END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT
Software companies mandate the terms and conditions of their End User license agreement, generally basing those mandates on many internal and external factors.
Beta licenses are pre-production versions of the software the company is planning to release, usually made available to test the product in a production environment, find bugs, viruses, interaction issues with third-party products, how user friendly the program is, how intuitive it is, and a host of other things the manufacturer needs to know, and address, before roll out.
Developer licenses can be issued should the manufacturer have specific issues they need addressed, to create an adjunct product module, application, or bridge, or another specific purpose.
Demo licenses are exactly what they sound like, a limited license purely for the purposes of demonstrating the software to potential licensees. Many companies use the term demo and eval interchangeably, but to some companies, they are completely different licenses and have different terms and conditions to meet the client’s needs.
Reseller and VAR (value added reseller) licenses are for additional sales channels, under which licenses are purchased from the manufacturer and then resold to the End User, often in conjunction with support services, bundled with other software products that reseller also represents, or other factors, some of which are seen as ‘adding value’. Manufacturers frequently offer additional incentives to their resellers for quantity sold, opening up new geographical markets, or landing large accounts.
Companies that produce fairly expensive software, with few competitors, may issue student licenses, or ‘for educational purposes only’ versions, to help ensure the student is somewhat reliant on that software after graduation, once in a purchasing position. Other companies, who may have elite software that saves many hours of professional time in researching, planning, and calculating, may offer student user licenses to further the profession, as one might for an engineering department in a university, so the student is aware of additional professional tools available to them.
Before deciding on the End User license agreement type(s) you intend to utilize for your product, there are numerous internal and external factors to be considered. Susan Larsen has years of experience with many different clients, utilizing each of the licenses described above, and can help you weigh the pros and cons of each.