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What the heck is Adobe thinking?

Advocate ,
Feb 23, 2016

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I’ve been a long-time advocate for ColdFusion. There have been several threads prematurely referencing ColdFusion’s demise that I have chimed in. But now in dealing with our Adobe account management representative, I am left dumbfounded.

Background: We have purchased and are using 40+ Standard CF licenses. These license purchases and use started with CF5 when Allaire still owned CF and have been upgraded to mostly CF9 but just starting CF11 -- and then the wheels fell off.

Like idiots, we wanted to determine if Enterprise pricing might now work for us as were starting to incorporate a VM environment (from an all pizza box environment). In asking some simple questions our sales rep is now claiming that we are violating the acceptable usage portion of their license agreement:

2.6.4 Prohibited Use. Except as expressly authorized through a separate custom hosting agreement, Licensee is prohibited from: (a) using the Software on behalf of third parties; (b) renting, leasing, lending, or granting other rights in the Software including rights on a membership or subscription basis; (c) providing use of the Software in a computer service business, third party outsourcing facility or service, service bureau arrangement, time sharing basis, or as part of a hosted service; or (d) using any component, library, or other technology included with the Software other than solely in connection with its use of the Software. For more information about how to obtain a custom hosting agreement, please see: http://www.adobe.com/go/ColdFusion_Hosting_Agreement.

Apparently, since our customers are businesses, CF cannot be used -- any business that sells products or services to other businesses is considered a service bureau -- EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT A HOSTING PROVIDER. This requires a custom hosting provider agreement in place even if you don’t provided hosting services, and I’m assuming at additional “negotiated” fees -- but we have not got that far because we’re not a hosting provider.

Right now I’m actively researching ColdFusion alternatives which is very disappointing.

I’ll post updates if this thread does not get deleted but for now, CF users beware: If you sell to businesses you are probably in violation of the Adobe license agreement -- at least our sales rep’s view.

Sigh...

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What the heck is Adobe thinking?

Advocate ,
Feb 23, 2016

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I’ve been a long-time advocate for ColdFusion. There have been several threads prematurely referencing ColdFusion’s demise that I have chimed in. But now in dealing with our Adobe account management representative, I am left dumbfounded.

Background: We have purchased and are using 40+ Standard CF licenses. These license purchases and use started with CF5 when Allaire still owned CF and have been upgraded to mostly CF9 but just starting CF11 -- and then the wheels fell off.

Like idiots, we wanted to determine if Enterprise pricing might now work for us as were starting to incorporate a VM environment (from an all pizza box environment). In asking some simple questions our sales rep is now claiming that we are violating the acceptable usage portion of their license agreement:

2.6.4 Prohibited Use. Except as expressly authorized through a separate custom hosting agreement, Licensee is prohibited from: (a) using the Software on behalf of third parties; (b) renting, leasing, lending, or granting other rights in the Software including rights on a membership or subscription basis; (c) providing use of the Software in a computer service business, third party outsourcing facility or service, service bureau arrangement, time sharing basis, or as part of a hosted service; or (d) using any component, library, or other technology included with the Software other than solely in connection with its use of the Software. For more information about how to obtain a custom hosting agreement, please see: http://www.adobe.com/go/ColdFusion_Hosting_Agreement.

Apparently, since our customers are businesses, CF cannot be used -- any business that sells products or services to other businesses is considered a service bureau -- EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT A HOSTING PROVIDER. This requires a custom hosting provider agreement in place even if you don’t provided hosting services, and I’m assuming at additional “negotiated” fees -- but we have not got that far because we’re not a hosting provider.

Right now I’m actively researching ColdFusion alternatives which is very disappointing.

I’ll post updates if this thread does not get deleted but for now, CF users beware: If you sell to businesses you are probably in violation of the Adobe license agreement -- at least our sales rep’s view.

Sigh...

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Feb 23, 2016 1
Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 23, 2016

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Steve,

I posted a link to this on the CFML Team Slack channel and asked for an Adobe rep to respond.  We'll see what happens.

-Carl V. - Moderator

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Feb 23, 2016 0
Advocate ,
Feb 24, 2016

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The CFML Team Slack channel, is that publicly available or is that an internal Adobe channel? I'm not aware of that one.

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Feb 24, 2016 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 24, 2016

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It's public, and was set up by the community not Adobe.  But at least some of the ColdFusion team hang out there and respond to questions/issues.  Here's an invite link: http://cfml-slack.herokuapp.com/

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Feb 24, 2016 0
Engaged ,
Feb 23, 2016

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I would suggest reaching out to adobecoldfusion@adobe.com.   They would be best equipped to answer your questions.

--Dave

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Feb 23, 2016 0
Advocate ,
Feb 24, 2016

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We're setting up one last conference call but to tell you the truth, I've all but written Abobe off. As soon as I heard the "you're in violation" after all the money we have spent, I'm beyond pissed -- especially since we have had direct communications with Adobe reps over the years and "violation" never came up.

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Feb 24, 2016 0
LEGEND ,
Feb 24, 2016

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I've heard great things about Blue Dragon (open source CF).

V/r,

^_^

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Feb 24, 2016 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 24, 2016

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WolfShade‌ - there is the commercial BlueDragon software (by New Atlanta), and there is the open-source OpenBD (formerly OpenBlueDragon) - need to be clear on what you are recommending.  OpenBD development appears to be stalled - no new releases since 2013.  A more feature-complete and actively developed alternative to Adobe ColdFusion would be Lucee (formerly known as Railo).

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Feb 24, 2016 0
LEGEND ,
Feb 24, 2016

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Starting from scratch.

Did not know that (what I know as) Blue Dragon (Open BlueDragon) dev stopped.  I know nothing about Lucee, but will look into it.

From what I've seen, Hostek supports both CF and Lucee (for roughly the same hosting price per month).  I would switch to Lucee, but the time I spent learning (and bombing, often) to install CF server on Ubuntu server - I'm not going through that, again. 

V/r,

^_^

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Feb 24, 2016 0
Advocate ,
Feb 24, 2016

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I'm researching all options and Lucee is leading the pack right now.

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Feb 24, 2016 1
Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 24, 2016

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WolfShade‌ - my guess is that Lucee would be far easier to install and get running on Ubuntu than ColdFusion was.  There are a lot less moving parts and dependencies with Lucee.

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Feb 24, 2016 0
Engaged ,
Feb 25, 2016

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I think this is probably a misunderstanding with your rep, but it is impossible to say since you aren't providing many details of what services you are actually providing to your customers.  There are many SAAS, white label, and B2B providers using ColdFusion that are definitely within the constraints of the EULA.  You'll probably need to provide more info on the service you are providing to get any useful help here, aside from people recommending ACF alternatives.

Thanks,

Nic

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Feb 25, 2016 0
Advocate ,
Feb 25, 2016

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I thought the same, an interpretation issue with our rep as to what we do and offer. But this conversations started in November or so of last year and has heated up quite a bit lately. We have not been able to get past this.

We are a payment gateway. Part of our services includes a payment portal, very similar to an online banking portal that banking customers use. Our customers can log in, audit, batch transactions and do reporting functions. We do not host sites or applications for our customers’ customers -- no white labeling, merchant branding, etc. -- nothing that would be considered hosting provider.

To me, when I read the above quoted paragraph, I read it as specific to hosting providers as this seems to be the entire context of the paragraph. The problem is the highlighted three words, “service bureau arrangement”. Our rep conveniently provided us a link to a wiki definition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business-to-business. According to our Adobe rep, these three words mean that if your customers are businesses then you are a hosting provider.

To me, this is BS. We have enough headaches dealing with predatorial Microsoft and now Adobe is attempting to squeeze in. We have a full time staff dealing with M$ licensing, we are not going to do this with Adobe.

Hopefully this is all an interpretation issue. But it needs to be solved quick.

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Feb 25, 2016 0
Engaged ,
Feb 25, 2016

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If the rep is correct this would set a dangerous precedent - and my thinking from past licensing experiences with Adobe is that this is not the case.  If you haven't escalated the issue up the chain at Adobe yet, I would suggest it.  I am not sure who your rep is in your area or vertical, but I think this is something that needs to be addressed with the larger group.  Perhaps you have already done this and if so let me know, but if not I'd recommend this ASAP.  If you already have, let me know and I'll see if I can shake some trees.

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Feb 25, 2016 0
Advocate ,
Feb 25, 2016

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I've tried escalating. This got back bounced back to our rep who emphasized to the Shift4 rep dealing with this issue that she is the single point of contact for all our Adobe licensing correspondence. I started this thread out of frustration.

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Feb 25, 2016 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 20, 2018

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I know this is a 2-year old thread, but it kind of just petered out. Steve, if you may be emailed when I reply here, did you ever get a resolution?

I am really surprised by your "rep" and even your own conclusion that this paragraph had anything to do with your use of CF to provide your services to your clients.

Like you said, this paragraph you quote is primarily about hosting. And further, the sentence you quote about service-bureau "providing use of the Software". That surely seems about providing access to CF, the engine, the software--the ability to code in CF.

You are not providing your clients with the ability to code in CF, right? So it would surely seem (IANAL) that you would NOT be in violation, and that the "rep" (who probably barely knows how to spell CF) was just being overly aggressive.

It is indeed a shame that no one from Adobe ever responded, despite attempts by others to get their attention. I'll try one more time myself, to see if someone may want offer clarity.

/Charlie (server troubleshooter, carehart.org)

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Feb 20, 2018 0
Advocate ,
Jun 27, 2018

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Hi Charlie, Short answer, somewhat. I'll send a PM.

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Jun 27, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Sep 17, 2019

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The compilation below is the additional conversation Adobe deleted (how convenient) when moving to the new forums. 

 

PAUL VANDERWAAL Aug 27, 2019 6:07 AM

Clearly this is continuing. We were sent a questionnaire earlier this year under the guise of
getting a "better deal" for our existing 3 perpetual Enterprise licenses. As a result of what was
clearly a bait and switch tactic, Adobe is now claiming we are in violation of the EULA and
requiring us to sign a custom agreement that is increasing our costs nearly 10-fold. If we don’t
sign it, they are threatening to sue us for years of back-license fees. Our solution does not
provide coding access or delivery of ColdFusion itself. And it is not ColdFusion server dependent.
(It runs in open source environment like Lucee). They say that ANY company using CF in any B2B
capacity is a service bureau and subject to a custom agreement with annual auditing/repricing,
using some arbitrary and unknown formula for determining the cost. Clearly they are trying to
convert their perpetual licensed customers to a special license where they’ll ultimately demand
a portion of their revenues. They are also bypassing their resellers by doing this. If anyone has
successfully navigated a solution to this that didn't break your bank I’d like to find out what your
resolution was.

 

WolfShade Aug 27, 2019 6:20 AM in response to PAUL VANDERWAAL
I am sorry to hear of your licensing woes, pvandermn. Sadly, it does not surprise me. And being just a dev, I
have no experience with negotiating through the minefield such as you describe.

 

All I can offer is my condolences, and hope that switching to Lucee is an option. I've been trying to get my
place of work to switch to Lucee, with limited success. I first have to get it on the list of approved applications,
which is no mean feat.

 

Best wishes with your situation. I sincerely hope you can come through this as unscathed as possible.

 

Charlie Arehart Aug 27, 2019 6:42 AM in response to WolfShade
Note that pvandermn wrote also a new post today, and I replied to that before seeing this. Folks interested
in this matter will want to watch there as well as here. (My comment's too long to repeat here, I think.) And I
suspect some others may more readily see that new thread, so I'm just saying to watch both:

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Sep 17, 2019 0