Timeslips Premium or Timeslips Perpetual?

NOTE: As of October 1, 2020 Timeslips Perpetual licenses are no longer available for purchase, and Sage Software will no longer support or sell add-on licenses for their Perpetual edition product.

Sage Timeslips is available in two “flavors” now: Timeslips Premium and Timeslips Perpetual. Which should I buy?

  • Sage Timeslips Premium
    Timeslips Premium

    Timeslips Premium is a subscription-based product that includes all new releases (updates and new versions), Sage technical support, and some features not available in the Perpetual Edition.

  • Timeslips Perpetual is the traditional software license application which represents a one-time product purchase The purchaser then owns the license “in perpetuity.” New versions can be purchased at upgrade pricing upon their release, or at “new user” pricing if the existing license being upgraded is more than two or three versions old. Note: Sage will discontinue sale of Timeslips Perpetual licenses after September 30, 2020.
Sage Timeslips Perpetual
Timeslips Perpetual

So, which is the better purchase? As is so often the case with technology products, it depends.

If you need a large number of licenses (15-20 or more), are committed to always keeping your software current, and have frequent, recurring technical support needs, Timeslips Premium may be the better choice. Some Timeslips features  (QuickBill, Bill Reminders) are currently available only to Premium users , so this may also be an inducement to subscribe, if those “exclusive’ features are important to you.

The downside to the subscription model is just that: it is a subscription, and requires you to renew your subscription on a monthly or annual basis. In that regard it follows the pricing model created by Microsoft in offering Office 365 vs. Office 2016, and for many of the emerging Cloud-based billing applications – except that Timeslips Premium is NOT a Cloud product. It requires an on-premises install, and some type of local network if multiple users need access to the software. It is also a Windows-only product (for the most part), whereas Cloud-based applications are more typically platform-agnostic.

What happens if you choose not to renew your Premium subscription? Your existing database becomes “read only” at subscription expiration, disabling all record additions, edits, etc. You essentially lose control of your own data. To be fair, the same holds true when a Cloud-based billing application subscription expires. The onus is on the user to “extract” their data prior to expiration, and migrate it to another product.

The Perpetual license means just that: you own the software, and your data, in perpetuity. However, it is a one-time purchase of a license only, meaning that technical support, product upgrades, and other services are all provided “a la carte.”

There is an option to move between the two versions, if for any reason you make the wrong choice. but it is an expensive move.

The feature sets and databases in the two Timeslips Editions are largely identical – except for the few “Premium only” features – so it is possible to move from Perpetual to Premium, and vice versa. It means that you are essentially throwing away the “wrong” purchase, and migrating your data to the alternative version. This can be done by backing up your database and then restoring it under the new license agreement.

Thus if after a year of subscribing to Premium you no longer want to continue your subscription, you can purchase a Perpetual license, install that on your network, and “restore” your Premium database to the Perpetual Edition. You will lose access to those “Premium only” features, however., unless and until they are introduced into the Perpetual Edition.

So, which edition to buy? It depends – heavily – on your tolerance for change, your interest in new features, your expected need for technical support, and your willingness to “gamble” on a new method for obtaining access to software.

Give us a call at 610-941-2116, or email us at info@tristardatasystems.com, if you want some help talking this through.