My understanding is that Bentley are stopping support for MicroStation SS4 at the end of the year. Is that still correct?
Also I have seen somewhere that if we use CE and SS4 at the same time (after support fro SS$ has stopped) this will count as two licence usages. Again, is this correct?
As others have said, starting January 1 any SS4 (and earlier) license will have to be node-locked.
From what I have been told at your next Bentley contract renewal after January 1, you will be charged extra for any node-locked licenses you are still using.
Haven't we already paid for the software (and the license to run it)? Why are we getting charged again for software already purchased?
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I appreciate the insight Oto. One point you made was the mention of the additional overhead of registering users. This is a pretty simple operation that only needs to be done once. It can be done individually or in bulk up to 1000 users at a time. You only need 4 basic pieces of info: First Name, Last Name, Email address, and Country. If that is truly a barrier than I would like to understand why this is painful to be completed. Registration is fairly common anymore when you sign up for anything so I don't believe Bentley is breaking new ground here. I would also like to understand how Alerting a user when there are no more available licenses does not help with reducing or eliminating QTL's. Are the alerts not showing up, are users ignoring them??
Yes. ORD isn't even on the U14 platform yet. 2020 R2 is still based on the U13 platform.
When ORD was initially introduced, it was lacking so much functionality it wasn't even funny. I forget how many versions in it took to get something as essential for submittals as End Area Calculations. Plans production has gotten better, but much of that was missing in earlier versions. As Rod said, there are COGO functions that still don't exist at this point. The work has to get done, and if the newer software can't provide neccssary functionality, managers are REALLY hesitant to change.
Glenn Fernandes said:Can I ask why users might want to continue using older software?
as others mentioned already, there are number of reasons, for every individual customer is valid a different set of them.
I agree with Oto that the fact many changes were done together (GUI, features, licensing...), and in fact every single change was done in unprofessional way, when from the beginning nothing worked well, there was zero information available (and not even talking about translated information for local users) and the transition was not well described (I think there is no Bentley material using own weird terminology or newspeak that cannot be simply translated using normal vocabulary).
So all together, Bentley has built for last several years a feeling of unstable unfriendly environment, and even when many issues were solved (even when not all and not perfectly), users who have not decided to escape to competitive platforms (many my customers did), are simply scary and afraid to do the conversion.
My personal feeling is that when a company is bigger and there is somebody responsible for CAD software (often some advanced user, because only the biggest companies have dedicated CAD admins), an openness for the migration is bigger.
Glenn Fernandes said:This is a pretty simple operation that only needs to be done once.
Well, the process itself is quite straightforward, but unfortunately you guys live in ivory towers, far from everyday reality of (especially) smaller users. They do not understand the system, they are not able to find clear explanation (the problem is multiplied because everything is English only) and web interface is complex.
Also, many information is available now, but not in consistent form in one document, but at several places, often a bit de-sycnhronzied with quickly developing cloud systems and offer.
In the discussion important topic was asked and I do not recall I see explanation/confirmation anywhere: When licenses has become node locked, how licenses will be calculated when used in parallel with CE licenses. Even two the most simple scenarios are not explained:
Glenn Fernandes said:Registration is fairly common anymore when you sign up for anything so I don't believe Bentley is breaking new ground here.
Registration as idea yes, it's common, but Bentley has long history (and as former employee, I know what I am talking about ;-) to do things and to present everything more complicated than it is.
Plus, seen locally and compared with competitors, Bentley explain in complicated langauge features and aspects of technology and the solution, whereas competitors often provide (in local language) scenarios how to do migration to new version, new features... step by step. So it's not about "learn and understand our system", but "find scenario that is closest to your situation and use it" (and no deep knowledge of all details is required), so the same complexity looks often simpler.
Another long-term problem is quality of localization. Bentley products are pretty poorly localized to Czech language (often not respecting standard terminology and often also translated without understanding real functionality), but there can be used more or less. But web GUI and also CONNECTION client + Advisor is on big disaster (I normally use strong vulgarism here), done probably using automated translator ending with nonsense. CONNECT Centrum is sometimes localized, sometimes not, which is confusing, so the only solution is to switch everything to English ... but it's blocking for many users.
Glenn Fernandes said:I would also like to understand how Alerting a user when there are no more available licenses does not help with reducing or eliminating QTL's.
Many users are not aware of the alerting, I often received question (literally from all my customers) to explain how licensing works, because there is not single simple document describing in normal langauge how SES works from users' perspective. Also, it's not clear how to setup the alert and whether it is active or not.
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Glenn Fernandes said:Are the alerts not showing up, are users ignoring them??
Users are just ignoring them as they previously ignored XM/v8i notifications that program runs in disconnected/trial mode until unable to open program. They click any button just to get in. CONNECT advisor is just another nag screen which is closed without reading, same with connection client pop-ups. This whole approach of showing nag screens feels more like popup ads. They are used to such popups as opening older file formats some popup warning shows up and so on. Yes you can instruct not to click it but if they have work to do it is very annoying. Even more if they try to avoid pool licensing then this message may show up once in a year and already forgot what it means. Another issue is receiving QTL when migrating to another machine that just install and reinstall may cause additional usage.
Hi - I am reaching out and trying to understand details of the struggle so that I can try to push things through that will make it easier. I agree that the materials can be improved and I have been trying to do so. For instance, while not listed in the table of contents yet, I am creating a 'QuickStart Guide'. Please take a look and provide any feedback. We also have a longer version that takes into account user scenarios to view this from the user side. The objective is to move away from just describing how a feature works towards a journey through the application.
In regards to the two questions you have reposted, they will be answered shortly as part of material created for the move away from SELECTserver.
Would it be possible for Bentley to warn us when we try to run MicroStation when another machine is already using it?
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Putting instructions in the help document is nice, but not enough in this case. Bentley needs to be more aggressive in contacting their customers about the change in licensing. We spoke with a company last week that had no clue the license changes coming at the end of this year. I'm sure there are many others as well.
The only notice we ever got from Bentley about the change was in a long email in December. The shutdown of SELECTserver licensing kind of got lost in the details of extending the support dates for SS4 and SS10. Depending who in the company got the email, it may have never been passed on to the people who really could understand what all of this means.
There are a lot of companies in for one heck of a surprise when their Bentley products no longer work after January 1.
Hi - that is what the alerts are intended to do. The second link I posted above has examples and instructions on how to use them.
Your point about the message possibly not getting to the Admin is valid. But I can tell you that we do look at who is on the contract (as those people are the Admins) and reach out to them. There are additional communications planned for Q3 so I will make sure this point is mentioned again to those that are involved.
For the Quick Start Guide:
Why is there a Step 4? If this is about registering for SES licensing, why do we have to download applications? Can we not register if we haven't downloaded anything yet? What if IT has downloaded it for us? Why do the front office Administrators need to bother with downloading application software? I believe this step is not necessary to the process, and its inclusion muddies the waters.
I'm honestly not sure who this document is developed for. Is it for administrators? is it for users? What are we trying to accomplish with these directions? This doesn't look as if it's about registering users into the SES service - just about logging in to Connection Client.
Lots of jargon. Term Licenses, Perpetual licenses. What's the difference? Why pretend there are two license pools (one of term and one of perpetual) when there is ONE pool of licenses, and then there are overages? The "fundamental mode"? Does that mean there is another mode? Why is downloading applications in two different steps? Why is that in an article about licensing AT ALL, since it's not part of the licensing process? "If an organization is Federated" which means...??? Do the users register their emails, or do the Administrators? Kinda vague on that.
I have yet to see ONE SINGLE document that I can forward to my account administrator to tell them "read THIS and it will tell you everything you need to know". And if I can't understand an article, I'm not going to send it on to someone who is probably going to ask me to explain it.
How's this. Start at the beginning. Define the terms. Start with "I have a Select License Pool. Go through each step the license administrator needs to take to get those licenses switched over to SES licensing and get their users registered. THEN you can explain about license overages and permissions and off-line usage. One document, from start to finish.
Don't link to a video and expect that to cover it - you can include the link, but please take the time to put into words what is shown in that video. Some of these account administrators are very busy people who don't want to click through a dozen links and watch another dozen videos.