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Software maintenance (was Calculation Software)

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Many of the structural software vendors are switching to yearly maintenance
agreements with upgrades included rather than support agreements and upgrade
releases.  Personally I do not think this is such a bad thing.  We recently
reviewed all of the software we use and selected a core group that we were
willing to commit to continued use and support with upgrade maintenance
agreements.

On the down side, we look at several thousand dollars of yearly software
maintenance costs.  On the upside, we can at least factor it into the budget
and the software companies are not under as much pressure to continually
come out with new releases that are not ready for prime time in order to
maintain an adequate cash flow.  It takes an adjustment in thinking and
attitude, but overall I think the shift will be a positive one.

It also didn't hurt to be forced to re-evaluate our choices in analysis
software and look to where we are trying to go for the long term.


Paul Feather PE, SE
pfeather(--nospam--at)SE-Solutions.net
www.SE-Solutions.net
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Scott Maxwell" <smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Friday, July 09, 2004 5:49 PM
Subject: RE: Calculation Software


> Jason:
>
> Dennis is correct that they is yearly "maintance" fee for TEDDS.  Keep in
> mind, however, that the fee is really more of a yearly "upgrade" fee.
> They supposedly make an effort to do at least one siginificant feature
> upgrade each year, which you then get as part of your maintance fee.
> They have been reasonably good about doing such upgrades (I have a
> version 7.0 upgrade CD that I have not gotten around to installing just
> yet...going on several months now).  Since I purchased a license (about
> three years ago) I have gone from version 5 (I believe) to version 7.  It,
> of course, covers techinical support, which I have basically not really
> used too much.  The only real time that I have used it was when I found a
> template on their website for a flitch plate design, but it was for the UK
> version, so it did not run on my US version.  Their tech support guy sent
> me a PDF output from it so that I could see how it was done (was try to
> figure out flitch plate design).  Otherwise, I have only had to deal with
> them when I wanted "move" my installatio from one computer to another
> (they use a product activation type system).
>
> While I have not used TEDDs extensively, I have used it some.  It worked
> rather well when I did use it.  I used it for creating homework solutions
> for a prestressed concrete course that I taught for a semester.  I just
> have not "forced" myself to get in the habit of using it more often (but
> then I am not doing too many design calculations in my current position).
>
> HTH,
>
> Scott
> Blissfield, MI
>
>
> On Fri, 9 Jul 2004, Jason W. Kilgore wrote:
>
> > Dennis:
> > I haven't spotted anything about a "maintenance fee" on their web site,
but
> > if so this would be a disadvantage.  I don't like maintenance fees,
because
> > I don't tend to use technical support except for when I first use a
product.
> > I expect the product to be stable enough to not need tech support (yeah,
I
> > know, I expect too much).
>
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