How does Paessler create its road maps for PRTG and how are feature requests and user feedback handled by Paessler?
Update: This article is outdated. We thought of a new method. Please see Our Approach to Handling Feature Requests
How We Handle Your Feedback and Your Feature Requests
PRTG Network Monitor is our Unified Monitoring Solution that we want to be as convenient for you and as easy-to-use as possible. That's why we always try to improve PRTG as much as we can. And thanks to your helpful feedback, you help us know what's important for you.
- we want to thank you a lot for telling us about your ideas, and
- we want to open our doors and present a bit of our company culture to you, because: Your feedback is part of it!
1. Your Feedback Is Highly Appreciated
Why? Our CEO Dirk Paessler states:
” It is you, our customers, who we want to make happy. That's why we rely on your feedback so much!”
- Our Product Development loves to hear your creative ideas and suggestions, because they also give wings to our own creativity.
- Some features are easy to implement, others need more time. Also, some features are a benefit for many of our users, others are very specific.
- That’s why we developed a procedure spanned over several teams of our company (technical support, customer service, and product development) to evaluate, prioritize and include your ideas in our development process.
And what if...
...we have to turn down a good idea? In this case, the PRTG API may be a solution for you. The API allows you to interact with PRTG in an easy way, and maybe you can program your own extensions. Try it out!
2. How We Rate Your Feature Request
Did you know that you are more than 200,000 PRTG users worldwide? You can imagine that we get a lot of feedback, sometimes more than we can handle immediately. To guarantee the greatest benefit to as many of you as possible, we decided upon some principles: Quality and "bang for the buck".
Quality Comes First
Before we consider creating new features, we always fix serious problems first. This way, we keep PRTG stable and reliable.
Bang for the Buck
We evaluate each wish list item with the help of four parameters:
- Affected Users: How many of our license-holding customers will benefit from the new feature? How many have asked for it?
- Boah Effect: How likely is it that those users will be impressed, happy, or relieved by this new feature?
- Annoyance² Factor: How much pain would it be to the affected users to not have this new feature? This value is used squared in the following calculations, so a truly annoying problem is much more important than any nice-to-have boah effect item.
- Developer Days: How many days do our developers need to research, create, develop, test, and document the feature?
Our "formula" to calculate a "bang-for-the-buck" value is
bang_for_buck = ( users * ( 1 + boah ) * ( 1 + annoyance )^2 ) / devdays
Items with high values come first.
Often, we hear about very good ideas, but they do not reach a high value, simply because not many customers would be affected if we realized it. On the other hand, if you come along with something that is easy to build and we think "Why didn't we think about this before?!", there is a good chance that you will see this idea come to life in one of the next PRTG versions.
3. The Paessler Roadmap
We do not publish a roadmap with our planned developments, simply because we do not want to disappoint you in case something we promised is not ready for release, or it turns out a feature will work differently than we initially thought. We first talk about a new feature when we have it a least running in our labs.
However, as soon as we have something new, we love to hand it out to you as soon as possible! That's why early releases of PRTG are available to all our customers:
We offer PRTG Network Monitor in three different release channels:
- PRTG Stable Version: This is our best and most intensively tested PRTG version for live systems. It is usually updated once a month and whenever an important bugfix makes it necessary.
- PRTG Preview Version: This beta version of PRTG offers you the latest features and fixes that have already been tested successfully in our labs. You get new features earlier, but please do not use this version on live systems you have to depend on.
- PRTG Canary Version: You are always curious and cannot wait to get the newest implemented features? You can get them in our nightly built Canary versions of PRTG, directly from our development department! However, do never use this version on live systems you depend on because some elements have not been tested extensively and possibly do not work properly yet.
It is up to you to decide which PRTG version fits your needs of stability and curiosity best! Hint: You can always run a second PRTG installation as Freeware if you like.
- We like to hear your ideas.
- We want to offer you the best monitoring experience within a single tool: PRTG Network Monitor.
- To achieve this goal, we start with ideas and end up with implementable and working pieces of code. We try our best to filter out the ideas that are most valuable for the majority of our users.
- So thanks again to all of you for contributing with your ideas and feature requests!
Send in Feature Requests
Do not hesitate to write us at email@example.com—we are happy to hear from you!
The CEO’s Statements
Read the whole blog series about our company culture from our CEO Dirk Paessler :