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Re: Software maintenance

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I agree with what you are saying regarding base programs like Word and
Excel, and I did not intend to include those programs in my comment.  We
also upgrade these programs intermittently, usually with an upgrade in
computer hardware.

AutoCAD, however, has moved to a subscription based update program the same
as the engineering software companies.  We now maintain a subscription for
our Cad seats the same as our analysis programs.  Low cost update
opportunities will be rapidly diminishing, and if you miss a couple versions
you may find yourself paying full purchase price yet again.



Paul Feather PE, SE
pfeather(--nospam--at)SE-Solutions.net
www.SE-Solutions.net
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jason W. Kilgore" <jkilgore(--nospam--at)leok.com>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Monday, July 12, 2004 6:38 AM
Subject: RE: Software maintenance


> > 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.
>
> I have no problem with yearly maintenance fees if there are benefits that
go
> along with the costs - engineering software is a perfect example of this.
> Design codes change continuously (AISC, ACI, IBC, NFPA, etc.), and
> programmers have to be paid to update the software.  Design software is
> (usually) continuously tweaked to make design smoother, or to add new
> abilities, or fix (gasp) bugs.  If my stamp and signature is going on
> information produced by software written by someone else, I want the
> absolute latest version with as many bugs removed as possible.
>
> I DO have a problem with being forced to upgrade other types of software
> every time some new version comes out, which is basically what you're
doing
> with maintenance fees.  AutoCAD LT 2004 will draw a line just as well as
> AutoCAD LT 2005.  There are changes and advantages with 2005, but is it
> worth paying several hundred dollars a seat to upgrade?  The same with
> programs like Word and Excel.  I prefer to upgrade every second or third
> version, unless there is a major improvement that I would like to have.
>
> The reason my original comments were so anti-maintenance fee is that I'm
> viewing the TEDDS/Mathcad purchase as a type of "office" software.  I
write
> the equations, so I'm responsible for fixing errors.  I want to be able to
> decide if the newest version has enough features to justify the upgrade
> cost, not have it forced on me.  I may completely change my mind when I
get
> the TEDDS demo CD in a few days.  Who knows.
>
> ---
> Jason Kilgore
> Leigh & O'Kane, LLC
> Kansas City, Missouri
>
>
>
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