By Steve Endow
Earlier this year I worked with a third party product for Dynamics GP. I believe it is all .NET, so it had a few DLLs in the GP AddIns folder, and a few additional DLLs that were used by an external application independent of GP.
While testing, we identified a few bugs. While communicating with the ISV, we were asked which version we had installed. I checked the DLLs and found the following version number.
Hmm, that's a little unusual, but okay, I told them we were using version 10.
Their reply was not THAT version number, but the date time stamp on the DLL files that we had installed.
They asked us to ignore the actual version number on their software and report the date and time that was showing for their DLL files. For their commercial software product. That they sell. As a software development firm.
Let's just say I was surprised. Any developer that has used Visual Studio should be familiar with the window that lets you set and increment version numbers. And having developed, installed, and used hundreds and hundreds of software applications, I thought that software versioning was a no brainer and one of the most basic organizational practices that a developer should be using.
To this day, that ISV still refuses to use version numbers on their software. Dozens of releases and updates and bug fixes and changes later, their files are steadfastly stamped with version 10.0.0.0. We never know what "version" we are using, and every time we have a support case with them, they ask us what time stamp we have, and their only solution is to try and send us files with a newer time stamp. I wish I were kidding, because it's a confusing mess to deal with updates…