Microsurvey- where to from here?

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Microsurvey- where to from here?

Postby Richard Sands » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:23 am

I respectfully offer these thoughts.
It seems some of us (who are vocal here, others also probably similar but not vocal) are concerned at the lack of development (fixes to) of existing programs which could be seen at the expense of ever increasing widening of the applications Microsurvey are venturing into.

As a long term user of Microsurvey products and having (endeavoured) to put much effort into suggestions, requests,phone discussions, Beta testing and other offers of assistance over many years I think I am somewhat qualified to express concerns that I reckon others are feeling also.
We are led to believe that improvements, enhancements are ‘imminent’ or ‘planned for the upcoming release’ only to wait and wait and wait and still wait with no recognition of the delays or comments when that penultimate time will arrive.
It is frustrating to say the least. Microsurvey survives on sales from (mainly - probably?) surveyors and without whom they would not exist. In that we have a vital part as a unit. One can’t exist without the other.

In my business I would soon go out of business if I broadcast how good my product was or I would deliver in ‘x’ time but then fail in that claim or obligation.
Both Field Genius and Microsurvey are products that have developed over time and carrying through various versions issues that should either have not been there or at least fixed in a ‘fix’.
I remember a time when issues were fixed mid-stream and we were back on track. It was brilliance at its very best.
Communication was 2 ways and one felt very much part of a process.
Currently it seems from my experience this is not the case. Emails and comments here go unanswered.
It doesn’t really give me any pleasure posting this but as some have asked but also received no answers then perhaps it needs posting.

I ask no favours or placating just positive, creative action that makes Field Genius a genius in its own right, Microsurvey Cad or InCad leaders in their field, not by claims in magazines or web sites, but by others experiencing the power and ease and user friendliness in every possible way.
This is my 2 bobs worth from DownUnder.
regards
Richard
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Re: Microsurvey- where to from here?

Postby rwhatman » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:13 pm

Richard thank you for taking the time to say what many of us know. As a long time user and this is the user forum, I like say its going to get better.

Yesterday I crashed the program about 4 or 5 times in a row. I e-mailed Microsurvey and it was not to long that I got a reply.
I had spent more then 4 hours getting know where, after the e-mail I did four times the work in 1 hour and no crash.

MicroSurvey pointed a work around that was known for some time, a Cad problem. As we have seen that MicroSurvey has gone to a Maintence program.
Its out standing, but only half the team stands by it. IntelliCAD, sorry if I spelled it wrong, but you get it. Have yet to fix one error during a release.

Why, because there too busy working on the next release that may fix the problem. Are Upgrades are turning into bug fixs and not a better program.

We have a User forum and a Feedback Forum. The User forum is nolonger a place to learn new ideas or just asked if there is a better way to do the job.
The Feedback Forum gives very little feedback to the users. If you can't do something say so and give the person that gave his time back his vote for another idea or
to vote for some one else.

How bad is it. I came to this forum looking for votes for and idea that I thought was needed. In a week not 1 vote, not my lose guys. Microsurvey are the best and it will get better.

Thanks
From another Richard
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Re: Microsurvey- where to from here?

Postby Darcy Detlor » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:22 pm

Hi,

MicroSurvey has invested millions of dollars in the development of our product lines. This year we introduced new support for high definition scanners and lidar. FieldGenius has had a major redesign to modernize it for further development. Sometimes you have to take a step backward in development so you can take two steps forward.

We are currently testing our programs on the next version of IntelliCAD. The IntelliCAD consortium has invested over 100 man years of development on the next version so bugs fixes and improvements can be implemented much faster than in the current code base. During this time period we expanded to support the Seismic Surveying industry, because the US land surveying market was absolutely crushed by the recession. In 25 years I never witnessed anything remotely similar to the damage that this recession caused. We have expanded into other markets to try to keep our revenues up and we now have our FieldGenius program in 9 languages ( up from 1 just a couple of years ago ). Last month we acquired the #1 Least Squares product on the market, with huge worldwide potential.

These are things that we had to do to get our sales to recover back to pre-recession levels. This is what was necessary to keep the development team intact and enable it to grow in 2010. It may not look like much is happening, but behind the scenes, it is.
Darcy Detlor,
President,
MicroSurvey Software Inc.
[email protected]
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Re: Microsurvey- where to from here?

Postby surveyor6925 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 4:05 pm

I have been a user since 2.1. Nice basic program at that point. Some nice improvements since then. Had a little sympathy for the difficulties encountered with the transition from Felixcad to Intellicad, version 2004 which I never did use.

Taking all of that into consideration.... and putting it aside, this is 2010, nearly 2011, and the roading program has not been updated in several years. Still does not do intersections, cul de sacs, or transitional pavements. Hydrology is not addressed at all. No detention pond design or storm sewer design.

Intellicad is no better. Version 7.0 was scheduled for release in the 4th quarter of 2009. Then mid 2010. Currently no scheduled release date. 2011?, 2012?! I can appreciate that no one wants to write software for obsolete cad engines. However the question remains; How long must we wait for an update to compete with the rivals software? My loyalty only goes so far!

Timothy Riley
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Re: Microsurvey- where to from here?

Postby Darcy Detlor » Sat Dec 04, 2010 4:25 pm

Hello,

Thank you for your comments. It may be difficult to understand what is done to our products and also why. We make decisions on what to build based on the capabilities of our staff and the direction of our competition. When Autodesk announced that they had spent 119 man years on the redesign of Land Desktop into Civil3D I realized that there was no chance we were going to be able to compete in that market. We instead focus on areas where they are weak. Getting into sophisticated road design would require us to spend up to 100 man years of development too. At that point we would be attempting to sell our solution into a market that is saturated with products like LDD, Caice, Geopak, Infrasoft MX, and of course InRoads. It does not make business sense.

We have a similar problem with hydrology. No one at MicroSurvey has any engineering training or experience designing water and sewer hydrology. There are many programs on the market that already do this, and virtually every engineer involved in this discipline has one or more of them. It is too late to capture any market share, so entering that market is suicide. When Autodesk decided they needed more technology in that area they purchased Boss. We do not have that luxury.

We have decided to do the best we can in the pure surveying market and also in the police products where they create simple drawings using surveying instruments and our evidence collection software. Fortunately we were able to acquire STAR*NET, a tool that is very popular with surveyors. It will be updated and improved in many ways in the coming year. This is a market we understand much better.

As far as IntelliCAD goes, they are working their brains out on it and have been doing so for 4 years. It is an immense programming task creating a new CAD system. The members know that it will ship in 2011, and over the next few years it will become a great CAD engine. No one wants it to be done more than I do. Unfortunately it cannot be forced out the door until it is as fast and as stable as IntelliCAD 6.6. It's not there yet, but it improves every month.
Darcy Detlor,
President,
MicroSurvey Software Inc.
[email protected]
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Re: Microsurvey- where to from here?

Postby Richard Sands » Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:31 pm

One thing I have always respected and see as HUGE PLUS forMicrosurvey is that what you see is what you get. Thats it - no modules, no extra fees for Contours, dwg export, grid/ datum types, etc.
That has always been something I have appreciated thanks.

I too have beefed about Roading for years and its good to hear your comments Darcy.
Its one of those specialist areas and where do you end it? Once into that side its either all or none I expect.
Better sectioning would be appreciated by me - but thats another one of where's that lead to and where's the end?

The services layout is useful and I wouldn't like to see that downgarded or lost.

I think many of us in our capacity as 'smaller business operations' have to adapt to what we do well and do just that.
We become known for what we excel in and its from there we prosper.
I don't think the larger operations will ever be able to counter the small bloke/ guy doing their thing with the attention to detail that just isn't possible for those larger organisations.
I see that in my surveying and yes the large survey firms may grab the attention of the corporate side of life, but some of the 'life stories' I hear make me cringe a bit.

well thats my 2 bobs worth on things.
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Re: Microsurvey- where to from here?

Postby saltitone » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:11 pm

It has been enlightening to follow this discussion. Richard I agree that the smaller operations find a specialized niche and base our reputations and livelyhood on our specialty. You have brought forward some good issues. I find that MSCAD and FG fit my needs quite well. Neither programs are perfect but neither is any software on the market. Earlier Darcy mentioned the feedback forum. I believe that this will be a great tool for Microsurvey to learn what the active users want and need and hopefully give them a direction that is both profitable and bneficial to the users.

Darcy it is good to see your candor and give us an idea of how things work at Microsurvey and your vision for the future.

Again thanks to the team at Microsurvey.

Sal
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