MicroSurvey Software Inc

Maintenance Support Program
  • 1 year term includes Version Upgrades with significant enhancements plus critical service packs.
  • Electronic Help Desk Support (Available 24x7)
  • Telephone Support (available from 8:00AM Pacific until 5:00PM Pacific)
  • Free email updates to advise of any updates and improvements.
  • Call MicroSurvey's toll free number if you wish to purchase maintenance 800-668-3312 or purchase on-line.

Why did MicroSurvey Switch to Annual Maintenance Plans?

Like many software companies, whether they produce CAD programs like AutoCAD or accounting programs like QuickBooks, MicroSurvey has abolished standard upgrades for an annual maintenance plan. Here at MicroSurvey we pay for maintenance on a number of software programs like IBM Purify, Quotewerks, QuickBooks, Codebase, Stingray, Visual Studio, ACT, and many more.

Why MicroSurvey CAD? Switching to the IntelliCAD platform for our software line has changed many of the opportunities for both MicroSurvey as a company and you, our customer. The IntelliCAD Technology Consortium (ITC) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to one task - the creation of a Powerful, flexible CAD engine for its members. As a member, MicroSurvey receives many more updates on a more regular basis than in previous years. This gives us an ability to release updates more frequently.

In the past (before we went to maintenance) MicroSurvey had to accumulate both internal and external improvements, and bug fixes, and assemble them into an 'upgrade'. These upgrades appeared between 18 months and 30 months after the last release. Intermediate Service Packs had some critical bug fixes, but we could not add new features. These had to be saved for the upgrades. This means that we put significant improvements on our shelf for months. In addition, since bug fixes are often in the middle of code that we have updated, we have to shelve the bug fixes until the next upgrade. This was bad for you, and bad for us. We do not like our customers using code that has bugs, but as a software company it was impossible for us to release everything as it was done - for free. That would be unsustainable for us as a company.

Here is a less abstract example: The ITC released 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 while we were building MicroSurvey CAD 2008. These releases contain well over 1,000 bug fixes. The ITC's ability to find bugs has grown almost exponentially as they have added an incredibly sophisticated, automated testing system. The ITC is performing almost 1 million test runs per day on the code. They have over 25,000 drawings they open and save in their testing. They do graphic file comparisons using automated bitmap file comparisons. MicroSurvey had to sit on these updates and accumulate them into our upgrade. In addition to this, MicroSurvey built its own updates including an entirely new surveying database system, and a completely new rendering and viewing engine. These updates required surgery deep inside of IntelliCAD, so they held up releasing bug fixes.

In the next year, the ITC has scheduled new updates that will add more to the user interface. More importantly, a few years ago the ITC started on a complete, from the ground up, rewrite of IntelliCAD. This new CAD engine, which will arrive in 2010, should show significant performance improvements over the current version. With the maintenance system MicroSurvey has no need to sit on updates. We will still have new versions, but they will be available to maintenance plan customers immediately. Customers not on maintenance who decide to wait will be required to purchase all the years of missing maintenance to get the new version. So, it makes no sense to wait. Take full advantage of the maintenance now rather than get billed for missing years. As a company, MicroSurvey has had to do that with some of the software products that we use internally, and it is much less enjoyable. I sign the checks, so I have felt the pain.

Once you are on maintenance, your annual cost for MicroSurvey software is known. There are no surprises, no extra budget amounts that are unexpected. The maintenance fee will be lower than the cost of a normal upgrade, because it helps both you and us to maintain our business in an orderly manner. We are passing on the savings and stability to you, our customer.

If you are purchasing the combined upgrade / maintenance now, then it is more than we charged for previous upgrades, because the price includes:

  • Full Product Upgrades released while you are on maintenance
  • Priority Technical Support by email and telephone
  • Service Packs and improvement released during the year

Thank you,

Darcy Detlor,
MicroSurvey Software Inc.

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