Visual Studio File Explorer
This week we’ve mostly been putting the finishing touches to Silverlight charting, but as always we’ve found the time to squeeze in some fixes and enhancements through the nightly builds.
It’s been a big value chart-o-rama. Watch this space!
VS File Explorer
If you’re using Visual Studio 2010, get to know the Extension Manager. Extension Manager is a new feature that makes finding and installing Visual Studio extensions a snap — just search or browse, click the extensions you like the look of, and you’re good to go.
We’re pleased to announce that you can now install our VS File Explorer and SimpleDB Management Tools products through Extension Manager. Fire up Tools > Extension Manager, click Online Gallery, and type “mindscape file explorer” or “mindscape simpledb tools” into the search box, click Download and voila!
But it gets better! Previously we had separate Free and Professional editions of SimpleDB Management Tools. We’ve now got rid of those two editions. Instead, there’s now a single edition of SimpleDB Management Tools 2010, which you can download for free. This gives you the old Professional behaviour for 14 days, then if you don’t purchase a licence reverts to the old Trial behaviour (limiting you to 20 search results). To buy a licence and keep the unrestricted behaviour, you can just click a link within the product — no need to download a separate retail version and reinstall!
Finally, a handy tip: if you have Microsoft’s Visual Studio Pro Power Tools installed, it will periodically check for updates for all your extensions. It’s free and has lots of other goodies in as well — and it’s a one-click install through Extension Manager. Check it out!
If you’re familiar with our free Visual Studio File Explorer product, and you’ve started the move to Visual Studio 2010, you’ll no doubt be missing the Explorer integration already. (And if you’re not familiar with VS File Explorer, check it out!)
Well, good news! Dedicated engineers* have been labouring day and night** ever since Visual Studio 2010 came out***, and we’re now able to offer a beta release of VS File Explorer for Visual Studio 2010.
* Actual number of engineers and level of dedication may differ from that printed on promotional material.
** Actual working hours may differ from those printed on promotional material.
*** Actual project duration may differ from that printed on promotional material.
Hand in hand with our recent volume discounts and LightSpeed 3.0 release we have started to put in place an improved support capability for customers who need priority support options or may occasionally want to escalate support beyond what we normally offer.
Tooting our own horn a little, we have had very positive feedback from many customers who have said our support is fantastic. We hope this addition helps us maintain end user happiness as we continue to grow and our support load scales up.
What is priority support?
Priority support is the option to ensure that your request is dealt with promptly, and is reviewed before and prioritised over normal forum posts. It is also useful for folks who wish to not use the forum which is quite open and may not be viable for talking about sensitive parts of a software system.
Can I use it for feature requests?
No, we still urge that feature requests be posted in the forums so that others may discuss them (and because we don’t think it’s fair to charge you for suggesting cool features!). Features are still only added to products at our discretion.
How much does priority support cost?
We have priced support at $199 USD per priority support issue OR at $499 for a 5 pack of support issues, a 50% saving. You will be able to see if you have support tickets in your store account page. We have been issuing 1 priority support ticket per customer to LightSpeed 3.0 customers and upgrading Enterprise Edition customers. For other products, we’re in the process of migrating Enterprise customers to have a priority ticket added to their account.
The pricing is designed to be very cost effective and is inexpensive compared to the support options offered for other software (for example, one commercial NHibernate support vendor quotes 600 Euro, approximately $870 USD, per incident for ad hoc support).
Do I need it? Should I put all my requests through priority support?
If you need a guaranteed response, or a quick response is crucial to you, or you don’t want to discuss your issue on the public forum, then you should put a request through priority support. The forum will still get monitored actively by Mindscape staff and questions will be answered, but there are no guarantees around response times (our response times have usually been pretty good, but never guaranteed!).
Priority support is for those times when you need additional help and you don’t want to rely on the forums. You are welcome to simply buy a support ticket as you need them for $199 USD however it may be wiser to simply purchase a 5 pack in order to save 50%.
If I’ve missed any questions you have then please post a comment – I’m happy to answer them :-)