There are always trade-offs when designing software. The software architect's go-to statement is usually..."it depends". This holds true when determining which types of Licenses to purchase from Fluent for your document generation needs. It depends on your requirements and what trade-offs you can make. There is no "one size fits all" license, but you should be able to accomplish your goals with the license types and license editions that are available.
FLEX License Type
The Flex license is based on number of pages output. There is no restriction or charge on the number of servers, cores per server, users, functionality, or anything else. It's just per page. So generating 1,000 pages on a single server is the same as generating 1 page on 1,000 servers. FLEX has a fixed annual fee that includes your first N pages and then a per page charge over that amount. There are multiple FLEX plans to choose from that allow different volumes of pages per month.
- Infinite horizontal and vertical scaling with no additional cost for added servers or processor cores
- Great for hosting platforms such as AWS and Azure with automated management of VMs or Containers
- Simple license key management
- More expensive than a PRO (per server) license for large volume of pages output per month
- No potential to work disconnected from the Fluent License Server**
** The engine will continue to work if there are transient connection issues with the License Server, but will stop working after 48 hours of no communication with the Fluent License Server.
PRO License Type (No Longer Available)
The PRO license is based on the number of servers and processor cores on the server. On a server using a PRO subscription you can generate as many documents & pages as you wish (and the machine is capable of) for a fixed monthly fee. Every server is required to be licensed but each server can use the same license key.
- Can output huge numbers of pages without worrying about additional costs
- Can work disconnected from license server on request**
- When needs arise to scale, additional licenses must be purchased
- If in an automated management platform, the max number of servers needed must be licensed even if a server/machine is used rarely
** offline licenses require much more manual management by the Customer because they must be regenerated before the end of each billing cycle and every server updated with the new license key. Offline licenses are also tied to a specific set of server/machine names which does not work in most managed server/node platforms.
Perpetual License Type (no longer available)
The Perpetual license is the legacy licensing model that quite a few of our existing Customers utilize. While this license type is no longer available for purchase for new Customers, we do still support this license type for existing Perpetual License Customers.
Perpetual license Customers have started to move their applications to environments where either our FLEX or PRO license capabilities are needed. Unfortunately new modern environments and distributed architectures do not work well with the limitations of Perpetual licenses. If you are an existing Perpetual license Customer and would like more information on upgrading to a modern license please contact Fluent Support for more information.