Embarcadero clearly don’t want or need new customers. Their product activation system is not only a nuisance, but an active barrier to new customers, rendered unable even to access trial versions of their products.
I am currently investigating PHP tools for a new project. I have already looked at Eclipse and NetBeans and whilst they have things to like they also have lots of things that I dislike. I wanted to take a look at RAD-PHP XE, so I downloaded the trial. Then I installed it, and that’s when I got the message loud and clear that No, thank you very much, Embarcadero are not interested in my custom.
Kindly bu**er off and use someone elses products.
What gave me this impression… let me tell you.
STEP 1: REGISTER
In fact, I may even have been required to sign up for a Developer Network account before I could even get as far as being issued with a serial number (though I may be mistaken and could have been able to login if I already had one, but not required to create an account if I didn’t).
But in any event, the point is – WHY?
OK, let’s just say that it’s reasonable for Embarcadero to want to capture some details about me before I even start a trial of their product.
I hope they don’t intend using that information to send further unsolicited communication while I am investigating their software. That sort of pushy selling really get’s my goat and is likely to cause me to reject a company that engages in that sort of thing, regardless of the merits of their product.
So I have to fill in a stupid registration form before I can start the download (why the hell can’t I do it while I’m waiting?), but at least once it’s downloaded I’ll be good to go…
OH NO! This is Embarcadero we’re talking about….
STEP 2: ACTIVATE
Not only do I have to register for a trial copy, I also have to ACTIVATE it. They can’t just send me a serial number with a time lock.
After installing the product they force me to run an Activation Wizard before I can start trialling it.
And here is where the genius of the system really comes to the fore.
I duly entered the Serial Number they emailed me into the registration wizard dialog.
I carefully entered my DN account name (so I presume even if not required to download the trial, a DN account is presumably a pre-requisite after all).
I diligently entered my DN password.
I submitted my information.
And hey presto my trial finally started.
Not at all.
I instead got told that activation failed with some mumbo-jumbo about corrupt license blah blah blah.
No worries – there appear to be two options.
1 – Try web registration. I think what I have may count as “Trouble Connecting”
2 – Register Later. Ah. No. This is’t an option – it’s just a bit of useless dialog bling. A button that never enables, just sits there dangling the carrot of deferred registration, an enticement that is never actually offered it would seem.
So let’s try again….
STEP 2: ACTIVATE – WEB STYLEEE
I really did have high hopes.
But it seems that the “trial” in Embarcadero’s “trial” software is in getting to actually use the bloody stuff in the first place.
Because upon visiting the page that the Web registration option takes me to, I am told that I have exceeded the activation count for that Serial Number.
I tried it once, and it failed. And that has exceeded the activation limit?
IT NEVER ACTIVATED EVEN ONCE.
STEP 4: UNINSTALL
STEP 5: CURSE THE DAY EMBARCADERO BECAME GUARDIANS OF THE DELPHI HERITAGE
STEP 6: WITH GRITTED TEETH RETURN TO NETBEANS
It may have some things that I find less than perfect, but at least the damned thing works.
Hell, at least it let’s me BE a user!
Poor show Embarcadero.
Very, VERY poor show.
I had heard some grumblings about Product Activation with the latest Delphi releases. It seems that the rot runs even deeper than I had feared.