After five years of consistent renewal pricing, a small change has been applied to all renewal and purchase prices
This article originally was featured on the MASS Software Blog, formerly hosted on the software section of the Canada Masonry Design Centre website. CMDC is the authorized technical service provider for the MASS Software
Starting in 2010, Masonry Analysis, Structural Systems (MASS) has been available as a design tool to engineers across Canada. From day one, our mission has been to provide an effective design resource that saves significant time in the engineering design process without compromising the reliability and integrity of your design calculations. We have received a lot of feedback and always make a sincere effort to keep development costs low by only spending on areas that directly improve MASS.
As of May 15th, 2018, the price of all software renewals and purchases can be seen in the table below:
Compared to prices offered starting in 2013, this is equivalent to only a 1.9% annualized increase.
Full pricing can be found on the MASS website. With these new pricing options, there are a number of other items to keep in mind.
License revenue goes straight to improving MASS
Just to list a few examples, a new in-plane lateral load distribution module, Shearline, was created for Version 2.0 to save time on simple, single storey elevations that generally are not allocated much engineering design time. The most recent major update came in Version 3.0 where the entire scope of MASS was shifted to using the updated editions of CSA Standards for designers working in areas where the 2015 National Building Code of Canada has already been adopted. Between these major releases, minor updates have been made and released to add smaller items like fire resistance ratings, more reliable printing, and an improved launch screen. Throughout the entire process, bugs have been diagnosed, tested, and patched within each minor update to ensure that you can be confident when using MASS. The most recent example of this can be seen in Version 2.2.1 which was released after Version 3.0 which you can read more about here.
Currently, work is being done to expand the scope of MASS to include Chapter 16 seismic design requirements added in the 2014 edition of the CSA S304. This will include shear wall deflections, ductility seismic force reduction factors, ductility verification, and plastic hinge requirements. In addition to the seismic work, a new multi-storey shear wall module is under development to save time for many multi-storey structures.
Licensing revenue goes directly to improving MASS and improving it on a continuing basis.
MASS is well supported and maintained
If you have ever had any issues getting MASS running or have had technical questions about the software’s calculations and overall design approach, you have contacted MASS support. Unlike many software packages that operate using a ticketing system and involve waiting periods and escalations, anyone with a MASS license has immediate, direct access to engineering support through the Canada Masonry Design Centre. We take pride in offering excellent customer support that is knowledgeable and available for when you need it.
MASS Licenses include more than just access to the MASS Software
While the biggest part of the decision to renew MASS is based on getting access to the software, once you have a valid license, other benefits are included at no extra cost. While some programs like to nickel and dime for add-ons and features, every MASS user has access to the complete version with no fine print. When updates are released and the software is improved, you don’t have to pay an upgrade fee. Simply maintaining and renewing your MASS license entitles you to the most up to date version that is available.
MASS license holders also get notified first when a new course or seminar has been made available. The most recent iteration of the CMDC’s Engineered Masonry Design Course was announced and filled within 48 hours by MASS users who had the advantage of being the first to know about it.
Discounts are available for everyone
Everyone likes getting a deal and just because individual renewals go for $220 per person doesn’t mean that’s what you have to pay! There are many types of discounts available that you should not hesitate to take advantage of:
Early-bird Renewal Discount
Chances are, you’ve been linked here from one of our email notifications and if that is the case, you will also see that you can save 15% if you don’t put off your renewal to when your next masonry project comes along. This is available to everyone with a MASS license that needs renewing so act quickly to take advantage.
Have more than one engineer working in your office? We have special office packages for groups of 5, 10, or more engineers that make it cheaper and more cost effective compared to purchasing individual licenses. Click here to see all of the available packages along with pricing. Note that these cannot be spread across multiple locations, which leads us to…
Discounts for Companies spread over multiple locations
If you fit this category and have at least four offices with at least one small office package, you have already been proactively contacted with a special discount offer. These are offered to try and help make up for the fact that the larger offices packages cannot be divided between engineers working from different locations.
Creating software is expensive. Period.
Everything in the software creation process takes a lot of time, energy, and money. From specifications and documentation to programming and quality assurance testing, engineering software cannot be done without significant investment both initially and on an ongoing basis. This is all before factoring in support, website maintenance, license management, and distribution.
You may have also noticed that promotion and advertising hasn’t been mentioned. The MASS software is a tool that is growing in popularity thanks to reputation and word-of-mouth alone! None of the revenue from license sales is used for anything that doesn’t go straight back in to the software you are using today.
Putting the “Not” in “Not-for-Profit”
The MASS software represents a joint venture between masonry contractors (through the not-for profit contractor association: CMDC) and masonry block producers (through the not-for-profit industry association: CCMPA). Together, the masonry industry covers over 75% of software related costs, leaving less than 25% which comes from licensing purchase and renewal fees. There is a good reason why there isn’t another masonry design software package for Canadian designers offered by a private company.
Still have questions?
Feel free to reach out to MASS support with any comments, suggestions, or other feedback regarding this change. While we understand that for many designers, masonry is a component that only comes up on projects here and there. We work very hard to make sure MASS is a product that is cost effective and pays for itself after even just one job. MASS licenses are deliberately priced and subsidized in such as way that it can be accessible to any designer in Canada using masonry in their projects.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email the Canada Masonry Design Centre. We are here to help!