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Downloadable Updates of Original Language Modules


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#1 Ron Webber

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Posted 13 November 2005 - 03:57 PM

Greetings Helen and Accordance Team:

I recently purchased the Scholar's 6.4 CD and would like to obtain the corrected morphologies.
Any chance you will be making the tagged Hebrew and Greek updates available for download?

Best regards,

Ron Webber

#2 Helen Brown

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Posted 13 November 2005 - 09:52 PM

We really want people to get the CD so they have access to all the modules and updates. For now we will not post them all on the website. If you bought the Scholar's 6.4 in the last month, you can request free shipping from the office.
Helen Brown
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#3 Tom

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 01:30 PM

The convince of a download for the end user is obvious. It is hard to justify, in this day and age, not to offer such an option. Many (most) users have high enough speed access to the internet to take advantage of such an offering. Downloading a program and beginning to use it immediately is now the standard for software. This is true for applications that are FAR larger than any of your modules (Cp. Apples OS updates that are >90megs).

This should, at least, be an option for the user. With this being offered, the user *would* have access to all modules and updates, he/she would just download it.

My suspicion is, in reality, Accordance profits from the "Shipping and Handling" charge of the CD. I have voiced my frustration with this excessive charge (currently $10!) since many users of this program are on limited budgets (being Pastors and in academic arena). My suggestion would be to make all modules downloadable, and if necessary, add $1 (or some such negligible amount) to each module to make up the difference.

Just my $.02
Tom
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#4 jwritebol

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 12:54 AM

I too agree that Accordance should make all of their modules downloadable. Think about the way another Mac product (the iTunes Music Store) handles it's content. You can download a song or album instantly after purchasing it, and most albums weigh in at about 50 megabites when it is all done and said. Video is even larger. That said, what is holding you back at Accordance from selling your modules and allowing the user to be able to download it instantly. This is a great way to bring the content to the user, and I have a feeling might lower overhead costs in shipping and producing CD's.

Helen...Accordance... LISTEN TO YOUR USERS ON THIS!! WE WILL SPEND OUR MONEY THIS WAY!

(and I heard that Logos let's you download modules from their website after purchasing them too...)
Jeremy Writebol
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#5 Helen Brown

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:27 AM

You guys make it sound as if OakTree is in this business to make money off, and to harrass, our poor users. The truth is very different, but as we need to set up today for ETS, I do not have time to write every response that these charges provoke. Let me just say that for months our entire team has gone far over and above the call of duty to prepare these new products and upgrades.

Shipping/handling charges and the $10 charge for a CD cover not only our actual expenses but the overhead of the office and staff required to process the order. We certainly make no profit off such an order. But who is paying for the work of revising and upgrading modules? OakTree is. We usually do not even charge for these module upgrades. We plow almost all income from sales back into the company for the development of new modules, (and the upgrades). If we made no money we would not stay in business long, since there is no wealthy investor keeping us afloat.

We consider user convenience and user suggestions all the time. Certainly it is convenient to download the occasional module, and we do plan to expand our downloadable offerings. Each one requires the creation of two special installers, and we just have not had the resources to do that recently.

The problem (as you all know ;) ) is the complexity of the installation. I can understand that if you have one or two modules to upgrade, you would like to download them. But many people have twenty or thirty modules on the Scholar's CD, and some people are not very tech savvy. For them to check and find out which modules need updating, download all those installers and run them, is a daunting task. When you purchase a CD, the installer checks for you which modules you have that are updated on that CD, and updates them, the fonts, and the documentation, all at once.

If we posted only the more popular modules, we would be inundated with complaints that we have a, b, and c so why not p, q, and r?

Having the CD also lets you add more modules conveniently. Sure, we hope you will buy more, but we never pressure you to do so.

It would all be easier if we just had a humongous Scholar's package with everything included (at an appropriate price), and one simple installer that installs it all. However, our model is modularity and flexibility, that you can pick and choose exactly what you need. At the same time, we have to organize the modules into packages and CDs, and we do our best to make these easy to buy and install. The trade-off comes in the complexity of the purchase choices and sometimes the installation choices, but our staff are always happy to walk you through either or both of these.

So, in summary, we do plan to offer more downloads, but please understand why we are not doing so right now.
Helen Brown
OakTree Software

#6 jwritebol

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 04:58 PM

Helen, and Accordance... please forgive my seemingly harsh words. I didn't think you were trying to make a buck off of shipping and CD production... I think that those are very nessecary to the overall Accordance instalation process and should be continued.

I suppose from my perspective I was thinking of "here a module, there a module" purchasing and downloading (for example just purchasing one book or commentary with an unlock code). I did not take into consideration the purchasing of a whole package in that manner.

You guys are doing a great job! I love Accordance and think you guys are a top class business. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Jeremy Writebol
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#7 Tom

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 11:11 AM

I wanted to respond and clarify my request. Take it with the best of intentions . . .


You guys make it sound as if OakTree is in this business to make money off, and to harrass, our poor users.

I apologize if my post came across that way. It is a disadvantage of written communication. I am NOT questioning your integrity.

Let me just say that for months our entire team has gone far over and above the call of duty to prepare these new products and upgrades.


I have no doubt this is the case, and is not the thrust of my post, either stated or implied.


Shipping/handling charges and the $10 charge for a CD cover not only our actual expenses but the overhead of the office and staff required to process the order. We certainly make no profit off such an order.

I beg to differ. You do make money off of this (Priority mail is what, $3.85?). It is frustrating to me to hear you say (if this is what is being said) that it costs you $6.15 to cover the expense "of the office and staff required to process the order." If this is the case, you should consult some eBay sellers. They have managed to do this for a LOT less. :)

But who is paying for the work of revising and upgrading modules? OakTree is.


OK, now, if you mean that some (most) of the excess of the shipping and handling cost goes to supplement this revising and upgrading of module cost (along with salaries of employees), then I agree. This is true of the profit which is made on the selling of modules as well. But this is what I am getting at. Make it more coinvent for the end user (who ultimately pays for these costs), and give them the ability to have "on-demand" access to your modules and raise the price a nominal amount (since "overhead for shipping and handling" would be virtually eliminated). You can still offer CD's for those who want it or in situations that need it (not really a huge amount of users, I would think, though I'm sure you know best :) ).

We usually do not even charge for these module upgrades.

And shouldn't. That is the standard for any software development cycle.

We plow almost all income from sales back into the company for the development of new modules, (and the upgrades). If we made no money we would not stay in business long, since there is no wealthy investor keeping us afloat.


Of course you are to make money. No one would question that. We want the product. You have to earn a living if you are going to provide it. That's all expected and understood. But that is not intent of my post and should not be considered as an argument.

We consider user convenience and user suggestions all the time. Certainly it is convenient to download the occasional module, and we do plan to expand our downloadable offerings. Each one requires the creation of two special installers, and we just have not had the resources to do that recently.


I must admit ignorance here. I neither knew that what you supplied to the end user was "the occasional module" nor that it requires "the creatioin of two special installers." I would think the individual module(s) would be the dominant request, and that the end user could simply drag the file(s) (after uncompressing it) to the appropriate folder. I did not realize this procedure had changed in version 6.x. (has it? how hard is it to modify the installer to make it install one set of module(s) instead of another? And, it looks, by this quote:

When you purchase a CD, the installer checks for you which modules you have that are updated on that CD, and updates them, the fonts, and the documentation, all at once.

like you have already done most of the work). In fact, if a install is necessary, make it part of the download. How much overhead would it add?

If we posted only the more popular modules, we would be inundated with complaints that we have a, b, and c so why not p, q, and r?


I don't know about being "inundated" :) but what I am suggesting is that you post virtually all the modules. If the method of drag and drop of uncompressed files remains viable, or an installer that does that for you automatically would be available (again how hard would that be, really?) then it would be little effort to post modules a, b and c along with P, q and r.

Having the CD also lets you add more modules conveniently. Sure, we hope you will buy more, but we never pressure you to do so.


Is this, I wonder (does anyone else?) what is at the heart of the matter? Is this key to why downloads are not readily available? (along with the profit of shipping--going toward "covering the costs" of whatever)

And, so, I conclude with the restatement of my desire to see OakTree make available what the standard is in the software industry (not to mention what is already available in the music, news and movie industry): Download on demand. Do away with the required $10 CD shipping and handling fee. Make it optional!


OK, no harm intended. I know you all are busy and work hard. Again, I am NOT questioning your integrity. I know it takes time to communicate on this message board. I appreciate it. I hope you all do, too.

Just my $.02

Tom
B.S. (Education, Bryan College)
Th.M. (Systematic Theology, Dallas Seminary)
M.A., Ph.D. (Classical Philosophy, University of Dallas)
Pastor/Teacher




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