In my last blog post, JasonNewell.NET - Past Present & Future, I outlined the direction that I was planning on taking with my company moving forward. Specifically, I planned to focus selling my products and terminating my consulting services. Needless to say, I didn't get too far down that road before I realized it was really, really bad idea.
I suppose like a lot of my big ideas, it wasn't very well thought out. Developing software is easy (for me anyway). The part that ultimately led to the demise of my plan was the business side of things. It didn't take me long to figure out that managing and supporting customers was more than I would be able to handle. When you purchase a piece of software, you expect a certain level support. How can I possibly support customers by myself and having a full-time job. Reality check, I can't. The unfortunate victim of that process has been the release of my new PowerToys for Solid Edge. It's sad to think that it was basically ready this time last year. I regret that it took so long and I apologize to those who waited patiently. I'm not too hard on myself though because sometimes be best way to learn is jumping in feet first and figure out if you can swim or not. I drowned, I admit it, let's move on shall we?
Regarding my plans for PowerToys for Solid Edge, I'm back where I started. It will remain free for as long as I own it. I will be up front now in saying that I do have a potential interested buyer. The potential buyer is in a wait-and-see mode but like I said, I want to be as up front as possible with my intentions. I approached said potential buyer because they have the resources to grow and support the product. I know the CEO personally and have 100% confidence that they would do a good job if they do decide to take over. Note: The latest version of PowerToys for Solid Edge has been released and is available for download.
Most of you know by now that Siemens has contracted me since the release of Solid Edge ST to work on the SDK. These contracts typically lasted 3-4 months and were right before RTM. 3-4 months may sound like a long time but in reality, it just wasn't enough time to get the documentation updated with the latest API changes AND everything else that needed to be addressed. I'll be the first to admit that the current SDK is nowhere near where we need it to be but I will say that it is difficult to appreciate how much better it is compared to when I started using it back around Solid Edge V9 days. It really has gotten better in recent years but it's difficult to see the incremental improvements because the API is so large. Another thing to note is that because the SDK help is bundled in the installation, you don't get access to the newest information until you install the latest version of Solid Edge. Siemens heard us on that one and is now offering the SDK online at www.solidedge.com/api. We've been told that URL may change but the point is that they will have an online version of the SDK moving forward.
This leads me to the part that I'm really excited to share with you all. Starting this month, I will be working on the SDK (among other things) for a full year. I'm not at liberty to share all of the details of change but I can tell you that I am very pleased in the direction Siemens is heading with their developer community. That's not something that I could have said in years past. I also want the developer community to know that even though I have not been "visibly" involved in the community for a long time, I have worked very hard over the past several years in the background trying to bring about change. Credit goes out to Karsten Newbury and Dan Staples for taking time out of their busy schedules to listen and ultimately implement a plan of action to address the issues in the developer community.