Billing

Billing

 

Introduction

Catalyst provides you with a completely free of charge development platform and a paid production environment. We also follow a pay-as-you-go pricing model for the production where you only pay for the services that you consume, after you deploy the project to production. The services here refer to the individual component calls that are made in your live application.

Because Catalyst does not follow a subscription model, you will not be committing to any contracts or license agreements. The pay-as-you-go model saves you from implementing a trial and error method of subscribing to plans or purchasing features beforehand, when you cannot foresee your requirements in advance.

Catalyst will track your usage in the production and charge you only for the services that you have used, and for as long as you have used them. We do not impose any other additional or hidden charges.

You can keep a track of your production usage in your app, view reports and cost breakdowns, check forecasts, create budgets, and more from the Billing settings in your Catalyst remote console.

Note: You can refer to the Pricing page to check the latest pricing calculations and details of Catalyst components and services.
 

Key Points to Remember

  • Free and Paid Tiers
    • Catalyst permanently offers the development environment for free. You can work in this sandbox in all your Catalyst applications, make API calls, and use most of Catalyst features and components without setting up your payment method.
      Note: The development environment comes with usage and feature limitations, and must therefore be used only for development and testing purposes.
    • You will only be charged for using the production environment. Once you have deployed your Catalyst application to production, you will be priced for the API calls that are made to the components of your live Catalyst application.
  • Payment Units
    • There are two units of payment in Catalyst: Amount and Credits. Amount refers to the money in dollars that you pay after a bill is generated. Credits refer to the value points that each Catalyst operation is charged with.
    • Every time you use a Catalyst resource, the operation will consume a certain number of credits. Based on the total number of credits used, your bill amount will be calculated. You can read about this in detail in Pricing Calculations.
    Note: You will not be able to purchase credits in advance and store them in your wallet. Catalyst does not currently support this feature. You can only make your payments through online transactions using your credit card or your PayPal account.
  • Pricing Plans
    • Catalyst offers two pricing plans:
      • Light User
      • Heavy User
    • These pricing plans are project-specific. Therefore, the pricing plan of one project can be 'Heavy User' and another project be 'Light User' for the same user account.
    • Based on your usage of Catalyst components, services, and storage in a particular project, Catalyst's cost optimization software will automatically analyze and assign the particular project to a pricing plan.
    • The differences in both the pricing plans lie in the fixed fee and usage fee. You can check the details from the Pricing page. Catalyst ensures that your project is always assigned to the most cost-optimizing plan, based on your usage.
  • Pricing Calculations
    • The operations that you perform in your Catalyst application for a component are component calls. For example, you can insert, update, delete rows in a table in the Data Store using the APIs, or put and get key values in a cache. These operations are priced in terms of credits, and the final amount is calculated based on the credits consumed.
      For example, 1 Data Store Insert operation costs 2 credits. Therefore, if you perform 1000 Data Store insert operations, you will use 2000 credits.
    • Each operation type in a Catalyst component costs different amount of credits. Additionally, some components charge for storage that exceed the free limits. They are priced in terms of credits as well.
      You can check the latest pricing details from the Pricing documentation.
    • The overall bill amount is calculated based on the total number of credits you have consumed in your Catalyst account in all your projects, the operational or storage cost of each operation in a component, and the pricing plan of each project.
    • You can always check the breakdown of your usage, in terms of both credits consumed and the bill amount, from the Breakdown section in Billing in the Catalyst console.
  • Payment Methods and Procedures
    • As mentioned earlier, you can pay for your Catalyst usage using your credit card or your PayPal account. You must set up your payment method in Catalyst before you deploy your application to the production environment from the Zoho Catalyst Payments portal. We will discuss this in detail later on in this documentation.
    • You will receive one common invoice that includes the usage charges in all of your Catalyst applications.
    • The invoice will be generated on the second day of every month at GMT 0 time. Your invoice will be sent to the email address you used to sign up for Catalyst. You can also add additional email recipients to send the invoice to.
  • General Guidelines
    • You must pay your bill within 15 days of receiving the invoice. After 15 days of non-payment, the production environment of all your Catalyst applications will be blocked, and they will not be live any longer. After you clear the dues, your applications will be live again immediately.
      Note: When the production environment of a Catalyst application is blocked, the end users of that application will not be able to access or use it anymore. Therefore, ensure that you pay your bill before the due date to continue hosting your application live.
    • You will not be able to remove your credit card from Catalyst or disable a payment setup while at least one of your Catalyst applications is still live. You must first disable the production environment of all your Catalyst applications before disabling your payment setup.
    • You cannot disable the production environment of any of your Catalyst applications if a payment is still pending. You must pay your bill and clear the dues before disabling it.
    • If you disable your payment setup, you will have to add your credit card or link your PayPal account with Catalyst again before enabling the production environment of any of your Catalyst applications.
    • If the payment is not processed for reasons such as insufficient funds in your credit card, Catalyst will attempt to process the payment once every 3 days for 15 days, starting from the date the invoice was generated. If the payment processing fails every time, Catalyst will block the production environment of all your applications until you pay the bill.
    • Catalyst will send email alerts for the invoice generation, payment reminders, failed transactions, and after the production environment is blocked for your applications.
 

Setting up Your Payment Method in Catalyst

To set up your payment method in Catalyst:

  1. Navigate to Settings from the Catalyst console.
  2. Click Manage Billing under the Billing section.

    This will open the Zoho Catalyst payments portal in a new tab.

    Alternatively, when you deploy your Catalyst application to the production environment from the Environments section in the settings, a pop-up window will open asking you to add your payment method. Click Add Card. This will also open the Zoho Catalyst payments portal.

    You can learn about the steps involved in this in detail from the Environments help page.
  3. Select INR or USD as the currency of payment. If your organization is based in India, select INR. If you reside in any other country, select USD.
    • If you select USD, enter the billing details of your organization.

      Choose a payment method. If you click on the Credit Card tab, enter your credit card details. You can add a Visa, Mastercard, or an American Express card.

      To use PayPal as your payment method, click on the PayPal tab.
    • If you select INR, enter the billing details of your organization.

      Provide the information about your GSTIN registration. If you check No, confirm your identity as an individual or a non-registered business.
      If you check Yes, enter your GSTIN. For information and help regarding GST, you can refer to their official website.

      Click Add Payment Method to continue.
    • If you added your credit card details under USD, your credit card provider will authenticate your identity.
    • If you selected PayPal, login to your PayPal account and associate it with Catalyst.
    • If you selected INR, enter your phone number and your email address in the pop-up window that opens. Click Pay by Card to proceed.

      Enter the details of your credit card and click Pay ₹1.

      After the authentication check by your credit card's provider, Catalyst will debit ₹1 to verify the authenticity of your credit card, and the amount will be re-credited to your account again immediately.

Once your payment setup process is completed, your payment details will be saved in Catalyst. Your bill payment will be initiated using your credit card or PayPal automatically every month. After you authorize the payment, the amount will be debited.

The payments portal will display your card details, payment history, and more. We will learn about the features available in the payments portal later on in this documentation.


 

Billing Settings in the Catalyst Console

As mentioned earlier, the Catalyst console enables you to keep track of your Catalyst usage, provides billing information, and helps you manage your budgets. These features are available in different sections under Billing in the settings. Let's look at them one by one.

 

Overview

The Overview section provides a brief summary of your Catalyst usage and your payment history.

You can check your ongoing bill amount for the current month under the Current Usage tile, both as amount and its equivalence in credits. This value is automatically updated once every 30 minutes, and the latest value based on your usage is displayed.

You can view a detailed report of your usage by clicking View Report. This will open the Report section of Billing.

Forecast analyzes the cost that could be incurred for the current month based on your usage information of the previous month. This usage prediction enables you to get an estimation of your expenditure in Catalyst, and allows you to plan your activities. If the data of the previous month is not available in Catalyst, Forecast will not be able to predict the current month's usage.

Last Month's Usage displays the usage information of the previous month in amount and credits.

The Cost Trends graph displays the cost information incurred during various time periods in the form of a bar graph. The graph shows the usage in terms of amount or credits for every day of the selected time period.

You can change the unit by selecting Amount or Credit from the first dropdown list.

You can also use the second dropdown list to select the time period for which you want the graph to display cost information.


 

Breakdown

The Breakdown section displays the usage and cost breakdown for each of your Catalyst projects individually.

It provides detailed information on the component calls made in every feature, the price per call, the total number of calls made, and the amount charged for each project. The pricing plan of each project is also displayed.

You can choose to view the cost breakdown in terms of amount or credits by selecting the unit from the first dropdown list.

You can also select the month for which you need to access the information from the second dropdown list.

The Monthly Overview section displays the overview for the month and in the unit that you select. The Project Usage section also displays the cost breakdown for the month and in the unit that you select.


 

Report

The Report section provides detailed insight into your Catalyst usage based on various criteria that you select. You can access information about your usage and expenditure based on the components, individual projects, and time periods that you select.

You can select the individual projects for which you need to access information from the Projects dropdown list in the Filters section.

You can view the usage of particular components alone by selecting them from the Components dropdown list.

You can view the graph by the projects or by the components.

To view the graph for a time period between specific dates, select Daywise from the Time Period dropdown list.

Now, select the dates for which you need to access information from the calender and click Apply.

To view the graph for a time period between specific months, select Monthwise from the dropdown list and select the months. Click Apply.

You can also select Amount or Credits to view the graph in. After you apply all the filters, click Apply Filter. The graph displays the report based on these filters.

You can view the report in the form of an area graph or a bar graph.


 

Budgets

You can create budgets in Catalyst to set usage limits of amount or Catalyst credits, and configure email alerts when your usage crosses a particular threshold value. Budgets help you monitor your activities in Catalyst and allow you to plan your expenses.

Catalyst also enables you to automate the disabling of the production environment of an application when its usage hits a particular threshold value.

Points to remember:

  • When you enable the Disable Production option while setting a threshold value for a budget, Catalyst will automatically disable the production environment of the selected project when the threshold is reached, and will alert you of it through an email.
  • You can re-enable the production environment of a project that was disabled upon reaching a specified threshold. It will not get re-enabled automatically.
  • Catalyst runs a scheduler once every 30 minutes to obtain the current credit consumption or charges of a project. Therefore, the checks for crossing a specified threshold are made only once every 30 minutes. If your project reaches a configured threshold in between these checks, Catalyst will not detect it until the scheduler's next run.
  • If you re-enable the production environment after it has automatically been disabled because of threshold limits, it will not get disabled again in the next 30 minutes during the next scheduler check. It will only get disabled again after the end of the current month, provided you have not modified the threshold limits.
  • In case you modify the threshold value after the production gets disabled, the next scheduler check will check for threshold limits and will disable the production again in case it is reached.
  • If you have multiple budgets configured for a single project, Catalyst will disable the production environment for all the budgets the Disable Production has been enabled for, after reaching each specified threshold limit.

To create a budget:

  1. Click Create Budget from the Budget section under Billing in settings.

    This will open the budget creation page.
  2. Enter a name and a description for the budget. Select a project that the budget should apply to. You can apply this budget for all projects as well.
  3. Select Amount or Credits and enter the threshold value for it. This is the maximum value set for your budget.

    You can enable the Disable Production option to have the production environment automatically disabled upon reaching this threshold. This will open a pop-up. Enter "DISABLE" and click Confirm to confirm the action.
    Note: The Disable Production option will be available only if you select a single project from the Projects drop-down, and not if you choose all projects. You can enable this option for multiple projects by creating individual budgets for each.
  4. You can now create rules that enable you to configure email alerts to be sent when your usage reaches a certain percentage of the threshold value. You can also configure this based on the amount or number of credits, depending on if you defined the threshold based on the amount or credits consumed.

    Enter a percentage or an amount/credit value in the text box. The amount/credit value is calculated automatically in the first case, or the percentage is calculated automatically in the second case, and is displayed.

    For example, if you require an email alert to be sent when your usage reaches 50% of the threshold limit value of 1000 credits, enter "50" under percentage. You will then receive an email alert when you use up 500 credits. Similarly, if you require an email alert to be sent when your amount consumption is 100$ of the a 500$ threshold, enter "100" under Amount.

    You can create a maximum of five rules. To create another rule, click the + icon. To delete a rule, click the - icon.

    Now, enter the recipient email address that the email alerts should be sent to. You can configure a maximum of three recipients.
  5. Click Create.

The budget will be created and listed in the Budgets page along with its details. A unique ID is also created for the budget.

You will now receive email alerts based on the rules that you set in the budget.

You can view a budget's configuration by clicking the budget's name. To edit the budget, click Edit from the budget view's page. Modify the details and save the changes.

You can delete a budget by clicking the ellipsis icon and clicking Delete from the Budget page.

Click Yes, Proceed in the confirmation window.


 

Manage Billing

When you click Manage Billing under Billing in the settings, it redirects to the Zoho Catalyst Payments portal in a new tab. As mentioned earlier, you can manage your payment settings and view your payment history from the Payments portal.


 

Transaction History

You can view your payment history by clicking the Payment History link in the Last Transaction Date column. This will redirect you to the Transaction History page.

You can view the various transactions that were processed using your credit card or your PayPal account from this page, along with their details.

You can also download invoices for each transaction by clicking the PDF file icon for it and search for a transaction by its ID using the search box.

You can view transactions of specific types alone by clicking on the dropdown box and selecting the transaction type.

You can also filter the transactions based on their time period by clicking Filter by Period... and setting the start and end dates. Click Apply Filter to apply them.


 

Modifying and Deleting the Payment Method

To change your payment method or your credit card, click Credit Card from the Payments page.

Alternatively, you can also click the dropdown list in the top-right corner of the Payments page and click Payment Method.

This will open the Payment Method section. Click Change to change your credit card.

Follow the same steps as described in the Payment Setup section of this help documentation.

You can view the list of your Zoho subscriptions by clicking on View Subscriptions.To delete your payment method, click Delete.

You can also delete the payment method by clicking Deactivate Payment Method in the Payments page.

However, as mentioned in the Introduction, you must disable the production environment of all your applications before deleting the payment method.

You can share the reason for your deactivation in the pop-up window and click Deactivate Payment Method to confirm.


 

Modifying and Deleting the Billing Details

To modify or delete your billing details, click the dropdown list from the Payments page and click Billing Address & Other Info tab. Alternatively, you can click Billing Address in the Payment Method column from that page.

To modify the address, click Change and enter the new billing address in the pop-up window and click Update to confirm.

To delete the billing address, click Delete. Similarly to the payment method, you must disable the production environment of all your applications before deleting the billing address.

This section also displays the billing addresses that are currently inactive. Click Inactive Billing Address to view them.

 

Email Recipients

You can add email recipients to send the invoices, subscriptions, and other payment related emails to by clicking on the Email Recipients tab.

The Catalyst account's user is listed as an email recipient by default. You cannot delete the Catalyst account user from the recipients. However, you can modify their details after you add an additional recipient.

To add a new recipient, click Add Recipient. Enter the recipient's name and email address. You can select the types of email alerts that can be sent to them for Zoho Catalyst alone or for all Zoho products.

You can also add multiple recipients by clicking the + icon and remove recipients that were added by clicking the - icon.

Check the confirmation box and click Confirm.

The recipient will be added and listed in the section.

You can edit the details of a recipient by clicking the edit icon. Modify the details and click Update.

Likewise, you can delete an additional recipient by clicking the delete icon and clicking Delete in the confirmation window.


 

Credits Information

The Credits Info section displays information about the credits available in your Catalyst account for use.

The dropdown list in the Payments page also contains links to Tag Your Partner and Refer and Earn. You can refer to the Partner Store and Refer a Friend help links for more information.

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