Back when InstallShield 12 was released, Macrovision made the decision to move the Stand Alone Build to the Premiere Edition in order to try to drive customers towards the more expensive product. An uproar subsequently occurred from customers who were under maintenance agreements. These customers felt that by taking away a piece of functionality that is critical to SCM best practices that they weren't getting what they had paid for. After all, since when is a downgrade, an upgrade?
As a result, Macrovision listened to their customers and grandfathered certain customers with rights to use the SAB. However, with the release of IS2009, Acresso has gone back and revoked that right.
I have some really strong feelings on this which I'm going to try to leave out of this post. I will instead focus on a couple facts and then ask that all of my readers please leave comments with their opinions. No comment will be moderated. Also, please take my poll on the subject.
1) I recently found a bug in the IS2008 SAB. After two weeks were spent confirming the bug, the answer I was given that the bug is fixed in IS 2009. Of course it wasn't mentioned to me that I wouldn't actually get IS 2009 SAB.
2) If I can't upgrade my build farm to IS 2009 SAB, then there is no point in upgrading any of the developers because I won't be able to perform production builds.
This effectively means that both my support and maintenance contract is worthless in this scenario.
IMHO, I understand that TCB made a $200 million investment and that they are now trying to make a case for why Premiere is worth more money then Professional. But taking core functionality that is vital to SCM best practices away from customers who have prepaid for maintenance upgrades isn't the way to go. Additionally, failing to be upfront and communicate the change to the user community is even worse. From every product management article I've read, these two principals are a given. Then again, Acresso is currently looking for a Product Manager for the InstallShield brand so perhaps that explains such a huge gaffe.
Ultimately Acresso will once again listen to their customers, or the customers will vote yes or no with their money.
I look forward to your comments and your poll answers.