December 18 2012
This morning, a somewhat-confusing channel announcement letter on IBM XWork Server appeared:
Effective on the date listed below, IBM® will withdraw from marketing, part number from the following product release licensed under the IBM International Program License Agreement:Huh? I realize this is very confusing.
5725-E32 8.5.3 03/14/13 IBM XWork Server V8.5.3
IBM XWork Server is offered with a fixed term license (FTL). An FTL bills annually, versus the more typical model of buying a software license one time and simply renewing subscription and support. An FTL is also fixed as to version number.
By IBM "rules" (yes I realize we make the rules), we have to announce withdrawal 90 days before a product is discontinued. Today's announcement is that XWork Server 8.5.3 is being withdrawn on March 14, 2013. The replacement, which I'm not sure why the channel announcement says there are no replacements because there will be, will be a new version of IBM XWork Server, with a new version number corresponding to the next release (the one that comes after 8).
In the new XWork Server, which we will discuss at IBM Connect in January, some of the licensing terms are being changed for the better. We plan an entry level $1000 XWork Server, with restrictions based only on the number of NSFs, not "applications." We also plan to introduce a sliding scale pricing model. Unfortunately, I can't quite announce those details yet. At Connect, sure. Then that new XWork Server will be released, at current course and speed that plan is for the dates to coincide.
I realize this blog entry sounds pretty bureaucratic. Still there are good reasons for 90 day lead time for product withdrawal, so that channel partners can plan inventory and reselling activity accordingly. Because it has to happen in a quarter earlier than the actual change, accounting rules limit what I can publish about the subsequent quarter activity. Thus, the two-part announcement.
To translate it all: have no fear, XWork Server as an offering isn't going anywhere. In fact, it will get better and more affordable in 2013. That sounds good, right?