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Bad Experience With Infragistics & Viral Marketing

Through WeProgram.Net and INETA, I get sent a lot of software to evaluate or experiment with; sometimes this includes a fully licensed version of the product.  Vendors hope I like the product and help to generate a positive buzz for their tool.

Through TechEd 2004, INETA, or some other completely legit source I got a fully licensed Infragistics user-interface suite.  I installed the product in June and explored the samples and thought “Hm, looks interesting.  Next time I’m not doing a plain vanilla user-interface, I should maybe check this out.”  Well, it’s November and that time is now . . . I’ve got a need for a nice numeric up-down control and Infragistics should be the magic bullet . . . but I can’t sort through the Infragistics run-time dependencies to make it work on anything besides the demo application installed many months ago.

So, instead of finding how easy and intuitive the Infragistics controls are to work with, I’m confronted with how brittle the Infragistics configuration and setup is to a new user.  I find out how tough it is to get support (unless you pay for support — but since they gave this license to me free I don’t have any payment record), particularly when you don’t have the physical license key you installed the product with (remember, that was last June and the Infragistics box didn’t live through our recent office move).  I find out how their Knowledge Base search doesn’t contain anything for the “Can’t Init Editor“ error message I get in the web status bar at runtime.  I find out things like their web Newsgroup area isn’t FireFox compatible.  Finally, I glance at the clock and realize I’ve spent 120 minutes trying to get Infragistics to run outside of their demo application and I probably could’ve coded my own numeric up-down control in that time! 

You might say that beggars can’t be choosers, but if a company is after viral marketing by distributing free licenses of their tools . . . they need to make sure they have a plan for supporting those free licenses or the viral marketing could turn against them.  Infragistics supports the WeProgram.Net user group and that’s great, but I’ve wasted enough energy on their complimentary copy.  I’ve gotta go roll my own up-down control . . .

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8 Responses to Bad Experience With Infragistics & Viral Marketing

  1. Lalit Kale says:

    Thought that somebody is still reading this post in 2008/2009.
    I am certainly would not like to be one in bandwagon but I have used IG controls in last whole year even posted few queries in IG’s forum.
    So far,their work and support looks far better than other choices available in the market.yes,I also had tested other vendors like dev-express and component art.
    would also hope that IG would take note of grant’s post and will send their new product :) so he can evaluate again!

    Good Luck IG and Grant!

  2. JP says:

    This is an old post, so thought I would mention my recent experiences

    If you drag and drop an infragistics control on to your form (using visual studio designer) it does alot of work in the back ground, adding project references etc. Once that done once you can hand code away happily.

    Second, their web site support is much better with a large knowledge base and many articles.

  3. TG says:

    If anyone finds this site looking for the answer, it’s because you forgot to deploy the suite correctly – namely the Inetpub/wwwroot/aspnet_client/infragistics/200nn/
    scripts folder.

  4. JH says:

    I had a bad time deploying infragestics in my web project! despite purchasing the product with its support service .. !

    It is way complicated ! they’re not making it easy … their support is not of much help !

    I should be calling them via phone to get my future problems solved !

  5. metamind says:

    I am working on a time critical project and have been attempting to get this stuff to work all weekend (hence no support – anyway the infrastructure should be on the site for us to help ourselves) and have been banging my head against a wall.

    i. Why is there no overview documentation about how each control works (e.g. what is an UltraWebGrid "band" etc. etc. etc.)

    ii. Why is there no user forum where the problems people repeatedly have can be accessed

    iii. Why does the site not have a decent search (why does my html page show up "can’t init editor)

    Also, for some reason, right-click menus on the VS design sheet don’t show the menu options that all the "how to" documents assume it will. I have been reduced to scrabbling around in the samples, going Aaaaaaaaaaggggggggggggggghhhh alot and getting nowhere fast.

    Oh, and slagging them off on forums.

  6. Grant says:

    Henry — very valid point, I suppose I got what I paid for.

    Adam — another valid point, I don’t blame IG for me losing my install key. But there’s nowhere in the registry or in an "About Us" area that will give me the key or a hash of the key or some means of identifying myself to IG. I know many people who praise the Infragistics products, I just can’t join the bandwagon.

  7. Adam Hill says:

    Well if he paid money he would have a place to log on to IG’s website and retrieve his key.

    I dont think you can blaming IG for *you* losing your install key is too productive.

    I have used them since the 1.0 problem and the biggest deployment problem I have eve had is setting CopyLocal to True on a Web Deploy.

  8. henry dunstan says:

    ok, so you got a substandard, brittle control for free.

    Imagine how p/o’d you’d be if you’d actually given them money 😉

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