Manifold is pleased to announce immediate availability of Release 9 licenses, as well as a transition from Manifold Future to Manifold Release 9 builds.
Previous announcements discussed how the next generation of Manifold GIS products would be introduced using a series of open beta builds called Manifold Future. Any Radian licensee could use Manifold Future with their Radian serial number, at least until Release 9 was issued. During the Manifold Future process, the Manifold community has guided the expansion of a DBMS-centric spatial engineering tool, Radian Studio, into a more GIS-oriented Release 9.
Manifold Future builds have added hundreds of new features and improvements, including numerous GIS features and capabilities not found in the August Radian Studio product. As a much larger superset of Radian Studio, Manifold Future builds have effectively replaced Radian Studio for most Radian users. It is far beyond the very DBMS-centric tool of August, 2017.
The .164 update, therefore, marks the boundary between Manifold Future / Radian Studio and Release 9. All builds from .164 onward are Release 9. Effective immediately, Radian Studio has been replaced by Manifold Release 9 in Manifold's product offerings. Installing Release 9 from an installation .exe will uninstall a prior Radian Studio installation.
During the Future process, Manifold has received numerous requests to offer licenses that would enable Future builds to run and that also would authorize Release 9 when Release 9 is published. Many Radian users have expressed a desire to transition to Release 9 as soon as possible, since they have no intention of stepping back to the August, Radian Studio product when 9 is published.
Large institutional customers also have "use it or lose it" budget issues for calendar 2017 to procure Release 9 licenses this year. Manifold feels it is only fair to make 9 licenses available now to all users, and not just to institutional users for bulk purchases.
Effective immediately Release 9 Universal licenses can be procured on the Online Store or through pre-pay bulk purchases at a special offer price of $345 per license, a $250 savings against the regular Universal price of $595.
All Radian Studio licensees can trade in their existing Radian Studio license for a Release 9 Universal license for a total price of only $125, saving $470 off the regular Universal price of $595. All Radian Studio licensees who procured their license within 30 days of the upgrade order will get an additional $50 off for a total price of only $75.
The Release 9 licenses available now are full, Universal edition Release 9 licenses that will activate any Release 9 installation to Universal level from now forever into the future, including all pre-release builds for 9, all Cutting Edge builds for 9 and all official production builds for 9. They are not time limited but are full, Release 9 licenses at Universal edition level.
As the 9 product line evolves into multiple editions we expect Universal Edition to be the highest level except for specialized configurations designed for large organizations that will be operating many computers at once. When Release 9 introduces an IMS, for example, that will be included in the Universal level license available today. As with prior Manifold GIS products, we anticipate introducing editions below Universal level for Release 9 as well.
Questions and Answers
When? - Immediately. As of 30 December, 2017, Release 9 has been published as an official "pre-release" build in .exe installable form and portable installations.
What? - Release 9 will be available in two forms, as an official build in .exe / portable form, and as a series of Release 9 Edge builds published two or three times a week. Release 9 Edge is the name for Cutting Edge builds.
Price? - Special offer price of $345 for Release 9 Universal through 31 January 2018, with a special offer for Radian Studio licensees to acquire Release 9 for $125 up through 31 January 2018.
What happens to Radian Studio? - Radian Studio configurations are no longer offered for sale. For new licenses, buy Release 9 instead, since it is a superset.
What happens to my Radian Studio license? - As was promised in the Transition to Manifold Future Editions announcement, Radian Studio licenses will continue to function with no need to upgrade to Release 9 if not desired. Radian Studio licensees can continue to use the officially published, August 2017, Radian Studio product if they desire with no requirement to upgrade to Release 9. However, all Radian Studio licensees are strongly recommended to upgrade to Release 9 licenses. The August announcement forecast an upgrade fee range of $100 to $300. The upgrade has deliberately been priced at the extreme low end of that range to encourage upgrades.
How long do I have to upgrade my Radian Studio license? - The special offer to upgrade for $125 expires midnight, 31 January 2018. Upgrades may be available after that, but if so they will be priced significantly higher.
What happens to Future? - All existing Manifold Future builds will time out no later than 31 January 2018. The .164 Release 9 build and all Release 9 Edge builds and subsequent 9 builds will require a Release 9 license.
When is the official build of Release 9 expected? - January, 2018.
How about Viewer? - Viewer will continue as before, now tracking Release 9. The official build of Viewer moves to .164 along with Release 9, and the Cutting Edge equivalent, Viewer Edge, will continue to track Release 9 Edge. It will continue to be free.
What is the difference between the "pre-release" 9 build today and the official 9 build? - For experienced Manifold users, the difference is lower price. At the current rate of two or three Edge builds a week, no matter what build was chosen as the "official" build it would be obsolete after a week or two of Release 9 Edge builds.
The main difference between an "official" build and a Release 9 Edge build is that official builds draw a firm line at a given build configuration that can be used as a reference point going forward, especially for large organizations that want to control what configurations are deployed by their personnel. Official builds are fully self-installing .exe configurations while Release 9 Edge builds are all portable installations.
It makes sense to issue an official build just before a series of Edge builds make big additions. The .164 configuration is a perfect time for that given the numerous additions on deck for merger between now and the end of January. Toward the end of January the cumulative, synergistic effect of those new capabilities will mark a clear line between what we consider the first, pre-release 9 product and the first official 9 product.
I want more features. Is development continuing? - Yes. We expect to continue at the current rapid pace well into 2018. Responding to user complaints that two or three Edge builds a week are too much, after January, 2018, we expect to reduce Edge builds to once a week or so, but with no reduction in the number of improvements per month.
What is planned for 9 in the near future? - Numerous expansions in interactive GIS use, cartography and presentation, along with the usual numerous improvements and additions in infrastructure and technical capabilities. See the discussion in the FAQ.
Why should I buy 9 now instead of waiting until January? - There are three reasons:
- Better price.
- Access to new 9 capabilities. Release 9 pre-release, followed by a rapid pace of Release 9 Edge builds introduce numerous features which require a 9 license. Although Manifold Future at the .163 level will continue to run, that is already seriously obsolete given .164 and subsequent.
- Participate in the community driven process. As infrastructure is switched on the form of numerous controls, features and options will be guided in near real-time by the community. Edge builds allow rapid response. A 9 license makes you part of that community driven process.
Are there any special offers for Release 8 licensees who did not participate in Radian? - Not at the present time. The path to early access to 9 (via Future builds) was through Radian Studio, so there are special deals for Radian participants. The best strategy for Release 8 licensees who did not participate in Radian is to take advantage of the special offer on 9 that is available now.
Will Radian Studio return as a DBMS only product? - We have no plans for that.