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Rant about the whole mess

Thread began 4/27/2012 1:17 pm by lewis327930 | Last modified 5/04/2012 6:49 pm by jonm145238 | 2066 views | 17 replies |

lewis327930

Rant about the whole mess

Since WebAssist makes it hard to talk to them I feel compelled to air my complaints here.

I don't understand why this suite of tools is so dysfunctional. I have used the old InterAKT suite for many years until Adobe decided to squash it like a bug and although it was kind of clunky it worked well and did things that WebAssist can't even seem to get right. With no competition now, I expected WebAssist to step up and give us the tools we need THAT WORK. Instead we got a convoluted mess that makes it difficult to even know if you have the right version of this or if that extension was combined with that one... you know what I mean. Worse yet, hardly anything required to do real CMS work required painful fixes, workarounds, and massaging of code to make it do what it is supposed to.

The engineering logic behind doing simple things like adding a datepicker to a date field or uploading a file (common needs of a decent CMS) is beyond comprehension. For example - if you want to use their "datepicker" wizard, you must use the terrible Form Builder wizard. It is ridiculous and unusable.

And finally - the evolution of the webassist suite is so slow they are completely behind the development curve now. Has anyone at WebAssist heard of HTML5?

Thanks for listening.

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

CSS form builder is only one way to add a date picker.

The Date picker can also be added using Form Toolkit.

Form builder is used for creating New Forms, Form Toolkit is used to modify existing forms.


We are in the process of combining our tools to make them integrate better. We released Design Extender to this goal to integrate the design tools to one extension and will be releasing Data Bridge soon to integrate the data driven tools to one extension.

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Christopher WestCommunity Expert

I would like to point out that I added a date picker behaviour to a field withing seconds working as it should without any customising. I usually just create forms from scratch and do the more complicated stuff using WebAssist products. Yes there have been times when the software doesn't do what I expect but only because my logic is messed up and when pointed out my mistakes it eventually sinks in. I think the software is some good quality and I to came from the software that Adobe had purchased. To be honest I find WebAssist better as it does include many extra external files. Do you remember InterAkt software used to includes hundreds of extra files needed to upload to hosting. It's easier with WebAssist as its file structure is far more slimlined. far better to have less include files right?! :) it took me a while to get into WebAssist but def work the money.

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Ian S

I agree DW.

I used the InterAKT tools for a while, and the ADDT after that. It promised so much but I found it to be quite unstable at times, and the fact that you had to upload an entire framework (most of which was not used in my sites) was a really pain in the backside.

Also, if you needed to tweak the framework in anyway you had to have a real in-depth knowledge of the source code.

I find that the WA stuff is much easier for non-developers to use, and for people such as myself (I class myself as quite an experienced developer) it enables me to build solutions in a blink of the eye compared to hand coding from scratch.

I think the problem is that the extensions are so cheap and appealing that they are used by people who aren't developers, but are trying to put together development solutions. There is nothing wrong in this by the way, but its the mindset of a non-developer trying to 'develop'. I still use the term develop when using WA extensions because essentially, they help to aid development.

The WA products are not perfect but they are very, very good. The support is great, and the WA team have always been friendly when I have chatted on a remote session.

I am looking forward to future releases (Data Bridge?) and am excited about how I can utilise them into my future development.

To address the balance of the OP, Keep up the good work WA!

Cheers
Ian

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jonm145238

Poor Product Quality Very Poor Support Choices

I used to have the subscription suite (they killed it not long after I subscribed) and I can say from my first couple of weeks of use the products were very finicky, and often would not work at al, not even with a simple project. So when it came time to renew to a much more expensive alternative I just let the subscription lapse. I really should have gotten my money back because I was never able to successfully use the subscription.

In the last week or so I decided to give it a try again. I have a big project that has nearly no time to complete it in so I am stuck relying on some sort of rapid development tools.

I purchased SecurityAssist which somewhat works and Digital File Pro which I can not get to work at all. I have NO time to spend in troubleshooting because I have a hard deadline of 2 days ago. I just need the thing to work.

If the technical support were better I might not have a problem with the problems. I will not spend money to get better support, especially not on an issue where NOTHING comes up in the first place. This, in my opinion, is a critical situation where rapid support must be provided.

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Christopher WestCommunity Expert

@jonm what seems to be the problem my friend. I understand your frustration with deadlines as we all been there. But I can't understand why you having such problems with the products and/support. In terms of support they are great... That's evident with the amount of questions I've had on this forum and each day I will always get a reply with the help I need (my problems aren't with the software not working, but more so how I use the software due to myself not being an expert in certain logic principles). In terms of the software I have most of the products and they feel very stable and my system doesn't really crash (had a few freezes but think that's just dreamseaver) but the products are straight forward to use (and I hardly every use the wizards I rely more on the server behaviours panel then wizards) but when I do use a wizard they again seem pretty straight forward and I have done basic websites to even more complex ones involving ecommerce etc etc.

What particularly are you having trouble with, perhaps I can help?

Chris

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jonm145238

Not Happy

@designerwest thanks for being a voice of reason here.

I do disagree that WebAssist has good support. In my opinion it is irresponsible to do some of the things that they have done, and in they way that they do them.

Lets start with only offering forum and slow ticket based support for cases where the product will not even function. I paid for the product, in fact this is the second time I have purchased defective products from WebAssist.

I recieved a forum response from support and a phone call (only after getting Customer Support) to apply some pressure on Technical Support. In both cases I was told that Digital File Pro is not compatible with Dreamweaver CS5, I was told that I "will need to upgrade to CSS Form Builder 2 or Universal Email 4". When I called Customer Service back to see what could be done about this I was told that both products are compatible with CS5 and that I would recieve a call back from Technical Support and Customer Service today. Neither of these calls has happened but the ticket was updated with a request to uninstall and try installing in a different order. I have already done this many times but did it again, still not working. Couple all of this with the fact that the website states CS5 is supported for products. It is interesting to me that Technical Support tries to sale a more expensive product, is this because they know the standalone will not work. This leads me to believe the standalone Digital File Pro is being sold to hook the customer into a more expensive purchase. This practice is not only deceptive but itis prohibited by the Federal Trade Commission.

Back to my previous point, if I am wrong it is a shame that a Technical Support Manager is not familiar enough with the products to know what is, and what is not compatible. I feel that he probably knows which whould mean that this is a deliberate act to defraud me.

I do not have a problem normally waiting for support but then 99.9% of the time if I contact Technical Support it is a legitimate issue and I need a resolution now. I do a tremendious amount of troubleshooting first so I know it is a legitimate issue that I will require assistance to resolve. And it is not like I am asking for coding assistance here, I am asking for assistance with the product that is simply not even coming up.

The product is not causing my computer to crash or freeze, but then it is NOT WORKING which is an absolutely critical issue.

Yes, part of my frustration is in the fact that I had to resort to this product to help deal with a tough deadline. Had the deadline not existed I would have just hand coded everything. I spent money to help me leverage time, and it has just ended up costing me more time. I am not literally making nothing on the project, in fact the cost of these products has made the number a negative. I was doing it as a favor to a friend who is a designer, no technical background. Her client is very upset and will drop the project, even with all of my work, today. This means that the designer is at risk of loosing the client, what she originally charged for the site, and having her reputation damaged. Her client is a very prominent business person. This in turn has destroyed my reputation. Oh yes, and I have not lost a lot more money because I have had to put other clients off to try and meat this deadline. This also is likely to cause more damage to me.

So what is the problem. Digital File Pro will not come up. When I try to add Upload or Download functionality, following the instructions provided, I see a window pop up then dissapear very quickly. I have never entered a product key because it has never asked, it simply is not working.

I really do not feel that I am being unreasonable especially considering my last experience with WebAssist was very poor, both products and Technical Support. Yes some of the products work well, others work fine, but this does me no good when the product I need is not working and I am being deliberately shielded from support.

If you can think of anything that I might do to get this working I would be so grateful. At this point I am stuck and just hoping that the damage can be limited a little.

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Christopher WestCommunity Expert

well thats odd it doesnt ask for a product key. I dont mean to insult any intelligence..but i assume you have tried deleting the configuration folder. then going into adobe extension manager and deleting any orphaned extensions there, then re-create the configuration folder by loading up dreamweaver, then closing it and installing ONLY the digital file pro, after which create a new project in dreamweaver with ONLY applying ths digital file pro server behaviour?

I dont have the standalone version, I only have the universal email and some other product that includes the digital file pro..but i assume that even though integrated that it uses exactly the same code that dreamweaver uses for all the dialog boxes to set your behaviour up?!

again with the products I own, I never have problems installing or using the products, my only flaw is that I need to learn more about php and mysql to have a better understanding on how to use these products to a greater potential. and in my experience the technical guys here on the forum and (when needed) the one to one ticket support they have always helped me fast and always helped me to understand to the extent of what my own intelligence can cope with :)

its a shame that you are losing (or lost) faith in the products but from my experience of using them for the past few years that they are of a high standard. All I can hope for is that a solution can be found fast for you and so that your projects can be delivered without clients getting frustrated.

I wish i could troubleshoot with you but since i dont own the standalone version of digital file pro it would be hard to.

Perhaps ultimately (and since webassist offer a 15 days refund policy) you could purchase universal email or any other product that includes digital file pro) try that version, and if it works then you will find out more about where the problem is caused..and if you still have a problem using universal email etc you can at least identify that its something else rather then the actual product and still get a refund on that product while you look at your options.?

Chris

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jonm145238

Thanks Chris! I really do appreciate what you have had to say, you have definitely not insulted my intelligence.

We all take an approach at life and in my case, all things technical and programming, based on our experiences. I have many years of experience, heck I have even been a Senior Software Engineer for Intel. So I really have a very broad, very technical background. On top of this I understand Sales/Marketing, Support, Quality Assurance, Product Management, Project Management, Consulting, etc. Literally all of the pieces of the puzzle that you might find in any size of project.

That said, I still do not know every nuance of WebAssist products so I did whet I felt was likely safest. I removed both extensions, using the Adobe Extension Manager, removed the DAT file, and removed what I felt were all of the orphaned files. Then I reinstalled the extensins, I tried installing one before the other, then the next time I swapped the order just in case there was an issue with install order.

The key to the issue lies in the fact that I am using the standalone product.

I must admit that I was pretty darn upset over the situation, and I should have been. Jason Byrnes of Technical Support had it right when he said I should just upgrade to CSS Form Builder or Universal Email, although for the wrong reason. I suspect Technical Support has known there was a problem and has just pushed customers to one of the other products. It is often the case that there is a disconnect between Technical Support and Development until someone like me comes along and really pushes the envalope.

So last night, well at 6:05PM for me, just as I was headed out to take care of another client and try to clear my mind of this whole issue I received a call from Ray Borduin. He established a remote session, looked at some code and within half an hour identified the bug and fixed it for me temporarily. Score one for WebAssist because this is something that is extremely rare.

So the short answer is that it was an obvious bug that should have been caught by QA with no problem (if there is a separate QA process). The issue has been resolved for me, for now. I have also learned my lesson that I really should have had more than just the standalone. I know that some of the tools are very good, and the ones that have worked well for me really do work well. Jason has also assured me that the other extensions that I have previously had issues with have been significantly upgraded and work very well now. So as a show of good faith I have moved to one of the suites.

Hopefully WebAssist learns a lesson here that there is no substitute for taking care of quality, and customer issues that are directly related to product quality. I also hope they recognize that Ray Borduin did something that went well beyond what I ever expected and made a huge contribution to making a very bad situation something that was at least managable. I am very grateful for Ray.

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

I am glad to hear that your issue was corrected. contrary to belief, we do try very hard to fix the problems that are identified.

  I suspect Technical Support has known there was a problem and has just pushed customers to one of the other products.  



This could not be farther from the truth. To be 100% honest, I was under the impression that we no longer sold the stand alone version of Digital File Pro. It looks as though I was wrong on that and have sat myself down to a large slice of humble pie. Wouldn't be the first time.

We have been consolidating the products for some time now, and as they are consolidated, we have been discontinuing the stand alone versions. Digital File pro was the product in the consolidation list when it was consolidated into Universal Email.

I will be more diligent in moving forward to make sure I check the product pages, but I could have sworn DFP was no longer available as a stand alone.

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