One of my all time favourite IDEs out there is IntelliJ (and any IDE based on it such as WebStorm and PhpStorm). The only problem with these products is that they are not free, at least for the ultimate version.
When I was a student, I had access to the free educational licence. But once I graduated from university (yay!) and joined a company as a software engineer, I had two option ; pay for a monthly/yearly subscription or find a workaround to still get it for free. That’s where I remembered something from a screencasts by Jeffrey Way I’ve watched a while ago “How to be awesome in phpstorm”, EAP.
What is Early Access Program?
We at JetBrains believe that making tools for developers should greatly involve listening to developers. Our Early Access Program lets development community closely participate in discussions devoted to our products and influence development planning, from early stages onwards. Early Access Program allows you to try pre-release versions of our software to evaluate features that will be added to the next release.
Basically, you can see the EAP as more or less of a “stable” pre-release of the ultimate version.
So, what’s the catch here you’re probably wondering ?
Well, the EAP can actually be used for a limited time (couples weeks to one month) BUT this period is extended with each new update thanks to its active development after users’ feedbacks. For instance, I use Webstorm everyday at work since 2 months now and didn’t expect any bug except maybe a DPI scalling issue that was fixed since then.
This is ultimately a win-win for both sides since with such a program, JetBrains will improve its paid version of the products with all the feedbacks.
Is it legal to use EAP versions for commercial use?
According to this stackoverflow thread, yes you can.
I asked JetBrains directly. Their exact words (I was very specific about the fact that I was using EAP): “Thank you for contacting JetBrains. You can use the license for commercial development.” –
That’s all folks 🙂 Keep on hacking !
Also published on Medium.