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Licensing of PVS-Studio: why don't we h…

Licensing of PVS-Studio: why don't we have Single User License?

Mar 11 2012

PVS-Studio has a rather simple licensing scheme now - the basic (usual) version is licensed for a team consisting of up to five developers. There is also the site license for large teams, but we won't dwell upon it here.

This article is out of date. You may find actual information here.

There is no Single User License, and we will try to explain here why.

Let's discuss those cases when a person feels he/she needs Single User License.

One or two persons developing a small project

In this case, there is no sense in buying the PVS-Studio tool. It's not that it does some harm or is not useful; it's just that in case of a small code written by 1-2 programmers you can fight errors manually. The point is that the programmer is familiar with the whole project; it doesn't contain any old unfamiliar legacy code; there are no unskilled programmers participating in development; you don't need to hurry when developing your code.

In this case, using a static analyzer is a decorative component rather than a necessity. Moreover, the trial version of PVS-Studio will be enough, as the project is of a small size. The trial version has a restriction regarding the number of transfers to the code. But you can as well perform navigation through the necessary project fragments without using clicks. It is not very convenient, but since the project is small, this way of navigation will do. Besides, there will be few errors in a small project, so you won't need to pass to the warnings too often.

It appears that you can well use PVS-Studio for free in a small project.

One person maintaining old projects

A person improves already existing projects. Regarding this case, we believe that he/she needs to purchase the team license.

The fact that it's just one or two programmers maintaining a project does not necessarily mean that the project is small. Note that static code analysis tools are often licensed depending on the number of lines in a project. We don't want to make our users count the number of code lines, get into negotiations with sales managers, etc. We want to offer our tool for a certain price, with definite licensing policy, so that it could be easily bought.

Thus, if you maintain an old project, it means there are many code lines in it. I'm sure it was being written by a team of programmers for a long time. So, you need to buy the team license to analyze such a project with PVS-Studio. The project was created by a team, and it doesn't matter that there is only one person to maintain it now. We believe that purchasing the team license is fair in this case.

One programmer or consultant enhancing the quality of code of a large project

It is not a rare situation when one of the team members is given the task to integrate PVS-Studio to analyze a large project. In this case, people often want to buy Single User License proceeding from the idea that only one person is going to use the tool.

Yes, perhaps it is only one person who will use the tool. But the project is a collective one, so the team license should be purchased if you want to check it. In this case, the situation is similar to the one discussed in the previous paragraph. Since the code is big and it is being created by a team of developers, then the PVS-Studio Team License should be purchased.

Creating a lot of small applications to order

We can't imagine a situation when the C++ language can be needed for the purpose of creating many small projects. There are plenty of other languages which are more suitable for quick application development. I can think of only one case when it can be needed: a student who writes term papers to order. But we are not interested in such a case and we don't consider it.

Limited purchasing Single User License "to evaluate"

There can be a situation when a large company studies various tools before buying many licenses (or one big license) and integrating the tool into the software development process. One of the ways is to buy Single User License in order to evaluate the tool.

It's meaningless in case of PVS-Studio: you can easily download it from our website and install on your computer. There are no obstacles for you to overcome like preliminary negotiations with managers and so on. The version you have downloaded is fully operational! There is only one restriction regarding the number of errors you can fix. It means that the trial version is absolutely enough for you to study the product with in every detail.

If you want to find and eliminate all the errors in your project using Single User License, it's not studying but full-scale work. You should purchase the full license to be able to do that.

We want to emphasize once again that the trial version of PVS-Studio provides you with full functionality to study the tool. Technical support is also provided at full extent - just write to us.


If you want to purchase Single User License and haven't found a paragraph describing your case in this article, please write to us. We will consider your situation and try to find a mutually beneficial way of cooperation.

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