In February 2014 I blogged about a price increase for Telerik AppBuilder (at the time named Icenium) in the range of 350% for a single developer. In the post and subsequent follows ups I mentioned that how a developer oriented company, like Telerik and Sencha, should treat their single/small developers with reverence. It’s these single and small developers that get hooked on the product and eventually find jobs at larger companies where they then bring that love and pitch the new component, tool or product.
In my February blog post I mentioned that an alternative to Telerik AppBuilder & Kendo UI would be Sencha touch. Although they don’t have cloud build or a mobile development IDE you can utilize any editor, PhoneGap build and Sencha to replace AppBuilder and Kendo. My reasoning for this is that Sencha always seemed focused on the development community and supporting the small, single and open source developers. Boy what can change in 9 months.
A reader stumbled upon my old blog post and emailed me with a link to Sencha’s forums where users and outraged about the almost thousand fold price increase for a single developer! At this time it’s up to 43 pages of pissed off developers. The original OP mentioned that they could get Sencha Complete for around $695 bucks for a single developer (around $300 apparently with a ‘no support’ option).
Checking on Sencha Complete’s store I get this:
That’s right people, if you’re a single developer, or a team of less then 5 you gotta pay almost $5,000! That’s a 600% increase for a single developer from the original $695. If you break it up, your paying $965 per developer in that which is already an increase of 140%.
My mind cannot even fathom what they are thinking. With this single move they are killing grass roots developer use of their product. They do have open source options, but a quick glance shows they have really ripped the guts from those OSS offerings, unlike Telerik that almost completely Open Sourced Kendo UI (now Kendo UI Core).
Having Open Source versions of your tools, components or controls is great. But it’s not the end-all-be-all that companies like to think it is. You also need to couple that with paid options that are attractive to single developers and small shops. Personally, I would NEVER spend $5,000 for control suite for a single developer or even a few developers. Usually your yearly maintenance is based on that initial invoice, so you’ll also be paying $500 to $1,000 a year a in maintenance.
The developer uproar should get the decision makers at Sencha to realize they made a mistake. If they reverse course that’s great, but the fact is in the short term this will make them more money. But in the long term, as less and less new developers make it into large companies they will start loosing that business. The developer eco-system is a long play, don’t sacrifice long term survival in the name of short term gains.
The only thing I can say is that if your looking at Sencha Touch for mobile development stop right now and look at the Ionic Framework or Kendo UI instead. Don’t let the ‘amount’ of controls affect your decision, it’s not quantity is quality, you can easily build anything you want with either solution.
Personally I’ll be blogging a lot more about the Ionic Framework in the near future, *hint* *hint*.