ve accepted that in order to use DT3, I’ll need to pay the price. For me, $150 is not very affordable for software used on a personal level. But I also realize that it’s been using this for 8 years without paying for an update, and that they’re not going to the all-too-common-but-hated subscription model. Thus, I’ve decided to pay it as I think, overall, it’s fair.

However, I’m also going from DevonThink Pro (non Office) 2 to DevonThink Pro 3, which includes many DTPOffice features. I can tell you, though, that if I had DTPO2 and the new price to upgrade to the new version that included the web server that I had already was $500, I would definitely not be upgrading. In fact, I would probably be furious. I realize the Server edition is for teams and businesses, so it’s likely more affordable and usable for them, but $500 is not in the realm of affordability for most home users.


But there is a $99 version that is quite appropriate for home use - not something one can say about most business grade or enterprise grade software.

What features are missing from the $99 version that are essential for home, non-business users? Surely the web server is not it. For home use it is pretty simple to Save your data as a website using DT3 and then set up a simple Apache LAMP server to access your data remotely.

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It was, at least, very poorly considered to brag about sales numbers to a customer who is clearly frustrated, unless it was intended to signal that you don’t need his business, in which case, objective achieved.

You talk about arrogance and then make those remarks about ‘civil servants’ that is many of us, many of my colleagues who use institutional licences, many of us are also in private institutions and private Universities etc… They do care about costs as it happens: many of them are fanatical hackers, never microsoft and especially never Apple, freeware zealots as a matter of fact. To be less facetious many of us, myself included consider institutional costs to be “our” money is the sense that we are also taxpayers and citizens.
As @BLUEFROG says, it is a totally revamped app. In your case you would pay, if there were no major upgrades for a decade about $20 a year if you took out a 99$ upgrade and 99$ for a extra seat. About 50$ a year even if you splashed out on a server licence. Assume a five year cycle betwen paid upgrades: that is still $40 a year and 100$ per annum for a server, for a powerful app with no real challengers frankly. I think my math is right?

Were I DEVONthink I would have gone subscription but there you go.

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I have already said some of this on MPU Discourse on the same topic. Compare these prices to the total hardware and rents to Verizon and other providers and infrastructure over a year; just do the excercise and, as I said on MPU, this app is still, given its power, one step above free.

I see how your reasoning goes, mine goes the same way but I really corrected myself on reflection. Really 500$ over 8 years works out as about 60$ a year? Subscription to the NYT is way above that. I pay 212$ per annum for a professional journal I need in a field where prices are considered low.

California State University system has, at last, just drawn the line at journals whose institutional rates are, in one case, over 20,000 Dollars per annum. With a lot of active pressure from staff and students who ‘take it personally’ when their publicly funded work is put behind prohibitive expensive firewalls without much justification frankly.
Costs obscured by complicated bundling very often too, as the infrastructure providers in America do also and with subtle PR methods make it all seem so fair.

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