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nitsev
08-22-2005, 02:39 PM
An open letter to Macrovision/InstallShield

I write this letter in despair. I am tired, confused, angry and disappointed. I am a long time user of InstallShield products since InstallShield version 5.x and I would not consider myself a newbie in the field. Throughout the history of the product it has always been packed with bugs. I don't mean small bugs with an easy workaround, but serious malfunction in the software i.e. the program just does not work. I have honestly never used another software that has such low quality and I have used many different softwares. Some bugs are so embarrassing that you wonder if the functionality was ever tested. During the last 2-3 months I alone have discovered about 5 more or less serious flaws and I don't dare estimate how much time and money it has cost me. When contacting support the standard reply seem to be "can you build a sample installation and send it to us, so we can reproduce it?" Why should I have to spend my time and my money finding errors in a software that should never have left the beta phase? I pay the support fee and even if I didn't I should be able to expect a software that works. If you carefully explain that you don't have time to build sample projects your request seem to die a slow and agonizing death. What really stinks is that bugs are often not fixed until the next release, so you are forced to always upgrade since you cannot purchase a support agreement for an older version. This is to me just a way to squeeze the last penny out of your customers.

Therefore I beg you, pretty PLEASE, stop all development of new features until all existing features work as intended. Introducing new features will only add to the plethora of bugs. For the next release, send out betas, release candidates or take whatever action you can to make sure that the software is ready to release.

TonyLowrey
08-23-2005, 06:11 AM
Hmm! I am a newbie to IS and am already frustrated. I am pleased that at least the Basic MSI approach would allow me to move to a different supplier if I am desparate or at worst edit the .msi file directly. I'm starting to wonder if editing the .msi is an easier approach ;-}.

OK. What are the major bugs then?

VILEPARLE
08-24-2005, 11:55 AM
Installshield Products make life easier and let you standardize the installation quickly. MSI technology is built to make the installation standard and easy for end user. Editing MSI tables directly would be a bigger challenge than using IS tools.

furrymcmonst
08-24-2005, 05:28 PM
I agree with nitsev 100%. I've been using the msi version of InstallShield since version 1 and it's been riddled with serious bugs since that time.

Currently, one major bug is with the supposed prerequisites capability. It simply does not work as advertised and if you search through the forums, you'll see that it hasn't worked for several releases. It's obvious that they are not testing this stuff and my company did pay $100 to get no real answer. Two weeks of my time was wasted coming up with a solution, too.

It is easier than making msi's by hand but products shouldn't make claims they can't backup or release software prematurely. Now that Macrovision is involved, maybe they'll take your suggestion. I hope they do.

nitsev
08-25-2005, 01:29 AM
All of the below would be true if the product actually did work as expected, which it unfortunately does not unless you do the very simplest install. I certainly hope that the ambition of InstallShield is more than "to be simpler than editing the MSI database".


Installshield Products make life easier and let you standardize the installation quickly. MSI technology is built to make the installation standard and easy for end user. Editing MSI tables directly would be a bigger challenge than using IS tools.

VILEPARLE
08-25-2005, 09:47 AM
Try using Wise or Orca. Let me know your experience.

nitsev
08-25-2005, 10:35 AM
Try using Wise or Orca. Let me know your experience.

NO! I don't want to use WISE or Orca. I want InstallShield to fix their software which I have purchased!

KathyMorey
08-26-2005, 08:32 AM
Try using Wise or Orca. Let me know your experience.

That's not the point. InstallShield may be the best product out there for creating other than very simple installations. That doesn't excuse the fact that the product doesn't always perform as advertised, that it seems like new bugs are introduced every release, and that the company has a policy of not fixing previous releases even though it costs a lot to upgrade to each new release. My company is still using DevStudio 9 because my management decided we don't have time to figure out workarounds for the new bugs that pop up every time we upgrade. They figure that at least we know what the problems are with DevStudio.

I agree with those who suggest that the company needs to improve their internal testing to find and fix bugs before they release new products (which they seem to be doing at shorter and shorter intervals), and I would also like to suggest that they re-evaluate their policy of not producing hotfixes for serious bugs in previous releases if they are going to continue to charge such high prices for upgrades.