Posted by: Dr. CW Stevenson
Greetings to all Centura customers,
I would like to update you on some of the activities going on at
Centura/Gupta LLC. First, there will be a product roadmap released soon by
Patrick Bernard. This roadmap will answer many of your questions regarding
product releases, timelines, functionality, etc.
Please allow me a brief moment to address the many posts' asking what will
the company be like since PEH bought it? Many compare it to other
experiences when Computer Associates (CA) takes over a company. I cannot
address CA's process of taking over companies, but I can tell you what to
expect from a company under the PEH umbrella.
1). Long-term planning - one reason it has been quiet here at Centura/Gupta
LLC is that we have been assessing who our customers are, what our customers
expect of Centura and our ability to meet those expectations. We have sent
out customer surveys with meaningful questions regarding product direction
and so forth. We are reviewing the results of these surveys and will use
this information in charting our future course. But it is comforting to
know that the customer is once again the our first priority.
2). Stabilization - of our products, services and existing customers. You
will see in the coming months well-planned, steady growth in each of these
areas. This goes hand in hand with item 1 above.
3). Invest in the future - our focus is on the future of Centura/Gupta LLC
as the premier RAD tool for client/server and intra/internet application
development and the embedded database of choice for OEM and vertical
markets. Embedded meaning embedded in applications such as payroll and
accounting systems, sales force automation, process management, health care
and robotics automation and other applications of a similar nature. More
specifically, any database driven application that runs on a moderate sized
MS NT class servers, desktops, laptops, robotics and hand held devices. It
is true, we are not Microsoft and we don't pretend to be. We will continue
to create great products and provide superior services that meet the needs
of a select group of sophisticated developers that produce world-class
solutions to their customers by using our tools and database. We do not
compete with Microsoft just as BMW does not compete with General Motors.
More specifically, in this post I will discuss some of the changes made in
product development and technical support. Now that we are privately held
and no longer living by the "quarter" Centura/Gupta LLC is taking a much
more measured, long-term approach in our development and support
organizations. There have been many positive changes that in the end, will
result in higher quality products and better customer service.
One of the most dramatic changes is that all technical services report
directly to me. The tools and database engineers, quality assurance,
technical support and consulting. What this means is that we can easily and
quickly shift any number of resources depending upon need. Let me expound
if you please, during the period between March through October/November of
this year, our primary focus is the successful delivery of CTD 3.0. In
order to do this, CTD requires changes to its underlying COM support as well
as other enhancements of the product in addition to the MS Active Server
Page support. To ensure this release of CTD is of the highest quality, we
have shifted consulting resources over to QA and have started writing many
more test scripts to increase the breadth and depth of our testing. We are
also hiring a new tech pubs writer, two software engineers and additional QA
As part of our refocusing on customer satisfaction, we have started
providing "hot fixes" to CTD when we encounter a defect that would keep a
customer from developing or deploying their applications. This is much more
responsive than having customers wait until a scheduled PTF release date.
Depending upon the customer's support level, I may fast track a hot fix even
if it does not interfere with development or deployment depending upon a
number of considerations.
SQLBase 8 feature set is not yet defined because we are awaiting responses
from our customer survey. Once these features are set, we will then start
investigating the technical aspects and creating a requirements document and
development plan. Right now it looks like the following will be included,
Microsoft Transaction Server support, long column and table names, encrypted
unload and loads, sounds-like statement/function and several others to
address performance and file size. Again, this feature set is not complete.
But once it is defined, we will then shift other resources over to SQLBase
Quality and increased customer service is our main goal during the remainder
of 2001. In addition to our own internal efforts, we are also engaging the
efforts of our many partners in the Centura community to assist us. As many
know, a good portion of the new features in CTD 3.0 will come from the Ice
Tea Group and Christophe Marchand of OXIA has agreed to update our JDBC
driver for SQLBase for the benefit of the entire Centura community. There
are many others who have provided us with insights and requests for
improving both CTD and SQLBase products and we are listening and taking
action where it benefits the whole of the Centura community.
I hope that this gives you some insight to just a few of the many changes
taking place at Centura/Gupta LLC. Everyone at Centura/Gupta LLC is
committed to improving the quality and services to our customers. These are
not just idle words, but we have demonstrated our renewed commitment since
the beginning of the year with action by releasing CTD PTF2 on time and
providing hot fixes as needed to our valued customers. We have also had a
timely release of SQLBase 7.6 and 7.6 PTF 1 is on track to be released soon.
Having been with Centura/Gupta LLC for the last seven years, I can honestly
say this is one of the brightest and most exciting periods in our history.
We have never been more customer focused or determined to improve our
products and services than we are today.
Product Development & Technical Services