One of the things that has intrigued me with HSMWorks is the idea that if an update to a problem was done why not just get it into user hands? Why wait for some point in time where a “major” update would be done and roll the accumulated fixes in at that time? Perhaps for most companies it is just convenient to have a few updates per year. But HSM took the idea that customers have value a bit more seriously and they have for years maintained a regular update regimen.
Take 2015 for instance. Solid Works 2015 was released on 9-9-14 and on 10-9-14 HSMWorks 2015 was released. The update history since then will be a bit of a shock to many CAM customers. Regarding the poor souls waiting for a working version of CAMWorks for Solid Edge ST7 for the last 33 weeks it will be quite sobering to see how a real CAM company works. The CAMWorks people might want to have a look too as there are still major problems with their 2015 release if the forum comments are anything to go by.
Check this out. 35 Development Version updates to HSMWorks 2015 to date. Go there and count them yourself and read some of the update release notes. http://cam.autodesk.com/download/hsmworks/ This same capability is going to occur with I-HSM although probably not with quite the same degree of regularity for now. The idea that your CAM vendor actually cares ought to be a part of the equation when you make your choice to buy. Or when as in my case I leave CAMWorks for Solid Edge in utter disgust looking for a CAM author that gives a flip if I succeed and make money expeditiously. In my observation over the last three plus years the release/update philosophy at HSM has been consistent both before and after the Autodesk buyout. I don’t think it was by serendipitous whim HSM was acquired first by Carl Bass to initiate his manufacturing ecosystem steam roller. I think he saw value and made it his before it had any chance of going away.
On a side note here. If you have followed me for some time you know my negative opinion of the cloud for CAM or CAD. It is impossible for me and tons of others due to all that lovely infrastructure these cloud wonders can’t control. (We wont talk about cloud insecurity today hehe.) My downloads get about 80 KBS at best and the 2016 Inventor Pro HSM download will take at least 14 hours for me. Autodesk has a download updater thingy that installs with your program that really excited me at one time. I was seeing 300 to 400+ KBS and that was so huge I could not believe my eyes. I thought wow, maybe Autodesk has solved some major throughput problems here. But the sad reality soon ended my brief reconsideration of cloud throughput when I discovered that somehow the download would break and break and break. After starting over numerous times I just gave up trying for anything of significant size.
Can you imagine the insanity for many of us that cloud backups of complete systems or large files represent? I get a big kick out of the wonderful sounding cloud bliss places like Carbonite extol with complete easy simple secure and FAST backups. At 130+GB useage on my C drive with my capacity of 80 KBS it would take 451 hours to do a system image presuming uploads were as “fast” as downloads. Sorry guys, not ready for prime time and probably won’t be in the next ten years or so if ever. Yes the internet will get faster but even faster than that will be the increased data amounts the average person will generate every year.
Behind every cloud though there is a ray of sunshine and it shines brightly on your autonomous permanent seat of software on your very own desktop PC and your $120 one time purchase 5GB backup hard drive. Buy two and have your very own redundancy just like the big guys do and finish your system backups in less than an hour. I can find something to do while my backup runs for an hour but 451 hours seems a tad excessive to me to have to find other things to do. Know what I mean Vern 🙂
In any case though the 2016 goodies are finally here and you can’t go wrong checking it out if you are not already on board. I will also say this. If you are fleeing a bad situation with a CAM product that has failed you and you can prove this you might be surprised at what you could work out with HSM towards getting a program that DOES work. Talk to an HSM VAR and see what might be possible. It has been my personal experience that these people want you as customers and also want you to be a successful customer.
When it comes to software bug fixes and releases it truly all depends on your software release process and what quality programs your organization follows. Most software companies, in the past, rely on releasing service packs and maintenance packs. In some cases, the software OEM will provide company specific hot packs to resolve problems if they are hindering the customers ability to do business- it was working before and now its “f”ed everything up. Hot packs usually involve C-level intervention and escalation.
As an Administrator of a system that is tightly integrated with other enterprise systems fast changes to software is not something our company would risk implementing. We have scheduled plans, test plans, software freeze dates, move from testing servers to production environment, etc..
Different software OEMs have partnerships with other companies. Take CAMWorks and SolidWorks. This is premier partnership where SolidWorks is most certainly sharing their code that is in development with the CAMWorks before it is released (I’m not privy to their agreements so yes I am assuming here). This allows CAMWorks to release soon after SW. If you don’t have those types of relationships then the partner needs to wait, just like everyone else, to get hold of the SDK and API files and test and update their software. Which, of course takes time.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating for nor supporting the dereliction or abandonment of customers because of software upgrades. If you have a maintenance agreement, you should read it and maybe take so other forms of action if your software vendor is not meeting their terms.
I just thought I’d share my opinions and viewpoint.
CAMWorks has no better relationship with SW than it does SE insofar as code goes. They do have more time there however. Geometrics problems are far more than what status they might have as partners. When I was still on speaking terms with the Geometric guys they stated to me that the co-operation from SE and the API were both great to work with. Geometrics problem is they don’t have people who are capable and so SE versions come out and Geometric is not in the queue for fixes because they never got in line. SE can hardly help someone who won’t help themselves. Remember CAMWorks for SW has a bunch of prior work from ProCam so Geometric until CW4SE has never before been responsible for a full CAM integration with a new CAD program.
The frequency of downloads with permanent seats of HSM are voluntary and at your choosing. They also have the equivalent of SE MP updates where more rigorously tested things are released as a group periodically. You see a developmental one you like you grab it or ignore them all. If something does address a specific problem you have though you don’t have to wait a long time for a service pack to come out. Of course what you mention is one of the chief reasons to reject the cloud with forced updates. It is my understanding that releases for the cloud stuff will lag behind as they make a greater effort to assure it works right before implementation. I hate to say it but that very comment alone would preclude me from ever going to the cloud.
Geometric is run by people who are in so far over their heads it is amazing they have made it this far. While I am not interested in suing there are some who are considering it. I have already jumped in my life raft and things are good. I still want a refund though for their crap which I have been unable to use since last September and which in truth was a headache before then to. My main goal in life where Geometric is concerned is to make sure no one from SE buys their garbage without fully knowing what they are letting themselves in for. It would be nice if they got their act together but I don’t know another CW4SE user that entertains any hope for that.