Development and Pre-Prod Enterprise Licensing Questions

On the downloads section of the couchbase website, it states: Couchbase Server 6.0.3 Enterprise Edition is a full-featured NoSQL Database available free of charge for unlimited pre-production development and testing, with support from our Couchbase Forums.

In the couchbase documentation at it states: Use of EE in development and test environments is free. EE requires a paid subscription for production use.

But our sales contact at couchbase is saying that we have to pay for our development and pre-prod EE clusters. They reference this page: and specifically question 3:

3. Do I need to purchase an Enterprise Edition subscription for development, QA, and preproduction test?

Customers can use Enterprise Edition free-of-charge for unlimited pre-production development and testing with forum support. For customers who want full technical support during development, QA, and/or pre-production testing, an Enterprise Edition subscription is required. Once an application or workload is deployed into production, all Development & Testing nodes must be licensed at the same support level. Production nodes can be on a different level of support than Development & Testing nodes.

I’m not quite sure how this jives with the “unlimited pre-producation development and testing” if it is limited to when you actually go to production with it. We are currently just using couchbase for distributed session state and cache and if we have to pay for all our pre-production clusters, the cost would quickly out-weigh its benefits and push us towards much cheaper solutions like memcached or something like it.

Are we being mislead about the pre-production development environments? Do we really have to pay for them? If that is the case then the couchbase declarations on their download and documentation sites are woefully misleading.

I don’t think you are obligated to pay for EE unless you need the 24x7 support. If I would have to pay, I would switch ASAP