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A Closer Look at OCAD 2018 Features & Pricing

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OCAD 2018 release

OCAD 2018 is planned to release mid March. Thirty years after Hans Steinegger released the first version of OCAD, the regimen of minor and major updates is changing.

No longer will major updates be held over to the 3 yearly version update. Instead, with the advent of a current practice software subscription model, every scale of update will be released when it is ready.

The subscription service

The two key points about the subscription service are;

  1. Subscriptions are annual or tri-ennial
  2. Subscriptions are individual or team

OCAD Inc’s FAQ on OCAD 2018 comprehensively covers the ins and outs of subscriptions and pricing.However, in analysing the pricing, I discovered some aspects that may save you some time in research.

Pricing – reading between the linesTutorial

Usually, ‘reading between the lines’ has a negative connotation. Here it is very much the opposite. My analysis of the pricing throws up some very positive aspects that may not be evident on first read. In essence, there has never been a better time to update or subscribe anew.

The analysis is in Swiss Francs (CHF) so that you can relate directly to detail in OCAD Inc’s FAQ. A$/NZ$ prices will be loaded when OCAD 2018 is released.

Lower prices

For frequent updaters

If you are one of the majority of OCAD users who updates to the new version every 3 years, then you are onto a winner with the tri-ennial subscription. An OCAD update from v11 to v12 costs you CHF 380 (lower if you took the limited time offer). Your update from v12 to v2018 for 3 years is just CHF 221 if you update by 31 October.

Even v11 to v2018 is just CHF 294 for early update.

For infrequent updaters

Of course if you don’t update with every edition then the comparisons above are likely  of limited value. However, here are a couple of observations;

  • it is far lower cost to update to OCAD 2018 direct from OCAD 11 than update to OCAD 12 then OCAD 2018
  • there are no version updates available for editions earlier then OCAD 11
  • if you are in the habit of updating every 2nd or later version then subscription will be dearer n about the 5th year.

If you have OCAD 9, be aware that the earliest version that OCAD 2018 will save to is OCAD 10. So if you need to maintain maps in OCAD 9, then to get there from any OCAD 2018 produced maps, you will need OCAD 10 or OCAD 11 for that final step. Thus consider  retaining (instead of updating) an OCAD 10 or 11 version if your club really needs to retain an OCAD 9 library.

For prospective new purchasers.

And the lower pricing doesn’t stop with the updates;

  • A new OCAD 2018 tri-ennial licence at CHF 367 is over 35% less than OCAD 12 new price of CHF 580.
  • A new OCAD 2018 annual licence extended twice is still over CHF 100 less than an  OCAD 12 licence.

This steep shaving extends to Professional/Mapping Solution.

But not to Starter nor Course Setting which nevertheless remain good value.

For clubs and projectsTeam

You know what a club is — but a project? Take the recent WMOC in NZ. A batch of OCAD licences were purchased for WMOC mappers and course setters to assure cohesion in presentation and compliance with ISOM. This also facilitated easy and efficient exchange of map files.

The Team licence therefore is ideal for clubs and projects. The first set of two is already over CHF 100 less than two individual licences. Then each licence after the first set of two, attracts volume discount if bought in that first order. A club 3-mapper tri-ennial licence will now cost over 3 years CHF 957 instead of CHF 1,566 (new licence) or CHF 1,180 if OCAD 12 was able to be updated to the current style of licence.

A licence can be readily transferred to another club/team user although not within a 24 hour period since the last transfer.

Volume discounts apply to Team subscriptions. These are built into the Team 2x licence price. Beyond that they are;

  • 3 licenses 10%
  • 4 licenses 15%
  • 5+ licenses 20%

The discounts apply to all licences bought in the one order including Starter and Course Setting. See section 1.3.2 of the OCAD 2018 FAQ for the formula to apply discounts to Team orders. If further licence subscriptions are later purchased then they are priced according to the volume of that additional order.

Then when the main licence subscription is due fore renewal,the additional licence(s) are added to the team licence subscription and volume subscription pricing is changed accordingly. A rebate is given for any remaining term of the additional licence subscriptions at time of merging the subscriptions.

Other value

For new features read

So what is not to like?

Licence change

OCAD 12 gave you two activations so you could install on your desktop and laptop. From OCAD 2018 you may install on only one of those (the original 2018 FAQ should have said ‘desktop or laptop’). However, you may submit a justification for a further activation.

I have checked the software subscriptions that I have for permissible installs. I  have only 3 such recent products. Snagit and Camtasia, both by TechSmith, allow 2 activations but only one may be active at any one time. Memory-Map allows 2 on computers and one on mobile. There does not appear to be any restriction on concurrent use.

I also have a number of web based subscription softwares. Although most or all can be accessed simultaneously, each subscription is controlled as to how many apps it can be used with. The default is generally one and I pay more for use in conjunction with  multiple other apps.

Infrequent updater cost

As mentioned above, by year 6 the subscription cost is likely to outweigh the cost of your occasional updating under the existing pricing regimen.

If you believe there are other downsides that I have nor perceived, then I will be most interested to hear via Comments, email or in person at an event. Queries also welcome.

2 thoughts on “A Closer Look at OCAD 2018 Features & Pricing

  1. Ken,
    You mention new features…but apart from the licensing changes and the potential for a team licence, I could find no mention of new features. Are there any functional differences between OCAD 12 and OCAD 2018?

    1. Geoff, you can view these at OCAD Inc’s Help wiki item ‘What_is_New’. Two of these are furtehr explained in OCAD Inc’s recent blog post on 2018 release.

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