Ben Langhinrichs

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March, 2005
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.

Wed 2 Mar 2005, 02:30 PM
One of the challenges of selling development tools is understanding the mind set of those who are likely to evaluate your product.  Different types of development tools are of interest to different types of evaluators.

For example, our Midas Rich Text LSX is evaluated by a wide range of developers, including many with relatively little programming background.  Those evaluators want a sample database that "does the job", so our Send It! sample is extremely popular, as our the Export to HTMLExport to MS Word, etc.  These samples do the job the evaluator wants to do, so he or she simply has to figure out how to fit the code within their own application.

The Midas Rich Text C++ API is a very different tool, even though the two products share the same engine underneath.  People who evaluate a C++ API are very likely to know C++ (or very likely to be frustrated if not), so we can assume a much different level of programming background.  Which brings is to my question.  Do the hardcore programming types who evaluate the C++ API need samples that "do the job", or do they need samples that show how Midas works in different kinds of Notes extensions.  In other words, would it be easier for such an evaluator to see the same basic functionality done as a menu add-in, an export DLL, an extension manager and a db driver, to see how the calls are made in such an environment, or would it be more helpful to have lots of different menu add-ins that show different Midas functionality?

I suspect the answer lies in the fact that familiarity with C++ does not mean automatic familiarity with the Notes C API and its various extensions.  I may need to teach people a bit about extension managers before they can envision building an extension manager using Midas.  It also may be faster to copy a working db driver that sorts tables and convert it to a db driver that does link validation than to take a menu add-in that does link manipulation and convert it to a db driver that does link manipulation.  What do you think, whether or not you happen to be a C++ developer?

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