A Gentle Reply to a Gentle Rant About Software Development and BI Installation

Jeff Cogswell over at Slashdot.org is none too happy with the current state of the software industry, specifically that of business intelligence firms.  What’s the thing that really grinds his gears?  Well, according to his article, it’s the installers.

Installers have one job: initial software setup.  Unfortunately, Cogswell says, many of these installers flat out don’t work.  They spit back messages such as “this program installed successfully,” even when it did not.

At this point, it is up to the user to venture out on their own into the wilds of the internet to find people who have previously shared in their woes.

XKCD – Wisdom of the Ancients

If they do manage to find a solution, chances are something unintuitive is required, like editing the registry or running a command prompt.  These extra steps completely invalidate any claims of usability.

In the BI world, these installers tend to be massive.  SAP AG, in particular, consists of several 2GB zip files, just for the installation.

InetSoft’s installer is 203MB in size with a three step process to successful installation: boot the installer, enter the license key, and follow the wizard.

About the Author:
Michael Schiff is a Marketing Associate at InetSoft Technology