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LLBLGen Pro Runtime Framework
What does it mean to use LLBLGENPRO?
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paolo883
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# Posted on: 27-May-2008 23:22:46.  
Using LLBLGENPRO is like travelling by train, using hand crafted SQL code is like travelling by car.

Travelling by train can be extremely fast and at the same time extremely secure. If there is a red traffic light train stops automatically.

When you travel by car you have always to take care to the road, you never relax.

When you travel by train you can sit and read your favourite book, or meet interesting people.

The problem with trains is that you can'├Čt go everywhere, fast trains only link big cities.

But with LLBLGENPRO yuo can build in 10 seconds (that's the time it take me to generate code for my project) a wonderful railway that can take you in any place you want without any risk (or, let's say, very little risk) of accident.

Thanks Frans!

Paolo
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Walaa
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# Posted on: 28-May-2008 09:45:48.  
Very nice analogy. Regular Smiley

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Otis
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# Posted on: 28-May-2008 12:41:45.  
Thanks Paolo! Laugh
Frans Bouma
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swallace
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# Posted on: 16-Jun-2008 20:12:27.  
(resurrecting an old thread)

I like this analogy because it describes the resistance to LLBLGenPro as well as the benefits.

I'm a contractor and I am at a new company every 90 days or so. At every(!) location I visit I recommend LLBLGenPro. Some bite, others don't.

Most developers get the benefits right away. Some will invoke religion about this product or that, and others will drag out some hand-crafted generator they did in their spare time and will consider it an insult if you don't declare it just as good - or good enough. In my experience the good developers see it as a burden lifted, and want to jump.

But the biggest resistance comes from the managers. This is where the product dies even if every developer wants it.

A manager hires people who already know how to drive cars, and he knows that if he adds 'can you drive a locomotive' to the mix, he'll either get no resumes or have to teach every new hire on this rather sophisticated technology. (Don't think it's sophisticated? Sorry, it is. Get used to it. Most developers barely understand the simplest methods in vb.net and don't even know the concept of design patterns. That's the real world - take it from a contractor who makes plenty of money from this fact...)

The manager also knows he'll have to build a railroad where others have already laid roads going everywhere. This is expensive and time consuming, and there's no budget for that. There's plenty of money for the product - which has always been underpriced in my mind. But the price doesn't reflect the real cost of training, of hiring more qualified people, of adding another process to the mix - aka securing rights of way, laying tracks, hiring railroad engineers, etc. These are the costs that stop the product. For cars, the government (aka Microsoft) has already laid the roads, and a developer knows how to drive the API streets, or can be trained cheaply at some silly junior college.

I've never been able to overcome this resistance. As far as I'm concerned, answering this is the magic bullet that gets LLBLGenPro used everywhere.

My personal answer to this is something that I know Frans resists, and that's creating a version with certain features enabled but blocking off others. For instance the new dynamic data stuff. By getting a free entrenched version of the product in house, getting the managers comfortable with the tool, you're only a purchase request away from getting the full (paid) version implemented.

People use trains because they didn't have to build them. If they had to build a new locomotive every time they wanted to go to the store they wouldn't do it. Getting the software in manager's hands, getting them dependant on it without an obligation to buy, and with their knowledge that all they have to do is cut a PR to extend it all the way allows them to justify building the railroad with no more effort than handing over money.

The demo version for LLBLGenPro is great, but NO manager will integrate that code into the mainline code because it's a demo and likely to go away. Give him a freebie of some portions of the product and you're in the SourceSafe stream - he's dependant on you because you're deeply embedded in his code. If he wants more he's less afraid because you've already proven yourself a valuable partner. I've seen more codesmith cr*p in major products for this very reason.

Where Steve Balmer would say "developers, developers, developers," I would say that the key to getting LLBLGenPro out there is "managers, managers, managers." However, I refuse to combine that saying with a sweaty dance. Wink





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Walaa
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# Posted on: 16-Jun-2008 21:20:58.  
You have a point.

But ... (there is always a but Laugh)

From my past experience with some companies in Egypt, the major issue was always to convince the developers to use it, and soon as they get convinced, the manager agrees to try it out, and the money was never an issue. (And these were all small size companies with limited budgets, but 300$ always seemed costless).

Your strategy is:

1- Sell a version for free
2- If managers like it (and most probably they'll do) they will buy the full version

My guess the current strategy is:

1- Offer a Demo version with time limit and source code limitation too.
2- Sell it for few bucks (a negligible price for companies). So a company can at least buy a single license to try the full fledge in a project.
3- If managers get to like it (and most probably they'll do) they will buy more licenses and most probably upgrade to the next version when it's released.
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swallace
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# Posted on: 16-Jun-2008 21:29:07.  
Walaa, I suspect you're right. My statements should be qualified by pointing out that I'm a contractor, a hired gun with great depth of knowledge Embarrassed brought into environments where little experience/knowledge exists. These are the workplaces I encounter, and my comments are shaped by it. Most managers in this world are guy-shy, think little of their own people, and only want to herd the crowd down the shortest path. They take the advice of contractors, but only if it means they don't have to educate their own people. Also in these environments, as you'd expect, turnover is high and pay is low for the average developer. I've actually been told that I need to 'dumb my code down a bit.' Laugh

I hope things are better in non-contractor land, but then, these people don't need me (and my exhorbatant rates!)



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Aglaia
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# Posted on: 16-Jun-2008 21:48:36.  
Scott / Walaa,

You both have a point, depending on the situation you encounter within a company. I'm going to have to give this some thought and see if I can come up with a strategy that secures both developers and managers. (Apart from a .ptt especially targeted at management, which is in the works.)

Thanks!
Aglaia
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Walaa
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# Posted on: 17-Jun-2008 10:18:25.  
swallace wrote:
Walaa, I suspect you're right. My statements should be qualified by pointing out that I'm a contractor, a hired gun with great depth of knowledge brought into environments where little experience/knowledge exists.


Same here, I'm a contractor too, almost doing the same thing as you do Regular Smiley
The good thing about this job is the exposure, engaging with multiple companies and environments, plus the money of-course Wink


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paolo883
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# Posted on: 23-Jun-2008 15:58:12.  
Walaa wrote:
Very nice analogy. Regular Smiley


I want to say more. Using SQL you feel the presence of the engine in the middle, you write some code and you expect the engine to give you some results.

With LLBLGEN you are in real contact with data, you can feel them in your fingers.

Sometimes I even feel I have sex with data :-)

Paolo

What? don't you think it's nice to have sex with data?
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MattHornsby
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# Posted on: 01-Jul-2008 20:27:19.  
paolo883 wrote:


What? don't you think it's nice to have sex with data?


I don't know... there is a lot of really ugly data out there. But hey, maybe it has a nice personality. Tongue


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JimFoye
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# Posted on: 01-Jul-2008 20:45:09.  
swallace,

Your comments are dead on, in my experience. If I wasn't using my real name as my handle, I might add some color to this thread, but perhaps it's best if I don't.

Aglaia and Frans,

Do you guys have any high level consultants/trainers that will come in and train the corporate developers and act as consultants to make sure a project implements the product correctly? I know there is a list of approved consultants, but I mean something more on the MCS model (MCS = Microsoft Consulting Services). There are certain accounts, typically very large ones, that simply won't commit to a vendor's technology unless they have access to these types of consultants and training/help. Money is not a problem (look at what MCS charges by the hour to see what I mean).

Just a thought.

Jim
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Aglaia
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# Posted on: 01-Jul-2008 21:54:47.  
Jim,

Offering consultancy like that is a whole different business model altogether. We chose not to go that way because we want to focus on the product, making it as good as possible. Spending energy, time and money on training and consultancy would interfere Regular Smiley

Very large accounts sometimes do email us with these kinds of requests, but tend to be extremely content finding out how easily they get support on the forums; either publicly or in the helpdesk section.

(I put up the ppt mentioned earlier in this thread btw, which should help managers see how using LLBLGen Pro in their departments/companies can benefit them. It's in the public area, under 'Convince your manager'.)

We can always use more partners to offer training though, so if any of you is interested, please don't hesitate to fill in the partner form here: http://www.llblgen.com/pages/secure/PartnerForm.aspx and we'll see if we can enroll you Regular Smiley

Aglaia


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swallace
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# Posted on: 02-Jul-2008 15:06:07.  
Great set of slides. I hope you won't mind if I pick it apart a bit. I have the best of intentions for the product.

Believe it or not, it's still too wordy. It seems to be geared towards a technical manager, not towards the kind of decision-maker manager who rose from the ranks of sales - and their's a bunch of those, and it's those that stand in the way. They are intimidated and often reject things they don't understand. The job is to make them feel warm and fuzzy, not overwhelmed by what they don't know.

These kinds of managers only want to know these things: 1) we'll be around supporting the product for years, 2) we work with every platform, database, and language you can name, 3) we'll lower total cost of ownership, and 4) our code is safe from outside attack.

On slide 15 you need to show your source for the numbers.

Consider cutting the features descriptions. List the features, lead them to the website to if they want to know what they mean. Assume they know, or don't care because they are just checking off boxes.

Love the graphics. Slides 7 and 8 speak volumes. Less is more!

Slide 26 - pure gold! Needs to be wrapped in emphasis of legacy -> future transition with lowered cost.

The comparison slides make sense for the technically minded, but to a former sales guy it just sounds like Miss Othmar (the teacher in Charlie Brown - waaa waaa waaa waaa waaa). You only need a simple circle representing the competition, and a larger circle representing you, with a few bullets showing thiers then yours.

Would you be offended (as if you're not already...) if I used the current slides and took a crack at this over the weekend?

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Aglaia
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# Posted on: 02-Jul-2008 15:46:55.  
And here I thought that making it so that if I could understand it (I'm not a technical manager by any means myself), would make sure anyone could Regular Smiley

You do have some good points, though I don't understand your comment on Slide 26: "future transition with lowered cost" - what does that mean?

Do go ahead and take a crack at it! I'm not that easily offended Regular Smiley I'll email you so you can send over your ideas and/or changes directly to me.


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swallace
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# Posted on: 02-Jul-2008 16:00:30.  
Aglaia wrote:
And here I thought that making it so that if I could understand it (I'm not a technical manager by any means myself), would make sure anyone could Regular Smiley

You do have some good points, though I don't understand your comment on Slide 26: "future transition with lowered cost" - what does that mean?

Do go ahead and take a crack at it! I'm not that easily offended Regular Smiley I'll email you so you can send over your ideas and/or changes directly to me.


Should have been:

Quote:
"legacy -> future" transition, with lowered cost.


Every manager worries about moving those junky old code/structures into shiny new code/structures. The hope of layering something on top of the old to move it quickly and cheaply to the new is very attractive.
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Aglaia
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# Posted on: 02-Jul-2008 16:06:31.  
Ah, now it's clear Regular Smiley Thanks!

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