One for the “things I don’t miss about Microsoft” list: having everyone acknowledge that a problem exists, having everyone agree that it’s serious and will result in customer dissatisfaction, that something must be done about it, and nevertheless not be able to do anything about it for up to three years (if that).
I don’t want to be unfair about it. When you’re a giant software company and many, many interdependency issues exist among your own products (let alone those of partners), and many, many requests for good, justifiable changes get received in a steady stream, that’s a cold, hard reality. Even a simple change could result in months of testing to make sure it does no harm.
Contrast this with what we’re opting to do with Nintex Reporting 2008. We debuted it at TechEd North America this month. Response has been great. To a person, anyone who saw a demo raved about it, some in very public places. But we also got a non-trivial number of suggestions, several of which were too good to pass up. We also got a couple of volunteers working through database size requirements for a data warehouse covering a farm of a certain size with a certain amount of activity.
This pointed to two things we needed to do: (1) add a few extra reports, and (2) do a bit more optimizing on the way our warehouse stores data.
So we’re doing it. Nintex Reporting will start arriving in the hands of customers next month instead of this one. It’s for a far greater good. And it was easy to react. Outright fun, actually.