25 Replies Latest reply on Feb 1, 2018 10:58 AM by Eric Snyder

    A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017

    Dennis Dohogne

      Introduction:  This is a long post, but the day we spent at SWX corporate was also long, but quite a good day.  These trip reports Rick and I are posting are to give you an idea of the things we learned.  We were there, after all, to represent as best we could all of us using the software and participating in this forum.  (Rick's trip report: Trip Report to SW Headquarters Representing ONE and TWO - 11/15/17 )

       

      On November 15th, 2017 Rick Becker  and I were at the corporate offices of SolidWorks for an all-day meeting with the leaders of the SolidWorks development team.  It was just the two of us with thirteen high-powered guys from 9:00 until 4:30, including lunch. These guys were all VP’s, Directors, and Managers of R&D, Product Definition, Product Development, and Operations.  There wasn’t a single person in there from the Sales, Marketing, or the business side of the company.

       

      Not once during this day was there an interruption from anyone outside the meeting, nor was anyone called out of the room to attend to something else, not once.  We were even scheduled to get a tour of their campus from 3:00 to 4:00, but nobody, us included, wanted to end our discussions.

       

      We had their undivided attention for the whole day.

       

      ONE and TWO

      We were asked to meet with these guys because of our comments on this forum, primarily due to ONE and TWO .  Apparently, they felt we were good representatives of the body of the forum that was screaming about bugs and crashes and wanted to have a constructive dialogue with us, not to us.  We were there because we have been vocal, passionate, and unhappy, yet pushing the conversation forward with constructive input. In short, we were there because we represented the users as a whole and are a microcosm of this forum.

       

      They were listening to us intently and not arguing with us.  They even discussed with each other how they could do some of the things we were suggesting. I was impressed with this.  At most I expected them to defend their positions, try to placate us, collect our comments, and then take the comments “under advisement”.  That is not at all what happened.  They really listened to us and our suggestions.  They were genuinely interested in making things better and getting our input as to what, why, and how as well as our priorities.

       

      A Peek Behind the Curtain

      They showed us their software development schedule for SWX including the new product definition, specifications, and other things that define and become the major releases and service packs.  In the past their development work focused on a combination of new capabilities and “quality” (bug fixes), with an increasing ratio favoring bug fixes.  For the SWX2019 development period which starts in the Fall and ends with their release of Beta, they spent the initial 25% of their development time focused only on bug fixes; they were not allowed to work on the new stuff, just the bugs.  This had never happened before.

       

      The development schedule for each release and its service packs overlaps with the other versions.  Internally they have held up service pack releases when they determine there is a problem.  They seem to now be much more aware of and responsive to the issues we have.  As embarrassed as they are with “point releases” such as SWX2017 SP4.1, they pointed out that they responded to that much faster than the few previous occurrences of point releases.  I appreciated that the Director of Product Development was sometimes in open disagreement with others in his organization when he more readily calls something a bug than they do.

       

      These guys are the software and they come from our disciplines of mechanical, manufacturing, and other engineering.  About 50% of their technical staff have degrees in mechanical engineering alone.  They are like us in using the software for mechanical design.  They are different from us in their use of the software, however, since they are not designing to deliver the products and services every day that we all do.

       

       

      Big Changes Coming and Already Here

      SWX2017 has already improved over previous versions, but SWX2018 does a much better job with the problem reporting.  They showed us several ways this is true.  (Neither Rick nor I are using 2018 yet.)  Rick and I pointed out other changes they can do to improve this further.  Their response was a pretty active discussion amongst themselves about how they could do some of these things and how soon they could put them into a service pack. That alone made the investment of my vacation time to make this trip worth it!  These are the guys to make it happen, they are in charge of the product definition and programming!  They had the authority and resources and they were listening to us.  Cool.

       

      Though neither Rick nor I are programmers, at least not of software remotely like SWX, we were able to give them a lot of ideas of how to improve things.  SWX2018 and 2019 have a lot of improvements in problem capture, particularly in associating a particular problem we might encounter to others already reported.  We suggested that once we have a crash and SWX shuts down as a result that the next time it starts up it should detect that it was shut down improperly and give us options to retrieve the problem information and send it in to SWX in addition to recovering the files as best it can.

       

      Let’s Dispel Some Myths

      There are a lot of people that do not participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CE).  Some of the reasons for this are because they have been erroneously told that this slows down the software or that it can pass along information about your files that contains too much detail, threatening to expose your intellectual property.  Both of these myths are false.  The software is not at all encumbered by this system.  As a matter of fact, the software is already logging the command sequence which gets sent in when you submit a problem report. That is all that is sent and it is not enough information to reveal anything about any feature of your files. It cannot be used to recreate or reverse engineer your part or in any way produce an image of your part.

       

      There is no down-side to participating in this. A startling statistic we heard was the relatively low number of people that participate in this program, only about 15%.  Think about this, unless SWX is notified about your problem they cannot possibly address it.  One of the guys at this meeting described the Genovese Syndrome, also known as the Bystander Effect.  (From Wikipedia:  In 1964 Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death in NYC.  There were 37 or 38 witnesses that saw or heard the attack, but none of them called the police.  They all assumed someone else would report it.)  Just because you have a problem/bug/crash DO NOT ASSUME THAT SOMEONE ELSE ALSO HAS IT AND HAS REPORTED IT!!  An even scarier statistic from this meeting is that about 66% of all the problems they are notified about only have one occurrence!!  Though ALL problem reports are reviewed by real people at SWX (that should dispel another myth), there simply is not enough information to act on for too many of these problems.  If we doubled the number of people participating in the CE program and it doubled all the reports there would be a lot fewer problems receiving only one hit and therefore more of the problems would get better data defining their situation.  This will only help SWX to improve their ability to fix these damn things!!  Let me say it again, there is no down-side to participating in this!!

       

      You have all heard “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”.  We were in this room all day with all these very powerful people from SWX because we were a squeaky wheel regarding ONE and TWO.  But you know what?  Even if a wheel is squeaking it won’t get any grease unless that squeak is heard.  Let your squeaks be heard!!  SWX makes it easy!  All you have to do is open SWX, go to Options => System Options and check the box at the bottom of the screen.  If your boss or your IT department has some misgivings about this then go to Tell me more and show them what it says there.  It should eliminate that obstacle.

       

      Go ahead and stop reading right now and do this. It won’t take long and I’ll wait for you.  Do this even if you are off subscription and are using an older version of SWX.

      .

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      Now that you have joined the SOLIDWORKS Customer Experience Improvement Program you deserve a pat on the back because you have just taken a valuable step to help SWX help you.  (And it didn’t hurt a bit!)

       

      Limited Information

      As valuable as the CE program is to SWX, when you read what it includes it is easy to see that it is still skimpy information. That is why it is so important to provide as much detail as possible in the crash report dialogue.  One of the guys there asked how many ways there was to open a part file and we were coming up with six to eight.  He said there are 18 ways that are all different in one way or another.  One of the very things I love about SWX is the multiple paths we can take to do any one thing, yet this very flexibility is loaded with opportunities for there to be some unique combination of things that can cause a problem.  The more descriptive we can be in detailing the steps we were taking when we send in a crash report the better their chance of figuring it out and solving it. Simply saying “It broke.”, “ONE and TWO!!!”, or “You broke it, YOU figure it out!” does not help.  I am embarrassed to admit I did this more than a few times (because I didn’t know or think that anyone actually read these, but they do!).

       

      Rick and I also saw the improvements in the crash report dialogue box in SWX2018 and coming in 2019.  We suggested ways to do even better.  These suggestions were well received and likely to appear sooner rather than later, though they could not say when.

       

      We also heard that due to legal restrictions from privacy laws, especially with the European directives, that SWX is hamstrung on what it can automatically collect.  It is very clear that these guys are genuinely working to resolve and prevent problems, but if we can provide more data for them to work with their ability to improve our situation is dramatically improved.  We had a healthy discussion on this.

       

      SWX has done a lot of improvement and we were impressed.  Though there is more they can do, they have a very good story that we all need to hear. We suggested they pull out all the stops and use the startup splash screen, the Technical Alerts & News section inside the software, their various websites, their VARs, and even the connections made from the crash reports themselves.  Though some of these are easier than others they are looking at these avenues of communication.

       

      What can we do?

      1. We can all sign up for the CE program.  Since you already did this a few minutes ago while I waited then your next step is to get your coworkers and friends that use SWX to do this too.  Even if you are not on subscription this is a good thing to do and it has no downside.
      2. Provide good detail and description when sending in a crash report.  Always! For example, if the crash happened while you were inserting a subassembly into another assembly were you doing it by dragging the subassy from a Windows folder?  Were you inserting by going to Insert=>Component=>Existing Part/Assembly?  It will help to describe the exact way that were doing something at the time of the crash.
      3. Report ALL problems.  DO NOT ASSUME that someone else has had the same problem and has reported it.  After all, to assume is to make an a$$ out of “u” and “me”.  https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Assume
      4. We need to use our VARs more.  Many of us see our VARs as a last resort or the ones we go to only when we are shut down and need them to log into our computer to try and fix our problem.  Many times, we turn to this forum to gripe and moan when we should have first sent our problem to our VAR.  If our VARs are really unresponsive then we need to expose them and get that jumped on by SWX and they will.  But there must be some sort of evidence to work with on that.  We need to take our problems to our VARs first and if we are not satisfied then we can elevate it.
      5. Use the forum better.  We had a healthy discussion about this.  Though we are glad we have this forum and it is free from censure by SWX (they do moderate it for language and abuse), it needs to be used better.  Too many times a post gets way off the subject and gets cluttered with A LOT of mindless banter.  This just makes it hard to find the helpful information on the post.  The forum is primarily there for us to share ideas, complain as necessary, ask questions, and help each other.  It is not intended to be a source for tech support from SWX.  Rick and I emphasized the huge value we see when we get responses from any of the folks at SWX because they are always helpful.  But we do need to use our VARs before relying on these precious resources at corporate (I’d rather they fix the problems and give us enhancements than to answer a question that we can answer for each other or that our VARs should answer).  When the posts get crowded with a lot of replies like “Me too”, “LMAO’, “I’d vote for that”, “Our weather is. . .”, “That reminds me of a story. . . “, the post becomes more of a waste of time than of a big help.  That does not mean we should be dry and humorless, but let’s just try to be considerate of the purpose of the forum and respect that a bit more.  There are posts already setup for the banter, let’s try to keep the requests for help and serious discussions on topic, that’s all.
      6. Hold SWX to task.  I am literally and figuratively from Missouri.  That means that even though I came away from this meeting impressed and optimistic I am not going to let up until I am satisfied; SWX is going to have to “show me”.  When there is a problem, we need to report it!!  But we also need to give them as much information to work with as we can. It is okay to let them know we are mad angry.  That actually helps them to understand the severity of the impact and can even elevate the attention the problem gets.

       

      Final take-aways from this meeting

      These 13 guys were impressive in their attention they gave us.  These are the folks responsible for the software and they took the initiative to talk with us and really hear us.  They wanted to know our ideas.  We also let them have it with both barrels so they could feel our pain.  This was not a love-fest!!  (At the SLUGME meeting that night one of the guys thanked us for being so frank and giving them the “unvarnished truth”.  That says a lot!)

       

      I am a LOT more optimistic about SWX2018 and 2019.  I expect that we’ll see even more improvements in communications from SWX at just what they have done to improve things (I am not referring to enhancements to the software) and that they will make it easier to send them meaningful information regarding bugs and crashes.

       

      We ARE being listened to by the developers at SWX.  The more specific we can be with our issues, the easier it will be for them to respond.  Let's continue to tell them (with as much detail as possible) what causes us pain and what they can do to make things better.

        • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
          Dan Pihlaja

          OK, Dennis......

           

          You are my new best friend.  When can we go get a beer (or soda) together?

           

          Seriously, thank you for taking the time to write this.    I am making sure that my co-workers send in their logs as well. 

          • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
            Steve Calvert

            Agree with Scott, Great Stuff.

             

            Thanks to the both of you.

             

            Steve C

            • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
              Tom Gagnon

              Excellent! Thank you both so much for taking your time to represent us. I'm so pleased that you two were given direct customer focus without the marketing blargh getting in the way. Stability makes for good reputation, not just market share. Furthermore, thank you two for also listening to us to bring our concerns to them.

               

              Me too. I'd vote for that.

              • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                Britt Kessler

                Dennis Dohogne you've convinced me to opt-in to the CE program. I think a lot of us are jaded - we assume those reports go into a black hole somewhere. It's good to know there really are 'Top Men' working on these issues. I found your report and Rick Becker's very encouraging.

                SWX-top-men.png

                • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                  Deepak Gupta

                  Dennis Dohogne and Rick Becker, great report on about your visit and I'm sure this would encourage many of us would be pro-active in reporting and participation.

                   

                  Your reports have proved my point I tell other that even silently SOLIDWORKS is always listening to it's customer/users and does everything it can to help them.

                  • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                    Craig Schultz

                    Sounds like the 3 amigos trip back in '01 (?).......  Documented back on the comp.cad.solidworks board

                    • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                      David Matula

                      This was one of my big complaints about the error reporting.  Who reads em and what happens to them?  I posted about the crazy idea of doing a top 10 list.  I think that if they used this idea right....show us what they want to see on the list.  they could make it the best crash report list and the worst crash report list and leave out other ones I came up with.  The main thing that I wanted to know is that yea they read the darn things and if you come out and ask them in the crash report  to get a response like "we saw that you asked if anyone reads these crash reports we do read them so please be detailed as possible in your reports so that we can better find and fix the problems" from a no reply mail address at sw...

                            from what I got from your report there are not that many of them out there.   I know that I have sent in about half a dozen or so reports not a detailed as they could have been.  When I see guys skip the report I tell em that they have to send in more info or at least send in the data.  If there is a know reason for the crash such as an excel file in the drawing that can be a reason for crashing....I don't go to the VAR for stuff like that again....I may send the blank crash report in, or skip those.,...  So here we go the top 10 crash reports.

                       

                       

                      # 10.  ____________

                                Guy must have been in a hurry to go home did not put any data.

                      #9.  One and two

                             what is one and what is two....how does that let us know how to help fix the problem..

                      #8  It crashed

                             Kind of figured that is how we got the crash report....we got a list of commands here lets see was it a part drawing or assembly that you were working on...not enough data file 13

                      #7  You Broke it you Figure it out.....

                             see # 8....and really I was not entering in the sequence of secret commands that could have caused a missile to launch for your desk.

                      #6   right clicked in the drawing view and it crashed.

                             Getting a little more detail here....what was going on before the right click....what macro or custom program was running?

                       

                      5 though 1 get better and more detailed as to what caused the crash...then you give some kind of comments as to this is the most helpful crash report that we can get.  the info here is just what we need to investigate and find out where the problem is.  Take some time let someone do the top 10 crash report bit at SW world....let us know on the big stage that you here us. It could only take about 15 to 30 min. depending on how good #1 is.

                      • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                        Robert Pliskat

                        Thanks Rick & Dennis! I greatly appreciate that you took your valuable free time to help all of us. That alone says volumes about you and you character. Your report is welcome news. I find it a bit of a shame that it took the many who participated in the post to finally get the ear of SW and bring about some positive change. Regardless, at least they are truly listening. That's a major step forward alone. Thanks again and I look forward to more good news in the future. Will there be a "1&2" faction at SWW2018? I actually got permission to go this time! Looking forward to it as well.

                        • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                          Kameron Smith

                          Thank you, Dennis Dohogne and Rick Becker for representing!  Great reports, too!  I particularly value the fact that SWX chose to meet with two of the most outspoken among us.  I definitely feel encouraged.

                          • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                            David Mandl

                            This.  This is good stuff.

                             

                            With my own personal experience in the VAR channel, I often take for granted how much value others might put in the CE program or in submitting crash reports with details.  I'm definitely going to be re-emphasizing that point with the users at my company for sure.

                            • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                              Umberto Zanola

                              Thank you for your dedication, time and the detailed report.

                               

                              I would like to stress that SW should primary rely on a solid QA system and, as a plus, on user feedback.

                              It is not more tolerable that the program is released with major flaws in the UI. I expect they had developed some automatic check that verify program output against user input (probably they are doing it but in the wrong way).

                               

                              1- As I stressed in other posts Pack n Go is not working properly since, at least 2016, and still broken.

                                  Last time I called my VAR for another problem (see 2) they asked me if I had other concerns and when I told them "Pack n Go" I got almost a  laugh on the other side of the phone. They know very well it is broken and other customers expressed concern in that regard. And we are at

                              "2018 SP whatever" and still struggling with it... And we are talking of a window form with check boxes that basically saves files.

                               

                              2- The software destroy your data at random. This is a real dangerous one surfaced with the point releases since I started using SW in 2014, but it is not limited to some unfortunate build IMHO. Simulation is still having the result data loss (even with the CWR files on disk) and it was reported since at least 2010 IIRC. There is something very wrong at the foundation of the software and user feedback is not going to fix it.

                              I should not remember to this forum that, at some point, we had edrawings the supposed official viewer,  DELETING files from disk under certain conditions.

                              We build things with SW and data loss put our archives, IP and the very existence of our companies at risk.

                               

                              So for most bugs the user involvement is a good thing, but we need more commitment from SW (no more words action items and release dates please).

                              • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                                Chris Clouser

                                Dennis, thanks.

                                 

                                When I'm frank about how I feel here on the forums, Richard Doyle typically deletes my post.  And that after self-censoring what I REALLY want to say!

                                 

                                I think the solution is a USB-enabled intravenous drip that whenever the user sends out a crash report, submits an ER or Bug Report, or answers a question on the forum, a drop of heroin is administered.  I think that dismal 15% number would greatly improve and the cost for the heroin would be minimal.

                                 

                                One thing that seems positive is that it seems like there are more SWX employees on the forum lately.  Am I just imagining it?  If it's true, that's a good thing.

                                • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                                  John Frahm

                                  Dennis,

                                   

                                  You convinced me to sign up.

                                  • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                                    Dennis Dohogne

                                    Just an FYI.

                                     

                                    Rick Becker and I have a follow-up meeting at SWW with the folks from SWX we met with in November.  I hope to have some notable things to report regarding their progress in addressing the concerns of ONE and TWO.

                                     

                                    Stay tuned.

                                     

                                    Same bat-time.  Same bat-channel

                                    • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                                      Eric Snyder

                                      Thanks Dennis and Rick for doing this. It sounds like you got a lot off of our chests in terms of anger and expression for our issues. It sounds like you felt like you were heard. You have a great section in your post about what can we do:

                                      Quoting number six:

                                      Hold SWX to task.  I am literally and figuratively from Missouri.  That means that even though I came away from this meeting impressed and optimistic I am not going to let up until I am satisfied; SWX is going to have to “show me”.  When there is a problem, we need to report it!!  But we also need to give them as much information to work with as we can. It is okay to let them know we are mad angry.  That actually helps them to understand the severity of the impact and can even elevate the attention the problem gets.

                                      I guess I am wondering what are we holding them accountable for? What is the punch list? If the punch list is "Try to make the software more stable" that's pretty vague. I'd sure be a lot happier to see actionable items that speak to their success in achieving this goal. Items for example:

                                       

                                      1. Devote x number of man hours to stability by June 2018 and maintain that number.
                                      2. Make public by posting the percentage of SWX resource devoted to stability issues.
                                      3. Post the percentage of users that have Customer Experience turned on.
                                      4. Have x crash detection feature implemented by 2018 SP3.

                                       

                                      I REALLY appreciate what you have done in going and getting a meeting with SWX leaders. This has taken a tremendous investment from yourselves. The original post above is very heavy on what the USER needs to do. It is very light on actionable, specific, measurable, verifiable detailed steps from Solidworks though. Perhaps you and Rick have that, it just didn't make the post?

                                       

                                      At any rate...what do we keep Solidworks accountable for?

                                      • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                                        Eric Snyder

                                        Thanking a little further...

                                         

                                        Idea #1:

                                        Solidworks could publish in a highly visible place a simple statistic:

                                        Number of crashes = x

                                        Number of participants in Customer Feedback = CF

                                        x/CF = estimated crash rate

                                         

                                        If SWX is doing what they are saying they are giving us the impression they are doing then this stat should start trending downward.

                                         

                                        Also, I was told by my VAR that Solidworks looks for trends - like the same computer or user crashing repeatedly. When I asked for the data on my machine (I had customer feedback on) they could not produce the data.

                                         

                                        Idea #2:

                                        If Solidworks sees a lot of crashes from a single machine through the Customer Feedback System they contact the VAR. If the VAR cannot solve the issue within a few days then Solidworks takes the issue over and works it.

                                          • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                                            Matt Peneguy

                                            I think you have listed some great ideas.  The only way we will know they are doing what they say they will do is to have some metrics posted somewhere.

                                            And, I am sorry to hear that even your VAR couldn't get those crash numbers for your PC.  That is very troubling and leads me to believe that there is a culture of hiding information that we are going to have to overcome to root out all of the One and Two issues first.

                                            SW is telling us they want all this information and to be very descriptive in reporting problems, and on their end take a look at the ER, SPR, SR system.  They give us as little information as possible.  We have to make this a two way street.

                                            Thanks for posting those great ideas!

                                              • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                                                Eric Snyder
                                                SW is telling us they want all this information and to be very descriptive in reporting problems, and on their end take a look at the ER, SPR, SR system.  They give us as little information as possible.  We have to make this a two way street.

                                                I agree. The challenge is that SWX is not going to want to release information that a competitor can get a hold of. SWX is savvy. They wouldn't have grown to this size if they were not.

                                                  • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                                                    Rick Becker

                                                    Eric Snyder wrote:

                                                    ... The challenge is that SWX is not going to want to release information that a competitor can get a hold of. SWX is savvy. They wouldn't have grown to this size if they were not.

                                                     

                                                    I completely agree with this sentiment.

                                                     

                                                    Let's be real here.

                                                    No major software company publishes crash rates.

                                                    The competition would have a marketing fiesta with that info.

                                                    IMHO, it is unreasonable to expect SW to publish that statistic.

                                                     

                                                    The proof is in the pudding.

                                                    From my perusing of this forum, SW2018 is much more stable.

                                                    Many bugs have been resolved.

                                                    I know all of them are not resolved and if a bug gets you consistently, you will have a poor opinion of the progress made.

                                                    But I believe great progress has been made.

                                                     

                                                    Keep the ideas coming. I like the idea of SW contacting the VAR when a lot of crash reports are reported from a single user or computer. (I assume they can tie the owner of the license to the crash reports and at least get close to the specific machine or user.) Let the VAR have a crack at resolving the situation.

                                                      • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                                                        Dennis Dohogne

                                                        Rick Becker wrote:

                                                         

                                                        Eric Snyder wrote:

                                                        ... The challenge is that SWX is not going to want to release information that a competitor can get a hold of. SWX is savvy. They wouldn't have grown to this size if they were not.

                                                         

                                                        I completely agree with this sentiment.

                                                         

                                                        Let's be real here.

                                                        No major software company publishes crash rates.

                                                        The competition would have a marketing fiesta with that info.

                                                        IMHO, it is unreasonable to expect SW to publish that statistic.

                                                         

                                                        The proof is in the pudding.

                                                        From my perusing of this forum, SW2018 is much more stable.

                                                        Many bugs have been resolved.

                                                        I know all of them are not resolved and if a bug gets you consistently, you will have a poor opinion of the progress made.

                                                        But I believe great progress has been made.

                                                         

                                                        Keep the ideas coming. I like the idea of SW contacting the VAR when a lot of crash reports are reported from a single user or computer. (I assume they can tie the owner of the license to the crash reports and at least get close to the specific machine or user.) Let the VAR have a crack at resolving the situation.

                                                        YEP!!

                                                        • Re: A Visit with SolidWorks’ Leadership, Nov 15, 2017
                                                          Eric Snyder

                                                          Eric Snyder wrote:

                                                          ... The challenge is that SWX is not going to want to release information that a competitor can get a hold of. SWX is savvy. They wouldn't have grown to this size if they were not.

                                                           

                                                          I completely agree with this sentiment.

                                                          Some ideas to get around that:

                                                          1. They could still share information about the data that does not release confidential crash rates. Statistics could be used to verify that the crash rate has increased, decreased or stayed the same with a 95% confidence interval. They could publish information like:

                                                            We can state that crash rates were XXX% less this version/service pack for quarter 1 when compared to crash rates of the last 10 years in the same service pack. This was verified at a 95% confidence level.
                                                          2. Crash rates could be shared with a set of four or five trusted people who sign confidentiality agreements. Those four or five independent people could report back to the users in general regarding progress.
                                                          3. The could publish numberless data. Trend lines that show progress over years past that are simple and again - verified by some independent people. These charts need to be clear and without obfuscating information like logarithmic scales or other techniques used to make the visual picture look better than it is.

                                                           

                                                          If SWX is really committed to making this better (it sounds like maybe they are) than they should have no issue publishing something meaningful - even if it is data about the data. That only helps their position that they are listening and delivering on their promises. It also helps keep them accountable.