Introducing RapidMiner 7.2, Free Versions of Server & Radoop, and New Pricing

Today I’m excited to announce RapidMiner 7.2 is now available, and that we’ve launched free versions of RapidMiner Server and Radoop and introduced new pricing for all RapidMiner products.

We did extensive data analysis of RapidMiner usage, and spent time talking with community members, customers and partners to better understand what they valued the most in RapidMiner. Here’s what we learned:

  • Users of the RapidMiner Studio Community edition absolutely love using RapidMiner, evidenced by the high 50+ Net Promoter Scores (NPS) we see when we survey users. But users are sometimes frustrated that we remove critical features in the Community edition like commercial database support that requires complex, manual workarounds.
  • Paid RapidMiner customers and Partners want packaging and pricing that allows a full-featured free version for prototyping, and then a step by step increase in price as they generate more value and results from RapidMiner.
  • While academic users already have access to all the features of RapidMiner Studio, they also want access to RapidMiner Server and Radoop.

Through our quantitative and qualitative research process, the feedback was clear: users wanted our pricing to scale with their success with RapidMiner, and they want access to all RapidMiner products and features during the prototyping and validation phases of their predictive analytics projects.

So today we are introducing new pricing that better maps to how customers want to use and grow with RapidMiner.

RapidMiner Studio

Starting with RapidMiner Studio 7.2, we’re giving everyone access to all the features of RapidMiner Studio, including support for over 40 file formats and commercial databases, cloud data sources, NoSQL, and Hive connectors. The new pricing for RapidMiner Studio is based on the number of data rows and logical processors on your machine. There are four pricing tiers, each adding more data rows until you get to unlimited.

RapidMiner Studio Pricing

If your model uses more rows than you have purchased, RapidMiner Studio will automatically downsample your data. You can learn more about how this works on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

RapidMiner Server

We’re excited to introduce a free version of RapidMiner Server. You’ll get all the features of RapidMiner Server, limited by RAM, number of logical processors, and 1,000 web service API calls per day. The paid tiers of RapidMiner Server are now priced by memory + logical processors used by your server.

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 9.44.04 AM

You can download RapidMiner Server for free here.

RapidMiner Radoop

We’re also introducing a free version of RapidMiner Radoop. The free version allows you to execute your RapidMiner processes directly inside of your Hadoop environment, and supports more than 70 native Hadoop operators inside of RapidMiner Studio. The paid version of Radoop has full support for running all 1500+ RapidMiner Studio operators inside Hadoop, and is now priced by the number of users.

RapidMiner Radoop Pricing

You can download RapidMiner Radoop for free here.

Educational Usage

Lastly, we’re making all products available for free educational usage, including students and professors, researchers, and personal learning.

Final Thoughts

With this new pricing, we’re excited to bring everything RapidMiner has to offer to all of our users. You’ve told us loud and clear that you want access to all products and features while you are building and prototyping models, and that you wanted our pricing to be more closely matched to the value you are receiving from RapidMiner at each phase of your predictive analytics project.

Now you can use everything in RapidMiner completely for free, and users who need access to larger datasets, or who are ready to move models into production, can get started at a more approachable price than before. As part of our extensive research, we looked at competitors like SaS and IBM SPSS, and believe that our new pricing is highly competitive with other predictive analytics options in the market.

If you’d like to learn more, we’ve put together a list of Frequently Ask Questions for our new pricing.

Showing 6 comments
  • Paulo Praça
    Reply

    The limited number of rows (10 000) for the rapidminer free version is too low, my old models doesn’t work anymore 🙁 Can you improve to 30 000 or 50 000 (half of 100 000, payed version) please.
    Thanks,
    Paulo Praça

  • Ingo Mierswa
    Reply

    Hi Paulo,

    I understand your concern of course. I assume that you will still be able to build models, but they might not perform equally well any longer since they now use less data for training. While I understand your point, I will do my best to explain why we had to introduce this limit:

    Look, we continuously invest a LOT into making the free versions of RapidMiner Studio, Server, and Radoop. But we also need to find a good balance between the interests of all our users, while ensuring that RapidMiner as a company is positioned to further improve our products. This new pricing model now allows everyone to use all features of RapidMiner Studio. But we do need some form of product usage limit correlating with the value you are creating with RapidMiner.

    One of our community members said it best here, you should check it out:
    http://community.rapidminer.com/t5/RapidMiner-Studio/Downloading-Rapidminer-older-versions/m-p/32473#U32473

    This is exactly also how I think about it: With the new product changes and pricing model, you get the full power of the RapidMiner platform for free (incl. commercial connectors, Server, Radoop etc.). And if you are an educational user you even can get free version of all our products, without the row limit. Perfect!

    But if you are a commercial user and you get value of RapidMiner – why do you hesitate to support the future development of the platform? In my book, this is a very fair and competitive offer where actually all involved parties get an appropriate share of the created value.

    I hope this and original post helped to understand why we made this change.

    Best,
    Ingo

  • Julio Castro
    Reply

    Dear Ingo,

    I have been a great fan of Rapidminer for quite a long time. We have been using Rapiminer and Analytics together with our own GPL3 apps and things were great, with Rapidminer 6. Back then, with Rapidminer 6,I offered to give money to Rapidminer to support the development, this was before Rapidminer 7 came out, with, what I thought, was a breaking pricing model. Breaking, that is, with a lot of users. I was very sad, because I really thought you had an interesting project, but the pricing scheme was killing.
    Since then, I have seen some movement in the right direction, but this new scheme is, I think, quite negative for Rapidminer. Although you are stating that everything is available, actually, the opposite is true: 10.000 rows? I do not how many users will find this “breaking”, but I assume it is quite a big number (I apologize if this is not the case though!).

    Personally, I think that you are limiting the usage of your products by prices that are just too high. I am not sure if you really have performed some analysis on this, but I think that your base of users would be considerable higher (manyfold) if you would lower the prices. Again, I apologize if this sounds condescending, please bear in mind that I am a fan!!

    My view:
    Your previous Studio pricing made a lot of sense to me. Just offer connectivity to openSW (simplifying a bit here). This would agree with a very wide base of users. Possibly only 10%-20% will upgrade to anything else, but…great for marketing and name recognition, as well as expertise building, developers, etc.

    I would recommend to have a Rapidminer Server version without limitations towards other OpenSW products for USD 10K-12K/year. No limitations on processors, RAM, etc. You can ask serious premium for connectivity to commercial licenses.

    I would expect that this would offer your company 4 user segments:
    1. The ones that most probably will never pay but will be good for marketing.
    2. The OpenSW users that are willing to pay a relatively low amount (Studio users; USD a few hundred per year)
    3. The OpenSW users that need Rapidminer Server for serious jobs (USD 10K-12K/year)
    4. The commercial license users that want to integrate with other systems (USD high willingness to pay).

    In my view, focusing only on number 4 is not the optimal way to go. And, I think that all the 4 segments are compatible.

    Just food for thought. In our specific case: we are segment “3” and definitely would pay the money if that option would be available…

    Best regards,

    Julio

    • Ingo Mierswa
      Reply

      Dear Julio,

      Thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful response – I can clearly see your passion and that you are a fan of RapidMiner. Many thanks for that! Let me quickly comment on some of the points you made. I hope that I manage to explain better why we made the changes we made and what those have been based on.

      What is the right restriction? Limited features? Rows? No restriction at all?

      Let me start on the last idea (which I know you did not say but others actually suggested this): no restriction at all. I got a couple of dozen people reaching out to us or me personally suggesting that we should not have ANY limitation and just ask people to give what they are willing to give. Or charge for services only. This idea has unfortunately a fundamental flaw: we would be out of business within a few months and then the software is gone for all users. This can certainly not be what we as a user community desire (yes, I include myself here). There was actually a time where we have been able to grow with training and support alone but with every new version RapidMiner got more intuitive and better, and we also invested a lot into documentation and freely available educational materials. This business would no longer be sustainable just based on selling this kind of services. So there HAS to be a form of restriction in the software itself. We need to generate license revenues for the 100+ people who develop the RapidMiner platform today.

      So what is the right form of restriction?

      You would be surprised how many people actually have asked for free connectors to commercial databases in the past 12 months – I would say this was roughly the same amount of people who are now asking for larger or no row limits. But in addition, a lot of people also asked for free versions of Server and even more people for a free version of Radoop. What people often forget is that just because a certain feature is not important to them, it for sure is for others. So there is always somebody who complains that something is missing.

      The main problem with this feature-based limitation is that users had no chance to solve their problem at all or make at least a proof of concept if a certain desired feature was missing completely. So they are basically screwed or could never make the case for creating a budget for starting a commercial relationship with RapidMiner. That was not good for them and of course also not good for RapidMiner.

      As a consequence, people became VERY creative, e.g. by combining multiple different platforms or coding their way around restrictions in R and Python. This has not been the greatest experience for our users but let’s be honest here, this also is not really helping our commercial conversion rates. In a nutshell, this was certainly not what we have intended with the old model.

      Last but not least, a feature-based model is much harder to explain. You might not believe this but our prices are actually extremely competitive if you compare the total cost of ownership to our competitors like SAS or IBM. This is only possible if we save on marketing and sales costs, i.e. by simplifying the packaging and pricing in such a way that our passionate inside sales reps can explain this in a short phone call instead of hour-long meetings. And this directly reflects in lower prices.

      Ok, but if a feature-based restriction is not great and no restriction is not an option at all, what else can there be? Entering the row-based limitation!

      This way everybody can now use all the features of the complete platform on a meaningful data set size. And all academics and personal learners can even use the complete platform for free on unlimited rows.

      How do I know that 10,000 rows are meaningful? Well, guess what, we are a data science company. OF COURSE we have analyzed the data set sizes our users are typically analyzing. I actually even gave a presentation on some of this data at the KDD 2016 conference in San Francisco two days ago. Here is a link (http://www.kdd.org/kdd2016/speakers/view/ingo-mierswa) and I think a video of this will be online soon as well. Anyway, the result has been very interesting: In the first 3 months of product usage, more than 90% of our users analyze data smaller than 10,000. And there is also a journey, i.e. over time the likelihood increases that you analyze larger data sets. This is often the result of going into production with your models or at least into a deeper validation phase. So you are leaving the early prototyping phase at this point. For some this might happen faster than for others but the overall journey is the same for most analysts.

      But now I have to ask you: you are a commercial organization going into production with a model built in RapidMiner and you don’t let your supplier participate from this – even at this point? That does not seem to be right to me either…

      My last comment on this would be: you can always build a model on 10,000 rows only. It is not that the processes would break (in fact, we made the down-sampling quite comfortable for the user). It is just that the accuracy is typically somewhat lower. So this is good enough at a prototyping phase or for a proof of concept. But of course if you go into production you want your models as good as they can be. But then again my argument from above holds.

      Ok, row limits it is. But what is the right price then?

      Software pricing is half art and half science. Our product management team has applied both techniques here… They in fact analyzed the data from our own customers, prospects, our competitors, did dozens of interviews with customers and industry analysts and made a recommendation. So I think this is as “science-y” as pricing can be.

      But in fact what you are suggesting is not that far from our actual pricing. The smallest server is USD 15k per year and this means you can analyze 3 to 5 million rows with multiple users in parallel (depending on the width of the data sets of course). For 99% of our users this is all the data they have and pretty much equivalent to “unlimited”.

      On the “serious premium for commercial connectors”: Yeah, you would think so. In reality though people use R scripting to get around this premium. Damn, our users are too smart 😉

      On your segments:

      1. Roughly 50% to 60% of our users are academics and personal learners – they fall naturally into the “free” segment thanks to our educational program: https://rapidminer.com/academia/educational-program/. The same is true for all who never reach the limit or don’t care about the limit.
      2. Open SW: as I tried to explain, they are actually not willing to pay anything. Those users even would prefer to save a couple of hundred dollars per year and work around the feature limitations with 3rd party software or scripts. I was kind of surprised by this myself but this is what reality is.
      3. See comment above on Server and Server pricing. I actually do not think that we are that far away from each other in most realistic scenarios. But also keep in mind that we have seen a lot of users who installed Studio on machines with >256 Gb of memory with 64 cores, i.e. they have been mis-using Studio as Server to avoid to purchase a Server license. Again, I wish things would have been different but I have to deal with realities here.
      4. Integration: this is very interesting since we actually did this in the previous model where we had our Deployment Server which came at the highest price point. I must admit that this approach actually failed and this segment at this point is not really existing. For most of our customers, deployment did not mean the integration into other systems but just writing out the results into a database or even Excel files. And if there was integration, it was done by coding anyway. If and when the market around this changes, we will certainly reconsider but at this point this is unfortunately not a large or commercially interesting segment for us.

      I shared a lot (but of course still not all) pieces of information we found in the past 12 months and I hope that by doing this you and others better understand why we needed to make changes to the model. In a perfect world, this might not have been necessary but with all the different requirements we came to the conclusion that approach is the best compromise for most parties involved.

      If you are in Segment 3 and want to have a commercial discussion: let’s start it and not give up before we actually talked about your specific situation. Often there is a possibility to change configurations in a way still leading to an acceptable deal for both sides.

      Many thanks again for your thoughts and passion. I really appreciate this.

      Best,
      Ingo

  • Manuel Hernandez
    Reply

    It is really sad to see that you are killing your business and making ours harder. The new pricing scheme is pitifully short sighted. You could earn a lot of money by implementing the experts marketplace and charging a little fee in all projects rapidminer is involved in. But now with this move, you have fatally wounded your expert user base as many of us citizen data scientist will look away from Rapidminer to other open source solutions, that even though not as good as Rapidminer, are affordable. You had a very nice niche and faithful constituency, and you are effectively destroying it instead of defending it. I am very and deeply disapointed.

    • Ingo Mierswa
      Reply

      Dear Manuel,
      As before – I really appreciate your feedback and comments. I tried my best to explain our rationale in the original post and also in my long comments above. I feel that there is not much more I can add to what I said before. So I try to condense this a bit:

      1. RapidMiner is free for educational and personal users

      2. Consultants can and should apply to become a partner so that they can get access to the full version of RapidMiner.

      3. For commercial users, we feel the row-based pricing model fairly captured the value.

      I think you might work for a consultancy (am I right?). If this is the case, please get in touch with us to become a partner so that you can continue to benefit from the goodness of RapidMiner.

      Best,
      Ingo

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