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WinDev Forum
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18
Erster Beitrag:
vor 8 Jahren, 10 Monaten
Letzter Beitrag:
vor 8 Jahren, 10 Monaten
Beteiligte Autoren:
Erik Beugelaar, Al, Jimbo, DarrenF, Peter, John Potter, King, Brian, Luiz Alfredo G. Menezes, Alexandre Leclerc, Ola

PC Soft Roadmap 2010

Startbeitrag von Erik Beugelaar am 09.10.2009 09:43

Dear WX Developers,

I am becoming a worried WX developer (since version 5.5) concerning PC Soft's policy concerning new English versions and the support it (bugfixes, samples etc.) after trying the latest version 14.
It is not always good news and my apologies on forehand if I am wrong.

In my opinion the management of PC Soft has to make a big change in operating if they want to be a global (not only France!) software development tool provider as they are presenting themselves on their website. Since PC Soft introduced the English versions of the WX product line (excellent vision how to make software development more intuitive and easier), PC Soft is obliged to the English developers to deliver quality in their English versions instead of quantity. We all payed a lot of money buying every year a new version because of the lack of a subscription model. PS Soft offers a powerful multi-language support in their products, is it so difficult to generate their own products in another language? Or did they hard coded all resources in code… I can’t imagine.

Further, in my opinion, PC Soft has to get rid of their time consuming graphical gadgets witch they like to introduce every year (the 500 features...). I am asking myself how many people they have employed to do the time consuming graphical work. I am not waiting for carousel windows, dashboard (the first thing I switched off) etc. in an IDE! Do you? An IDE must do where it is made for: fast and easy software development and good debugging and testing support without flying saucers!

Now I am strongly considering to go back to Microsoft Visual Studio ( .NET 2008 and 2010 is on the way coming) with support for the next generation of creating RIA applications (XAML/WPF/WCF/WF and ASP .NET MVC) in combination with the available Infragistics controls. The main reason: nowadays it is very difficult to convince my customers to use WinDev/WebDev or WinDev Mobile despite of the excellent features because of the lack of serious update support for the English versions. If the market (esp. nowadays with the global economic crisis) of English developers isn't interesting enough anymore then they should give us a clear vision for the future.

Kind Regards,
Erik Beugelaar
http://www.soliditkenya.com
http://www.solidit.nl

Antworten:

Erik,

I think you've hit the nail on the head with your comments! :-)

All I would add is:

1) I didn't upgrade for one simple reason - V14 didn't offer me anything extra that I felt I needed - I didn't need any of the 501 extra features, so why pay for something I on't need!?

...and...

2) I really don't like the situation where V14 is released, so let's abandon V12 from the point of view of bug fixes. Unfortunately, I'd already bought into the WinDev world by that point!

Don't get me wrong, I think WD is an outstanding product - it's just the business model I have a problem with.

...and now that I've not upgraded to V14... when/if I upgrade to V15 it costs me 100 euros more than if I'm a current V14 user.

My reasons for not ugrading span the English/French argument...

von DarrenF - am 09.10.2009 12:00
Hi Darren,

For the upgrade price, you will, in fact, not pay more. With the actual numbers, it's cheaper to skip the updates (financially, maybe not technologically). The numbers are simple to calculate. There are different ways to consider it and calculate it, but here is the method I used.

Lets take maintenance cost for WinDev. (EUR price, from PCSoft table.)

Upgrade each 1 year: cost=399, annually=399.0, 4 year period=1596; technology cost = 151.5
Upgrade each 2 year: cost=650, annually=325.0, 4 year period=1300; technology cost = 077.5
Upgrade each 3 year: cost=750, annually=250.0, 4 year period=1000; technology cost = 002.5
Upgrade each 4 year: cost=990, annually=247.5, 4 year period=0990; technology cost = n/a

(*technology cost = [annual cost that year] - [annual cost of the 4th year]; on a 4 years period, this is what you will paid then for the new features, taking the past into account; it's a bit hard to follow.)

Considering you want to maintain the technology, based on 4 years, the cost to get all the new features right now is actually 151.5 EUR. The next year, it will cost you, based on two years, only 77,5 EUR to get the technology. Annually you will save 74 EUR on maintenance. The best deal is to wait 3 years (cost is 2.5 EUR). But in development we cannot always afford to wait that much. But again it depends.

In fact, the annual cost might be the one someone would be interested at first, and the total costs for 4 years. Anyway, the numbers are there... So yes, your upgrade price will be higher, but based on two years, it will be less in the end. You can do the same calculations for the package WinDev+WebDev+WinDev Mobile:

Upgrade each 1 year: cost=0899, annually=899.0, 4 year period=3596; technology cost = 401.5
Upgrade each 2 year: cost=1499, annually=749.5, 4 year period=2998; technology cost = 252
Upgrade each 3 year: cost=1990, annually=663.3, 4 year period=1990; technology cost = 165.83
Upgrade each 4 year: cost=1990, annually=497.5, 4 year period=1990; technology cost = n/a

(3-4 years upgrade cycle: simply take the special price which is outside upgrade price)
(*technology cost = see above)


Here it's the same logic, if you skip 3 years (simply paying the special price, no upgrade deal) this is the financially cheaper solution (you save 1606 EUR). Maybe not technologically, but this discussion is about the upgrade price. After 3 years, (based on 4 years - assuming you want to keep up to date), it will cost you 663.3 EUR to maintain the technology. The technology cost will only be 165.83 for the suite (55.28 per software).

But 4 years it's a long time in development. Yet, it helps to understand that with the actual upgrade price, skipping one or two year is financially beneficial, not detrimental. Also, the technology cost includes the cost for having the "free" technical support. It depends if you can live with it or not. They only support the current version. It must be part of the reflexion.

So if one evaluate (for itself) the new version under the "technology cost" (or any other cost), he can skip it. This is a financial and technical decision answering the "does it worth it?" question. One can also choose not to upgrade for other reasons: philosophical, financial or technological, etc. But one must ask itself "can we afford to have no support?" If the answer is not clear, assigning a cost to it can help.

Kind regards,
Alexandre Leclerc

von Alexandre Leclerc - am 09.10.2009 14:25
Hi,

Thanks for enlightening me...

I was looking purely at the upgrade prices on the PC Soft site and personally not upgrading because the new features have no technological interest to me (because I don't need them), but I suppose (for example), if you currently have v12 and choose to skip v14 and then choose to upgrade at v15, you still get all the features of v14 (which I may still not want or need) + you get the new features of v15 :-)

I look at upgrades from the point of view of a technological improvement based on requirements not cost effectiveness... perhaps I should change to look at it using a combination of both.

But, money isn't everything and I still think PCS should fix bugs in the release they were raised, not not just shunt them to the next version saying they will be fixed there and you need to buy the new version - this just shows my inexperience of the PCS way of doing things.

Reading this forum, apparently, there are bugs that were raised many (many) releases ago that still aren't fixed today. This support model just seems to perpetuate the problems - they seem to be introducing new features faster than their ability to maintain the old features + the new ones.

von DarrenF - am 09.10.2009 15:07
Hi all,

In addition to the direct money costs of new upgrades, there is also the cost of taking the new upgrade into service, learning the new features and - worst of all - experiencing and fighting with the new bugs and re-arranged settings, getting used to insane color combinations etc. And sometimes these can amount to enormous quantities of time (=money).

Since 5.5 I have skipped version 7 and 12. Did not miss any new features during them (except a proper RAD), and could have skipped a lot more of versions as well - but man is so weak, especially in front of curvy ladies...:-)

Originally I purchased WD 5.5 for its RAD (for which PCS hit the drums the hardest at that time!). I have been waiting for the RAD to become useful (2-way instead of one-shooter), but it hasn't. Its worst bugs have been "fixed" simply by removing the most problematic features from it. They still have not done a proper (2-way) RAD, instead they are introducing an edless number of other, mostly unnecessary, 3-letter acronyms annually.

But what would happen, if PCS suddenly surprised us and fixed all the bugs and missing features at once? We would buy that upgrade, be very happy, concentrate on working and cranking out applications and wouldn't probably buy another upgrade for 5 years - or until Bill Gates introduces a new Windows, hardware specifications and file formats, which forces us to scrap all our current hardware and software and buy new ones (can't find the head-hammering smiley anymore?)...

Actually it's the ugly and greedy Bill Gates who little by little manages to force me to abandon my trusty old Clarion Professional Developer DOS-RAD and move over to graphical interface development -- not the battalion of beautiful and friendly-looking ladies in the WD brochures:-)

Ola
http://www.pienoismalli.com


von Ola - am 10.10.2009 08:12
Good discussion. Leclerc analysis was really appropriate.

When I discovered Windev/WebDev/WindevMobile I asked: Why this product is not used worldwide?

Again I would like to say that PC Soft, should make the yearly upgrade cheaper, as much as the number of users increases worldwide. And as Eric said, some kind of subscription model could be analyzed.

We're still in a global crisis and did not notice a single Euro change in the values for the update.

Many developers and companies follow what happens and before the investment decide for the cost over the years. New features and tools are welcome, but the way things are taken place we'll have to do upgrades skiping versions, and I think this is not what PCS expects (?).

Be technologically updated can leverage our business, and new licences could be acquired. Also, updated software calls the attention of partners and competition, and we become referrals, and the doors through which PCS can expand in the french and international market.

Just some reflexions for us and for PCS.

von Luiz Alfredo G. Menezes - am 10.10.2009 18:59
Hi friends,

I didn't take part in this discussion because for sure you will regard me as a PC Soft distributor a biased person. But let me say a few word though ..

- regularily, we charge between 60 and 100 Euros per hour when doing projects. Of course, when doing a "charged hours : hours really done" calculation after finishing a project, it sometimes turns out that we charged down to 40 Euros / hour. Of course, the hourly charges do not equal 'profit', there's a lot of expenses to run a company ..

- this means, we have to invest about 10 hours of our work for being up to date with our tool *for a full year*. This is not only affordable, it is downright dirt cheap!

Kind regards,
Guenter



von Jimbo - am 10.10.2009 19:45
Hello Guenter,

I understand your point of view. What I more wanted to make clear (I will come later back to the costs aspect). PCS should put more effort on the technical part concerning update/patches/help files on a more frequently base in a year cycle. If I have a serious bug in a the WinDev Framework which I cannot solve without the help of PCS, should I say to my customers: "Well, I am sorry for now because my development tool supplier is doing only once in a year a mayor update so please be patient"? And in fact it isn't an update because many bugfixes in previous versions are still not fixed beside of the automatic update feature. You are almost forced every year to upgrade to a new version if you have a serious bug which isn't solved and you have to keep your fingers crossed that some of the bugs were taken into account in the new version.
This business model is rather uncommon in our business. I would like to see patches/updates with version numbers 12.1,12.2 (or whatever) etc. and a list of fixed issues... So, I can check if my requests has been taken into account. If they continue versioning their product line like they do now, after ten years from now we have WinDev 25... A little bit weird in my opinion.

What I more tried to say with the yearly update costs is the fact that I get a little bit annoyed that it looks like that they only want to make money every year with bombing a new version (like last Friday) without fixing malfunctions in previous versions (version 14 is still young and is not stable) where you have paid for. If I buy a new car and somethings is wrong, my dealer is also not telling me: "Wait till next year because the new model is coming"...

Finally, I also have another point to say which I forgot to mention in my early post.
I think PCS is getting a headache and pressure from the new coming of Windows (which is more and more strongly based on the .NET platform and more important the XAML platform, where Vista is based on), the ongoing adaption of Silverlight and Windows Presentation Foundation/Windows Communication Foundation and Workflow Foundation).
In their latest mobile version they have support now for Android (Google) but I think is it the wrong way to go. You can't serve all new technologies in one product.
In my opinion PCS should present their product line as an easy development platform against Microsoft Visual Studio .NET as follows:

1. WinDev vs. Microsoft Windows Forms .NET (including support for .NET, Webservices, Assemblies, .NET third party controls, Java, PHP as PCS do now)
2. WebDev vs. Microsoft ASP .NET
3. WinDev Mobile vs. Microsoft Windows Mobile .NET

For now I think they should leave Silverlight and WPF/WCF/WF for what it is and concentrate on fixing their products. It would be better for the future if they introduce two new product lines where they can put in all their graphical features:

1. WinDev Silverlight or integrate Silverlight in WebDev because in fact is a browser plugin. The only problem is that the use of WebDev is not very widespreaded outside France and hosting costs are expensive comparing to ASP.NET or PHP.
2. Windev Foundation Platform

Finally, I hope PCS will setup a technical department which is only concentrating on because I is still a wonderful development tool. And also I know, every software product isn't bug free but not solving in a reasonable time is another story.

Kind regards,
Erik Beugelaar

von Erik Beugelaar - am 11.10.2009 09:31

Re: PC Soft

Windev: ten steps forward, one step backward, and do it again and again. It's OK for me !! Nobody's perfect !!

Brian

von Brian - am 11.10.2009 17:06
Hi All,

Windev is a one-stop solution developement tool for developers.
Personally speaking, until now, it is the best and a simple-to-use 5GL tool in the world.

It will be great if the upgrade fee is only 100 euros per license each year
and I'm sure developers of us will make less noise as much as possible, right!

Cheers

King

von King - am 11.10.2009 18:59

No we are talking!

von Erik Beugelaar - am 12.10.2009 07:31
I couldn't agree more with Erik...

When looking at the future roadmap of Microsoft where WPF is the new way forward to create applications (using single backend source code) both for RIA (rich internet applications using Silverlight) and full client Windows applications using XAML (M$ is abandonning Windows Forms technology), WinDev is loosing one of it's unique selling propositions...

I agree with Erik, that you can't focus on delivering for all platforms and all flavours with the same excellence as PCSoft is trying to do (Java, PhP, Web, Windows, ...). I would rather see PCSoft choose for a single platform (typically Windows incorporating XAML for the UI and allowing native DotNet compilation to the SLR. Here it should really shine as an easy to use development environment. Also the same app should be easily compilable to be used by one or both of the two major RIA (rich internet applications) technologies out there: meaning Silverlight (using the XAML as well) or Adobe Flex with Flash...

According to me this is the real way forward to stay ahead of the competition. The apps I've seen with VS2010 (backend coding in C#) for both Windows Client and RIA Silverlight using WPF (M$ Blend and Expression Web) allow for the same ease of databinding (if required with using an Object Relational Mapper - Something I really miss in WX if you write a lot of OO code) between user interface and backend as with WinDev or WebDev.

Hello PCSoft: Something for WX20 maybe?

Just my 2 cents...

Peter

von Peter - am 16.10.2009 08:39
Hello Peter

Quote:
M$ is abandonning Windows Forms technology

Is that just your opinion or are there real facts to support your contention. My opinion is that Microsoft will continue to promote forms technology for many years to come and have not abandoned it all. Microsoft do not have a lock on the future directions of technology.

The discussion initiated by Erik has branched out and is entirely irrelevant to my development needs now and in the foreseeable future. I write software for small to medium business to run and manage their business and for the people I deal with, UI eye candy and the whole WPF infrastructure is not even in the list of things they are after. They primarily want software that does the job and as long as it is functional, easy to use, fast and has a clean & simple UI they are happy.

From my limited perspective, all I require from PCSoft is more tools to manipulate data, better reports, better data handling, faster data handling etc.

Let's not forget that Windev is a business programming tool built on top of a database, just like Foxpro and Dataflex. Most other business languages do not have that inbuilt data connection and that is their loss and Windev's gain.

The current graphic abilities of Windev provide everything I need to make my programs look good, so I cannot see the need to rush headlong into Microsoft's latest dream?

Regards
Al

von Al - am 16.10.2009 09:10

Hello Al,

I couldn't say it more clearly as Peter did in my opinion concerning the vision of PCS coming years.

My reaction to the M$ quote:
MS will abandon Microsoft Forms in the nearby feature as they also did with the support of one of the most used development IDE in the past: Visual Studio 6 (VB, C++).
The main reason for this is the completely new framework(s) for applications on which their new moneymaker, Windows 7, is based on.
So, to stay in competition with this new technologies, PC Soft can't stay behind mainly because new customers/projects demand latest technology development because of cost aspects. Also don't forget the business generated in re-writing 'old' Windows Forms applications and hopefully generating former WinDev applications to the new platforms.
Look only at the investments that were (are) made in re-writing former VB 6 (with or without MS SQL) to the .NET (Forms/ASP.NET) framework (or now already WPF/WCF/WF) in the past (future).
Beside of this, most of the newly built applications are nowadays browser based (inter- or intranet. For that reason, it's pitty that PCS isn't marketing WebDev also as an intranet enterprise application server platform (as for example JBoss is for Java) because I think it is a perfect solution for WEA... WebDev Enterprise Applications ;)

So I think, the 'thick' client applications (Windows Forms, WinDev) will slowly disappear in favour of RIA's (supporting both desktop/browser applications with comprehensive ways of (data)binding).

Your view concerning MS is not the only technology leader for the future, I unfortunately have to say that Microsoft besides Sun (Java, JavaFX), is, if you like it or not, one the technology setters. The rest are followers. As long as Windows is the most used operating system in the world, they will continue finding ways (like inventing the .NET framework) to keep the $ rolling...

You are right saying WinDev is a business programming tool, strongly focused on database applications. I totally agree with you the freely built-in Client/Server HyperFile database is a big advantage and I am happy for you that your current customers are satisfied and not demanding UI riched applications. Maybe it's because of the kind of business your customers are doing and that is ok.
Maybe you should ask yourself then: "Why are the last versions looking more and more to another graphical designer look a like application instead of a business programming tool...?"
It is maybe because of the changing way applications (and requests of new UI-standards) has been built and presented (business look UI vs eye-cathing UI). So, that's my concern. What is PCS going to do with WinDev in relation to RIA?. RIA development is a totally different aproche in application development (data triggered events on, for example, UI-controls) then WinDev. Secondly, what about the technical support (e.g. patches, updates, on-line support) of former WXX versions?
I am in contact with Claudia Rivera of PCS to discuss about it and hopefully she can clear also issues mentioned in this post.

Finally I want to say this: With initiating this thread, my purpose was not pissing off the great work PCS did the last years after the release of WinDev 5.5 untill now. I am only asking myself which roadmap PCS is going to follow.
Speaking for myself. Because of changing market requests, I need some clear answers to decide if WinDev is the IDE to do the work as it was up till now.

I don't want to become a writer...[[5]], so I'll hope to get some answers from Claudia Rivera of PCS which I will post on this forum.

Have a nice weekend,
Erik





von Erik Beugelaar - am 16.10.2009 12:15

Just some thoughts ..

If you're a developer for custom software: When did your customers ask you for the technology and the tools you will be using for their project? Could it be that YOU are asking PCS for more and more of the 'hype' technology while your customers don't care a lot?

What has been really important when you offered to make their software after their specs? Did they discuss nifty new technology like SaaS, virtualisation, Silverlight and so on OR did they rather discuss SPECIFICATIONS, USABILITY, TIME, PRICE and QUALITY ??

If you're developing standard products for sale to the masses: did anyone of your customers ask for the technoloy of the product at any time? For the programming language and whether it is OOP or procedural? No, they asked for SPECS and PRICE.

I hate it to see PC Soft driven by customers like you to the next 500 features instead of to careful debugging and documenting the product as have it! I hate it to find new features that are half-baken like a Table on a structure where the Table is unable to change the structure. They (PCS) obviously are bloody sure that those feature-hungry people will not detect such shortcomings, because you're hunting the next new hypes.

I'm in the software industry since 1965. Since then, sales of new tools / languages / methodologies is done by HYPE. Software marketing knows that selling their products to CIOs, (young) programmers, analysts etc is easy if they can create a new hype. I've seen hypes to the dozen - being born and most of then quietly dieing. If you're called to maintain a software in use then you can tell the year of generation of the project - the 'hype' parts will tell you.

I'm not opposing a couple of new features in the annual major releases of Wx products, but I think that 100 new features should be the maximum. 80% of the work for a new release should go into maintainence of the product - not into extensions. Who can tell how long Silverlight will stay against the proven technology of 'Flash'? Do we have to run after each and every new idea a marketing guy has in his office? Those things aren't born in the brains of software engineers, at first they are born in the heads of marketing experts! How can we sell? What distinguishes our product from the others? how can we impress the mostly young crowd of software makers?

Regards,
Guenter




von Jimbo - am 16.10.2009 17:04

Dear Guenter,

I take distance from your remark: "I hate it to see PC Soft driven by customers like you to the next 500 features instead of to careful debugging and documenting the product as have it!", if your comment was a remark to my last post.
If you have read my remarks carefully, especially my first post on 9th October:
"Further, in my opinion, PC Soft has to get rid of their time consuming graphical gadgets witch they like to introduce every year (the 500 features...). I am asking myself how many people they have employed to do the time consuming graphical work. I am not waiting for carousel windows, dashboard (the first thing I switched off) etc. in an IDE! Do you? An IDE must do where it is made for: fast and easy software development and good debugging and testing support without flying saucers! " In no way, I am forcing PC Soft to come every year with 501... So it's just the opposite I wanted to make clear.

Anyway, although I am not as long as you working in the software industry, I started working in 1992 as a software engineer (MSc), where I started programming on the Sinclair ZX81/Spectrum/Acorn Atom, PET 2000 PC, IBM PC and so on ending and starting programming in the Clipper/dBase, VB/SQL, C++, MS Access, VB and so on up to .NET (C#) and WinDev nowadays.
So I would like to say that I know the difference between a hype and a hype. The .NET framework (Windows 7 is based together with XAML, where Windows Workflow, Windows Presentation Foundation Windows Communication Foundation are funded on) are fundamental layers for future software development running on Windows. Silverlight is a little bit an exception and you could put that under the hype hood of a hype but what about Sun (JavaFX, Java version of Silverlight) and Abobe Flex. Are these big players also only following hypes? I don't think so, applications are involving to more rich user interfaces. Don't get me wrong, existing (business)applications I am not talking about. I am talking about a 'Roadmap 2010'

For the remaining part of your post I share your opinion.

Kind regards,
Erik



von Erik Beugelaar - am 16.10.2009 18:14
Hello to all and I freely admit this topic is important to us as Developers/Clients and to PCS.

First, I feel it is equally important in my own efforts as a NEW WINDEV Developer in the USA to recognize that PC SOFT needs more clients. This serves not only PC SOFT but would advance Consultant work and assist in driving a price/upgrade price reduction.

I would think marketing to large consulting firms LIKE Accenture, who have volumes of projects, have their own in-house trained facilities, who plant tools in companies upon completion of projects (often staff too) could benefit some of the concerns mentioned.
(no I have not or do not work for Accenture, but have had them in at a few companies)

Also, coming before Development Groups LIKE Group Atlantic Inc, Chicago Software Process Improvement Network, American Society for Quality, Organization Development Institute, the Technology Executive Roundtable, and the Cutter Consortium where in the USA Businesses and Developers network to advance the industry.


I say this because I too see the usefullness of the PC SOFT IDE's and feel that here in the USA the products need more exposure.



von John Potter - am 16.10.2009 22:37
Hello Eric

My thoughts for the PCSoft Roadmap for 2010:

Don't try so hard to be on the bleeding edge.
Wait for new technologies to stabilise and become mature before adopting them.
Drop out of the hype race for a year to consolidate and fix the existing products.


In terms of your comments regarding RIA - I think PCSoft should be aware of it and keep in touch with it but that is all.
RIA has been a concept since the early part of this century and still has not eventuated properly and may never happen. There isn't even a common browser standard yet. - Google have just gone off on a tangent to put their browser inside IE to get their HTML5 to work. When my clients need to work remotely they use Terminal Services or similar - why do they need to work through the web and a browser ? This is just another abstraction layer to get in the way.

Regards
Al

von Al - am 17.10.2009 05:36
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