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rsrandazzo

How is Beta Testing Going?

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Gents-I thought I might try to give you an idea how beta testing of the PMDG 747-400 is progressing.Disclaimer: I am not going to provide you with any release estimates in this post. ;-)Currently the beta team has received two versions of the beta airplane. We think that they are just now beginning to reach a point of comfort with the airplane that allows them to really "Get to the brass tacks" of how the airplane is behaving.At last I checked, we have a broad range of items being reported back to us, about 85% of which are either minor code errors, interpretational problems, unexpected behavioral conflicts or other relatively easy to solve issues.Of the remaining items, all are airplane operational issues that have been reported, and none are "software/compatibility" problems.This is the tenth product PMDG has taken into beta testing as a new project, and my overall assesment is that this project is in better shape than any other PMDG product at this stage of beta testing.There are some areas (such as the mechanical systems)where we expect to receive reports from our beta team of behavioral issues/conflicts (that's what we have beta testers for!) Fixes to areas such as this tend not to be time consuming, although it is sometimes hard to reconcile differences between versions of the airplane purchased by various airlines and the option sheet offered by Boeing.Toward this end we have an extremely strong mix of simmers, engineers and current-qualified 747-400 crewmembers working to help us achieve the level of accuracy that we are seeking.We have run up against no problems that I would call "dead-stops." (Crash-to-Desktop problems, compatibility problems, software non-operational problems)Our beta testers are entering reports into a bug-tracking package for us at a good rate, which tells us that they are spending a significant amount of time and energy on the airplane. At the moment, the rate of inbound reports still exceeds the rate of outbound reports- and I generally expect that to continue through at least one more beta cycle... Then the development team should start to get ahead of the beta team.I have encouraged the beta team to answer any and all questions you might have regarding the product, although we have restricted them from discussing with you any of the problems that they are seeing and reporting. We do this because our goal is to resolve those issues before you see the product, so there isn't any point in having you become aware/concerned by them. ;-)We have a significant amount of expertise on the PMDG beta team. As some of you know, the requirements for being on the PMDG development team and beta teams are exceptionally high. While we have noticed that there are a number of apparent experts offering opinions here in the forum, our beta team is comprised of a mix of "average simmers" with whom we have worked for many years, and industry/engineering/operational experts from around the airline industry.We have (I am estimating) more than 40,000hrs of 747-400 cockpit experience on the team, plus a host of engineering folks who time and again demonstrate a level of knowledge that surpasses even the technical support we receive from the manufacturer of the airplane.I promised not to give you any estimate of release dates, but for those of you who have read this far- I will. :-)We are currently operating under the premise of Test-To-Completion.We expect to continue with the test/fix/re-issue cycle until we reach a comfort level with the product's quality and completeness that matches our expectations for a painless, and succesful product rollout.We were not quite happy with our 737-600/700 initial product quality, and with each successive release we have improved upon the Quality Control measures used. The result has been successively better releases. Although we are excited about getting this airplane into your hands- we will refrain from doing so until we are certain that it will exceed your expectations in all aspects.How long might that take? We'll keep you posted. ;-)


Robert S. Randazzo coolcap.gif

PLEASE NOTE THAT PMDG HAS DEPARTED AVSIM

You can find us at:  http://forum.pmdg.com

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Thank you Robert. It's good to know everything is going well. Hopefully we can all be up in the sky flying this beauty soon. :)


Mike Roth

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Thank you for the update. Combined with the beta pics, it is nice to read how things are done.

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Guest Buck Bolduc

>Thank you Robert. It's good to know everything is going well.>Hopefully we can all be up in the sky flying this beauty soon.>:)Well stated!I second your notion.:)Best

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Guest Babubhai

Great to hear :)

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Guest stefanwa

Thanks for keeping us well informed! Great service indeed!Steve

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Guest neeraj.pendse

You are a master teaser.- Neeraj.

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Guest ahmedem

Greatly appreciated update, thank you.

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Guest neil_b

w00t!I for one cannot wait! I just hope I can get some serious time in before Uni starts up again :(Neil

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Guest freakyschlumpf

Thanks for the update! :)

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Guest zip

No, no, no... You have this entirely all wrong. The way this works is that we get the package, we complain about the things that don't work, then complain about how long it takes to fix them, then complain about new things that were broken because of the fixes, then complain about the lack of updates, rince, spin and start over, with a side trip to the other forums so we can share the complaining across the board, but we'll tell them how much greener the grass is in the other forums. Yes, we are the customer, and we are always right, and "we" are never satisfied. Now that we have this out of the way, this is one think I like about PMDG, in that there is a professional "ring" to the development process - thanks for keeping us posted and having a QA process in place - as an IT professional this is always so underestimated due to the pressures to release products on target, however fit. Keep up the good work, and puting the work into it. We are an impatient and rowdy bunch - don't let that get to you.I just want the product yesterday.:)Etienne

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Thanks for the update Mr. R! :D


Dan Charles
Dash 8 Q200/Q300 PIC
 

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Guest Robin.B

Great update :) Also great to see how this is going along as we prepare to type those valuable credit card numbers into Form boxes once more in immense satisfaction... Thanks for all the effort PMDG, we'll make sure that this product will never be forgotten :D

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Guest Matthias1975

Thanks for the update but I bet in the end after release it will be full of bugs and it will need one or more updates.That

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Guest dwinters

Thanks for that informative update. It's great to know that a lot of effort is going into this product and although all of us are eager to get our hands on it, we would be the first to complain if it was full of bugs! Therefore, I for one am not going to ask about the release date anymore!!!This sums it up really well:>"Keep up the good work, and puting the work into it. We are an >impatient and rowdy bunch - don't let that get to you.>I just want the product yesterday.":D David

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