Subject Re: [IB-Architect] Borland posted new versions and patch software at their website.
Author Jim Starkey
At 07:03 PM 1/11/01 -0500, you wrote:
>> On the other hand, this is pretty much the standard for our sorry
>> industry. At least the open source world warrants software for
>> up to the amount paid...
> So if it is an industry "standard", why wouldn't you just say that
Borlands warranty
>is in keeping with industry standards. Sounds like you couldn't resist
taking a poke
>at Borland?

Actually, I haven't checked the Borland warranty.

There is a serious issue, however. The PC software industry has
generally used a shrink-wrap license making no claims that the
stuff works or is useful. The norm for database companies is to
give a bona fide warranty that the stuff works backed up with a
maintenance agreement.

Interbase Software Corporation (the first) bundled support and
supplied fixes to reported bugs, both because we stood beside
our software and because we had a contractual commitment to
do so.

Borland, very much a PC company, is in the business of selling
upgrades. When I got my first official kit from Borland I
was flabergasted by the disclaimer on the label. Not the
way we did things.

The Borland attitude, I think, has much to do with why they
weren't particularly successful with Interbase. Database
customers have their crown jewels stashed away databases
and want to know that the database vendor will be there
for them; that if there is a show stopping bug, a fix will
be forthcoming.

PC companies are loath to pre-announce products. Analysts
beat them up, the SEC wonders about stock fraud, the press
goes banana about vaporware.

Database companies have to grind out frequent point releases.
A database system is more complex than a compiler or IDE, is
subject to much greater operation stresses, and an outage
is catistrophic.

The tragic history of Interbase inside of Borland was driven
by this problem. Was it a division of a PC company making
a throw away product, or was it a database company, prepared
to make and fullfill commitments to its customers.

The PC orientation usually won.

The most tragic part of the Borland acquisition was the
devastation of the support organization. At Interbase-I
the support folks were the soul of the company. They
believed in the product and in what engineering could
(in theory) do. They were the customer advocates. They
were weird and passionate. Borland's first act was to
integrate the Interbase support organization with the
Borland support group. The Borland norm was something
like 8 calls an hour (find the page and hang up). The
Interbase norm was about 3 per day (analyse the problem,
find a short term workaround, and beat up an engineer).
The Interbase guys were told to join to program or hit
the road.

Am I angry at Borland? Of course I am.

Jim Starkey