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Darrin

6.0 to 6.5

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Quote:

(AmyC):There will be no application updates for Retrospect 6.0. The 6.5 product incorporates many new features, along with fixing some issues seen in 6.0.

 


 

So what you're saying is:

 

1. There are known and unknown issues in Retrospect 6.0.

2. Dantz is unwilling or unable to fix those issues in Retrospect 6.0.

3. Dantz thinks it is necessary to charge existing customers a fee for the new version which doesn't address even known issues, eg. unattended backups.

 

I currently have one single server, one small business bundle and two professional installations. They are all brickwalled by requiring access to the GUI to complete multiple-tape backups, which in my definition does not constitute unattended operation. From your reply in another thread, this issue has not been resolved nor altered in 6.5. We purchased the additional software in good faith even after working around some issues at the beginning with single server; you are marketing your product as a server-level alternative to competing packages from Veritas and CA, yet your product seems to have trouble even in a workstation-only installation.

 

Please provide me with the contact information for someone at Dantz with sufficient authority to refund our purchases.

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For what it's worth...

 

You have my sympathy. It is completely inappropriate for Dantz to expect you to pay for an upgrade to remedy an acknowledged bug in a verision you have purchased. If 6.0 fails to perform as represented and the remedy is an upgrade, the upgrade should be free -- regardless of when you bought ver. 6.0. Perhaps if other users here will express similar thoughts in this thread, the folks at Dantz will do the honorable thing and either give you a refund or a free upgrade.

 

Gray M. Strickland

Strickland Law Firm, P.C.

Tulsa, OK

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The truth is that Dantz does offer many free upgrades for problems found in previous products, specifically issues without acceptable workarounds. The original poster in this thread does not clearly outline what problems he is concered about, making it impossible to identify if the issues are resolved in our current version or to offer troubleshooting suggestions.

 

 

 

This forum is not an official means of communicating with Dantz customer service or technical support. If a user feels that they have a bug that has been fixed in the latest release and they feel that an upgrade is the only solution (meaning that no workarounds exist in the previous product) then the customer needs to contact us directly so that we can identify the problem and a solution.

 

 

 

http://www.dantz.com/en/support/contact.dtml

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MY problem is that the Open File Backup didn't work.

 

OK, I get a free upgrade to the OFB addin, BUT I can't use it, unless I also pay for an upgrade to Retrospect.

 

This does annoy me somewhat - the new features in 6.5 aren't that important to me, I just want to be able to use the OFB addin that I've paid for.

 

(With the software we produce, we normally give free upgrades, and even when there's a chargeable upgrade (we've just charged for upgrades for the first time in 7 years) we'll fix major bugs in the previous version FOC). Even Microsoft give free bug fixes for previous versions).

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Then I have to agree with the original poster.

 

Purchasers of 6.0, should receive free upgrades to 6.5, no matter when they purchased 6.0.

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At the risk of sounding like a sad sycophant, how Dantz charges for upgrades isn't too much different from Apple, Microsoft, Lotus, et. al. You can buy the maint. contract and get upgrades "for free" or you can pay through the nose for each version upgrade. The "free" window from the previous version is 30 days (give or take).

 

I did like the email I got from Dantz on May 1 stating that their maint contract, normally $900 (or so) could be purchased at the fantastically reduced price of ?? (I think $400?) until May 5. I declined the offer. On May 6th I had to fork over for the version upgrade for 6.5! I'm certainly not saying I like it or agree with it but it's a fact of life.

 

Basically the days of free, perpetual upgrades are over (i.e. the 90's). Considering the insidious new ways Microsoft keeps finding to bend me over for their mediocre software, I think the 6.5 upgrade price was rather a bargain.

 

my 2c,

-mark

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Quote:

At the risk of sounding like a sad sycophant, how Dantz charges for upgrades isn't too much different from Apple, Microsoft, Lotus, et. al. You can buy the maint. contract and get upgrades "for free" or you can pay through the nose for each version upgrade. The "free" window from the previous version is 30 days (give or take).

 

my 2c,

 

-mark

 


 

 

 

No, it's different because Microsoft, Apple, Veritas and CA don't simply drop support for the current version. Notice how Microsoft and Apple still offer updates for security and stability holes in their software, eg. Windows 98 and OS 9? They aren't charging for that either. Users can stay with those versions and be assured of support for at least 1 year after the product is replaced with a new version. They also don't charge for support if you purchased their retail product, and provide comprehensive support on their respective websites for free also (knowledge base, etc.).

 

 

 

If there is new functionality I can see a new version requiring purchase. Again, Microsoft and Apple normally add enough new bells and whistles in their products to warrant charging for them. Does the 'new functionality' in Retrospect 6.5 warrant an upgrade fee?

 

 

 

At this point I'm actually considering refunding my three customers out-of-pocket.

 

 

 

I've worked around the other issues with the software already, but the brick wall for me is this:

 

 

 

Multiple tape set recycles.

 

 

 

If you have a 3 tape set and recycle it, it erases and reuses tape 1 fine. When it requests tape 2, it sits and waits for a prompt from the user (click proceed button), even though it shows the correct tape 2 is in the drive, albeit greyed out now because the set was recycled and it has 'forgotten' the rest of the set.

 

 

 

Having to click is not unattended operation. I have users onsite who swap tapes who have no access to the servers' GUI for security reasons, nor should they need to. I don't sit there and wait for backups each night. As it is now, a few times a week I have to login remotely just to click that proceed button. Dumb.

 

 

 

Veritas Backup Exec worked fine for this application and did not require a complete rethink of our backup scheme in order to work around 'functionality'.

 

 

 

I need Retrospect to take the other tapes as soon as they are inserted and reuse them without requiring a 'proceed' button be clicked, or without having to erase them manually first. According to Amy on these forums, 6.5 doesn't address this anyway.

 

 

 

Lastly, a wish is for Retrospect to have an option to use the tape in the drive whether it is empty or not, as long as the user selected that (hidden?) option and knows the ramifications of it. This would allow user-controlled tape swaps instead of Retrospect-controlled. It would be a nice option to have, trust me.

 

 

 

My $1.25.

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Dantz, or any other software vendor, should be charging only for new versions, not for updates to current version.

 

Dantz made a horrendous marketing mistake by calling the realease 6.5.

They should have called it, say, version 7.

 

One does not have to pay for the various SR and SP upgrades to Office, one does have to pay for each new Office version.

 

Of course, unethical/misguided software vendors could call something a new version when it really is little more than a set of fixes to the previous version.

 

If 6.5 is really a new vesion, then it should not be free. But very poor decion to not change the version number to, say, 7.0.

 

However, if it is litle more than fixes to 6.0, then it should be free to those who purchased 6.0.

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Retrospect 6.5 introduces the following new features and add-ons:

 

- Up to 8 simultaneous executions in Single Server and Multi Server

- Barcode reader support for loaders

- Multiple tape drive support in loaders

- Ability to bind specific tapes to backup sets

- Brick level restores of Microsoft Exchange Mailboxes

- Built in Exchange and SQL add-ons

- Bootable CD client disaster recovery

- and more...

 

This release was far from just a set of fixes. We've incorporated many new features that our customers have been requesting.

 

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I agree, ouch, it hurt to say that!

 

Dantz made a marketing mistake.

6.5 was a poor choice for version number.

 

Functional upgrades, which are not to be free, should change the major vesion number, not the minor version number.

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Quote:

Retrospect 6.5 introduces...

 

- Built in Exchange and SQL add-ons

 

 

 


 

Aren't "Built In" and "Add-On" mutually exclusive? Does this mean that Exchange and SQL backup was supposed to be included with 6.5 M-S upgrade? If so, I didn't get mine (or didn't install it correctly), because both show unlicensed in my 6.5 installation. If not, what's "built-in" about it?

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Dantz uses a common version numbering method:

 

 

 

6.5.XXX

 

 

 

If the XXX build number changes, then that is a "fix" which will be a free update to the base version. If either of the first 2 numbers change, then it is likley going to be a paid upgrade.

 

 

 

Dantz spent months and months with a large number of engineers developing Retrospect 6.5. We are a business that needs to sell products, and in the case of Retrospect 6.5 we added a huge number of features that users have been requesting for a long period of time. The update also included some bug fixes.

 

 

 

The Dantz forum is a community based resource used to ask troubleshooting questions directly related to the product. If any user has questions about upgrade policies, pricing or product availablity, please contact our customer service by phone.

 

 

 

http://www.dantz.com/en/support/contact.dtml

 

 

 

 

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Built-in means that it is part of the core Retrospect program, and not an external product like the old Exchange Agent or old Registry Backup Manager.

 

A Built-in product can be an "add on" via our license manager.

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Quote:

If 6.5 is really a new vesion, then it should not be free. But very poor decion to not change the version number to, say, 7.0.

 

However, if it is litle more than fixes to 6.0, then it should be free to those who purchased 6.0.

 


 

It's a little of both, it seems. On one hand, many new features were added -- features that I pesonally don't really care about or need. On the other hand, Open File Back just never worked in 6.0 -- and never will because Dantz won't issue any more fixes for 6.0. So people who paid for OFB thinking it would work, are denied what they paid for and have to pay again to get it to work in 6.5. I think Dantz should make OFB work correctly in 6.0 and charge for the 6.5 upgrade. Users could pick the route they want to go.

 

All of this reminds me of a bug I found in Quickbooks several years ago. Everytime I searched for a string longer than a certain length it crashed QB (and Win95 too). I tested and tested and was sure that I knew what was causing the problem, then I called Intuit tech support. I was told that, yes, it was confirmed bug, and that the "fix" was the next version to be released soon. I asked when I would be receiving my free upgrade, since that was the "fix" and the tech support person laughed and said, "just as soon as you send us your free money, we'll send you your free bug-fix." I even wrote Intuit about it, but noboby ever replied.

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Quote:

 

If there is new functionality I can see a new version requiring purchase. Again, Microsoft and Apple normally add enough new bells and whistles in their products to warrant charging for them. Does the 'new functionality' in Retrospect 6.5 warrant an upgrade fee?

 

 


 

Well I think we're splitting hairs. First of all, I don't *think* Dantz instantly abandoned support for 6.0 even though they're not developing it anymore. And yes, all those companies you listed *do* abandon development on versions and force you to upgrade - old versions still contain glaring inadequacies. OSX 10.1.5 Server is an example and OSX Server 1.1 before that. Microsoft has just tripled the cost of box licenses for Windows Server 2000 to force you to upgrade to 2003. Just to name two. I could go on ALL day!

 

[pontificate]

Again, IMHO Dantz' upgrade model is industry standard or nearly so. If one is buying a server-class, mission critical piece of software, one should buy a support contract - or plan on continuously upgrading it. Otherwise, one day you will surely find yourself stranded.

[/pontificate]

 

I'm out of loose change :-),

-mark

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I guess that *does* beg the question, "Why not 7.0"? IMHO, even though the UI didn't change much (which I consider a bonus!) there's much more tasty goodness between 6 & 6.5 than there was 5 & 6 (in which there was a big UI change IIRC).

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Do not change the topic here. What the current version is called is irrelevant. All version numbers are just marketing tool. I believe that Retrospect 5.5 was renamed 6.0 after all - wasn't it?

 

 

 

There's no other company I know, certainly none that I've done business in the past, that supports their software for 30 days only.

 

 

 

Mind you that upgrading to 6.5 is not really a bug fix to 6.0 - it's an upgrade to a new set of issues while correcting glaring errors of v6.0. Why? Because parts of the code were rewritten and new code (features) was added that are bound to have bugs.

 

 

 

Recent example of business doing it right:

 

 

 

Robo-Soft: (in regard to their decision to discontinue support for earlier versions of their software:

 

 

 

Quote:

Relationship of Existing Users to the New Support Policy

 

 

 

As an existing Robo-FTP user, you will be permitted to upgrade to version v1.44.x at any time during the 12 months following your original purchase date. At the time of the upgrade, you will granted extended Basic Support coverage from that point forward. If you download and install this version, please send an e-mail to notify us that you have upgraded and to activate your support. All support for versions prior to v1.44.0 will cease affective May 30, 2003.

 

 

 


 

 

 

That is what should have happened. However - what happened is a perfect example why we need lemon law for the software.

 

 

 

Mikee

 

 

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5.6 to 6.0 was not just a name change it was a major product upgrade, complete with a new interface.

 

Yes, support is only free for 30 days, but many other companies charge for technical support after a period of time, including Apple, Microsoft, Veritas, FileMaker, and many others.

 

Dantz now offers annual support and maintenance contracts that provide for unlimited support and upgrades during that time period. Dantz also offers many online self help support options, including this one.

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In the example of Robo-FTP that you noted, the following was on the Robo-FTP site. It doesn't sound like unlimited support to me.

 

Quote:


Basic Support

 

Basic Support is free and is offered on all versions of Robo-FTP. The Basic plan includes e-mail support with a guaranteed 24 hour response time for 30 days after the date of purchase. The free support period should be more than sufficient to get Robo-FTP installed and get your script(s) created and tested. Free upgrades to any new version released within this period are also available.

 

Extended Basic Support

 

Basic support can be extended to 90 days at the time of purchase for an additional fee.

 

What Happens When Basic Support Expires?

 

If support is required after the expiration of the 30 or 90 day period, you may upgrade to a premium package at any time and pay just the difference between what you have and the price of the premium package of your choice. You may also purchase a telephone technical support incident for US$29.95.

 


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Darrin,

 

I hadn't tried this until just this afternoon. I think I must not be understanding the problem though...

 

I stuck in a tape magazine with tapes from a previous backup. I had just set the backup set to recycle. The loader grabbed the first tape, erased it and proceeded. I was sitting there while it requested the second tape. I thought it was going to stop there thinking that second tape belonged to a different backup set (which is what I thought the problem was), but it grabbed the second tape, erased it and proceeded on its way. Maybe this will hang when it asks me for tape *5* which would require the second cassette being inserted?

 

Do I have the gist of this right?

 

-mark

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