Re: Emerald management

Jeffrey Betts ( (no email) )
Mon, 10 Mar 1997 19:18:40 -0800


You have some legitamate concerns but
I don't think any of them will be solved anytime
soon. I have come to the conclusion that emerald
will allways be a work in progress. I came to this
conclusion two months ago. It has functioned
for me within the expactations I have had for it
very well. Now if we could get the credit card
funtions to work it would be great :) Anyway
Dale has done a great job if you consider all
the things he has to do I think just dealing with
this list is a job in itself. So untill someone comes
up with a competing product I don't think there
will be any way Computech will put the type of
manpower you want on this product.Competition
seems to wake people up at times.

Jeff Betts

> From: Greg Boehnlein <>
> To:
> Cc: Brian Coburn <>
> Subject: Re: Emerald management
> Date: Monday, March 10, 1997 6:27 PM
> On Mon, 10 Mar 1997, Marc Elbirt wrote:
> > Dale:
> >
> > [deleted]
> >
> > This message is also directed to Computech's management. Although
> > is visionary and its utility unquestionable, unless you dedicate more
> > resources to it and to your customers, we will grow continously more
> > unhappy. Please do something; my business depends on you.
> I would just like to say that there are many points in the last message
> that I agree with. It is great that we can talk to Dale on the list. It
> wonderful that we can call him and get questions answered. It is nice
> the software has a vision and someone that knows it intimately.
> What happens if Dale becomes incapacitated? (Stress induced holiday for
> example..) Who will manage the source code? Who will answer the technical
> support questions? Who will address the fixing of the "Creeping
> bugs that Emerald is a victim of?
> In a private mail to Dale, I addressed these very same issues. I feel
> he is overworked, and spread far to thin between supporting the products
> and writing the code for it.
> As an example, let me point out the specific problems that I see with
> Emerald...
> 1. Lack of documentation. I can't really hand anything out to my Staff to
> usr as a Reference on a Day to Day operational basis. The
> that exists is out of date, wrong or just plain incomplete. When we
> purchase a product such as Emerald, for the price we pay for it, we
> expect to have some sort of documentation to RTFM. I can't tell my
> staff to "E-mail to Dale". Heck, we paid for a Support Contract and
> I'm not quite sure what that gives us, but I'd sure love to KNOW!
> even Microsoft software comes with a manual!
> 2. Program frequently crashes and apparently has no Crash Recovery built
> into it. For example, try entering incomplete RADIUS information under
> the services Tab (Framed-Route w/ Nothing) and then hit the Save
> button. You will get a very undignified "Error" dialog and then the
> program disappears. There are only a couple of fields that I am aware
> of that provide Field Based Error checks.
> 3. The program is difficult to setup and extremely un-intuitive. While
> using an SQL backend is fast and flexible, it means nothing if we
> 2-3 months learning how Emerald works (without any documentation). It
> does not provide any advantages if it requires someone w/ 2 years of
> MS-SQL experience to administer and fix.
> 4. The program is in perpetual beta testing. There is no "ship date" that
> I am aware of, nor a reccomended "stable" release.
> These are just some of the larger concerns that I am pointing out, having
> purchased Emerald. In my letter to Dale, I expressly stated that I do not
> see Computech or IEA being able to support this program in the long run
> without some sort of Support / Maintenance / Documentation / Programming
> staff and strategies. Please take this as a strong strong suggestion from
> your customers that we would like to see more in these areas.
> The concept is great. Dale's work up to this point has been as good as
> be expected from someone with the responsibilities that he has. There is
> major potential here for much future business... If you can work out the
> issues that I have addressed here.
> I have a client looking at the possibility of using Emerald to
> authenticate a college worth of students. They are in a "wait and see"
> holding pattern until we can show them that the product and support are
> the level that they expect. As a consultant, I have to choose the best
> software for the application, and while I believe Emerald has the
> potential, I am not quite convinced of the other areas yet.
> Sincerely,
> Greg Boehnlein
> --
> President of New Age Consulting Service, Inc. Cleveland Ohio
> SLIP/PPP/Unix Shell 28.8k / ISDN / Leased Line
> (216)-524-8414
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