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The Buzzwords of SWW 2008: Performance, Scalabilty, and Reliability

30 January 2008 No Comment

What a week!  I finally got to meet a lot of familiar people face to face for the first time, catch up with friends, and meet many new and interesting people.  SolidWorks World is so exciting, but so draining at the same time.  It seemed almost non-stop!

So after returning home, resting for a few days, and catching up at work, I am finally able to gather some of my thoughts on SolidWorks World 2008.  I hope to have pictures up soon.  If you haven’t already, you may want to check out a few of the other blog’s posts to catch up:

Mike Puckett
Matt Lombard
Ricky Jordan
Josh Mings
Rob Rodriguez
Jason Raak
Richard Doyle
Devon Sowell
Lenny Kikstra
Anna Wood

The buzzwords floating around the conference this year were performance, scalability, and reliability.  SolidWorks CEO Jeff Ray announced in the press conference [courtesy Matt Lombard] Sunday and in the General Session on Monday that the company was going to have a paradigm shift and focus more on fixing some of the outstanding bugs in the software, making it more stable and reliable, and increasing performance.

The reasoning behind this is that users have been asking for years for SolidWorks to stop or slow down the implementation of new features and fix what is already there.

This is nothing new; I have heard the same complaints about other software, such as Autodesk Inventor and even Windows itself.  All software has bugs and problems that seem to hang around release after release.  But I have to say that it is very refreshing to hear the CEO come out publicly and make this commitment to address this issue.

Of course, they cannot totally stop implementing new features – you really can’t expect them to do that.  They have too much competition and it would also stifle innovation.

So, will SolidWorks hold to this commitment?  I trully hope so.  From what I have seen at SolidWorks World this year, I think they are on the right track.  They always make the claim that they listen to their users, that the users drive the software.  You could see that happening with the enhancement requests – sometimes. But it feels as if it has taken on a deeper meaning now, like they are really listening.

I got the opportunity to spend some time with many of the SolidWorks managers and employees, and every one of those I spoke to had the same message – they have heard the customer, they have sat and watched the customer use the software (Jeff Ray told a story of sitting in with a user for a day and seeing some of the voodoo he had to do to get his job done), and they want to make it easier, faster, and even more fun for people to do their job.

Only time can tell how sucessful they will be.  The previews and demos of SolidWorks 2009 they showed on Wednesday definitely showed that they have been working towards this goal for a while now.  We are dealing with some fairly large assemblies here now, so I was really excited with what I saw.  I am definately looking forward to the next release!

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