Product End Of Life Issues

productendoflifeEvery product sold has a life cycle of support. For some products, it can be much shorter than others. For instance, some scripted objects such as proximity sensors, resizers, communication tasks, and others can have a life cycle that is limited as a result of new scripting functions being made available.

Typically, there will be a successor product that one will try to steer customers into that replaces functionality with improved efficiency. However, there is always the problem of maintaining older versions of a product that is still being used by an existing loyal customer base. Ways to support older products, at least for a period of time, might require occasionally releasing bug fixes to adapt to a new environment.

Nobody wants to support an older product because they usually are not generating any new cash flow into a business, so they are a drag on the bottom line unless the product’s existing business model includes reoccurring revenue. Some businesses direct customers to a web site or pass out note-cards that has all of the pertinent information and then provide an upgrade path for users to obtain new versions at a discount or sometimes even for free.  For many businesses, the expense of supporting existing products whose life cycle has ended can be quite costly. The number of customers who are using an outdated product will dwindle over time as more and more of them switch to the latest technology.

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How to Organize Inventory

organizeinventoryThe virtual world experience sometimes can be impeded when one has has an out-of-control inventory containing hundreds, if not thousands, of items that need to be waded through before find the item one was looking for. It only takes a little bit of time, some energy, and maybe a scripted organizer or two to sort through the various folders of inventory and determine what needs to be kept and what needs to be sent to the trash. It very well may need to be spread over several sessions.

First, it is important to determine what types of items will be processed during each session. Perhaps during one session only freebies found during the many in-world hunts will be sorted, another session might be set aside for sorting textures, a third session could be sorting anything named “Object”, and so on. Breaking the process into small pieces process one-at-a-time can make it seem more manageable and worth the effort.

Unless you are a very sentimental person the task of dividing items into only a few piles (one reserved for everything going into the trash to be purge later). The likely piles will consist of those items expected to be used on a regular basis, items that need to be kept but kept in storage (i.e. moved into the contents tab of a rezzed box object and then taking that box object into inventory), or perhaps a third pile for no-copy transferable items to be given away or sold to others in a virtual yard sale.

While not required, some find it useful to utilize an organizational tool such as a scripted texture sorting tool or a pose stand where animations and gestures can be moved into it and then the tool itself is only rezzed on an as-needed basis. Once everything is organized into a system unique to the user (after all, they are they only one that is going to access their own inventory window within the virtual world viewer) time will be saved and the performance of their system should improve everything.