License Classic vs Pro

Hi! I´m new in all of this thing of license or subscription, so I want to understand what is the main difference between the license CLASSIC vs PRO (beside the price). I want to use this license just for me, I´m an interior designer and I use sketchup just for build.
Are the pluggins? If I buy the classic, am I use the 3dwarehouse normally?, I could still import-export from autocad?

A classic license and a subscription get you the same software. With the classic license, you own your copy of the software. With the subscription, you pay to use it one year at a time. Subscriptions include all updates that come out during the year while, after the first year, the classic subscription will require you to pay for upgrades. The subscription bundle also includes access to additional services like the viewers.

Pro is the software while Classic (aka perpetual) and Subscription are licenses for this sotware. It’s a lot of terms and concepts now.

I’d say the main difference is an abstract sense of security. Do you want to pay upfront to have eternal access to SketchUp as it is now (not including web services), even in the hypothetical case you go bankrupt, or do you want to pay a little every year and get all new updates and bug fixes?

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The Classic and Pro are essentially the same software.
Just to clarify, I believe it’s still the case that with a classic license (not subscription) that you can get upgrades and maintenance (bug fixes) providing you pay the annual fee of $120 on top of the initial $695. So after about 3 years the Classic version will work out to be cheaper.

Costs over 5 & 10 years for Pro…assuming the pricing stays the same !

year 1 - 5 : @ $299 x 5 = $1495

year 1 $695
years 2 -5 4 @ 120 = $480
Total $695+ $480 = $1175

10 years:
Subscription: $2,990
Classic: $1,775

It may not be the best option, but there are many people still using older versions of the software , sketchup 8 for example. So if you buy the Classic license and use for as long as it will continue to work on your system, you are not compelled to upgrade, so it could well be that you’d have the software for 10 years at a cost of $69.50 / year !!.. but beware, hardware/software changes could leave you out in the cold for some future functionality.
I think many long standing Sketchup users who already had the software just continued to stay “classic” and pay the annual support fee. I think it’s different for newcomers who may want to weigh up the expense of an initial outlay vs half that price to subscribe. Either way, the pro license might rightly assume this is for business purposes and as such it’s a fairly small outlay for a tool that generates income in your line of business?



Just a little information that could not be useful in your case but maybe for others… TRIMBLE CONNECT BUSINESS is not include with classic version.


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I think there may be a reason we introduced subscriptions. See my other answer for justifications.

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Just talking dollars, Pro subscription is more or less $119 for Shop plus $120 for business TC plus $120 for Classic maintenance and support, plus some division of the upfront $695. So, you can think of it as encouraging you to have paid for all of those things each year.

But, you get some extras for the $299. You get AR in mobile apps, that would have been $10 per year, and you get VR/Mixed Reality/Hololens support, that previously cost $1500 on its own.

You also get higher resolution geo location images (more exactly, you get the convenience of not having to zoom in as much to grab the detailed images).

  • Trimble Connect? Don’t need or use it. Your use case may differ. I would love to see how many Pro users actually use this.

  • AR / VR / mixed Reality / Hololens? Don’t need it. Consider carefully if it is an actual need and if you’ll really use it, mst people experience this as a little gimmicky still. Rather consider creating 360 panorama’s.

  • Support? You’ll probably only need this in the first year you actively use SketchUp (my experience), most (read almost all) Sketchup issues are (or can be) answered by people other than Trimble / SketchUp staff either here or on other forums such as SketchUcation.

  • Maintenance? This provides you access to the latest versions of SketchUp. I like to be up to date with SU. I don’t need to be since it works on my system and will continue doing so for the foreseeable future (as someone else pointed out earlier in the thread, some people are still running SU8).

  • Continuous access (even if I may not have renewed maintenance / support for the current period) to my documents, models and files? Do need it. Enables me to earn if hard times strike. Also as pointed out above, I’m saving in the long run, even if I pay the $120 (current value) annual Maintenance & Support every year.

And do yourself a huge favour, stay away from online only software, it will save you a lot of grief in the long run.

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If you are gonna use it as a ‘digital’ drafting board, and merely see it as just another tool, go classic.
If you wanna be part of something new and engage with the rest of the world (collaborate), go subscription.

  • 7M (as of dec 2019)

Consumers get spoiled, the ‘wow’ factor declines each time.

First year is included with classic, if you do not Maintain the Maintenance, you are on your own. Please note that support is technical issues, only (installing,licensing issues, downgrading if the OS doesn’t fit, etc.)
Use of software questions are likely to be answered on the public forums sooner.
The classic license is attached to your machine, you can transfer a license to another, but sometimes, when you crash, you will loose that activation. That’s when you need support. That is part of the Maintenance.

See above. SketchUp has Major releases (eg. Version 2019) and maintenance releases within (eg. 2019.2, 2019.3)
You always have access to the latest Maintenance release of your Version.

You always will be able to have access to your models with SketchUp Free, if you are planning to use that for commercial work in ‘hard times’ buy a Shop subscription to be compliant with the EULA.

Please note that this is about licensing, not the program ‘an sich’. There is not a Classic version of SketchUp or a Subscription version, it is the same program. (Note the welcome screen where you can choose to add a classic license and can sign in)

The day’s of buying a DVD with a printed serial number are gone. Both systems (classic and subscriptions) use the internet to activate. You can go offline with a classic forever, the subscription needs to phone home once per month (28 days to be precise).

The program has web-based features like the Warehouses (models and extensions) but also Geo location and Generate Report. These features need constantly updating for security and compatibilty reasons.

Also note that the license serial now starts with a ‘V’, and there are only 4 left in the Alphabet :slight_smile:

Please point us to the reference source, I trust it cites active SU Pro users versus active Trimble Connect SU users.

Same with AR / VR / whatever. Yet when you’re in that immersive 3D environment, expectations are much higher and often doesn’t deliver due to level of input from the operator (often economic pressure to keep the time spent vs fees recoverable equation in the black). It’s much easier to create a few locations that are rendered with entourage et al.

Maybe it’s just me, but how often do we see people (using online versions) complain that their files are gone? And how many extensions run on the online version? Not to mention internet connectivity problems that may show up from time to time? Exactly, it’s a bad choice.

I picked it up somewhere in a newsletter from Trimble, I usually throw them away. That’s why I said ‘dec 2019’
In General, information on how many users is kept internally. (SketchUp and Trimble are bounded by stakeholders etc.)
+30-40M users activate SketchUp each year, and who knows how many Make are amongst them? All that stuff will not be exposed in the public.
The thing with software is that it is not hard. It is ‘soft’. And you can copy it, endlessly. If you are the only one that 's using it, it is worthless except for hard copy exports. The costs for getting the software (download) is not measurable (to small). Software gets its value by the number of users and it gets more valuable when everybody else is also using it.
So the developers need a way to charge for use and it gets harder each year with all the ongoing developments.
But to enforce someone to use their software only is the other end of the spectrum, I guess. I like Trimble’s open mindset more then the protected ecosystem of some other software.

Please note that I am not advocating subscription, per se (I personally still got a V8 active license and a classic 2019, for that matter)
My main goal here is to inform folks and adjust miss interpreted information.
SketchUp Pro is a desktop-client which can be activated for use by two systems: a classic license or subscription. That’s it. The Web based versions (Free-Shop) run in the browser.

Off topic, this isn't about SketchUp Pro:

Not knowing where to look is not the same as losing. (You can always download your files, btw)

Two integrated in Shop: Solid Inspector and Solid Tools

If you have internet problems, you can not activate the classic license as well (You can ask for an offline license, but you need to email support , catch22)

How many Make users are using Trimble Connect (TC) is besides the point. I was referring to actual active TC usage numbers vs actual active SU user numbers. If those figures aren’t exposed to the public, then how do you come up with 30-40M figures? Try uninstalling TC, it reinstalls itself the next time you run SketchUp, I hope they’re not counting those comms between the extension and the mainframe servers as actual usage. I’ve had little to no use for TC, I suspect the majority of SU users as well given the typical use case of SU.

I was responding to your SU Shop comment. Besides, the OP mistook Pro for being online only from what I understand, this was clarified to the OP by a few parties.

Touche, often it is user error. Online version normally wants to save it online, and then people get locked out somehow or work isn’t saved somehow either, not sure how that happens but best to avoid the probability all together.

Two extensions, that’s earth shattering when compared to what is in the EW and what I use when modeling.

That may be so, but at least you have a 28 day window, not a zero day window. Note, I said internet problems, not a complete lack of internet.

I can appreciate SketchUp catering for the market segment that actually wants subscription software, as for the market that actually wants to (and can) run software online, be it as hobbled as it is currently. I am pointing out that the Desktop installation is the better option and that the Classic Pro licence is the better choice in the long run.

Didn’t bother reading the above post. Feel free to tell me if I’m wrong.

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I am not working for Trimble or SketchUp. I work for a Distributor. We sell other software , as well. I get two or more telephone calls or emails per day about ‘what to choose’. I do not enforce anyone or tell them what to choose. Explaining the difference should be enough.

A couple of months ago, a client passed by the office, in need for some assistance. He called first to make an appointment. I noticed that he had an expired Maintenance Plan (not to be confused with Subscription, btw)
He had an 2009 MacBook running version 7. Did not use internet at all. He had bought a new Macbook and wanted to install that version. We installed and activated, but the new OS on his new machine didn’t like version 7 that much. He bought a new classic license, we downloaded it, installed and activated 2019 and he was good to go for another 10-12 years. (That doesn’t happens a lot, I must say.)

Sometimes, when we explain the difference, ‘typical classic’ clients get curious or had a case when they needed to collaborate with others and got triggered by Trimble Connect.

We also get people that specifically ask for Subscription, because it’s what they are used to with other software. (No questions asked)

In all cases, I will explain the difference, though. (We also get a lot of questions why they cannot have access to the viewers, for instance)

We do see a shift towards actual ‘Pay for Use’ versus Perpetual type of licensing for software in general.

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Hi everyone! Just another quick precision about Trimble connect :blush:…SU Users are not the only one that have access to TC. We’ve got it so with TEKLA (and probably with other TRIMBLE Software like Nova,…)


Thank you for sharing this insightful post, really adding to the discussion…

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