Executive summary: Akeeba Subscriptions will be rewritten with a much simpler and smaller feature set and its paid version and support will be discontinued in 2014. Existing clients will continue to receive support and bug fixes for a limited time, but no feature requests will be fulfilled. Read on for the full details.
NOTE: Further clarifications can be found towards the end of this article.
Akeeba Subscriptions has been an unsustainable endeavour for us. We’ve spent nearly four years in its development but it is still not making enough money to cover its month-to-month costs for development, maintenance and support – let alone cover the costs of the time we have already spent on it. We’ve tried very hard to make it sustainable but no matter what we tried we failed. Akeeba Subscriptions has been a big black hole, sucking our resources and hampering our ability to develop new features on the software that matters the most: Akeeba Backup and Admin Tools.
It is with great sorrow and pain that we have decided to discontinue Akeeba Subscriptions in its current form. We won’t be abandoning its development outright –we use it to power our own business– but its current commercial and supported nature has got to cease. It will be redesigned and relaunched as a developer’s product. This process will begin on November 2013 and be rolled out in phases over the first few months of 2014.
In the very first phase, effective November 3rd, 2013, we will discontinue subscription levels which include Akeeba Subscriptions. The AKEEBASUBS and COMMERCE subscription levels will be removed from our site and the DELUXE pricing will drop to 80 Euros and no longer include Akeeba Subscriptions. Existing clients to these subscription levels will continue to receive support and bug fixes, but any feature requests will not be fulfilled.
We are currently in a late development phase for Akeeba Subscriptions 3.3. As promised, it will be released in mid- to late-November 2013, most likely in the third week of the month. We expect one or two maintenance releases to be published until the end of 2013. These will be the last releases of Akeeba Subscriptions. Support for it will be provided until June 2014 and only for using with Joomla! 2.5 / 3.2 on PHP 5.3 / 5.4. After this point in time the download area and the support category will be removed from our site.
Please note that there will be no refunds for existing users of Akeeba Subscriptions whatsoever. Per our support policy we only issue refunds if a product becomes discontinued within 30 days of purchase. Akeeba Subscriptions will be discontinued eight months after the last user bought a subscription for it. We would like to have extended that offer to 12 months, but on or around June 2014 the supported Joomla! versions (2.5 and 3.2) will be discontinued by the Joomla! project and PHP 5.4 will be end of life (PHP 5.3 is already end of life). As a result there will be no supported server environment for our software any more, therefore we can't offer any support. Sorry about that.
Starting mid-November we enter phase two. We are determined to do a massive feature cleanup and partial rewrite of the component, calling it version 4. We are going to remove most payment processor and integration plugins: maintaining over a hundred of them within any degree of quality assurance has been impossible. As it was originally intended, the only integration we will include will be the Joomla! user groups one. It’s been over 3 years since Joomla! 1.6, bearing the first full-fledged ACL implementation, was released. It makes no sense supporting components which have still to be updated to these coding standards. As for the payment processors, we intend to keep only the three PayPal plugins and the two payment plugins (2Checkout and PayMill) we use on our own site.
Moreover we are going to be cleaning up several features, especially the duplicated ones, e.g. upgrade rules will be removed in favour of subscription level relations. Some features, especially those in the subscription levels, that make management overcomplicated will be removed. The resulting component will be much lighter and far less complicated. We are returning to our original goal of providing a dead simple very basic subscriptions component. If you need a complex workflow we urge you to seek a solution from another developer such as (in no particular order) PayPlans, AEC, CBsubs or nBill.
This rewrite is expected to take several months. The resulting code will be available free of charge on GitHub, along with instructions on building the component yourself. Every time we have reached a stable point we will be tagging it in GitHub, but we will no longer be providing installable packages or one click updates. At best, you will see the occasional dev release on our site, always marked as alpha.
It goes without saying that we will no longer be providing support or accepting feature requests for Akeeba Subscriptions 4. If you do find a bug you’re welcome to file an issue in the GitHub repository (it will be linked to in our product page on January 2014) or, better yet, submit a pull request with the bug fix.
We thank you all for your support through the nearly four years we’ve been developing Akeeba Subscriptions.
As there is some confusion about what is going to happen, let's put it in bullet points:
You might wonder, if we're still going to develop the software why not provide support for it. When talking about support we mean if someone has trouble using the software they ask a question to us and we reply. We have observed that support requests fall into these categories:
As you see most of the "support requests" we receive are not support requests. They are demands for free consultancy. Consultancy costs. All other subscription extensions' developers charge by the hour for support, on top of the subscription fee to get their software. We can now see why. We didn't want to go there, so we are discontinuing support.