svit

Standardised Developers' Support

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I would like to share my observation I have been thinking of for some time now.  With running several IP presentations myself,  I am facing difficulties with dealing with inconsistency in the way 3rd party developer's are administering their packages, supporting them,  responding client's queries etc. It also due to the fact,  that such inconsistency is (as I assume) not defined in marketplace usage guidelines nor audited by the IP team and as such the developers can suggest their own ways how to support their products etc. For the benefit of end users I would suggest the below are the minimum requirements the developers should be required to strictly adhere to:

- all applications to be supported via IP forums on this site or via PMs on this site only (avoid requirements for end users to be forced to be logging to private developers' sites to raise support tickets,  I have often been told by developers,  that their products are not supported by PMs on this site ) 

- all application to have active revision tracking, so that update checking triggers notification on new updates from ACP (currently not the case and many developers' application updates are invisible to ACPs) 

Could this please be considered or discussed. 

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4 hours ago, svit said:

It also due to the fact,  that such inconsistency is (as I assume) not defined in marketplace usage guidelines nor audited by the IP team and as such the developers can suggest their own ways how to support their products etc.

Yes, they are defined in IPS Marketplace submission terms. If you go to marketplace here and click in Submit a file button, you'll see:

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As I said in another topic, and due to what's exposed above, things will be more clear if the user pays attention to what the developer requests in their Support Info section, like:

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...and so on.

It is up to the developer to choose the best way to support their resources, not to IPS. But in the user's point of view, I understand what you mean.

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6 hours ago, svit said:

- all applications to be supported via IP forums on this site or via PMs on this site only (avoid requirements for end users to be forced to be logging to private developers' sites to raise support tickets,  I have often been told by developers,  that their products are not supported by PMs on this site ) 

- all application to have active revision tracking, so that update checking triggers notification on new updates from ACP (currently not the case and many developers' application updates are invisible to ACPs) 

I don't mind registering on third-party sites personally, sometimes its where you get the best support for the files.

Whilst I understand that sometimes people become busy, it disappointing when you pay for something and the support isn't very good or non-existent. I'd advice people to try to stick with regular developers and those who show good signs of looking after their work (yet this isn't always possible).

At the end of the day, it's not for a client to purchase something which isn't looked after - there's no value in that.

It's only beneficial for the third party developer to offer support, how else do they encourage purchases or even become trusted? (there are some I would never purchase from regardless).

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Regarding the updates, I don't pay attention to them but it would be nice if they was accurate. Many of mine says there is a new version, yet there isn't.

I focus following the applications/plugins I use, this is a good way of seeing when there's updates.

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I wished IPS would highlight more of the third party content, encourage developers to create and keep active within their support.

I'm not saying it should be forced but it's a two way street, any negative people out there looks bad on the product. Thankfully most offer excellent support and will provide it promptly.

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9 hours ago, svit said:

I would like to share my observation I have been thinking of for some time now.  With running several IP presentations myself,  I am facing difficulties with dealing with inconsistency in the way 3rd party developer's are administering their packages, supporting them,  responding client's queries etc. It also due to the fact,  that such inconsistency is (as I assume) not defined in marketplace usage guidelines nor audited by the IP team and as such the developers can suggest their own ways how to support their products etc. For the benefit of end users I would suggest the below are the minimum requirements the developers should be required to strictly adhere to:

- all applications to be supported via IP forums on this site or via PMs on this site only (avoid requirements for end users to be forced to be logging to private developers' sites to raise support tickets,  I have often been told by developers,  that their products are not supported by PMs on this site ) 

- all application to have active revision tracking, so that update checking triggers notification on new updates from ACP (currently not the case and many developers' application updates are invisible to ACPs) 

Could this please be considered or discussed. 

I totally empathize with your position here as a fellow IPS client who loves to customize his community with third party applications and plugins.  I have more third-party applications installed than actual IPS apps, and I have a long, long list of plugins to make my community easier to use.  

With that said,

1. Is it really such a big deal to register on a different website for different products? Who cares? It takes three seconds to bookmark and open a link to different support websites.  If I need to go to a different website for @Kevin Carwile, @CodingJungle, @Adriano Faria that's a small trade-off as a client for quality support, wouldn't you agree?

2.  Active revision checking - I agree as a voluntary feature.  If any devs are reading, you might as well add this feature in for clients.  

Lastly, I agree that support is "bad" to "non-existent" on certain third party apps.  I don't blame the developer, since usually it's probably more of time factor than wanting to unintentionally not support his apps.  I genuinely believe most developers would love to support as many clients as they could for a popular app, that's why they released a product into Marketplace to begin with.  

But we as clients sometimes  forget that WE have an equal responsibility in the transaction.  WE need to do research on the product and developer's overall support and tenure within the community; WE need to write honest reviews on every purchase to help other clients; and WE need to notify IPS if an app is clearly not working.  Instead of shifting the burden on IPS (who honestly have no obligation at all to monitor the quality of the Marketplace), sometimes we need to remember the phrase "caveat emptor" - let the buyer beware.  

The IPS Marketplace is small enough as it is compared to other communities (although we have some truly heroic developers) and as clients we need to keep in mind we need to cultivate a healthy and vibrant relationship with the developers into a healthy ecosystem for all of us.  So work with the devs, report any and all bugs, write honest reviews that detail both the good and the bad, let the devs test things on your board, etc.  

That's the only way to move all of us forward in the IPS community.  

 

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11 hours ago, svit said:

- all applications to be supported via IP forums on this site or via PMs on this site only (avoid requirements for end users to be forced to be logging to private developers' sites to raise support tickets,  I have often been told by developers,  that their products are not supported by PMs on this site ) 

i'd have to agree with @Joel R on this one. I tried the PM/Forum topic thing, its madness, the more places i have to "check" for support issues, the more disorganized my workflow will become. So i am not a fan of "adding" to my workflow as it is. I also don't think its too much to ask to register at my site, I have g+ and twitter login available (had a few issues with the FB login, but will re-enable it too eventually) and the registration really doesn't take that long without those two. My mail server might hiccup from time to time, so if you don't get the validation email, that might be annoying but it is what it is when it does happen.

11 hours ago, svit said:

- all application to have active revision tracking, so that update checking triggers notification on new updates from ACP (currently not the case and many developers' application updates are invisible to ACPs) 

my polliwog app for developers has this built in, the problem i run into tho, I forget to update it. I am working on an update that will tie it into my downloads section, so the form is right there, and all i gotta do is add in the long version and hit save and it will update the record in polliwog for me (but haven't had the time to do that yet). 

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Maybe good if IPS give a sycronize plugin to conect between IPS 3party and developer own site support. User do not need to go diferents sites.....

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It's very difficult to provide support via topics or PMs for a popular plugin or application - I can't fault the authors for wanting to use a dedicated support system they're familiar with. Providing a dedicated ticket system via the marketplace would be chaotic and may not be something most authors would want to do, so it is a difficult situation as I too would find it annoying to register on a different other sites and I get this complaint from clients quite often. 

We can perhaps highlight the fact that support is offered via a third party site on the listing so you can make an informed decision prior to purchase. That information is already there, but many seem to miss it. 

We also have an API available for authors to use and we could potentially leverage that a bit better to make obtaining support on another site more seamless to the clients. 

Regarding versioning -- I'm glad you brought that up. We actually have an item for improvement internally on that. I'll chase it up and see where we're at on that. 

 

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