Immediately regretting my exocad purchase

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karlanm

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Even though I'm almost exclusively a denture lab, I've gotten into Implant dentures and figured it'd be nice to have a digital solution.

So I secured the funding and got exocad, after weighing all my options i decided on the perpetual license, but realized I basically bought a BMW (ie can't install anything myself, perpetual is a euphemism....or lie, and it's designed to inconvience their end users)

Wasn't informed there was no exe/msi installer, and a person would have to remotely login to my computer to accomplish this. This business model leaves a terrible taste in my mouth and means that if my reseller/exocad go out of business, capriciously decide not to support my older version, have employee shortage, or even if windows changes chip architecture and sunsets bug fix support (like mac from powerpc to intel to arm). I will be unable to install software i nearly paid $10k for.

So this software will only be useful for perhaps the next 10 years maximum. I own cars, lathes, and pieces of software which is twice that age.

What if my system goes down, i have to schedule a seance with a random exocad contractor.

Also, due to me asking for a copy of the ID for the tech logging into my system, it's like pulling teeth. Are military dental lab networks allowing people to remote login to their networks, sounds like a perfect blackmail opportunity for a hostile nation who only has to go after a tech unaffiliated with exocad

Understandable, software piracy is an issue, however when it inconviences your users more than the thieves, imho it's gone too far.

Exocad corporate told me: "what if you install it incorrectly" 😂😂🤣. Sweet talk me, give it to me straight, even beat around the bush, but don't lie to me.....

False advertising or no, what y'all think?

Information on Perpetual Licenses: While our Perpetual Licenses generally have unlimited validity, technical progress in hardware and software development can mean that these licenses cannot be used for an indefinite period. Since legacy licenses may not be compatible with new operating systems or computers, certain situations may require an upgrade to a current exocad software for secure operation. Example: The legacy license in question is only compatible with operating system versions for which the manufacturer no longer offers security updates.
 
CoolHandLuke

CoolHandLuke

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as an exocad reseller, an authorized reseller, we have to publish a how-to-install document for any customer who doesn't want to work remotely. if you werent given this in advance of the zipped file, that's clue number 1 you might not be happy with this reseller.

you'll also need to un-quarantine some of the exocad built in executables, notably the UpdateHelper.exe tool from your antivirus if it particularly aggressive.

this format of zipped folder copying makes it very easy to install new versions *alongside* your older install, so you can transition at your liberty, and remove the old install whenever you are ready.

if your system "goes down" it will be either due to deleted files, or due to lack of hard drive space, or due to your dongle expiring. that's pretty much it in my opinion.

wrt your last comment, who uses windows xp or win98 today? would it be unreasonable to create support for these operating systems now 20 years later? windows itself doesnt even publish software for them anymore. in 20 years using windows10 or win8.1 will be laughably outdated, so why should exocad or 3shape continue to support these operating systems?

the 100k$ cray computers of the 90's are barely operating now, owing to new generations of computer hardware being 10x faster and more productive. if it was a car, it'd be like driving a flintstone car, not a maserati.

don't expect anyone to make support for your windows 10 systems when win10 itself doesnt get support from its maker.
 
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karlanm

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Well, I still have a Windows XP computer which runs Lab Manager, got to be over 12 years old the both of them. Even did most my GIMP image editing, Blender 3d modeling and even simple video editing on it as of about a year ago. Even Putin still uses Windows XP lmao. Think I also had a Slackware linux headless server running as a router for almost 10 years a while back.


That is interesting, even contacted exocad corporate and they told me it must be remotely installed. Maybe it's a recent policy change.

Found a zip file from another reseller online and it did think that Update helper was a trojan, so I got sketched and deleted it....who knows maybe it is, but a good trojan, like Skexsis friend of Gelfling.

I never implied they should support it, but basically shoehorning themselves into the installation process means they can pull that card later, where allowing me to do it myself means my knowledge would be the limiting factor.

To not put them on blast, the resellers name rhymes "Fashion Blue Essay"
 
Contraluz

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Even though I'm almost exclusively a denture lab, I've gotten into Implant dentures and figured it'd be nice to have a digital solution.

So I secured the funding and got exocad, after weighing all my options i decided on the perpetual license, but realized I basically bought a BMW (ie can't install anything myself, perpetual is a euphemism....or lie, and it's designed to inconvience their end users)

Wasn't informed there was no exe/msi installer, and a person would have to remotely login to my computer to accomplish this. This business model leaves a terrible taste in my mouth and means that if my reseller/exocad go out of business, capriciously decide not to support my older version, have employee shortage, or even if windows changes chip architecture and sunsets bug fix support (like mac from powerpc to intel to arm). I will be unable to install software i nearly paid $10k for.

So this software will only be useful for perhaps the next 10 years maximum. I own cars, lathes, and pieces of software which is twice that age.

What if my system goes down, i have to schedule a seance with a random exocad contractor.

Also, due to me asking for a copy of the ID for the tech logging into my system, it's like pulling teeth. Are military dental lab networks allowing people to remote login to their networks, sounds like a perfect blackmail opportunity for a hostile nation who only has to go after a tech unaffiliated with exocad

Understandable, software piracy is an issue, however when it inconviences your users more than the thieves, imho it's gone too far.

Exocad corporate told me: "what if you install it incorrectly" 😂😂🤣. Sweet talk me, give it to me straight, even beat around the bush, but don't lie to me.....

False advertising or no, what y'all think?

Information on Perpetual Licenses: While our Perpetual Licenses generally have unlimited validity, technical progress in hardware and software development can mean that these licenses cannot be used for an indefinite period. Since legacy licenses may not be compatible with new operating systems or computers, certain situations may require an upgrade to a current exocad software for secure operation. Example: The legacy license in question is only compatible with operating system versions for which the manufacturer no longer offers security updates.
Short answer: You are overthinking it!

Long answer will follow...
 
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karlanm

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Another thing, my absolute most favorite game is Command and Conquer Red Alert 1-2 (Along with Yuri's revenge). These games were released 1996-2001..... I might install it right now come to think about it.


While the technology may change, the Air force manual has probably been virtually the same for 30+ years
 
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Mushroom

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Are military dental lab networks allowing people to remote login to their networks, sounds like a perfect blackmail opportunity for a hostile nation who only has to go after a tech unaffiliated with exocad.

I was in the military as a lab tech and the computers for digital design are seperate and not on the same network.
 
JMN

JMN

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Are military dental lab networks allowing people to remote login to their networks, sounds like a perfect blackmail opportunity for a hostile nation who only has to go after a tech unaffiliated with exocad.

I was in the military as a lab tech and the computers for digital design are seperate and not on the same network.
The difference and existence of NIPRNET and SIPRNET aren't well known. I wish people would air gap properly though.
 
Contraluz

Contraluz

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Even though I'm almost exclusively a denture lab, I've gotten into Implant dentures and figured it'd be nice to have a digital solution.
Digital is here and it is here to stay. You better open your mind to it or you will be left behind.
This business model leaves a terrible taste in my mouth and means that if my reseller/exocad go out of business, capriciously decide not to support my older version, have employee shortage, or even if windows changes chip architecture and sunsets bug fix support (like mac from powerpc to intel to arm). I will be unable to install software i nearly paid $10k for.
While I can't predict the future, chances are slim to non that exocad will be out of business in the next few years. Even if Microsoft changes chip architecture, you will be able to use your software on your computer, as long as you own it. And most probably you will find spare parts for much longer.
a person would have to remotely login to my computer
Yes, unfortunately, that is so. But it only feel uncomfortable the first couple times. After that, you will enjoy it...

Ideally you have a computer, or two, just for your exocad needs. Don't use your XP one where you have your bookkeeping on! You will spend between 1.500 and 2.000 for a computer that will do what you need with exocad.
So this software will only be useful for perhaps the next 10 years maximum. I own cars, lathes, and pieces of software which is twice that age.
10 years in software life is like you getting a 120 years old. You will update your software much sooner! Software is not static, it evolves constantly...
What if my system goes down, i have to schedule a seance with a random exocad contractor.
Yep, and you will do the same when you have a question or you are stuck designing etc etc. It is a rather steep learning curve
Are military dental lab networks allowing people to remote login to their networks
That I do not know. But I am sure there are different levels of networks within the military. You most probably won't get the launch codes when you log into your Air Force's dental lab. but then again, stranger things have happened...
"what if you install it incorrectly"
That is a 50:50 chance... :eek:
False advertising or no, what y'all think?
Dont think so, unless you were tricked Into buying exocad. On this forum alone you could have had the answers to all your questions, above, before buying the software.
 
Contraluz

Contraluz

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While the technology may change, the Air force manual has probably been virtually the same for 30+ years
While the basics don't change much, the Air Force manual could need an update! I have been in the business for more than 30 years. Even without digital, things have changed quite a bit since the 1980is!
 
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charles007

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Exocad and XP computer...... Dontknow maybe I misunderstood.

Exocad is not your problem, buying digital with lack of knowledge has created a nightmare for you unfortunately. Very simple fix is changing to another reseller which you can do at anytime.
So the short answer to your problem is changing to another reseller for Exocad support and you can find a list of dealers on Exocad's website.
Fyi,,, remote installs, cad/ cam support and training is done daily in the US...... its the norm..
 
tehnik

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I don't see an actual problem here. Exocad can be used with perpetual license without paying yearly fees. You can use it as long your windows, scanner software etc is compatible. If not, you can update your license and download newer version. Where did you buy the exocad - there will be your support. Same goes with 3shape.
 
cadfan

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your knowlege is the problem thats why installed remotely to be sure database , scanner config and a few other things are ok.😉😉😉 If you have the knowledge you can where ever you want you know error 40
 
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karlanm

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Yea, so I was able to get ahold of the install files. Let the reseller do one, and i did another computer. To say it's easy to install and configure by myself is an understatement. Pretty much busted that myth in 20 minutes.


Did learn that exocad will not run with a process monitor running as it actively looks for one....interesting tidbit.
 
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FASTFNGR

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Even though I'm almost exclusively a denture lab, I've gotten into Implant dentures and figured it'd be nice to have a digital solution.

So I secured the funding and got exocad, after weighing all my options i decided on the perpetual license, but realized I basically bought a BMW (ie can't install anything myself, perpetual is a euphemism....or lie, and it's designed to inconvience their end users)

Wasn't informed there was no exe/msi installer, and a person would have to remotely login to my computer to accomplish this. This business model leaves a terrible taste in my mouth and means that if my reseller/exocad go out of business, capriciously decide not to support my older version, have employee shortage, or even if windows changes chip architecture and sunsets bug fix support (like mac from powerpc to intel to arm). I will be unable to install software i nearly paid $10k for.

So this software will only be useful for perhaps the next 10 years maximum. I own cars, lathes, and pieces of software which is twice that age.

What if my system goes down, i have to schedule a seance with a random exocad contractor.

Also, due to me asking for a copy of the ID for the tech logging into my system, it's like pulling teeth. Are military dental lab networks allowing people to remote login to their networks, sounds like a perfect blackmail opportunity for a hostile nation who only has to go after a tech unaffiliated with exocad

Understandable, software piracy is an issue, however when it inconviences your users more than the thieves, imho it's gone too far.

Exocad corporate told me: "what if you install it incorrectly" 😂😂🤣. Sweet talk me, give it to me straight, even beat around the bush, but don't lie to me.....

False advertising or no, what y'all think?

Information on Perpetual Licenses: While our Perpetual Licenses generally have unlimited validity, technical progress in hardware and software development can mean that these licenses cannot be used for an indefinite period. Since legacy licenses may not be compatible with new operating systems or computers, certain situations may require an upgrade to a current exocad software for secure operation. Example: The legacy license in question is only compatible with operating system versions for which the manufacturer no longer offers security updates.
Relax man I have had exocad for 7 years and I had no problem with it. Once you get the hung of it it is easy to use. Do not over exaggerate stuff it makes it harder on you. If you have a milling machine that you paid $30k for it, it would be a big and heavy paper weight in 5 years because they will not make parts for it no more. The software updates is still cheaper than that milling machine.
 
tehnik

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Biggest downside of the perpetual license is no possibility to remove modules...
 
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hmartek

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I just want him to get the exe files, install it by himself and see how far he can go. He will obviously land up calling his reseller asking for help. I did this did that bla bla...sure they will remote in and fix his first mistake that he misconfigured.
 
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Josh Claxton

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There isn't an Exocad .exe, It's a .zip file that has all the necessary files, as well as a .netframework to help compile it in windows OS. As far as the military login, VA/Government facilities require on-site installation and the computers are in a separate internal network cordoned off from the rest of the information. No worries on that one, they're very difficult to get things rolling with.

For the install, it's fairly simple, but some configurations are generally needed to optimize Exocad for a user's system. Generally this involves modifying .xml files to point to install locations, naming/saving conventions, etc. Even large implant companies have a hard time correctly creating and some refuse to install Exocad libraries. Luckily with the newest Galway update, they have fixed the auto library downloader not installing MC implant libraries.

3Shape would also require a remote in, but their software is so convoluted sometimes that the only people that can fix it is corporate 3Shape. They will straight up refuse to even look at your system if ANYTHING else is running on it at the same time. At least with Exocad the end user gets an error on crash and you can problem solve it yourself. That, and knowledgeable resellers can fix issues instead of getting the run around.

You made the right choice in the program, no worries, but I would have gotten cold shudders if a new purchase had demanded they install the software. Any number of things can go wrong and then they get the "THIS SOFTWARE NEVER WORKED" all over the internet. Doesn't look good for a reseller or corporate that way.

Any software would have to have the "but you must have your system up to date" since any old systems could cause an easy security breach and if their software is used as the back door from outdated .net framework or system, etc, then they need to have it somewhere that they "highly recommend" staying up to date. That, and the FDA requires for many processes that they be able to update the systems and keep libraries, etc able to be fixed if there turns out to be a problem. Don't blame the cogwheel if the machine messes up due to process.

I think you'll be OK if someone remotes in one time under your supervision, even stay on the phone with them and ask for a step-by-step of what they're doing. Don't think a "how dare they install the software themselves" is necessary.

If you have any questions on the software though, pop your question in here and there's quite a few happy to help including myself!

Good luck and happy Exo'ing
- Josh
 
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apostolis159

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I don't get the "there's no exe/msi installer" than many of you state.
I literally got sent an installation file for exo 2.4 by their support when I had to work from home and my home pc couldn't run 2.2 that I had at the lab at that time. I watched the tech install it real-time, and then I got the same file and installed 2.4 on my lab PC, on my own.
It is no harder than installing any piece of software, and takes ~20 mins. It also gave me the option to choose my database location, which was pretty convenient as it already was in a different drive, hence I did not have to go into xml files to configure it. And I'm pretty sure the installer also included the require .netframework files.

Up to 2.2, the installation was actually a .zip that you had to unpack plus a framework installer (got this piece of info from their support tech).

For the install, it's fairly simple, but some configurations are generally needed to optimize Exocad for a user's system. Generally this involves modifying .xml files to point to install locations, naming/saving conventions, etc. Even large implant companies have a hard time correctly creating and some refuse to install Exocad libraries.
This is partly true. The installation itself is easy. Optimising the software to do certain things, and editing xml files might be tricky for some users, but exo support will do it for you and explain it as well. Talking from experience. Also, trial and error. I know now all people have the time and patience, but it's very possible and not very hard. Always backup files and make sure you know what you're trying to accomplish.
As for implant libraries, installing them (up to 2.4 at least) is literally a copy-paste situation. You can't make it easier than that. Unpack library zip, copy, and paste it in the libraries directory. I do like the download manager on Galway though.
 
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Josh Claxton

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The only time I've seen an exe is for heavily modified Exo resellers like AG. Any generic Exocad resellers get the same .7zip or .zip file. Unless they package that into a self unzip via 7zip that looks and reads as an exe. copy pasta'ing works fabulously for copying libraries, if you know where they go / are. Lots of techs I've had to train can barely retain which mouse button is left and which is right. Not a lot of tech savvy techs out there.
 
CoolHandLuke

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Not a lot of tech savvy techs out there.
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