Over the past few months, we have seen a significant increase in interest and adoption of RAD Server, Embarcadero’s REST-based Web Service solution. We think this is due to the many additional features we’ve added to RAD Server in recent releases to further simplify development and offer additional capabilities to the engine, but also due to the bundling of deployment licences with RAD Studio Enterprise and Architect editions.
While everyone gets a developer license — it is part of RAD Studio Enterprise and Architect editions — any RAD Studio Enterprise customer also receives a single site deployment license. This can be used for the company itself, in case the development is for an internal application, or it can be deployed to an on-premise or in-cloud server. The application hosted there can be used by one or more companies thanks to the support for multi-tenancy.
(You can read more about licensing scenarios at https://community.embarcadero.com/blogs/entry/scale-and-save-with-rad-server)
It’s important to note that a single site license still allows you to deploy a solution based on multiple instances of the RAD Server engine, on multiple physical or virtual servers, for fail-over and load balancing, as long as they are backed by a single instance of the RAD Server database (an InterBase instance) which manages the license itself. This is depicted in the bottom part of the image below, which shows a single machine install (with all software running on one machine) and a scenario with multiple physical or virtual servers, and only one RAD Server database and a single site licence needed.
Compared to the single site deployment license provided with Enterprise edition, RAD Studio Architect customers receive a multi-site deployment license. With a multi-site license, you can deploy multiple independent RAD Server solutions (each based on one or more physical servers as explained above).
One example will be to serve different (unrelated) client companies from different, separate instances — even some in cloud some in premise as the client companies prefer.
Regardless of license type (single site or multi-site), the license we provide to our customers as part of RAD Studio is licensed to them. Our customers can use their issued license to host solutions paid for by their customers and on their behalf, but they cannot transfer the license to a third party or give them a license key they can manage autonomously.
In practical terms, the license is tied to our customers and our customers’ EDN credentials are used to register it on a physical machine. In theory, our customers could have their client for whom they’re developing a solution contact us to purchase their own RAD Server deployment key, but this is both expensive and impractical — they most likely just prefer a single payment to our customers for the entire solution they are having developed.
In many cases, our customers are telling us they'd prefer a solution in which they behave like an ISV and provide an install package for their client companies and let them install it on their hardware outside of our customers’ reach and access. In other words, we have been getting some requests for an OEM version of RAD Server with full legal rights to transfer the usage right and no registration hiccups. Such an OEM model could work similarly to the InterBase OEM model (https://www.embarcadero.com/products/interbase/var-program) we have been successfully using for many years now.
In practical terms, a customer signing a RAD Server OEM deal agrees to buy a number of deployment licenses (that we are expecting to be fairly inexpensive), receives a special key to be deployed along with the software and requiring no registration, and all legal rights to distribute the software solution (embedding RAD Server) to any of their clients. While we have some installation tracking in the engine, we are expecting our customers to report on installations and pay an additional amount after the agreed upon installs have been done and they need more.
While we don’t have an official offer for a RAD Server OEM solution available today and covered on our website, we encourage any of you interested in such a solution to contact either the RAD Server PM (that is, me) and their sales representative or partner they buy from for more information. While we are defining an official OEM pricing, you can work with our sales representatives on a custom offer that suits your needs. We want to make sure any official plan responds to the specific needs our customers have and we’d rather morph it around their request (in terms of price, expected volumes, minimum number of deployment licenses, and so forth).
There is one final scenario to consider: deploying your RAD Server solutions on containers (Docker or any other). In fact, the OEM license key wouldn’t have to get activated and would work immediately and therefore better fit a silent install scenario. You can also deploy as many instances as you want over time. The only drawback is we currently don’t fully discriminate against a long-lived instance (requiring its own license) from a short-lived instance that also requires a license but uses it for a few hours only or maybe a few minutes only. I’m sure we can find a proper reporting model in which you indicate the deployment you are doing and we can count those licenses properly — while we work for better tracking in the licensing engine itself.
If you are interested in also deploying a separate InterBase server (to host business data) along with your RAD Server solution, we could offer an OEM deal for both products at once!
Again, feel free to reach out to me or anyone in sales asking for more information and explaining your requirements and I’m sure we’ll be able to offer you a good OEM deal for deployment of solutions based on RAD Server.