Why are the Topspeed ODBC drivers not Free??? 
Author Message
 Why are the Topspeed ODBC drivers not Free???

Hi to those at Topspeed, (and everyone else)

I have been a Clarion user for a long time now from Clarion for DOS 2.0
days.  I've been through the thick and the thin period, (Clarion 3 being
the thin period) and supported clarion all the way.  I still think there
isn't a product to touch it on the market yet.  (I wish it a lot more
visible than it is now but that's another topic for a later date)

Some of the problems I've been experiencing, and I'm sure others have too,
is that being in a large corporation (18,000 employees of which 1,500 are
IT related people) they have standardised on everything microsoft etc
(they've even looked at and entertained delphi for a while), but not
Clarion, in spite of the major strides Topspeed have made since "3.0".
Lack off ODBC compatability being citied as one of many reasons.  I have
developed many Clarion applications, some of which I've even managed to get
installed at my work, but the lack of accessability to the topspeed files
using their Reportwriters is killing their usefullness. (Why should they
buy another Reportwriter when they already have on of the corporation's
compliant ones?)

Now that you have an ODBC driver for the Topspeed driver I was hoping that
like all the other packages out there that the ODBC driver would have been
supplied free.  BUT no not in this case.  WHY??

At least make the Read Only driver free, so as to allow us developers to
write Clarion apps and let the users use their reportwriters.  This way we
would be able to get work more easily having put the ODBC issue to bed.

Any comments Topspeed????

Colin Brown

Cape Town, South Africa



Fri, 28 Jan 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Why are the Topspeed ODBC drivers not Free???

Quote:

>Now that you have an ODBC driver for the Topspeed driver I was hoping that
>like all the other packages out there that the ODBC driver would have been
>supplied free.  BUT no not in this case.  WHY??

I'm not with TopSpeed, but I'm advised that other companies' ODBC
drivers are not free either.  Some come with Microsoft Office, and
Microsoft sells some.  Which ones have you seen that are free?


Fri, 28 Jan 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Why are the Topspeed ODBC drivers not Free???

There are "free" ODBC drivers for some databases, but that's normally
databases where you have to pay a license for each user that access the
database. In other words, some ODBC drivers are free to get, but you have
to pay to use them. The TP ODBC driver is not free to get, but the usage is
free. Some use Microsoft software as an example of free stuff. First you
have to buy Office or some other product to get the "free" ODBC driver.
Afterwards you must pay a lisence fee to access the SQL backend database.
You actually pay twice for the "free" ODBC driver. Don't be fooled to
believe that software makers are charity organizations. They need to get
paid for their products and services some way or the other to servive.

Geir Hansen
Nordic Innovator AS

PS.
I would have liked to see a SINGLE user license avilable for the TP ODBC
driver though.

Quote:

> I'm not with TopSpeed, but I'm advised that other companies' ODBC
> drivers are not free either.  Some come with Microsoft Office, and
> Microsoft sells some.  Which ones have you seen that are free?



Sat, 29 Jan 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Why are the Topspeed ODBC drivers not Free???

Quote:

>I not advocating that Topspeed is big enough to give away
>Clarion, just the ODBC driver.

Topspeed's position is (I believe) that they can't afford to give away
the ODBC driver, due to the amount of developer resources that it took
to create it.

Quote:
>One of the many features of Clarion has been the lack of Royalties
>associated with distributing applications etc (plus the purchase price),
>making the costs of developing applications very transparent indeed.  Let's
>continue in that vein.

There still aren't royalties for developing an application that you
create.


Sat, 29 Jan 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Why are the Topspeed ODBC drivers not Free???



Quote:
> There are "free" ODBC drivers for some databases, but that's normally
> databases where you have to pay a license for each user that access the
> database. In other words, some ODBC drivers are free to get, but you have
> to pay to use them. The TP ODBC driver is not free to get, but the usage
is
> free. Some use Microsoft software as an example of free stuff. First you
> have to buy Office or some other product to get the "free" ODBC driver.
> Afterwards you must pay a lisence fee to access the SQL backend database.
> etc etc

One of the points that I'm trying to make here is Clarion is not Microsoft
or even as large as Microsoft (in terms of market share of it's developer
products) and if We the developers are fighting (not in all instances but
definitely most) to be allowed to use the Best Tool for the job (CLARION)
then having a free "Read-Only" ODBC driver will help a lot.

How did Microsoft manage to capture so much of the Internet Browser market
when it was dominated by Netscape?  -   By distributing Internet Explorer
for FREE!!!   I not advocating that Topspeed is big enough to give away
Clarion, just the ODBC driver.

One of the many features of Clarion has been the lack of Royalties
associated with distributing applications etc (plus the purchase price),
making the costs of developing applications very transparent indeed.  Let's
continue in that vein.

Colin Brown
Cape Town, South Africa



Sat, 29 Jan 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Why are the Topspeed ODBC drivers not Free???

Geir:
I have a question, are you comparing the *.tps file format to MSSQL, an
entire software system? I think if some of the hyperbola calms down you
will see there is a difference. To my knowledge if you are a developer
wanting to access an Access database, there is no charge. I believe you can
down load it from MS web site for free. I believe that is the exact reason,
Access is getting to be the department database. People can set it up
easily, and then people can create all kinds of reports with their report
writers. I love CW, can't see myself jumping ship, but this ODBC issue is
creating problems for me. I would love to simplify my reports, use CR
through the app, and distribute the ODBC driver along with my app. The
problem is I'm planning on doing this as a try before you buy situation.
Also I don't want to get into user limits. So how do I set all of this up?
Can't, for me it creates a problem, where before the motto at TopSpeed has
been no run time fees. Well if you want ODBC, we now have run times. I
agree with the original poster, the read only should either be free or a
one time fee for developers. I can definitely see TopSpeed wanting to
charge per seat for the r/w ODBC driver, can't have people willy nilly
jumping ship to other development packages. Just an opinion.

Mick



Quote:
> There are "free" ODBC drivers for some databases, but that's normally
> databases where you have to pay a license for each user that access the
> database. In other words, some ODBC drivers are free to get, but you have
> to pay to use them. The TP ODBC driver is not free to get, but the usage
is
> free. Some use Microsoft software as an example of free stuff. First you
> have to buy Office or some other product to get the "free" ODBC driver.
> Afterwards you must pay a lisence fee to access the SQL backend database.
> You actually pay twice for the "free" ODBC driver. Don't be fooled to
> believe that software makers are charity organizations. They need to get
> paid for their products and services some way or the other to servive.

> Geir Hansen
> Nordic Innovator AS

> PS.
> I would have liked to see a SINGLE user license avilable for the TP ODBC
> driver though.


> > I'm not with TopSpeed, but I'm advised that other companies' ODBC
> > drivers are not free either.  Some come with Microsoft Office, and
> > Microsoft sells some.  Which ones have you seen that are free?



Sun, 30 Jan 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Why are the Topspeed ODBC drivers not Free???

Geir:
Nope, they at least during the free beta had two drivers, one read/write,
the other read only. I never got around to trying out the read only. I
think it would be useful for all of us, and as I said make it a one shot
price.

Mick



Quote:
> Of cource you can't compare the TP data files to a SQL engine if you talk
> about technology, but my point was that a lot of the so called free
drivers
> often are for databases that requires a license to access. Things are
> seldom totally free. Access ODBS drivers may be an exeption, I don't
know.

> Mick, you talk about a read only TP ODBC driver. I didn't know that
> existed. To my knowledge only a full read/write driver is available.

> Geir Hansen
> Nordic Innovator AS


> > Geir:
> > I have a question, are you comparing the *.tps file format to MSSQL, an
> > entire software system? I think if some of the hyperbola calms down you
> > will see there is a difference. To my knowledge if you are a developer
> > wanting to access an Access database, there is no charge. I believe you
> can
> > down load it from MS web site for free. I believe that is the exact
> reason,
> > Access is getting to be the department database. People can set it up
> > easily, and then people can create all kinds of reports with their
report
> > writers. I love CW, can't see myself jumping ship, but this ODBC issue
is
> > creating problems for me. I would love to simplify my reports, use CR
> > through the app, and distribute the ODBC driver along with my app. The
> > problem is I'm planning on doing this as a try before you buy
situation.
> > Also I don't want to get into user limits. So how do I set all of this
> up?
> > Can't, for me it creates a problem, where before the motto at TopSpeed
> has
> > been no run time fees. Well if you want ODBC, we now have run times. I
> > agree with the original poster, the read only should either be free or
a
> > one time fee for developers. I can definitely see TopSpeed wanting to
> > charge per seat for the r/w ODBC driver, can't have people willy nilly
> > jumping ship to other development packages. Just an opinion.



Sun, 30 Jan 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Why are the Topspeed ODBC drivers not Free???

Geir:
Seems like we have settled into a good natured debate on this subject,
so... One thing that has been a concern for me lately, is I feel like a lot
of what goes on at TopSpeed and with the users of CW is "preaching to the
choir". I think if TopSpeed is going to have any real long term growth, it
has got to get new users, and especially Corporate users. I feel that many
times, everything turns on, how TopSpeed can get some money out of the
current users of the software, not develop a strategy of getting new users.
I wish I had a print out of all the money I've spent on Clarion products
over the years. I know that all software has upgrade costs involved in
ownership. Some of the products still are way below the capabilities of
other software, the report writer comes to mind. I've expressed my OPINION,
I want that to be clear, because we are the people who make TopSpeed
possible. I guarantee if enough people expressed their opinion, and did not
buy the ODBC drivers...... I think you can imagine the result.

Mick



Quote:
> I wouldn't mind if the TP ODBC driver were free! It might even be a good
> marketing stunt (and perhaps overall profit generating) for TopSpeed to
> make them available for free. The fact that TopSpeed has chosen to make
it
> a product you have to buy, is somthing I accept though. As I've said
> bebore, a software maker must get paid for their products one way or
> another, either directly or indirectly. TopSpeed has in this case chosen
to
> charge directly for the product, and even if some may think that is a bad
> choice, I think we must accept that what's best for TopSpeed is for
> TopSpeed to decide.



Sun, 30 Jan 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Why are the Topspeed ODBC drivers not Free???


Quote:
>Nope, they at least during the free beta had two drivers, one read/write,
>the other read only. I never got around to trying out the read only.

Neither did anyone else try the read-only driver during the Beta,
which was a pity, since it had/has a fairly serious bug!

A fixed version of the read-only driver will be made available in due
course (at present we are waiting to see if any other serious bugs
come to light ).

The idea of the read-only driver is that in many situations it is
undesirable for "users" to be able to update tables from e.g. Access.

In C4 there is a SEND command which can be used to set a read-only
attribute on individual tables, to give finer control.

George



Sun, 30 Jan 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Why are the Topspeed ODBC drivers not Free???

Geir,
    I was under the impression that using ODBC drivers on a network
could improve performance because the server dose some of the work (not
a good as SQL, but better than direct - probably similar to Btrieve).
Perhaps I am mistaken, but that was my impression.

    kurtt

Quote:

> ....
> Martin, why would you use a TP ODBC driver in your products? From a
> Clarion
> application the native TP driver would be the natural choice. The only
> use
> I can see for the TP ODBC driver is for other products to access a TP
> data
> file. If you develop applications with somthing else than Clarion
> (which
> means no need for a CW license) and want to access TP data files,
> isn't it
> fair that TopSpeed would like a peace of the cake?

....
Quote:

> Geir Hansen
> Nordic Innovator AS


> > >There still aren't royalties for developing an application that you

> > >create.

> > Yes there is if your application uses TS ODBC driver(s).



Sun, 30 Jan 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Why are the Topspeed ODBC drivers not Free???


Quote:


>>>There still aren't royalties for developing an application that you
>>>create.

>>Yes there is if your application uses TS ODBC driver(s).

>I'm confused I guess, but why would a CW app use the TPS ODBC driver
>when it could access the TPS files directly.  It's only non-CW apps
>that need the TPS ODBC driver.

That is quite correct, but even CW application may have some parts made
with 3rd party tools such as Crystal Reports or Reportsmith.

Think about selling an application which has reports made with Crystal
Reports. You can not make an "off the shelve" applications utilizing TS
ODBC drivers unless you don't include a note in the package stating that:
"You will get the reports working by purchasing the TS ODBC driver directly
from Topspeed 1-800-TPS ODBC". Actually information like this must read on
the package not only inside. I would not buy a product like this. Would
you? As a customer I would prefer having all the necessary components in
the package.

Also... Think about making a contract with ABCXYZ Corp for distributing
your shrink wrapped applications to the end users and you would get paid
only when ABCXYZ Corp sells your product (terms like this are quite
common). For delivering 1000 applications YOU would have to buy 1000 ODBC
driver licenses before you even know are YOU going to get paid. Pretty
risky huh?

You know what I mean.

Best regards,

                Martin



Sun, 30 Jan 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 Why are the Topspeed ODBC drivers not Free???


Quote:
>There still aren't royalties for developing an application that you
>create.

Yes there is if your application uses TS ODBC driver(s).

I am not saying that TS ODBC drivers should be free, but driver set should
come with CW with unlimited right to distribute them *with our
applications* just like native Topspeed driver. I would not mind paying
extra in CW price for this to cover their development costs. At least
developers should get the driver set with CW for development and evaluating
purposes even without the right to give it away. I would not mind simple
one time fee either and I would go for it most likely.

I hated the TS ODBC per seat licensing since I heard about it.  I would
love to use TS ODBC drivers in my projects, but since TS per seat policy
makes it quite impossible for me I am not going to write a single software
using TS ODBC until:

- I can get drivers with Clarion with right to distribute them freely with
my applications.

* OR *

- I can purchase ODBC drivers set with one time fee with right to
distribute them freely with my applications.

* OR *

- Some customer requires ODBC support and they pay the drivers.

Sorry, but I am not going to buy any drivers for customers I don't already
have nor 5-pack of drivers when I need only one set. If 5-pack is the only
way to experiment with the drivers, I'll pass. Thank you.

I have spoken and opinions are mine. As always.

        Martin ;)

PS. I have nothing against the driver itself. I tried the beta and it was
promising.



Sun, 30 Jan 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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