Should we allow the WebMethods forums for viewing to all?

Currently all the WebMethods forums are allowed for viewing only to registered users.

Should we allow WebMethods forum for viewing without registration? Let us know your opinion by voting and / or adding comments.

One of the biggest issues I see with webMethods is that there isn’t much information about it in the wild, other than on wmusers.com. Opening up the forums and encouraging webMethods engineers to participate will help people understand it better and guess what - you will increase webMethods mindshare in the market. While you’re at it, make the technology and associated documentation easier to access/download so people can play with it, understand it, critique it and so on. This will help make the products better.

I agree with the fact that there are not many sites or blogs related to wM.

However I am concerned that spammers or professional advertisers will start writing comments in our forums with links to totally unrelated subjects.

Too many often when this type of forum is not restricted you start getting meaningful answers with links to totally unrelated subjects (often to unrelated items for sale)

-Remi

I agree this will be helpful from one aspect.

But Competitors may collect lot of details. In POCs, they might expose our weaknesses much more granular. They implement the same (fill the gap).

So in my opinion, if we open our gates then we need to care that our advantages are not lost.

Opening the forum up to unregistered users means we lose the opportunity to track contacts. It also makes it easier to trawl the site anonymously by competitors which remains a problem for webMethods that is simply not present for Adabas/Natural. (I think the comparison with Adabas/Natural is not a good one, given the very different market conditions the two product groups face.) FWIW, competitors can always go through a different name so I’m actually more interested in seeing who is saying what.

In particular, webMethods is still evolving as a product, and there are people out there who have had bad experiences with earlier release (and some not so long ago as well) sometimes due to product defects, sometimes due to their own lack of knowledge of the updates. I’ve seen some pretty harsh comments put up on wmusers over the years and it’s much easier to put those comments into the public domain on an anonymous posting.

Registration is a simple process, so at a minimum make all registrations automatic but keep the requirement to register.

I can’t see any substantial benefit to allowing anonymous access to these forums, and I can see a few disadvantages.

Cheers,
Rob

wMUsers has allowed users to post after registration since 2001. It does require work to weed out spammers who subvert the registration validation process.

That work requires someone who actually knows the subject matter and can distinguish between commercial promotions for technology products, solicitations for jobs or employees and traditional spam.

The wMUsers community is largely self policing and will report posts that violate the terms and conditions using features built-into the vBulletin forum software.

I recorded my vote to open the Software AG webMethods forums because of my longstanding opposition to WM policy on restricting developer access to its products and documentation.

To make that work the forums will need a robust registration validation process to weed out the 'bots and will need forum moderators familiar with the subject matter.

Regards,

Mark Carlson
wMUsers.com

Having been a software vendor in the past, I can empathize with the concern about competitors getting information about the products and losing competitive advantage. But I can also say that, generally speaking, competitors will get the information within a few days of general release, if not sooner.

That the wM suite doesn’t have trial versions available for people to learn and become familiar with the various components has always been a head-scratcher for me. There are people that want to be wM developers but are unwilling/unable to go through the formal sales process to do so.

Based on those two items, I’d echo the thoughts of Rob Dean and Mark Carlson:

  • Keep registration for the forums–no real benefit.
  • Open up access to the software. Allow registered users to download and use various components, with explicit information about support (none or limited). The community can support the noobs.

Rob Eamon

I basically agree with Mark and Rob.
Viewing should be open for all, so that people who are looking for answers to their problems can find it via standard search. But posting should be restricted to thoroughly validated registered users in order to keep out the bots and the spam!

Ulrich Schmidt

Thanks a lot for all the valuable feedback so far.

Just wanted to confirm that depending on the vote, the WebMethods forums would be open for Viewing only to all the users. Thus visitors would be able to review the topics, search them, etc.

Posting, however, would be allowed only to registered / confirmed users.

Best regards,
Desislava Petrova

Besides webMethods, I’ve been using Oracle products and using it’s website for a lot of answers, discussions. The policy is pretty much spread across 3 layers.

  1. Contents like discussions, documentation - Viewable to all
  2. Posting/Replying/Developer downloads - Allowed to Registered users
  3. Raising SRs / Downloading Patches - Allowed to users registered with a Customer ID.
    Over the years, this has worked fine for me and for the millions of others using Oracle products.

Software AG could follow a similar approach i.e. open up SoftwareAG sites for webMethods for general public on a read-only basis, allow downloads of documentation & evaluation copies of the webMethods Suite of products to registered users (currently this is thru the Advantage site) and last allow only those who are registered with Customers to access patches or interact with the Product Support group.

I have been using webMethods from past 5.5 years. Yes i do agree there isn’t many sites to search through if you are stuck anywhere or just want more information on the product.

While wmusers helps a lot to developers and I have relied on it and continue to rely on it for anything which is the bottleneck in proceeding with any integration development, but at the same time it would be useful to open up a forum which would give more insight in the product features. This site should keep architects , business analysts and project managers into the consideration.

This is already present via advantage but only registered customers can access it which hinders the spread of knowledge to other prospective customers. Probably a scaled down version of advantage which is acceptable to show to prospective customers could be a big win.

Regards,
Sumit

I would echo, and add to Rob Dean’s comments.

While opening this to anonymous access would allow more users, it would also allow people to register without adhering to any privacy agreements.

Perhaps an example. One of my team posts an issue we’re having with the product, say a security issue. Later, our company loses data or is subject to a lawsuit, and our post is tied back to our company and held up as ‘an issue that we did not address’. I know that sounds a bit litigious, but it’s the world we live in. Open forums makes reviewing our posts very easy.

I’ve been in conversations with our firms privacy compliance officers, and they have concerns on us using open forums that do not require registration. We have to comply with several hurdles just to post to forums that do require registration.

So, if this forum goes open, I will have to instruct over 200 wm users/developers at my company that they may not post issues on this forum.

Hello everyone

The vote has now closed with the following results:
In favour of the webMethods discussion forums being open for viewing: 61%
Neither in favour or against: 13%
Against the webMethods discussion forums being open for viewing: 25%

We look forward to updating you on next steps later in January.

Thank you to all who participated in the vote.

Software AG Communities Team

I need to know how to remove the posts of all the employees of my company. Posting to websites that are open-access is a violation of our companies policy.

We also need to know how to prevent any of the employees of my company from gaining access (to post) to this site.

Hey Randy, surely the policy applies to you as well. Could it be time to clear your desk and call security? :slight_smile:

I just don’t understand this corporate paranoia.

Hello Randy,

The company name is not by default visible on the forums and the user name should not typically contain company information. In addition community members could modify their profile settings so that the email address is not publicly available and attached to the forum’s posts. Furthermore, members can also easily remove the signatures from their posts (if such). To do so, one need to login to his/her account, go to Profile details and make sure that the options Always show my e-mail address and Always attach my signature are set to No. If this would help - we can automatically update this information, you just need to specify the sensitive domains.

Should you have any concerns or further questions, please email us at TechnologyCommunity@softwareag.com

Best regards,
Desislava Petrova