Unfortunately, I believe the answer to your question is the end user.
SolidWorks should become an end user of their own products! With so many
talented people in their organization, one would think quality and pride in
workmanship would be more evident in their final product.
Software fees, both the original purchase price and maintenance defy
logic. Most companies have buyers and lawyers on retainer or staff. I
have never understood why they don't complain loudly about the types of
agreements software companies provide for their products. It isn't just
SW but also MSoft, etc.
What bothers me about SW is that they agree to provide certain things,
but so little of the functionality we use is documented. SW can change
or break that undocumented functionality with impunity.
There is a big point of difference with cars and software. If your car
breaks you can always get a loaner or rental for the duration of the
repair that will accomplish the same thing the broken car would,
transportation from point A to point B. With software there are no
substitutes. You can't have a broken seat of SW and switch to Inventor
or Pro/E rentals till SW is fixed. You can't even go back a release in
the same software. In this way a software vendor has a mini monopoly on
Since Breaking Vegas started airing on the History channel and a
certain software executive started showing prominently in that show I
can't help wondering if that mindset has somehow transfered over into
Yeah, we (as users of SW_ in good faith pay for a product which has
known working features and when those features are broken by SW Corp, we
always pay for their poor quality and mistakes.
This is not normal in the real world (except maybe in government).
We all know it's disturbing that components which are broken per sp are
most likely broken knowingly (with intent), with gross negligence (poor
quality), company policy (timing/marketing) or poor coding (known
internal or sub contractor incompetence) and budget (cheap bastards!)!?
When will they ever be responsible?
SW will become responsible when a substantial portion of their user base is
no longer willing to serve as unpaid beta testers. I can not understand why
so many people continue to install the early service packs.... it's a recipe
for heartache and lost productivity.
SW has a clear strategy of releasing poor quality code, and the "early
adopters" of the world are the ones that permit them to do it... as long as
SW can get by with outsourcing their quality control, they have no economic
incentive to do anything else.
As for me--I'm still on 2004, and am not in any great rush to upgrade to
2005, let alone to 2006.
I don't think MIT cheated. They did all the calculations in their head.
It wasn't like they were using a computer, past posting, hiding cards
or anything like that. They accepted the Vegas odds but they also knew
the game. I think they play SW like that though. They know the odds of
who will buy and keep it, who will buy and drop it, etc. I really
don't see how Vegas could have kicked them out for card counting, when
that is how the game works, other than the fact that Vegas likes to
always be on the winning side of the percentages. And somehow when
Vegas knew what they were up to they were able to stop them from
So what would happen if SW stopped winning? My guess is that R&D would
shrink first and marketing would shrivel up last. And what will happen
if SW keeps on winning like it is? Marketing will become bigger and
bigger, customer's more disgruntled, marketing more oblivious and the
stage will be set for something completely different to come along.
If SW bit the dust today how would that affect current users? Probably
very little. The newer releases of SW have had very little if anything
in them that would really justify the upgrade. Yeah everybody has their
little pet peeves that get fixed. We are for example still on 2004 and
might be through another release cycle. It does the job well and
quickly. So if SW bit the dust it would matter little to us and little
to others as well. XP is still on a roll and won't be dead for maybe
four or five more years so a current seat of SW should be usable for
that long. I don't see 64 bit support anytime soon from what I've read
on the SW website. Just a sop, 32/64 support is all they are offering.
It that runs anything like it did on the Alpha it will die young.
So existing customers for the most part would probably not hurt much if
SW lost the lead, and those that want to get into 3D would be SOL
unless something better came along.
We upgrade to the latest service pack, hoping that things that didn't work
are fixed, what a joke!
We in our belief that things can only get better, have signed up for a 3
year contract with our VAR, omg what a total mistake!
We are evaluating other software at this very moment and if we find
something that will easily convert the SW documents to the new software's
own format, we will switch as soon as possible, Even if this means losing
money, one year with a "fully" working cad program will repay this loss.
We have only been using this software since release 2003 and are already fed
up with the poor program coding.
Maybe if SW took the time to read these comments, they might try to get the
base product working correctly, before branching in to Autocads domain, Ie
The promised time savings, by from going from Autocad to SW, have not worked
in our situation.
The things that I require are very simple, make a part, then an assembly,
followed by some drawings. Once this has been done, the files should be
locked, (as in can not change them), but this is not the case, even when
using Pdmworks. Upon opening an assembly from Pdmworks, the document wants a
Print a document and it wants a rebuild or resaved! WTF? The document has
not changed, it has just been printed!
If I press Ctrl Q to rebuild a document, Why do I have to open each
configuration and rebuild and save?, Ctrl Q, should rebuild the WHOLE
If I print a document with multiple landscape and portrait sheets, why can't
SW print out correctly? You know, landscape to landscape, portrait to
Table are meant to follow the information in the part, so why can't the
holes table update it's self with the new hole dimension?
These are base product requirements so why don't they work?
I have an idea to supply SW rivals, with the SW bugs, so they could use
these in their sales literature thereby kicking SW up the arse, then SW
might fix them, lol
But then I would be breaking my agreement :-(
Catch 22, I think.
I think we should have, "Bug of the day", in this newsgroup, Ie:- if a bug
is confirmed by SW, put it here, so that we all know about it. I bet there
will be hundreds of them.
We won the 2012 Olympics!, Yehaa! Sorry France, do you want to buy some half
price "Paris 2012" T-shirts? :-)
I mostly agree.
My only solution is to "adopt late".
I only moved into Swks 2005, as an interim trial while still using SWks
2004 a week before 2005 SP4.0 was released, maybe 8 months after I got
SP0 in the mail.
I can live with being a late adopter. 250,000 seats x $1k/seat
(admittedly low) = 250 million dollars. So SWks gets 2/3rds of a year
"free" use of $250m dollars = maybe $16million in interest free income
by forcing EARLY maintenance fees, that they might not otherwise
Hey, release Swks 2006 in June 2005, and then SolidWorks will get a
$25m bump they wouldn't otherwise get (let alone the true cash flow
bump)...but wait WTF...that is what they are already doing.
Argggh (apologies Snoopie)
well I have little empathy for people slagging SW2006 when sp0.0 isn't even
out the door yet.
anyone trying to use it now is a very slow learner or has a bad memory.
no one forces you to continue with subscription.
no one forces you to use 06 now.
trashing the programmers integrity isn't going to exorcise executive
if you have found bugs then turn them in and be articulate about it.
no one gains understanding from a generalised rant about how life stinks and
they have been taken advantage of especially from people who are overlooking
the fact that their present troubles can really only be self perpetuated.
Neil you are right on the bugs.
But for those of us who do NOT want to participate in the public beta
testing for which we pay "maintenance fees", then we should not be
required to pay for these fees, until such time as we want to upgrade.
In fact it may well be I do not choose to participate in the coming
public beta testing of 2006, and will eliminate my payment for those
maintenance fees, and simply drop out for a couple years to see how it
all shakes out.
The problem with jumping releases is that SW adds a $500 penalty to the
annual maintenance for renewal lapse. They aren't financially gratified by
receiving maintenance for quality releases. Then they add buggy software,
unfinished releases, regressions, non-backwards compatibility and push
multiple seat users to upgrade thereby forcing smaller users to follow suit.
This truly is a scam of large magnitude. Just think of all the early users
who supported the software to help them get where they are today. This is
how they say Thank You to the loyalty of long time users and supporters of
I realize other CAD companies aren't any better. Users can influence their
business decisions by not arbitrarily upgrading just because a CAD company
says it is time to do so.
Maybe kicking off grass root user groups that agree to use a common release
and also agree when it is beneficial to uniformly upgrade at the same time.
Starting with a couple hundred companies with single and multiple seats
would make a difference in how these CAD companies do business. Too far
fetched, I don't know.
OK let me say for a start that my subscription access ended with June.
I looked at what 06 had on offer, considered how much productive time trying
to use and maintain SW consumed, thought about where hardware and CAD
software might be going and what I am trying to do v.s. costs etc. and
canned it. No one takes migration lightly. No one other than me gives a rats
about whether SW meets my expectations/requirements or not or I should
continue being a user.
The quality issue comes around every release and people have a loud bitch
about it among themselves and then do exactly the same as last time - they
use it from sp0.0 or in this case pre-release or worse still they sign up
for 3 years.
Every time someone starts the stink bug ball rolling it fizzles out from
lack of support. When I complain in SW forum about the delay to sp1 for
instance the toe kissers appear to smother it. No one from the company
fronts to answer what ever their transgressions might be and no one cares
enough to hold them accountable.
The great silent masses deserve their plight. Same people who tune in to
webcasts and then have nothing to say...same people who read here and
Large companies do have clout but they are never publicly going to talk
about their frustration in the way we do here. They most likely get to talk
about it with top SW people - buying power opens doors- multi million dollar
margins to look after - but the result is that everyone gets to use the same
software. The software is unfortunately of a quality no different to the
industry so everyone gets to be disadvantaged the same.
Beta testing - which I disagreed with at the time - has not delivered the
gains people wanted. My impression is that only about 50 people actually
really participate meaningfully anyway. The problem is the overly aggressive
The industry is enmeshed in a short development cycle and has a very large
turnover linked to that. Nothing is going to make that change. The option
open to everyone is simply to get off the cycle and look for partners that
have a similar outlook.
Really people need to stop thinking of themselves as hapless victims in a
large conspiracy to mine dollars.
I agree that SW are not the community conscious company they were on the
way up but that doesn't mean they deliberately mess up or arrange things
just to preserve income. I think they still have a user friendly philosophy
and a genuine interest in the product even if it gets lost in the scale of
things. Consider the penalties of being a lagging AutoCAD user in
You enter into a likely ongoing commitment to use a particular CAD program
with all the trapping of training etc. If you are hurting about how things
have not worked out over time then you need to look at your reason for
continuing. It seems to me if you are spending money out of loyalty with a
hope of being one day thanked for it you do not have a realistic
understanding of life. You invest in something to use it not to make others
SW has moved ahead each release offering more capability to a typical user
and remains good value in comparison to its direct competition. You can do a
lot with it but the fact is SW can't deliver top range product performance
to users trying to do projects that are beyond its intent. People should
move up to ProE or Catia. Endlessly upgrading to the latest hardware in the
hopes of offsetting the capability of mid range software doesn't disguise
You get what you pay for and you reap what you sow by using a new release
You are correct, company's are not going to disadvantage themselves so long
as the majority of users are somewhat satisfied and divided. However, this
wouldn't be the first time a single company has been successfully targeted
to bring about changes to their business practices. Attempting to alter the
entire industry in a single swoop is doomed to failure for some of the
reasons you mentioned in your post that follows.
It doesn't seem so far fetched to circulate a petition State by State to all
the businesses using SW to influence and bring about change.
How many of you out there are still using an earlier release?
Quantity and Version