The following came from a reader down under in New Zealand
in response to my active beta site solicitation who correctly points out a great benefit to being a beta site as you get to learn quite a bit and look down the
road for your internal CAD plans.
"Not mentioned in your request for beta participation was the benefit that seeing a little bit into the future gives to the site. I’ve seen some comment that beta testing is “working for Autodesk for free’. Personally I have found it rewarding to get feedback from the team to my, hopefully not too stupid, comments but also can justify the time spent as we have saved the literally hundreds of hours work simply by knowing a little about what is coming. Thanks goes to our local dealer/developer – Salesoft CAD Solutions - who got us involved in the beta program and Autodesk for the opportunity.
For example: Due to changes in the corporate network we were about to reorganise all our filing/xref system (ADT 3.3 era) for projects. However, seeing the start of Project Navigator in the early alpha & beta ADT 2004’s enabled me to stop all that, wait a year for the release version, and move once only to a Project Navigator based filing system. If not a beta site we would have had no idea that the initial planned move would have been almost totally worthless within months of completion.
Secondly; we have just finished some custom code making extensive use of ADT property set data. About 1/3 of that effort/budget was initially planned to deal with getting a “useable database friendly export of that data from ADT” for other applications to access. Again, seeing the Ex1 beta early saved all that effort in return for a few hours trialling the Ex1 MapGuide/Mdb export features. Autodesk gets some testing & comments that hopefully helped; we get code way better than what we planned and save the wasted development time.
So although I have spent quite a lot of time in the last year or so “working for Autodesk free” we are way ahead, in real dollar terms, in the time/effort not wasted duplicating work your teams were doing anyway. Besides, above all, its fun J
I like the blog’s!"