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Pathomation has a licensing model based on user concurrency. We acknowledge at the same time that there are a number of scenarios where you can have a LOT of concurrent use of the software:

  • You're hosting a conference or workshop.
  • You're hosting a webinar with discussions.
  • You host slides in the context of a college course.

In all of these cases, traffic is expected to be increase gradually in the days leading up the event, then spike during the event itself, to peter off again afterwards.

The exception are the college students: expect to only see traffic the night before the midterm or final exam.

Joking aside, it is very hard also in each of the above scenarios to predict how many concurrent licenses you would actually need. Will all of your students consult the site at the same time? Will all conference visitors attend your talk?

Sure, we would love to sell you the maximum number of concurrent seats, but that would possibly result in your best case scenario becoming a worst case financial scenario.

So here's what we do:

  • Each time somebody logs into PMA.core, the person (or at least the user account) receives a PMA.core session ID (you can monitor the currently logged in users).
  • At the same time, we allow people to be logged in from different locations simultaneously.
  • What this means is that if you are to define a “course_user” account and distribute that to all of your students in your class, it doesn't matter for PMA.core that the same account is shared again and again.

Are we crazy then? Why does this work? Here are a couple of reasons:

  • We think we actually have a fairness component built into our licensing model: in an abstract way, we can argue that a system that is used for one day a year by 365 users, equates to a single user license using the system once a day for a whole year.
  • For college and other educational use cases, we actually reduce the burden on instructors, as they don't have to track individual users (not to mention that they doni't have to help students out with lost password issues).
  • The licensing model doesn't apply to professional (or even clinical) users, where regulation and legislation typically requires for actions of individual users to be tracked.
  • Even apart from legal issues, a hospital has no use for information that at the end of the month only shows that “pathology_user” looked at a bunch of slides; they're want to see that “Dr. A” evaluated “patient X” and “Dr. B” evaluated “patient Y”. They also (and particularly!) want to see that “Dr. A” and “Dr. B” both looked at the slides of “patient Z”, disagreed, and that is was “Dr. C” that eventually ruled over the eventual diagnosis.
user_service_accounts.txt · Last modified: 2022/03/07 17:53 by yves