You can't blame Redgate for charging...

You can't blame Redgate for charging...

Postby soundbender » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:34 pm

If you're looking for someone or something to blame, it's the monetary system itself, not Redgate. They're simply using what they have acquired to ensure their own survival. I think the asking price is way too steep for this software personally. $10.99 would be a much more reasonable price IMO. At this point I'd say that Redgate is probably going to be in damage control status for a while.

Redgate, realize too that we're resourceful and we don't like to pay for things that have previously been provided for free. There are alternatives to purchasing your product and I feel that this new approach is going to be more detrimental to the loyalty status of your customer base. If you're telling us that this is the best that your team could come up with, then I'm not impressed and many of us will pursue other means of gaining the features that Reflector was originally intended to provide as Lutz Roeder initially envisioned (might I add for free).

1 lone developer could afford to offer Reflector for free for many years, yet a highly capable and prosperous company can not afford to after only 2 short years? Knowing this, one could easily conclude that greed is the driving motivator here, not survival.

Resounding disappointment.
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Postby JAssange » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:35 pm

If they wanted to charge for it then they shouldn't have explicitly stated they would keep it free.
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Yes You Can

Postby sosiosh » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:36 pm

You can't blame Red Gate for needing more money to pay for development, but you most certainly can blame them for charging when they originally said they wouldn't. The charge isn't the issue. The reneging on their promise is.
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Re: You can't blame Redgate for charging...

Postby qstarin » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:57 pm

soundbender wrote:If you're looking for someone or something to blame, it's the monetary system itself, not Redgate.

We most certainly can blame them for expiring the version we all currently have.

Deciding to charge for the product and deciding to kill every existing installation of the product released prior to their decision to charge are two very different things.

soundbender wrote:1 lone developer could afford to offer Reflector for free for many years, yet a highly capable and prosperous company can not afford to after only 2 short years? Knowing this, one could easily conclude that greed is the driving motivator here, not survival.

Not just "offer". Lutz created Reflector.

He didn't just support it. He created it, from nothing. One of the most awesome tools there is for .Net, and not exactly a simple one at that.

Look at what has been done with Reflector since RedGate has had it. Not a whole hell of a lot. Nothing even remotely approaching the work that had to have gone into creating it.

Greed indeed.
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Postby gaearon » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:12 am

Oh yes we can!
And for stupid management, too.

I cannot possibly believe that the decision to make Reflector paid-only was made by a programmer. I bet this guy wears a tie.

If you understand anything programmers, you know they are very stubborn people and they follow their principles. I understand you need money. And making the next version of Reflector paid-only is one of the most stupid business decisions I've heard of. You're not gonna get money now, developers hate you already and will hate you more once you kill their working versions.

Do you know how it looks like from a developer's point of view?

1. A talented guy all alone creates a wonderful unqiue product and offers it for free;
2. It quickly becomes second most useful tool after VS itself;
3. Some company takes over the product and replaces romantical Lutz Roeder's with some corporate Red Gate. Yes, we remember that.
4. The company promises Reflector will remain free;
4. Forced updates bring me the ads that I don't like but I don't really see many cool new features;
5. You announce you're charging $35 for it with an unpersuasive statement that neither tells us the story how you tried to keep it free nor offers any kind of free version for the community—nothing!

Sorry but I think this is highly offensive and I hope it kills your product.
Then you'd probably realize you picked even worse business model.

And yes, I'll crack Reflector V7 with an older Reflector—changing date a year back always worked for me.

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Postby Greg.Tillman » Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:09 pm

@gaearon , @qstarin, @sosiosh, @JAssange, @soundbender Thanks for your comments.

@gaearon I can see why you think the story looks this way. In the following video Simon (my boss and one of the two guys that own Red Gate) talks about some of our reasons for doing this. You can skip to (2:22) if you want to get to the reasons why we couldn’t make the free model work. You’ll also see that there are no ties at Red Gate except on the interviewees!
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it is a fair price ($35)

Postby tsiegfried » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:40 pm

The price is fair but that is not the point. When you offer software for free, the intent is that it is free forever. Not that it will be supported forever or even downloadable forever, but that the version that I download will remain intact.

The current offer is that you pay $35 and you get the software forever. But again, there is nothing from keeping redgate from publishing a 'patch' that deactivates the software and forces a new version to be purchased. Of course this would not happen now, but several years down the road, when everyone has forgotten this, the money is going to look really good.

I have seen this with other software products in the past, specifically with not to be named financial planning software. Which retroactively converted perpetual license software to annual license software under the argument that it costs money to support. It costs NOTHING for me to use my local copy of unsupported software.

Charge for support, charge for upgrades, charge for new versions, but do not change for old versions.

The most frustrating part of the whole thing is the condescending attitude behind the statement 'we just couldn't make the free model work'. The 'free' model is not charity, it is a gamble by redgate to attract people to their other products and gain familiarity within the dev community. It is a business decision that was made in an attempt to make more money.

Good luck making the pay model work.
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My 2cent

Postby omheien » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:06 am

I have not studyed the complete situation yet, but I have red some of the postings, and her's what I think:
RedGate is a company that makes theyr money based on sale. They have some developers that will make sure the products are upto date at any time to meet the users demands.

Ok. Then RedGate takes over the Reflector product. They says that It will be a free product in the future as well (at least, thats what you guys say they prommised. Have never seen that promisse myselfe)

After some time, the list of things to do grows, not only on Reflector, but on all the other products. They have to decide what to do and as far as I can understand - this is theyr choices:
1. Stop spending time on products that will not produce any revenue, or
2. "demand" a little donation for theyr effort on making Reflector a bether product

So guys, this is actually wery simple:
* Do you want someone to use theyr time to make Reflector a bether tool?
* Who will pay the developer's salary (if he/she is not going to produce money to the company)

Do you really think that RedGate is able to give away theyr developers working hour for free?

We all love to make programs and tools for free, me too, but I HAVE to use my private spare time for this! I cant do this on my daytime work. You have to understand this... and folks - $35 is not that much. Here in Norway, its about the price for two sixpacks with beer, seriously guys.....!!!!

If the people at RedGate DID promise this product for free forever, I would really love to see that promise. And if an update of the prior version now stops, well, uninstall it and run the earlyer edition prior to that. I'l bet you all have it some where.. It cant be that hard, but dont expect any bugfixes and new stuff.

Many of you have allready mentioned free tools that is allmost the same. Ok, so use that tool then.

To you other guys that think Reflector is the best tool, pay the small fee to keep reflector a prioritized tool at RedGate. I know I will
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Postby JoeBloggs » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:13 pm

Would it not be better in the long term to put your effort into fixing your horrendously buggy tools which existing customers already pay for, rather than a cheap move to charge for a free tool the community has been using for years?

This is a tacky move from a company which does not seem to value customer retention, or have any long term goals for its products.
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Postby omheien » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:24 pm

well, sure, but consider this:
1 (developer) * 8(hour a day) * 5 (days a week) = 40 man hours a week
40 * $50 = $2000 pr. week to have ONE developer in the staff. On top of that the company probably have 15% costs on top of that for each employee

As you say, they have other software with buggs, wich they HAVE to fix. They actually dont nead to fix anything in Reflector, but as a proud owner, they want to make reflector a nice product along with theyr other products.

Lets say they have to have 5 persons going to be able to meet the markets demand. They could use all the 5 persons to fix the payable software and let Reflector alone as it is. They dont. They beleive Reflector is a great product, along with the rest of us... So they decide to put on eperson on this project. This means that if thi sperson uses he's all time on this product, then RedGate must pay $8000 pr. month o tlet this happend. I think RedGate does the correct thing to put a small fee on Reflector. I have no problem with this at all....
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There is an open source alternative, ILSpy

Postby antonio » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:08 pm

There is an open source alternative, ILSpy. And it's allready more than usable, try it
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Postby lost_my_business » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:19 pm

I don't blame them (necessarily) for charging, I blame them for deleting software off my machine without permission or warning when I choose not to upgrade. They will feel enmity of the developer community for years because of this.
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HAHAHA!! Now it happend to me to :-)

Postby omheien » Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:53 am

On my laptop I had an older version of Reflector dated 16. jun 2010. Its dead - hahaha - I see what you mean. Luckily for me I have a paid for version too so for me this is no problem. But I se your point... I wasnt aware of that they allso stopped the older version.

But I bet someone knows what version to install to get rid of this so its probably not a problem for the community, unless of course, RedGate legaly prevents the older version from being distributed on other sites. This I dont know..
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How long is it going to take?

Postby JamesB » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:53 pm

Wow, the threads just keep coming... how long is it going to take RedGate to realize just how many people they've angered, and just how badly they've damaged their reputation as a company.

I'm right there with everyone else, I want nothing to do with any of RedGate's products... I don't trust them, and I won't support a company that goes back on its word (Don't try to split hairs with me over whether you "promised". You gave your word).

As so many have said, it's not whether about whether you deserve to be compensated for your work or can maintain a free model... it's about:
1. Your decision to take over a free tool and and charge for it, despite assurances that you would do no such thing,
2. Your decision to force users to upgrade to a paid version, instead of letting them continue to use the free tool they currently have, and
3. The value you've added to the tool vs. the money you're now charging.

A quote I haven't seen posted yet, from James Moore:

We know we have a responsibility to the development community not to ruin a tool that is so widely used and so valuable to developers in their day-to-day jobs.

You can argue till you're blue in the face that you're justified to kill all existing free versions and force people to pay for an upgrade. You can give me 1,000 reasons why you think it's okay to go back on your word. You're not going to change my opinion of you, or convince me I should do business with you.

You think buying Reflector and keeping it free lost you money? Going back on your word and p*ssing off the community is going to lose you a lot more.

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Postby Fransolo » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:51 am

Feel free to delete this question if it's not appropriate. I used RedGate's tools a lot at my previous job along with ReSharper. I have a new job now but the company doesn't have any of RedGate's tools. I want to put in a proposal to my manager for buying SQL and .NET developer bundles but I'm unable to decide. Everybody (me included) is pissed off at RedGate but at the same time I'm finding it hard to resist using any of their other tools.

Is anyone else in the same situation as I am? If you're an existing customer, are you going to stop using/upgrading RedGate's products? Thanks for any advice.
Last edited by Fransolo on Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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