As DBAs, we are often put in the position of purchasing software from third-party vendors. If you are like me, you are probably amazed at the wide variation in software prices, and how the price of a product seems to bear little relationship with its actual cost. For example, why is the SQL Server Enterprise Edition so much more expensive than the SQL Server Standard Edition?
So how do software companies price their software? If you are interested in what lurks in the minds of many software companies, and want to learn how they justify the prices they charge, download a free copy of the eBook Don’t Just Roll the Dice: A Usefully Short Guide to Software Pricing, by Neil Davidson. Neal is the co-founder and joint CEO of Red Gate Software, and the founder of the annual Business of Software Conference.
This short book (70 pages) takes about an hour to read, and reviews all of the different pricing models that software vendors use, and why. You will learn about many aspects of software pricing, including pricing psychology, pitfalls, and strategies. The information you learn will be helpful in understanding not only how software is priced, but will give you some hints as to how you might be able to negotiate with software vendors to get a better price. In effect, this book will help make you a better informed software buyer.
Given that this book is a short read, I recommend it to everyone who purchases software, or for that matter, for anyone who is thinking of selling their own software. (I know there are a few budding DBA entrepreneurs out there).
Full Disclosure: The author of this book is one of the co-founders of Red Gate Software, and my boss. And no, he didn’t ask me to write this blog post. I read the book myself, and am recommending it independently as a useful book for DBAs and developers to read in order to help round out their education. For independent reviews of the book, check out the reviews at Amazon.com. You can also purchase a paperback copy of the book at Amazon.com if you prefer paper over an eBook.