Naughty Adobe

They’re not the Messiahs, they're very naughty boys!

The Blogfather gives Adobe a piece of his mind, in light of their ending DPS single edition.

We travel back to the recent past to begin this week’s blog. It’s early May. There we were, poised to launch the Gasp app, and getting all excited about it.

It had been months in the planning, and was looking awesome in preview on our iPad. We stayed late one evening, working on Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) to get it published.

But we hit a snag. We could not publish. We tried various different means to get round the problem, but to no avail. We eventually discovered that the reason we could not publish our app came down to this:

“As of May 1, 2015, DPS Single Edition is no longer available. It is no longer possible to use a Creative Cloud account or a single-fee license to create a single-folio app for the iPad. Note that customers with a full DPS license can still create single-folio apps for the iPad.”

We looked into it further. The Adobe forum was full of talk of people having to scrap apps month in the making, whilst others had genuine fears for their company’s continued existence. People had actually received emails back in November 2014 that heralded the imminent end of DPS single edition. Various commentators, including some Adobe employees themselves, suggested EPUB as a viable alternative, but this just doesn't offer the same level of interactivity and customization, nor does it support the Apple Store publications.

So since May 2015, you can no longer use the Single Edition license to create or edit existing apps. Those who have already published existing apps in the Apple Store are not affected, but are on a ticking time bomb to closure as future updates can end their functionality.

"It's a joke... it must be a joke!!! What the hell is going on at Adobe?!?! Think it over Adobe, please!!!"

But we did not lose all hope, as the notice on the website hinted at a potential realistic tailoring of pricing:

“App fees scale in price based on audience size and use case. Once established, app fees remain fixed for the term of the contract.”

So naturally we gave Adobe a bell. But the conversation we had was disconcertingly vague, with talk of “maybe we can do a deal’ that had more than a hint of the ‘nudge nudge, wink wink, say no mores’ about it.

The whole situation lends a lovely bit of irony to this advert from Adobe themselves, portraying those who desperately buy clicks for their marketing strategy as shady, dodgy dealing types.

The long and short of it was that the ‘established’ price for simply publishing our app was £13k! OK, any company is entitled to review the costing and service provided by their product, but the lack of notice, just 6 months, and the ensuing vagaries of the price discussion, certainly leave a bad taste in the mouth.

For many, including Gasp, it is not feasible to think about DPS Enterprise, it is too expensive. It is the kind of cost that we just could not justify, with good reason, especially when it should have cost us next to nothing as a Creative Cloud client but a few weeks previously.

Fair play to Adobe for keeping the forums open when nigh on all of the posts were of a negative tone, but the pulling of DPS Single Edition does raise the question of how highly larger companies genuinely value the custom of smaller businesses. If you had bought a one year licence in October 2014 you were locked in to this agreement, but they pulled an integral part of the product early. No talk of compensation. No value for money.

So the change in the Adobe licensing had seemingly scuppered the plans to launch our app. But we are not the types to be denied at Gasp! There are alternatives out there. Our new Operations Director Andrew has already found a potential solution so watch this space, as you could well be seeing our app launching sometime soon.

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