ReadyAPI handles the entire quality lifecycle of one of the most technical aspects of modern software: APIs. With that being said, one of the most popular questions we get about ReadyAPI is about its licensing model. While ReadyAPI is a subscription-based model, it has two different editions: Fixed vs Floating. Both editions have specific use cases that offer users and buyers the flexibility they need to use and deploy ReadyAPI in nearly any way.
- Machine - a laptop, desktop, or server that can run an application
- Environment - the location that has an application installed. There can be multiple environments within one machine
- Container - a small, lightweight application engine, similar to a VM that can run applications and processes in a isolated environment.
Fixed licenses (aka node-locked or named licenses) are great for individual testers and developers that will be creating, maintaining, and running API tests on local APIs. And it's name is perfect. This license, once installed on a machine, like a laptop, desktop, or a server is fixed - meaning it can't be used by any other machine at a later time.
So, if you install a license on John's laptop you'll only able able to access ReadyAPI on John's laptop. If John's laptop gets broken, stolen, destroyed, or wiped, you'll have to buy a new license.
It also means that if you install the fixed license on dynamic infrastructure, like a Docker container or some VMs, the license will only be able to be used once. If that container needs to get built again - well bye, bye fixed license.
The price is $599 a year, and over 12 months that can be broken down to just $50/ month. Being that the feature set of SoapUI Pro can save developers and testers anywhere from 3-5X in time and resources - this is a clear value. If a team has 10 Devs and 20 Testers that will all be constantly creating and maintaining tests, they should purchase 30 fixed licenses. If there will be mixed usage or automation is critical, then a floating license may be more inline with their needs.
Floating licenses are more expensive, but are sold for two different primary reasons: shared use and automation. They are called floating because they are not tied to a single machine - but limited by the amount of "keys" available in the licensing server. If there are 20 keys total in the license server, and 10 are checked out, then another 10 can be used on any other 10 machines or users.
Floating licenses are great for large enterprise teams that may have distributed testing teams in different locations and need revolving access to licenses. This may be for simple reasons like they use short-term contractors and need to be flexible with who gets access, or they may have large shared testing stations.
In this case, if a floating license was installed and used on John's computer, it could be moved to another machine at any point in time to be installed and used - so long as it's not being used concurrently. One floating license means one concurrent user.
Because license keys can be checked in and out to allow ReadyAPI to be run on multiple machines, it makes it great for automated testing in dynamic environments like CI/CD pipelines, containers, and more. As builds move through a pipeline, containers get spun up and spun down to install different software and applications - including the ReadyAPI TestRunner. If you are using a Fixed License to run your tests inside a container, as soon as the container is spun down - the license key will be effectively lost.
That's why we recommend that Floating Licenses be used in nearly any automation scenario. Because of the dynamic nature of automation and the different environments tests can be executed from - a floating license will give teams the flexibility they need to test while not purchasing additional fixed licenses.