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FinalBuilder Ratings

Here's the next installment of some of the statistics we got from the customer survey.

There you have it.  We're very happy with the rating people have given us, and it's an improvement on last year.  And obviously our customers are pretty happy with FinalBuilder - that's the main thing!  The website rating has improved a lot over last years results, so the choice to go with DotNetNuke has been a good one.

So, where to from here?

Well, the worst of the ratings was the Help files and other Documentation.  This has always been the worst part of FinalBuilder (and we have always freely admitted this), mainly because the documentation is written by us (the programmers) and not dedicated technical writers.  I am pleased to say though, that we are taking the documentation a lot more seriously now.  For example, we have recently generated a report on which actions don't have a quick help file or a help topic and after a few weeks work every action now has a help topic and a quick help file.  Plus we're more conscious of writing better quality help and we make sure that an action is properly documented before it's released to the public.

Other than that, we obviously want more dark green (excellent) than light green (good and average) - it's hard work making people happy with a product, but that's our ultimate goal.  FinalBuilder certainly isn't one of those products that you write and let it rot while a new product is being developed.  Our todo list seems to get longer every day instead of shorter.  The next major version is in the pipeline with some very cool new features.  Stay tuned :)

Showing 3 Comments

Rod 15 years ago

I think there is a momentum swing going on within the software universe to try and get the users of the software to give back a little more into the development and support of the product. After all, the community of users are the ones that know the software the best from a real-world perspective and can offer insights into product development that even developers themselves could not.

We use the range of SQL Server products from Apex SQL. Excellent software and a great software company behind it. Check out their recent newsletter


About half way down the page there is a section entitled "ApexSQL MVPs : Add value to our community -> get Free Software". It's an offer from the company head to reward the users that contribute to the development and improvement of the SQL Server toolset they provide. I notice that the helpfile gets a mention.

I wonder if it will work?

Tate 15 years ago

Hi Rod,

Yep, that's certainly a good idea, then it's easy to concentrate on the topics that the users give a bad rating to.

The Wiki idea is pretty cool - I wonder if the Help&Manual guys have considered this as an output format....

> It seems that too much helpfile is never enough!

Yep, agree on that one :) Also, the FinalBuilder help file has had big gaps in it, which is probably why some people give it a bad rating!


Rod 15 years ago

Hi Tate,

Interesting stats from the survey - well done. I had a few thoughts on the helpfile, and it's an issue that also affects us here in the helpdesk software space.

It seems that too much helpfile is never enough!

I was looking through some of the Microsoft SQL Server books on-line this morning and noticed that on every page of their helpfile, they have a customer feeback rating, along with the ability to provide comments. I think this is a great idea....but what if you could extend it further - like a wiki for example where the actual users could contribute content.

With Final Builder for example, I'm sure that there would be some developers out there who have done some pretty wild implementations of some of the FB actions. I know that here at PRD Software we make good use of the Type Library import actions for our VB6 / .net hybrid applications we have. The benefit of having the users of the software provide feedback, or actually authoring some of the helpfile material is that they can provide the "why" and "how", not just the pure technical facts of what an action does.

I guess the trick is finding a way to motivate users to provide not only feedback about how useful the help is, but to actually contribute content.

I think having a rating on each page of the help file is a good start.

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