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:

5725-E32 8.5.3    03/14/13     IBM XWork Server V8.5.3
Huh? I realize this is very confusing.

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 Today's announcement is that XWork Server 8.5.3 is being withdrawn on March 14, 2013.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?

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  1. 1  David Leedy http://notesin9.com |

    This is good to hear. I'll be interested in the sliding pricing model for sure. Anything that makes it XWork server more affordable to get started is a great thing.

  1. 2  Sean Cull http://www.seancull.co.uk |

    This is great news Ed. I really like that the new scheme allows a lower entry point and more flexibility. The ability to run it on any server without worrying about the complex sub capacity rules and PVUs is also very welcome.

  1. 3  Lars Olufsen  |

    I almost wish I was with a business partner every time the talk is on XWork Server topics. The ability to "black box" one of the most powerful and versatile application servers with your custom developed application in this price frame should be quite an opportunity, and perhaps an on-ramp for a whole new type of Domino/Xpages applications, with a whole new target market.

  1. 4  Martin Meijer http://Www.yellow2010.nl |

    Great news! I hope this could give me new opportunities for creating solutions for (smaller) customers. Is it allowed to work with secundairy addressbooks so I can create solutions for multiple customers on the same XWork server?

  1. 5  John Stockbridge http://www.brookstone.com.au |

    Oh yes, great news.

  1. 6  Richard Moy http://www.dominointerface.com |

    Ed,

    This sounds like a step in the right direction. I have new products based on Domino coming up and a new XWork license model is news to my ears. I look forward to hearing about the new XWork server. The sooner the better.

  1. 7  Richard Schwartz http://www.poweroftheschwartz.com |

    Actually, Ed, this may be the least bureacratic-sounding bureaucratic IBM post I've ever read ;-)

  1. 8  Erik van der Arend http://Http://www.looking4ward.nl |

    Ed,

    IBM could give XPages development a real boost, if there was a free license.

    Then, suddenly we have big advantages against the competition.

    Is there a better growth-model?

  1. 9  Erik Brooks  |

    So if the 8.5.3 version is being discontinued on March 14 it seems safe to assume that thiss mean the 9.0 version will be available on March 15. Or there will be a window with no version available at all.

    Good educated guess?

  1. 10  Ed Brill http://www.edbrill.com |

    @9 Hmmm.... :-)

  1. 11  John Calwell  |

    Saw the Announcement Letter about the withdrawal of Xwork Server 8.5.3 so I'm glad that your blog has filled in some background and clarified the announcement. Thanks

  1. 12  Peter Presnell http://www.redpilldevelopment.com |

    As a business partner very much interested in exploiting the potential of the XWorks server I have to say we are delighted to hear IBM are looking to strengthen the XWorks offering. I look forward to hearing more at Connect.

  1. 13  Scott Skaife  |

    From the description, it sounds like anyone currently running XWorks server 8.5.3 will be required to upgrade to continue running XWorks. How does this work?

  1. 14  Henning Heinz  |

    So far XWorks server has a constant recurring fee so I assume you can switch to another XWork license every year (if there is one).

    Better and affordable sounds good but I am not an ISV.

  1. 15  Paul Mooney http://www.pmooney.net |

    Ed - good post. Never make excuses for clarifying confusing messages.

  1. 16  Pierre Lalonde http://www.kiwi.ca |

    Could we expect to share the same US price in Canada? In the actual offering, XWork is 2000 $ in the US and 2500$ in Canada.

  1. 17  Ed Brill http://www.edbrill.com |

    Local pricing is set in individual countries for all IBM products. I just set a US price and the rest happens locally.

  1. 18  Mike Woolsey  |

    I checked Google for an update, it being rather near the termination date -- 1 month & 1 week before pulling marketing. Are there any updates?

    I was actually musing whether it'd be worth developing a suite for it when it came out in 2011 -- but admittedly I worry that it needs rock-solid messaging on short subscriptions.

    Peace & Favor, my colleague. I hope things are going well in mobile sector.


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