Autodesk Inc., a key vendor of software for the architecture, engineering and construction industry, has changed its sales model, as of Aug. 1, so new users can now only buy by subscription.

Customers with an existing perpetual license will continue to be supported but must pay maintenance fees, says Carl White, senior director of manufacturing strategy and marketing at the San Francisco firm.

The move is more than a pricing restructure. The plan gives subscribers more options to access its tools, according to the firm. Software is available not only as single offerings, such as Revit, or in bundles called "suites," as Autodesk offered in previous years, but also now in a new form the company calls "collections."

Every collection serves one of Autodesk’s core customer bases—including construction, media and entertainment, and product design.

“If you’re going to subscribe to at least two products, it’s a comparable price to subscribe to the whole collection,” says White.

This means that for the price of a subscription to Revit and AutoCAD, an engineer can have access to those tools as well as to others such as InfraWorks 360, Navisworks Manage, FormIt 360 Pro Insight 360, ReCap 360 Pro, Rendering in A360, Structural Analysis for Revit, Vehicle Tracking, 3ds Max, AutoCAD Civil 3D, AutoCAD 360 Pro, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Map 3D, AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD P&ID, AutoCAD Plant 3D, AutoCAD Raster Design and AutoCAD Utility Design.

White reiterates that the plan is not an all-or-nothing proposal. Customers can subscribe to one, two or five individual software licenses on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

The suites will no longer be available, however.

White says Autodesk will honor its promise to serve perpetual license holders, although they cannot allow maintenance fees to lapse. If lapses occur, the perpetual licenses cannot be re-initiated and users must start new subscriptions.