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I recently saw a listing of the available GIS products at thegismarketplace.com, which led to a couple of questions.

  1. What is the difference between a paid version of GeoServer or MapServer and the free ones?
  2. I also noticed that the site is charging for QGIS, which I don't understand either since QGIS is free.

There is a related discussion here: comparison of open sources gis servers

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The web site is unclear but it looks like you are paying for them to host GeoServer on a machine for you. Look at the specification tab to explain the different prices.

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is that a fair price for having them host on their machine vs. doing it all yourself? Assuming R.K.'s "paying for support" is also included. –  sirgeo Dec 19 '12 at 15:49
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I'd go with someone who's been around for a while. Be careful with these here today gone tomorrow type companies with misleading/incomplete websites. Do a search for GeoServer hosting. These guys came up first: acugis.com/geoserver-hosting.htm –  Rayner Dec 19 '12 at 16:12
    
AcuGIS does appear more legit, thanks for the heads up. –  sirgeo Dec 19 '12 at 16:15

These guys don't really tell you up front what you're getting. What's the difference between small, medium and large for example? No info. And really, what possible advantage is there of having a full-fledged desktop GIS app such as QGIS hosted online? Doesn't make any sense.

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If you look at the "Specification" tab for each item, you will see that the CPU, Bandwidth, Backup, & Storage options are different for each item. It seems like you are paying for the "usage of the software" being hosted on their servers. –  RyanDalton Dec 19 '12 at 17:14

Agree with @iant. You are paying for hosting. With the free ones, you have to download the installer yourself and provide your own machine. With the site you linked, they provide the server.

The editions differ in the number of CPUs, RAM and backup storage available. You can view the differences by using their product comparison feature.

As for charging for QGIS, they will be hosting it on their server so I guess that's what they're charging for.

What is the difference between a paid version of GeoServer or MapServer and the free ones? Also noticed that site is charging for the presumably free QGIS which I don't understand either.

Usually, you're not paying for the software, you're paying for support. These includes but is not limited to bugfixes, customization and training. They may also help you with the configuration and deployment to production.

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"As for charging for QGIS, they will be hosting it on their server so I guess that's what they're charging for." - what, on earth, is hosting desktop application in server? –  user1702401 Dec 19 '12 at 20:30
    
That I don't know. That's what they seem to be selling though. –  R.K. Dec 20 '12 at 0:18

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