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Just In Software Help Flexi Cloud Update SP5 Build 2898

Discussion in 'Flexi' started by SightLine, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Anyone know of this new update is okay to install and run? We are running perpetual licenses of Flexi Cloud.

    I ask because we had not updated for quite some time and on doing some work on a computer about a month ago I went onto the Sai Cloud site and noticed there was a newer version. It was a SP5 build number 2878. Downloaded it, installed on our Production Manager machine and on one of the desktops and it was a disaster. Jobs would randomly just stop printing. Might print 10 feet, might print 2 feet, might print 20 feet. On ripping if there were multiple copies it would generally error if there were more than 2 or 3 copies of something. Production Manager was crashing a lot as well. Called Sai and support said that they knew it was a major issue and had pulled the download that I just happened to grab. Advised me to uninstall it and reinstall the prior version. I downgraded back to SP3 build 2718 which is what we had been running. It did have all new purple icons and splash screens, etc but it was a disaster that ended up costing us a couple of days of production.

    Thought I'd play it a little safer this time. On this morning and I see there is now a SP5 Build 2898 and was wondering if anyone is running this version and if there are any issues like there was with the pulled version 2878?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
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  2. FrankW

    FrankW Active Member

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    Have installed it and like it. But we do not have a production, we are just dealers. But of course we have used it for test printing and cutting. I would suggest a clean install.

    Important for us: improvements with Summa/HP Contour cutting (vary the size and the number of markers, support of OPOS XY2 for Summa S-Class 2 plotters, Contour Cut Mark supports now OPOS Barcode too).

    Really interesting new feature is "Virtualsign" (branded and subscription versions only as far as I know, no HP-Editions ... not shure), which let you place Flexi Designs virtually on an object through a smartphone app (see attached pictures). The job needs to be uploaded with a "Send to VirtualSign"-command in the file menu, the app is downloadable for iOS and Android. It is dynamic, as soon as fixed on the surface it will adopt to any viewing direction and so on. Cool ...
     

    Attached Files:

    • Informative Informative x 2
  3. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Looks like that is also for perpetual licenses. Couple of nice new ones for profiling and using an i1 too. Attached is the release notes if anyone is curious. Only thing it shows new for subscription licenses only is "editing of winding fill". I have no idea what that even is or means. lol
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Brandon708

    Brandon708 Very Active Member

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    I have had sp4p2 for a couple months if I can recall without any issues. Should I download the Sp5?
     
  5. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    That is what I'm hoping to find out with this thread...... ;)
     
  6. joshGN

    joshGN Member

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    Im running SP1....

    Where/how do you go to get an updated version?

    I have perpetual license also...
     
  7. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    You just login to your account at https://www.saicloud.com - click software at the top and you can re-download your software to get the newest update.
     
    • I Appreciate You I Appreciate You x 1
  8. IsItFasst

    IsItFasst Member

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    This is interesting because I see mine "update" all the time but I am only on SP3 p4. I just assumed when it did the updates I was getting the newest service packs but I guess not. Now I'm afraid to update.
     
  9. Martin Denton

    Martin Denton Member

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    I think it is shameful when a company the size of Sai can't be bothered to test updates properly before release especially when you consider the high cost they charge for their software. We have had lost days of production due to their 'upgrades' in the past (run flexi 12 print and cut and designer) Im not surprised they limit their liability in their licence...
     
  10. FrankW

    FrankW Active Member

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    Todays software is very complex. PC- and OS-configurations are very diverse. Sometimes you release a software service pack, and 2 days later a OS-Service Pack or an upgrade of a security software crashes it. This happens to companies like SAi the same way as to companies like Microsoft, Adobe, Corel and so on.

    I do a lot of beta testing for different companies. And I have done programming too in the past. For example after creating the basic engine of a database application, I have spent two days to think over what kind of user interaction could lead to a crash, and catch 10 possible issues. 5 Minutes after I have started the introduction to the customer, he have found a eleventh possibility to let the database hang up.

    Of course it should not happen that a service pack is completely unusable. But most of the time this doesn't happen, it ist just an incompatibility with some environment variables.
     
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  11. Martin Denton

    Martin Denton Member

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    Whilst I understand that there are many variables and some obscure equipment that they have to cater for, my experience was with a modern windows 10 pc's a Mimaki JV300 and a Mimaki CGfxII plotter all of which i would consider to be main stream equipment? That said the issue was with Flexi crashing on opening of a pdf with no other programs or non-mainstream services running in the background. In the end they had to advise that I went back to the earlier version. My other experience is that the 'show me' button does not work for the Mimaki CG fx ii which had worked fine for our previous Graphtec plotter. That should have been tested and if not working they could have simply hidden the button for the Mimaki setup. All I got was 'oh I don't think it ever worked' despite the fact I had used it for 13 years with our Graphtec. All in all, I really am not impressed. If they want to sell at Rolls Royce prices they should provide a Rolls Royce experience...
     
  12. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    This concern is not just with today's software. It has been around since my mom's programming days with COBOL (closer to when it first was used). That was the bane of her existence, because no matter how much testing has gone on before a stable release, unless you can account for every possible workflow type, there will always be a bug to be found and squashed. I have tested alpha and beta releases of software and OSs, commercial and free (open and closed sources of both types) and it happens with every one of them.



    In general, updates/upgrades are a double edge sword. Supposed to improve things, but also introducing a new version brings about instability. Very rarely is everything good to right off the bat. Even Apple had their issues (su password issue) when High Sierra was released, that took a couple of updates to fix.

    Now Windows does have the added issue of having far more hardware/software combinations then Mac and while I used to have sympathy for MS when it came to updating foibles, the new essentially rolling release model that Windows is on is no bueno (which can be seen with how things have happened of late and they can't even get things right it seems on their own hardware/software). Also due to the 3rd party hardware/software combos that are out there for Windows, typically fixing bug issues that may even be more of an issue due to Windows is up to the software vendors to actually fix (or at least fix properly).

    This is way always keep production computers off the internet. The internet is the single biggest vector for instability and other issues then anything else. Unfortunately, having an "always on" connection usually requires making sure that everything is up to date, which means it's far more prudent to to update then not. If you aren't connected to the internet, why fix what isn't broken?

    Very rarely (I would say not at all, but logically can't be that absolute) does the first release of something be issue free. Just depends on the workflow that one uses. I've known some people to have issues with Ai CS6, while I never had and haven't updated it at all.



    If you are going to update OS/individual programs, I would first start it off in the VM of a similar setup that goes through the same workflow of the physical computers do. From there, go live on one or 2 computers and see how it handles on real hardware and then finally full deployment. Depending on the program and the overall setup, that may not be possible, but that's how I would handle updates as I always expect there to be issues with updates. Being "bleeding edge" is not a good thing in a production environment, unless the user is capable/willing to trouble shoot on their own for some things.
     
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  13. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Well I can confirm this much so far....
    We have all perpetual licenses for on. One Print and Cut (Flexi Pro which includes Production Manager and one Designer seat), and two other Designer licenses. All are running Flexi 12 SP4P3 Build 2718.
    As a test I have installed this new update on one designer seat. It does seem to work find so far and also seems to find and work with the build 2718 Production Manager.

    This is not so much of a true test though as the 2878 build (which SAi pulled back off their site) that we had tried last month had major issues primarily in Production Manager. Jobs would simply just stop printing at random points, sometimes something ripping would just error out, sometimes Production Manager would just crash. I'm going to update the Production Manager machine this morning and see how it acts.
     
  14. Martin Denton

    Martin Denton Member

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    While I agree with everything you say Evan, it does not address the comments I made, which is effectively that Sai are very 'laid back' in their approach to resolving the issues of their paying customers who each contribute 1,000's to their revenue.
     
  15. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Oh no, those comments were directed at FrankW, not you.

    Closed source software moves at a slower pace more often then not (some open source projects don't move at all after a time, so it happens no matter what). Why do you think it took so long to get some closed source programs to come into the 21st century with something like 64 bit support. GPU rendering etc. I have some programs that are only 2 yrs old with the latest version that still have neither.

    In some respect with the "laid back" that I'm talking about, MS is to blame as well for keeping all that legacy support (which also goes into the vulnerability aspect of it as well). But then, end users won't like that legacy support is no longer there (which will happen at some point, accelerated to a degree with the rolling release nature of Windows).

    Closed source commercial, generally not as many devs, not as big of a testing pool either. It does have the greater potential of still being around, but it's pace of growth is glacial.

    Why do you think that older more mature software like Adobe's (especially with their "heavy hitter" programs) have gone with the subscription model? Those improvements are really going to be even more glacial when it comes to some things that truly are beneficial for workflow. Not just eye candy, but truly beneficial. Not all the time, but the majority of time.
     
  16. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Well I did determine that they made some significant changes to the Summa cutter functionality. I'm sure for the better but all of the defaults get changed. It adds a bunch of "Before Job" settings which one defaults to be active. These change all of the cutters settings and I do see the value in that but we have always kept all of those turned off and instead select the setting on the cutter itself rather than when sending a job. It also defaults to having more marks printed which is a good thing as that should further improve accuracy however if you attempt to upgrade in place and run any existing jobs they will not cut. The jobs will be there but the new settings make the cutter then try to find marks that are not there. You can downgrade it in place though (will get an error about one plugin - you can ignore that or note the file name and then go delete it). So we are running but this is an update where you do not want to have any jobs in progress - printed but not yet cut or anything. I'm thinking you will want to be at a point that you can either do a full clean install and reset everything including adding your machines again, going through and setting all of the job defaults, etc. Or at least clear out all old jobs (print and/or cut) for any machines, save your preferences, backup any profiles you have manually added, etc. and then re-check everything is still configured right after updating. One I'm going to look at once I re-install it will be the new default Summa cutter settings. Did not seem to jack up any of the Mimaki printer settings.
     
  17. bannertime

    bannertime "You guys do banners, right?"

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    I was running SP3 25**. Just upgraded one of our computers to the SP5 2898. Going to give it a shot. About to run some orders. Will update if anything goes bad! My phone can't run the VirtualSIGN so I'm going to get someone else's phone and give it a shot too. Interested to see what they did with the PNG settings since that was an area that Flexi was way behind in.

    Edit: SightLineSightLine don't do it yet. Production Manager has crashed twice in past hour, once during a print which errorred out. This version also appears to lack the VirtualSIGN.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018 at 10:03 PM
  18. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Speaking of png.... why are so many people using that format nowadays??? Its a file format that was made to replace gif for web site usage and is optimised for display on monitors and web sites. Big advantage over gif is that png supports millions of colors and full alpha transparency but it is not really ideal (or intended by file format itself) format for high quality print. It can be used for print but it is an RGB only format which personally I'm fine with but many prefer CMYK. Tiff supports even higher end transparency, better lossless compression methods, fully uncompressed, RGB, CMYK, etc.
     
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  19. bannertime

    bannertime "You guys do banners, right?"

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    Tell me about it. If people would stop sending them to me, I wouldn't have to use them. Maybe it's just me, but I really think Flexi sucks as rendering Bitmap transparencies no matter the file type. My dream is that with the upgraded PNG settings they'll have made some upgrades to how it handles transparencies. I also won't mind having the ability to send customers web graphics from Flexi. Or better yet, exporting in SVG so that the next person can pull the vector logo off their website!
     
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  20. FrankW

    FrankW Active Member

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    Look sometimes at the task manager of your installation. there are permanently a bunch of tasks running parallel on your computer. And your computer consists of a lot of different components with their specific drivers.

    Sometimes these softwares, specially these ones who drives proprietary hardware directly, consists of a lot of third party modules, including drivers, import filters and much more. So it could be a big effort to adopt them to new possibilities.

    A lot of neccessary program changes and modifications with every operating system update was one cause which kills Flexi Mac. Could be that you have a wrong idea about companies like SAi and their ressources to keep their software up-to-date with every little detail.
     
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