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Adobe has made a number of changes to its licensing structures over the past year. The aim of this quick guide is to provide insight into Adobe’s new licensing model. The guide will not make you an Adobe licensing expert, but it will hopefully provide you with enough knowledge to understand the essentials.
The biggest change Adobe has made in the past year is the introduction of the Creative Cloud (CC). The Creative Cloud provides access to a large array of applications, all of which are available on a subscription basis. This means that the Creative Suite series will not be continued in its previous format so the last Creative Suite is CS6. However, you should note that within the industry Creative Cloud is commonly referred to as CS7.
With the introduction of the Creative Cloud, Adobe has totally restructured its licensing models. They have moved away from being a device-based, perpetual model to a user-based, subscription model. This model is very similar to Microsoft’s Office 365 and has been primarily introduced to combat software piracy and ultimately increase revenue streams.
Adobe products are now licensed by user, and not by device. This means that a single user is licensed to use the software on any machine, as long as they use their account details or user profile.
The new licensing model is subscription based so at the end of your subscription the end user won’t have any rights to continue to use the software unless they renew their subscription.
With previous Adobe agreements and licensing models, at the end of your agreement term or if you purchased the software ‘off the shelf’, the end user will still be able to use the software that they have purchased, as it is a perpetual license. They may not receive updates or security patches, but they still have the right to use the software.
Under the new licensing model the end user can no longer do this. At the end of the subscription period or agreement the end user has no right to continue to use the software.
You cannot true down (reduce the number of licenses in the agreement) on any anniversary dates during an agreement. You can only add licenses to your agreement.
|Option||What is it?||What’s included?||For||Term|
|CLP (Cumulative Licensing Program)||2 Year agreements. 10,000 plus points. Support and maintenance optional||Select Adobe perpetual desktop products||Business||2 years|
|EA (Adobe Enterprise Agreement)||100 licenses plus maintenance and support for eligible Adobe products||All applications||100+ users requirements||3 years|
|EEA (Adobe Enterprise Education Agreement)||Creative Cloud enterprise agreement for education establishments||Creative Cloud applications without services||Education||1 or 2 years|
|ETLA (Enterprise Term License Agreement)||ETLA is a licensing program designed for Adobe’s top commercial, government, and education customers.||All Creative Cloud applications||Large Enterprise companies||3 years|
|K-12 – Enterprise Agreement||Enterprise agreement for primary and secondary schools||Creative Cloud applications without services||Education||1 year|
|K-12 – School Site License||Allows a school to install a Creative Cloud on up to 500 school-owned computers regardless of school size.||Creative Cloud applications without services||Education||1 year|
|TLP (Transactional Licensing Program)||Agreement for SMB’s that want volume licensing bonuses||Perpetual desktop products only||Aimed at SMB’s, but Enterprise customers can use the TLP for smaller requirements||N/A|
|Upgrade Plan||Upgrade plan is the insurance program for software purchased under a perpetual license program such as CLP or TLP for Creative Cloud upgrade||Dependent on the existing perpetual estate||Anyone||N/A|
|VIP (Value Incentive Plan)||VIP allows customers to purchase, deploy, and manage software through a term-based subscription license model||Creative Cloud of teams||Business, government, and education||N/A|
What applications are in the Cloud?
All Adobe applications have been moved to the Cloud. However, Acrobat has yet to be fully added to the Creative Cloud structure but there are plans for that to happen in the near future.
|Acrobat XI Pro||PDF creator, editor, and converter|
|Acrobat XI Standard||PDF creator, editor, and converter|
|After Effects||Graphics, visual effects, and compositing editor and creator|
|Audition||Digital audio workstation|
|Bridge||Digital asset management|
|Dreamweaver||Web development tool|
|Encore||DVD authoring tool|
|Fireworks||Bitmap and vector graphics editor|
|Flash Builder Premium||Speeds up the development of RIA’s (rich internet applications) and cross-platform desktop applications|
|Flash Builder Professional||Speeds up the development of RIA’s (rich internet applications) and cross-platform desktop applications|
|Illustrator||Vector graphics editor|
|Lightroom||Photo editing and management|
|Media Encoder||Video converter|
|Muse||Website design without the need of coding|
|Photoshop||Graphics editing software|
|Prelude||Review, import, log, select, and export tapeless media|
|Premier Pro||Video editing software|
|SpeedGrade||Colour correction and colour grading|
Also available in the Creative Cloud are the following Edge Tools:
|Edge Animate CC||Interactive and animated web content designer|
|Edge Code CC||Web coding|
|Edge Inspect CC||Preview and inspect web designs on devices|
|Edge Reflow CC||Web design|
|Edge Web Fonts CC||Web font library|
|PhoneGap Build||Package mobile apps via the cloud|
|Typekit||Font finding for designs|
Individuals: 20GB Cloud storage
Creative Cloud for Teams: 100GB Cloud storage
Enterprise: Customizable based on terms in the agreement.
Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) – Create and publish content via apps on tablets.
Story CC Plus – Screen writing, reporting, and scheduling tools.
Web hosting – Website management and hosting tools.
ProSite– Build and manage person portfolio sites.
Kuler – Create, capture, and browse colour themes for images.
Training and support – Training days dependent on agreement.
Despite the ‘Cloud’ term, only the updates are actually ‘Cloud’ based. For deployment and installation a local client is still installed on the machine. Adobe provide an Adobe Creative Cloud Packager tool, which Adobe Help states;
‘Adobe Creative Cloud Packager makes it easy for you to create packages that contain Creative Cloud products and updates. These packages can then be deployed to the client machines of the members who are part of Creative Cloud for Teams in your organization’
It is worth noting that you can still use non-Adobe deployment tools to deploy Creative Cloud products:
‘Using any third-party deployment tool that supports the deployment of native installers deploy them to client machines’.
There are no alternatives for licensing Adobe products anymore, so if Adobe products are required within your business and you want the latest versions then you will be required to upgrade to the new Creative Cloud model.
* Editors Note*
At the time of writing it is widely believed that the CLP and TLP agreements are no longer available. However, whilst researching for this guide we were unable to locate any official comment from Adobe regarding the CLP and TLP’s termination.