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Buying new license is cheaper then renewing if maintenance expired more than 14 months ago

Today I was wandering what would be the cost of upgrading our company's JIRA to v7. I've noticed, that renewal of our maintenance/upgrades period would cost 16000$ and it would extend the period only to may 2016. It seems that renewal must cover whole time from the last expiration date. That means we have to pay 8000$ to extend our maintenance period from may 2014 to may 2015... yes, pay 8000$ FOR NOTHING!, and then pay another 8000$ to extend it from may 2015 to may 2016, just to get five months of upgrade/maintenace for 16000$...

Am I the only one that thinks this is insane? Forcing a client to pay for service, that never happened seems like a fraud. Current pricing model is set purely to force you to stay on the update/maintenance period.

Why should we stay on the active maintenance? During our maintenance period we have tried support maybe 4-6 times. And less then half of responses were helpful. As a medium company, with quite large JIRA instance with a lot of plugins, we don't need and we don't want to waste time and resources for frequent JIRA upgrades. Upgrading JIRA costs a lot of time, and usually it breaks something, that costs even more time to fix. It is cheaper for us to stay a long period of time on one, stable version of Jira, and switch to newer version if it has new features worth the price. If we don't need maintenance, and we don't need to upgrade JIRA more than once in 1-2 years, therefore it is not cost-effective for us to keep our maintenace up and pay 8000$ per year for nothing.

I have counted the costs per month of renewal of expired maintenance period:


Cost of buying new JIRA license for our tier is 18000$, and you get 12 months of upgrades/maintenance, therefore the cost of one month is 1500$. To be fair I have averaged the cost of renewal per month to new expiration with cost of keeping the maintenance up (8000$/year=666$/month) to average of full 12 months, so it could be compared to buying new license. (chart that counts only active months left after renewal looks far worse: Basically any renewal cost per month that is higher than cost of new license ($1500/month) is a no-go zone.

It seems that if you your maintenance expired more than 14 months ago IT IS CHEAPER TO BUY NEW JIRA LICENSE! Considering that it allows you to have two legal JIRA instances - one with old, and one with new version - I would say that "green zone" shrinks no more than 12 months...

After counting above, I'm pretty sure that the person, who is responsible for the current pricing model clearly doesn't know what he's doing. This pricing model ENCOURAGES large companies, that cannot take risk of destabilization of system by frequent upgrading, to stay as long as possible on one version of Jira.


There is even more to that: JIRA constantly releases new versions, but the core features still have the same flaws that have had 10 years ago. Sure, Atlassian right now have one-of-a-kind product on the market, and whole policy is based on the fact that clients have no alternative to switch to. However that might quickly backfire if some new player, backed up by large investor, will appear on the market. People will turn their backs on JIRA in no time. So far the ONLY strength of JIRA is the large palette of addons developed by external companies. It is sad to look how this large potential of JIRA is wasted by the crazy marketing policy...

6 answers

11 votes
Jim C. Atlassian Team Dec 04, 2015

Hi Blazej,

Atlassian adopted a perpetual license model for our server products so when you purchase the license for a product it is yours forever. Renewing software maintenance is optional, but it does provide you continued access to our technical support team and new releases of the software that include product enhancements and new features. We do outline this in the Licensing & Pricing FAQ under the Software Maintenance section.

When customers renew software maintenance they are continuing to support the ongoing development of the product. If a license is renewed after the maintenance has expired, it provides access to those development efforts, which is why software maintenance is backdated to the last active software maintenance period. 

In the case when a server product has been out of software maintenance for more than 12 months, our customer advocate team will always suggest purchasing a new license as it includes 12 months of maintenance from the date the license is issued.

JIRA 7 introduced purposed built versions for business, software, and service desk teams; I invite you to view the JIRA Core, JIRA Software, and JIRA Service Desk feature comparison chart (toward the bottom of the page). If you decide to upgrade to JIRA 7, I recommend reviewing the Atlassian Migration Hub for more information then when you're ready, you can request a quote/purchase a new license from the Atlassian Store or by contacting one of our offices.

7 votes

No.  It's not insane.  If you let your maintenance lapse, that's fine, it's up to you to proceed unsupported and without upgrades.  If you don't think it's worth it, then don't do it.  It's your business decision.

Note that Atlassian have absolutely no problem with you saying "I've got an old JIRA that we didn't maintain, may we have a new licence for it".  It's worth doing that as soon as paying the lapsed maintenance cost would exceed a new licence.  I'm not sure what the fuss was about, given that most of the competition would not let you lapse (The software stops working) or force you to renew.

I have to throw my 2 cents in, as we're going through the same thing right now and it absolutely doesn't make sense. And yes, I can see it from the other side of the fence as well. It costs money to work on a service/product.

I used the analogy of owning a car with Atlassian support, and I'm still waiting for a reply back to that one:

I buy a new car, take it to the mechanic for the first service, but then never take it back in for 12 months and miss a few services. I finally go back to the mechanic to get a service done - is the mechanic going to charge me for the services I've missed? The car worked fine during that time. The maintenance isn't replacing the air filter 4 times and charging me for 4 air filters, it's only once. There may even be an upgrade to the car's software, which I've missed 3 updates for, but I don't pay for the 3 I've missed, just the 1....

In regards to the features and dev work done in the meantime during that period of my license being expired, same kind of analogy:

A car manufacturer builds and releases a car - I buy it. I own it until the end of time. I get a warranty with it which lasts X years and a dealership I can visit if I need support. That's all included in the cost of the initial purchase. After some years, my warranty/support runs out, but the car is working fine. In the meantime, the car manufacturer has been designing and releasing new models of the same car, but I don't need to upgrade just yet. One day I finally decide to buy the newer model/version - is the manufacturer going to increase the cost of the vehicle over that period of time and charge me for it because they've spent so many years working on making it better?

None of that adds up for me, and I don't know any other company that charges in such a way. Very much in 2 minds about how we approach this! Seems like a very strong-armed way of making people pay for something they're not using.

Imagine my situation... last time I paid was in 2014... my jira got attacked remotely via a ransomware (i hope the issue has been fixed!) and wanted to upgrade... it came up with a huge price which is clearly insane.

all I want is to fix their security hole

You will need a new licence and upgrade.  Jira systems older than 2014 are not supported and won't be patched.

Like Petr Vaníček likes this
I suspect we are in agreement that it is reasonable that they don't provide upgrades and support while somebody is out of maintenance?
I have an instance where maintenance expired in Dec 2018. If I try to renew that today Atlassian will back date the start date of the licence to December 2018. They will be charging me for a period where, I believe we both agree, that I simply could not get support or upgrades. I would have seven months remaining on my maintenance rather than the expected 12.
I fail to see how that is fair or reasonable.

And how is that unfair?  Compared with "I want a new licence at twice the cost".

At the moment (May 2019), based on a slightly out of date licence (Dec 2018), you have two options for getting back into support:

  • A new licence.  I don't know your user tier, currency or options, so lets skip real numbers and say this costs you 24 Kittens (2 per month).  This gives you 12 months support from now.
  • A renewal which costs 12 kittens, but costs  you 5 Kittens for the months you skipped and then a kitten per month for the next 7 months. 

This means that although you are "paying for the unsupported time", if you renew the licence in the first year, it is always cheaper than getting a new licence.  If "renew" after a year, you are wasting your money, just get a completely new licence.

Like Allison Marie Carlson likes this

And how is that unfair?

Because one is paying for a benefit that they never received irrespective of the kitten cost.

Like Błażej O_ likes this

But you should have paid, because you wanted the benefit.  And it's cheaper than getting a new licence.

For YOUR information the reason that we didn't renew on the renewal date, knowing full well that we wouldn't get any benefit from Atlassian, was because we wanted to bring all our licence renewal dates together.

However that doesn't detract from the point that we both agree on that we would have to pay five kittens for nothing.

I'm at a total loss at Nic Brough's stance on this. You should have paid because you wanted the benefit, even though you didn't get the benefit, and perhaps you didn't want the benefit then but you might want it now (eg skip a bunch of versions)?


@Ali Latif  - why? 

What you've said there appears confusing, but it's absolutely not what I have said and I think it horribly misrepresents it.

I know it's not the most simple of cases.  But you've made it far too complicated and added layers of unneccessary complexity for no good reason.

Could we go back to the simple case?  "You get what you pay for" is what is happening here.  

How do you think we are not?

Forcing you to pay for a service they refused to offer.


Or, asking you to make a minor contribution towards spending a lot of time working out what went wrong.

Atlassian will not offer support to anybody out of licence nor will they allow upgrades.

So far the only thing that went wrong, in my opinion, is that they attempt to charge for a period where they offered no service what so ever.

Like Błażej O_ likes this

Correct - they don't give away their work for free, that's not what they're here for.

The do not "attempt to charge for a period where they offered no service", they only charge you for when they did offer it and you choose not to accept, and they charge less than most for long-term usage.

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