With this letter, I'd like to inform you about a series of major events and changes that will be occurring in the next few months. Please bear with me; I am certain that you will find this message to be worthwhile reading. You are part of the cherished user base that Gentleware has built up over the past 6 years. As such, you are one of the first to be informed.
We are proud and honored to have such a large and loyal audience, and we have been working extremely hard to fulfill your expectations. Our user community has grown so much that the range of users now extends beyond the scope of our previous tool lineup, and the range of expectations has correspondingly grown. Many users, especially those working in the later development phases who want to review and modify models and code simultaneously, expressed the need for a tight integration into Eclipse. Poseidon for UML is built on Swing while Eclipse is built in SWT, so an integration can only go so far. For a clean integration we had to start from scratch. And so we did.
Apollo for Eclipse
We are pleased to present our newest tool, Apollo for Eclipse, which will be released in the coming weeks.
Built from the ground up as an extension to Eclipse, Apollo for Eclipse makes use of all of the relevant modules from the Eclipse Modeling Project. Most notably, it uses EMF (Eclipse Modeling Framework) and its instantiation for UML, the UML2 project, as a repository. This provides a standard API and saving format and makes it easy to connect other tools like generators or transformation engines to it.
It is our understanding that this is the first professional modeling tool built using GMF. GMF is a framework to create graphical editors in Eclipse and was released just this summer. We regard it as the best technology available to build modeling tools. It provides a standardized yet adaptable user interface that is well adapted to Eclipse, and it provides us with great flexibility to quickly create editors for standard or domain specific notations.
With the initial release of Apollo for Eclipse, we have focused specifically on the class diagram and a clean, robust, and scalable roundtrip mechanism for Java 5 and UML 2.1. More details will be forthcoming in the next newsletter.
Poseidon for UML
This isn't to say that Poseidon for UML is going away. Poseidon for UML continues to be the best option on the market for analysts and designers who don't work as extensively with Eclipse. In just a short while, we will be bringing out version 5.0 of Poseidon for UML. As with every release, it has a number of important and interesting updates. But I have to say that this release is really special to me. I feel that after 6 years of development we have now reached what we initially started our quest for: namely, to provide the most usable UML modeling tool available. We will provide you with the specific details of the release in a separate newsletter.
New Licensing Based on the Web Service Model
The software industry is fast paced and changes quickly. With the ubiquity of the internet and with flexible download and update mechanisms provided by the Eclipse platform, software products today have much of the character of a web service. In response, we have adapted our pricing model to reflect this. We have worked hard to find a model that suits the wide variety of our users, from students with minimal budgets, to occasional users with high demands, and on to large corporations with long-term usage scenarios.
We are introducing a rental and subscription model for our new product, which may be familiar to you from other Internet services. Base functionality of the tool is available for free; extended functionality including all exporting capabilities requires a license.
This rental and subscription license model will apply to the Apollo for Eclipse product. Likewise, we will implement it for the Poseidon for UML Community Edition starting with the release of version 5.0. This solution eliminates the conflicts many users have had with our current license terms, which restricts how the Community Edition may be used through the stated condition, "free for non-commercial use".
The Community Edition was originally intended to be a learning tool for those just starting out in UML. It has become an important tool for analysts and designers who depend on Poseidon for UML to communicate with various stakeholders throughout the development lifecycle. The new licensing agreement now allows these users to take advantage of the many powerful features of Poseidon for UML for the nominal charge of only 5 Euros per month.
The unregistered version of the Poseidon for UML Community Edition can still be used for learning UML; all of the features needed to work alongside a textbook or tutorial remain available. Users can open and edit models to explore code and diagrams, but all export features such as saving, copying to the Windows clipboard, and printing are only available in the registered version.
The first option is to rent a license for a fixed period of time; specifically, for a month, a quarter, or a year. The fee for one month is 5 EUR or 6 USD, longer periods are further discounted. You always maintain the option, but are not obligated, to renew the license after it expires.
The alternative option is to subscribe to the service and thus be assured of continuous access to the most current version. Updates and registration are automatically conducted as soon as you are online. You can decide on the automatically-renewing payment periods that best suit your needs, again with the choices of a month, a quarter, or a year. You can cancel the subscription easily and transparently at any time.
Students in accredited programs have the additional option to purchase the full Professional Edition at a deep discount, and site licensing for universities remains as an economical alternative. Current Community Edition users will be able to continue to operate under the old license agreement until the beginning of 2007.
Your Opportunity to Try Apollo for Eclipse
Poseidon for UML and Apollo for Eclipse address two very different types of usages. Whereas Poseidon for UML provides the full power of UML 2 during analysis and design phase, Apollo for Eclipse addresses the needs of developers and programmers. We realise that many of you indeed have both use cases, but at different times. To accomodate our users, soon we will be sending out keys for Apollo for Eclipse to premium edition Poseidon for UML customers for a limited introductory period, so that you can have full access and can immediately evaluate our new offering.
So stay tuned, there are a lot of compelling developments coming in the next few weeks. We hope that you are as excited as we are.