AnsweredAssumed Answered

$0.02 on the Agilent Follies

Question asked by ramarquardt on Jun 2, 2002
Latest reply on Jun 2, 2002 by ramarquardt

This is quite an interesting discussion and
certainly raises concern on our part regarding
the future of VEE.

We got burned once by HP when they dropped TDE.
TDE (Test Development Environment) worked with VEE 2.0
and eventually was dropped since newer versions of VEE
could provide most of the functions (NOT all) of TDE.
We has many hundreds of test programs written for the
TDE/VEE combination and are still stuck with it. We have to
keep using VEE 2.0 and obsolete HP-UX 10.2 (HP's concession
to get us Y2K compatible). They did not give us the source
code for TDE but did give us a VEE based test executive
as a concession. The conversion is still a huge task and
is still on going but only gets us up to VEE 4.01. I have been
trying to get the test group that got burned to consider continuing
on with VEE; now I have more hurdles to overcome.

VEE has been the most productive tool I've ever used and most
of those in my group would agree. The burned test group has
written an entire new test executive in C++. Some in our group
have tried out NI TestStand/LabView/LabWindows CVI, I know
learning curves are slow but a very simple first project took 4
months and is still incomplete on the test data reporting portion.
It would have been done in 2 weeks or less using VEE 6.01 and
the VEE based Test Executive we use. The guys who are interested
in the NI stuff know they will never be more efficient using it, they just
want
it for resume fodder [sagging economy] and the fun of trying out something
new. I too would like that.

This fiasco with licensing and the need for NIC cards
makes me think that some competitor has planted people
in Agilent management to finish them off.
It seems utterly insane to make changes this big without
consulting your customers first. It, however, is not an
uncommon phenomenon; our company dropped some
non profit making lines of potentiometers back in the
70's without telling the customers - it turned out that a few of them
were depenedent on those few pots and were quite large customers.
They had the money to pay someone else to make those pots
and dropped all their other business with us. I imagine a
few heads rolled after that one.

The short term pressure to make quarterly numbers results
in a lot of short sighted decisions based on $$$ only. The hurry
to turn a profit leaves little time for competent investigation of
the potential outcomes of the plan.

Maybe it's time for a VEE like competitor that can run VEE programs?
There ius obviously a market and I think the existing market could
be greatly expanded via some creative marketing as some have
suggested already.

Me thinks I went a bit over the $0.02 worth ....

....Rob


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