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Downloading Enterprise Software

March 23, 2009

Why is finding the correct software installer or documentation so difficult? If you are a enterprise software vendor (particularly IBM, EMC, Oracle) and want to increase customer satisfaction, please fix this!  Granted these companies are in this situation because they have acquired a number of other companies.  However this problem is simple to fix and would save many from wasting time finding installers or writing documentation on how to reach the documentation.  My personal recommendations below:

  • Product Name  (Pick one name and stick with it across the board)
  • Product Category (I usual find these to be very unhelpful and arbitrary.  Most times, I would rather see a long list of products or product suites.  If I have to click through three or more categories just to see a list of downloads then you are doing it wrong.  I can scan through 100s of product names in a single list, much quicker than I can click through each category.  Most of the times the categories are wrong anyhow.)
  • Product Version (I only want to see the most recent version, but leave a link to access previous versions right next to it)
  • Product Platform / Type (If your going to list this, then be consistent and accurate.)
  • Product Documentation (This is best included in the installation download and available completely separately in an HTML online version.  However don't list the installer and the documentation as separate zips in the same list, this just clutters the whole thing.

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