13 Replies Latest reply on Dec 7, 2018 6:39 PM by Dan Golthing

    The ER System is LOUSY!

    Dennis Dohogne

      The title is a clue that this is going to be a bit of a rant, but it is backed up with data.  SWX' Enhancement Request system is LOUSY.  Years ago I submitted lots of ER's.  It was then and still is a one-way street.  We submit something and NEVER hear back.  Eventually we might see some of the things implemented, but we never know if our ER was associated with the new features or not.


      Case in point, I just went into the ER system to look for something.  Wow!  I actually searched in the ER system!!!  As cumbersome as it is I did it anyway.  I searched on "Limit Mates" and got 29 hits.  I looked them all over and found one that seemed similar to what I wanted.  I opened it and added my comment to it and voted for it.  What a PITA and unnecessarily laborious process!!!


      Now here is the fun part.  I went there because I just started using SWX2016 SP4 this week.  I have a problem with an angle limit mate working properly in the subassy where it should reside, but in the next level up the arm that is being controlled is flipped 180 degrees.  It can still move within the range allowed by the limit mate, but it is obviously incorrect.  I go to the subassy and the part is fine.  I go back to the top-level assy and change the subassy from Flexible to Rigid and it is just fine, the arm is where it was properly within its range and at the last position when the file was saved.  Change the subassy back to Flexible and the arm is again movable, but 180 degrees from where it should be.


      So I find SPR #445613 within the 29 hits for "Limit Mate".  Its description is "Don't allow limit mates to jump to other half of solution, make it be dragged to the other limit."  So in the required field for Product Version in Use I select SW2016 from the drop-down list and add my comments in the dialogue box.  Under the box are three buttons:  Back to Search Results, Save Details and Vote for This Enhancement, and Create a New Enhancement Request.  So I click on Save Details and Vote for This Enhancement Request.  Fine.  At least I added to the pile of votes to hopefully get some attention here.  Aren't we encouraged on this very forum to do just that?


      Oh, but it just gets better!  I'm presented with a nice little thank you screen:

      Notice the little button, Click to Review your Enhancement Requests.  Yes, I should review what I have submitted, so I click it.  It shows that this ER response and several others I've submitted in the last few years are all Closed.  What does that mean?  Does Closed mean the original ER, #445613 is closed and no further action will be taken on it?  Or does Closed simply mean I cannot edit my comment when I voted for the ER?  I did get an automated e-mail acknowledging my submission of an ER, however, I didn't really submit one.  All I did was vote on an existing one.  I thought we were supposed to do it that way, research and comment/vote for one that is already pretty much the same rather than have a proliferation of separate ER's that are pretty much the same and get low vote counts.


      I don't know if the actual ER #445613 has been closed or not, but to me it shouldn't be closed as I'm having the same problem it describes.  I'm on the latest production release and just encountered this problem!!!!!  Was it closed because they think they implemented a solution for it?  Was it closed because they gave up trying to solve it?  I can't even see much information on the original ER so I have no idea when it was posted, how many others voted for it, nor what their comments were.  Why is this secret?


      Okay, so I'm a little unhappy about this.  The ER system suques!


      So, instead of this just being a long rant I want to actually propose an improvement, an Enhancement Request if you will, but I'm posting it here rather than the lame ER system SWX currently has in place.


      I propose that this forum itself be augmented to include the ability to mark a post as an Enhancement Request.  We have a button for Like and Reply, why not add one somewhere (it could even be in the drop-down under Actions for all I care) for Vote for this as an Enhancement Request?  Look at the advantages:

      1. An active community of concerned users.  This is FAR, FAR more than the very few people that ever bother to formally submit an ER through the current system.

      2. Easy to search postings

      3. Easy to add quotes, links to other posts, and even pictures to the posts.  This would serve the purpose of providing even better definition of the situation.  Case in point: Enhancement requests - How to improve it from Elmar Klammer

      4. This forum is already used to solicit a Top Ten each year, (but then those posts are wiped from our view immediately after SWW  -  WTF?!).

      5. This forum is already moderated by SWX, as it should be.  We occasionally see posts from Jim Wilkinson, Jody Stiles, Richard Doyle and others.  Tagging a post as an ER should automatically bring it to the attention of someone at SWX in charge of collecting and collating ER's.  I would even expect them to reply with a link to other requests for the same thing or with a comment that the item has been implemented in version xx or in the upcoming service pack yy.


      Yes, we can currently tag a post with many terms including several spelling versions for ER's, but that tagging function is a general feature intended really to just help with searches.  Enhancement Requests are too precious to be lumped in with general search terms.  Are they also too precious to be discussed in this informal forum?  I don't think so.  How many times do we see a discussion progress and someone, perhaps from SWX, says "you should submit an ER or you should vote for an ER that already exists".


      Look, part of my philosophy as a design engineer is to make it easy for people to get it right.  If "it" is too cumbersome or complicated you'll have few people using it.  The current Enhancement Request system makes my point (for the too cumbersome perspective).  The fact that this forum hosts the temporary (that's stupid!) Top Ten list makes the point for ease of use of this forum and appropriate user base for Enhancement Requests.  We have even had forum threads closed by the moderators when they felt the issue had been adequately implemented.  It included their participation so we understood their conclusion.  This forum is already being used as a general place for enhancements, even if the poster never bothers to make a formal submission in the cumbersome official area.  Let's add a few features to this forum so it fosters real enhancement requests.  Let's take advantage of this forum to make it easy to request real and meaningful improvements to the software.


      Have a good weekend everybody!

        • Re: The ER System is LOUSY!
          John Stoltzfus

          At least ya got that off your chest before the weekend - hard telling what would have happened


          I hear ya load and clear, being off of subscription makes it a no go as well, agreed with everything, how can SW make it easier...  I know there is one way to do it and that is submit one and have a SW employee be a liaison to push it through..  Years ago pre 2013 sheet metal loft was really primitive and we wanted to be able to add flanges and other features after the loft.  Had a few conversations with Frank Ruepp and emails back and forth, it got into a future SP pretty quick.  There are SW employees that want to make a difference and help, so we can't just fill out an ER form and forget it, make contact and be proactive has been my experience. It also makes a difference is it a industry wide issue or is it a personal ego trip.


          Yes making it easier would be nice, but it could also be trashier, where people would just go on a wily nily spurt and enter a 100 ER's for SW to sort through, which would even be worse then it is now...

          • Re: The ER System is LOUSY!
            Dennis Dohogne

            According to Alin Vargatu in this post What happened to all of the users IDEAS from December of 2015?  Closed means nobody is working on it.  Alin, correct me if I'm wrong, but you work for a VAR so you should know.  Is that correct?


            So now I am asking myself why nobody is working on this.  If it is something that can be done, but not high enough on anybody's horizon then it should still be open, perhaps unassigned.  But Closed would indicate someone has made a decision about it.  Then it hit me.  It is Friday after all.  This should not be an Enhancement Request since it is really a BUG!  By the way, if it is Closed why not list that status next to its SPR #?  Why let us go through all the rest of the effort to add comments that will only be associated with a dead issue?


            At least I have a good VAR and they'll push this particular limit mate bug to SWX.


            My comments still stand regarding the inadequacies of the formal ER system and the better choice to use this forum to facilitate real enhancements.

              • Re: The ER System is LOUSY!
                Alin Vargatu

                Dennis Dohogne wrote:


                According to Alin Vargatu in this post What happened to all of the users IDEAS from December of 2015? Closed means nobody is working on it. Alin, correct me if I'm wrong, but you work for a VAR so you should know. Is that correct?



                When you browse the ERs you submitted, the list contains SRs not SPRs. The fact that those SRs are closed means that their role has been accomplished; most likely they generated SPRs. The important question is if the SPR has been closed and, if it was, if it has been implemented or is reported as a duplicate or is inactive.


                So do this:


                1. Login to the Customer Portal

                2. Select "My ERs (Enhancement Requests)"


                3. Select an SR:



                4. Check the status of the assignedPR:


                5. If the SPR's status is closed, then go to the Knowledgebase and search based on the SPR number:



                6. One more click and you will see what happened to the SPR.


                If you are unhappy with is status, e.g. Closed/Inactive, call your VAR and ask them to persuade SOLIDWORKS to reopen the SPR. Provide your reasoning for this action.


                I agree that the ER system needs to be updated and made much more transparent. Same for SPRs for bugs.

                  • Re: The ER System is LOUSY!
                    Dennis Dohogne

                    Alin Vargatu,

                    As usual you are providing excellent help!  Thanks for this.


                    It also helps to make my point as to the cumbersome nature of the current formal ER system.  As designers we know that if something is cumbersome and difficult people will resist using it.  However, make something easy and people will flock to it.  The forum has quite the flock.  The ER system - not so much.

                • Re: The ER System is LOUSY!
                  Walter Fetsch

                  Voting for ERs... AGGGHHHH!!!


                  • Re: The ER System is LOUSY!
                    Dennis Dohogne

                    Since the Top Ten List for 2018 is closed to new ideas I thought I would be a good user and try the Enhancement Request system again.  I wanted to see if anyone had requested the ability to drag-and-drop features/surfaces/bodies onto an existing Mirror Feature to add them to the mirroring.  I found one that looks pretty close, though its description is very skimpy so I added my own comment and voted for it:

                    Other SWX version = 2018


                    Want the ability to drag and drop a feature to add it to the current list of features in an existing mirror feature.  This should also include faces and bodies.  Currently we must edit the mirror feature and THEN go and select the features/surfaces/bodies to add.  Further, these must be added in separate actions, i.e., select the features list box then select the features to add, then select the surfaces list box and then select the faces/surfaces to add, then select the bodies to mirror list box then go and select the bodies to add to it.

                    I could not see any other discussions on this ER!!  Even after I submitted my comments I cannot see my own discussion, only that it shows up in the list of my ER's that I voted for his one.


                    Bruce Holway, here is a suggestion for you to improve the ER system.  Make ALL the discussions on an SPR# viewable by us users.  If someone else had a comment like mine then mine would not have been necessary.  Perhaps someone else has a different thought that I didn't think of or even a mention of their workaround.  Nobody else (besides you folks at SWX) gets to benefit from those ideas!  That is a big reason why I generally don't bother with the formal ER system and instead take suggestions to the general forum (knowing that folks at SWX follow the forum such ideas).  The users generate a LOT of VERY CONSTRUCTIVE DISCUSSION on the ideas/suggestions brought forth there.  Frankly, it should shorten your work since these discussions help to better define what we want and perhaps illuminate a path of implementation for your programmers.


                    Bruce, I know that you are working on improvements to the ER system, but since we don't know what you have in mind our best recourse is to give you our suggestions.  I only started this post because I'm trying to help make the ER system better.

                    • Re: The ER System is LOUSY!
                      Walter Fetsch

                      Today, I posted an ER.  Later, I received a response from SW, but it doesn't mention the original request.  At this point, I don't remember what the request was, so I went to check the website to find out and found that the links to 'My SRs', 'My SPRs', and 'My Enhancements' are all broken.  Click and nothing happens.  If it were my company, I'd be embarrassed.

                        • Re: The ER System is LOUSY!
                          Dennis Dohogne

                          Walter Fetsch wrote:


                          Today, I posted an ER. Later, I received a response from SW, but it doesn't mention the original request. At this point, I don't remember what the request was, so I went to check the website to find out and found that the links to 'My SRs', 'My SPRs', and 'My Enhancements' are all broken. Click and nothing happens. If it were my company, I'd be embarrassed.

                          Walter, I've had reason to check mine this week.  In the mornings those links have been dead or at least did not go anywhere.  But later in the day they went where they were supposed to.  Try again, you might get where you want to go.


                          Chalk this up as a work-around, since the system is NOT working as intended.

                        • Re: The ER System is LOUSY!
                          Dennis Dohogne

                          To anyone reading this thread and within the window of opportunity to vote for this 2019TTL idea:  FIX Top Ten List, Enhancement Request, and Knowledge Base Systems


                          Please bookmark this idea so you can easily find it when voting opens on December 13, 2018.