Robert Randazzo of PMDG has posted a new development update regarding various ongoing projects including Global Flight Operations and the NG3. Moreover, Robert discusses the new shopping cart system as well as the team’s recent real world DC-3 trip. Please see below.
I apologize for the relative silence from our end since my last update during late May. It has been an incredibly busy summer of flying and travel and development and it seems that each night when I sit down to give you an update, something becomes more important (at least momentarily!) and I get distracted until the following day.
As you know, a bunch of us were occupied by flying the PMDG DC-3 within and then home from Europe after the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Perhaps I should put together a post or two with pictures, video and some recollections on the experience. Operating a 75 year old airplane across 3,300nm, of very hostile North Atlantic was easily the most epic flying mission of my career thus far, and for those interested in such things I would love to share the experience with you. All of the fly flying, the hazards, the ETPs and the decision making aside, the truly grand part of the journey was that so many of us involved in PMDG in various roles were able to put this mission together and operate it successfully.
The whole thing does rather BEG for a PMDG DC-3 simulation, doesn’t it? If only we had good access…
During the trip, we were able to turn various FBOs and hotel meeting rooms into impromptu PMDG team work sessions, which sounds far more glamorous than it is… But we were able to hash out quite a bit of workflow and development strategy as the trip bogged down in various places and the flying fell victim to occasional bouts of bad weather.
The down-side: We had mostly impossible-to-use access to internet for a period of almost a month. If you want to watch a bunch of otherwise-sane fellows lose their minds, give them intermittent internet. I blame a combination of the weird mobile formats that we use over here in the USA as they seemed to make data connections wonky while we were in Europe, and the apparent habit of the hotels we patronized to have a single 14.4K modem plugged into a wall and then broadcast by wifi as an excuse for internet.
We have been fully staffed back in the office for three weeks now- and all of us have been happily head-down on work trying to get NG3, Global Flight Operations and our new shopping cart through the various gates that are required in order to move each of these projects on to the next phase of their life cycle.
We are in the process of assembling our technical advisors in order to give them first crack and helping us to nail down the loose end details on this new product. We are beginning to discuss her first preview, which I suspect will require video in order to truly do the airplane justice. Stay tuned for more on that.
There are (literally) so many new features in NG3 that I beginning to worry about how I can capture them all for eventual previews here in the forum…
PMDG Global Flight Operations:
We are beginning to talk freely about public release plans for this brand new simulation environment. We have some date markers on the calendar, and we have a clear idea how we are going to bring the product live for users. We have been holding back updates from our beta team for a few months now as we were refactoring the core of the Global Flight Operations functionality in order to add some new features that weren’t originally expected to make v1.0- and we are also adding in a bunch of features that we conjured up during one of our (really ugly) conference room meetings at a hotel along the way. (Both Kyle and Chris gag involuntarily when i mention this particular location- so out of respect for the vendor, I’m gonna keep that a secret, but someone please hold the vomit bucket a bit closer to Kyle for me, please? )
The **primary** blockage to progress with Global Flight Operations right now is that we need the new shopping cart to come online before we can put our operational plans into motion. (see below) Once we have a clear date set we will be posting information here in the forum on what you can expect…
New PMDG shopping cart system:
It is no secret that PMDG believes in loyalty. If we use a product that supports our needs, we will use it until it is dead. Nowhere could this statement be more true than when you look at our shopping cart system. This system, the third we have used since the company was founded in 1997, has been in operation with us since 2004. Within this system is every purchase made by a PMDG customer dating back to 04OCT04 and that represents a significant number of orders, download links, license keys and the like. The vendor for this system was bought out a few years ago and appeared to have lost interest in rapid maintenance and support of the system, so in January 2018 we began the search for a new system. We made the selection during the first week of August 2018 and began working on implementation and data migration in September of last year as well.
After nearly a year we are finally ready to make the transition- and sometime over the next two weeks we are going to shut down the eCommerce system for a few days in order to bring the new system live for your use.
We have put a tremendous amount of effort into ensuring that all of your order history and license data will be there in your new account when you arrive to check things out. Even though most of you are not using your old, 2004 purchases we feel it is important that a full history of your transactions with us be retained and we have put a tremendous amount of effort in that regard.
The new cart should come online in the next two weeks and is a key strategic component to support the release of NG3 and Global Flight Operations. While Global Flight Operations has an almost invisible download footprint, NG3 will rival the 747 product line for installer size- and with this new system being cloud-based in it’s entirety, we should see none of the server-side hiccups that we have experienced in the past couple of releases when demand outstrips our 14 year old cart’s ability to deliver.
We are very much looking forward to rolling this new system out- and we will make sure you know when it is live so that you can check it all out and tell us what you think!
Okay- time for me to get back to working on some code-side items for NG3.
Please have a nice weekend, everyone!
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