Welcome to the VectorSphere!

Well, this is my first post and I’m very excited to be getting started. The purpose of this site is to discuss anything and everything that has to do with VectorWorks with particular focus on tips, tricks, rants, and raves. I hope that this blog will become a collaborative educational resource for VectorWorks users everywhere. I’m also interested in “wish list” items that you might have in mind. With any luck, we can get the attention of Nemetschek and get them to incorporate the most wanted features. Don’t forget to check out the links at the right hand side of this page. If you have a link that you think I should include, please e-mail it to me for consideration.

Here is a brief history of my VectorWorks experience. I started using VectorWorks in 1989 when it was called MiniCad. I started with whatever version was current at the time. I think it was a flavor of version 6 but some sources tell me it was a flavor of version 4. Whichever the case, I upgraded from version 6 to version 8. From there I didn’t upgrade until version 11, then 12, then 2008. I have not upgraded to version 2009 yet, and a source close to Nemetschek tells me that I should probably hold out for version 2010. More on that later along with my take on Nemetschek making the move to an annual upgrade model. I prefer the Mac platform, especially for working in VectorWorks, however I have had a little experience working in VectorWorks on the PC platform. I’ve been using Apple computers since 1985 and have PC experience dating back to about the mid 90’s. For a more detailed background on me, please check out my “About BJP” page. You can also learn more about me and see examples of my work at www.bjpdesign.com.

I’m not really a negative person but I want to start out with a rant of mine regarding the annual upgrade model that Nemetschek has imposed. But before I get into it too far, I’d like to say that I am dedicated to VectorWorks and as far as I can tell I will never convert. I’ve used SketchUp, ArchiCAD, and AutoCAD, and various other low level CAD programs, and I can honestly say, VectorWorks is the best of all CAD worlds! On to my rant… I’m angry that Nemetschek has moved to an annual upgrade schedule for many reasons. The main one is that now when they release a new version, all production and big fixes stop completely on the old version. As everyone knows, including Nemetschek, not all the bugs are worked out of a previous version before they move on. Version 12.5 was the closest to being bug free, I believe. Most software companies continue to develop and create bug fixes for at least one version prior to the current one. In some case even two or three versions back. Nemetschek doesn’t even fix anything one version back. If you use VW2008, and there are features that don’t work, you are out of luck. They will NEVER work. If you want those features fixed you are FORCED to upgrade. And there is no guaranty that the features you were having problems with in a previous version will be fixed in the current version. It’s a crap shoot. Roll the dice!

Okay, so now you’ve gotten over your anger and psychotic rage and decided to upgrade. Guess what, most of you are probably in the same boat as I am. Not only are you forced to upgrade just to fix a few features that may or may not work in the newer version, but now you have to buy new hardware because your current system doesn’t meet the system requirements to run the newest version of VW. This makes my blood boil! Mr. Diehl, what were you thinking???

I want to know how YOU feel about this topic? Please leave me a comment with your rants or raves. Is this a good business model or is Nemetschek taking advantage of it’s current customer base? What do YOU think?



4 Responses to Welcome to the VectorSphere!

  1. Great blog Brian. One thing I noticed is that you are still writing Vectorworks with a big “W.” Since version 2009 we have taken that out and now brand ourselves as “Vectorworks.” Please keep that in mind when writing and thanks for all the input!

  2. Scott Campbell says:

    Visiting your blog for the first time. You say that as of version 2008 “all production and big fixes stop completely on the old version.” Are you forgetting the Service Packs that Nemetschek has released? There were 3 SP releases to version 2008, I think, and there are, so far, 3 SP releases to version 2009. Lots of fixes in these SPs… 🙂

  3. JessieX says:

    Hi Brian, I did make sure our Director of Software Development got to see your blog post here. We do listen. Which certainly doesn’t mean every “rant” or “rave” gets acted upon instantly, but they are collected, communicated and heard.

    If you want some extra help with possibly tweaking your older system a bit, you can always contact our tech@vectorworks.net people. They’re all helpful. You can ask for Jim, Alicia or Sofy for starters.

    Well, keep up the good work. I hear you’re a new User Group Leader, so thanks for your support in helping out your fellow colleagues in this capacity. See you on twitter, oui?
    ~ VectorJess

  4. Jonathan says:

    Vectorworks is not alone in this. when we upgrade, we expet the new version to to better and newer things. I don’t expect my old computer to last forever, so if it has limited memory or graphic options, yes, upgrade the old computer. I have to upgrade the my computers every two or three years, but i still use an original G5 dual 1.8gHZ ith Vectorworks 2009, and it works fine. Not as fast as a new 2.4 gHZ laptop, but still adequate.

    if you are a new user group leader, please get in touch. I’m looking to help user group leaders by attending as a guest speaker. jon@archoncad.co.nz

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