Letter from the President - 2011 September

Bonjour, AUGI member!

I say that because I will have the pleasure of meeting many of you soon—at Autodesk University 2011! The early registration for AU2011 just opened August 30th and the normal registration is probably open by the time you read this. AU this year looks to be a great chance to get the best training, network with the best and brightest in the industry, and see the latest and greatest from Autodesk and the developer network. Of course, you’ll want to visit the AUGI home page to catch up on events in the AUGI arena. If you know of an event that is not listed, drop me a note to get it added to the listing.

As always, AUGI will be there with an agenda. We will be holding our annual general meeting, consume some liquids with the AUGI Beer Bust, hang out in our booth within the International Community Pavilion, steal the show with the new AUGI Theatre, compete heavily in the Top DAUG contest (more in a moment), have a fashion moment with AUGI Day and members’ best “looks,” and host a handful of meetings with AUGI members and partners.

Now for the Top DAUG contest. This year we are expanding beyond just AutoCAD! Can you believe it? We are still developing the testing materials in concert with KnowledgeSmart, but one great new addition is testing on Revit products. So brush up on your products and come ready to show off your mad CAD skills!

Previously I mentioned that the AUGI Board of Directors was going to meet at Autodesk headquarters. HQ is located in San Rafael, CA, USA, so for some of the directors it was a long and tiring trip. Overall the meetings went very well. We spent a good deal of time discussing our programs and how to best expand on our membership benefits. We also did some strategic planning for 2012 and beyond. As those issues come into fruition we will be discussing them with the membership. Look into the meeting minutes for an inside look at this meeting and others.

Over on the community front things are moving forward well. We have a number of new directors (directors *don’t* have to be on the Board) that are taking on the helm of building specific product communities. We can use more interested and motivated members, so if you are interested please contact me.

Realize that I am just like every other AUGI member. I use Autodesk software each and every day and I, too, have occasional ideas about how to make the products *better*. So what do we, AUGI members, do about that? We submit them to the Wish List System! It isn’t fully done yet, but it is done enough to tell you about it and get people poking and prodding the WLS. The URL for the new WLS is

At this time, if you just go to you won’t find access to the WLS.
Once we get some real testing under our belt we will be adding links to the top navigation. I’m sure someone will “leak” this link but that is okay, we want to do a slow rollout rather than a big promotion. The development of this new WLS was no small project and we may still find we need to make some changes. I know for a fact some components will not be functional when the soft launch happens (when you get this HotNews message). Just keep trying back to see what else begins to work.

Now on to the specifics about the WLS! To start, wishes are first submitted (both old and new ones comprise the overall list). Then wishes are ranked by visitors to the site. Wishes, once submitted, are entered in the forums for discussions about their merit. Those who submit wishes can read those comments and then tweak their submissions as needed, or even retract them if they want.

When you want to submit a wish you first have to look to see if your idea is already there. If you don’t find it, then you can proceed and submit a wish. In this testing period we will only have the products we had before (AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Inventor, and the three Revits). Additionally, if you want to submit a wish for any of those, you will have to adjust that in your membership profile—you need to let us know you use that product(s). While you are there make sure your address is right, too!

Next, all wishes, until they are added to the software, will stay available for ranking and voting. We will then conduct on-going ranking and, at strategic points, will spill off the top percentage of wishes for a given product for voting. The voting period will run its course and the top 10 developed and published. We close with a Buy A Wish effort which allows you, the member, to tell Autodesk how valuable the wishes in the top ten actually are.

And then finally, once a wish is granted (put into the software) it will move into the Hall of Fame. Your wishes, should they be granted by Autodesk, will put your name in stone in the HoF!

One of the most drastic changes in this version of the WLS is that when a wish is submitted it will go live immediately. In the old system the number of administrators we had available at the time could, and often did, lead to delay in validating wishes before allowing them to go live on the site.

With this system we are going to rely on the member, YOU, to help keep the wishes clean and applicable. When you’re ranking wishes, there is a Report this Wish button that will allow you to flag a wish for administer review. If you see something inappropriate, tell us. Depending on the problem, the submitting members will then have an opportunity to clean it up for ranking again.

My last topic is the upcoming elections. In 2010 changes were made to the bylaws to enable a three-year term for members of the AUGI Board of Directors. As part of that, some of Directors who ran and were elected for 2010/2011(two years) had to take on a three-year term while others drop off at the end of 2011.

To that end, three seats on the Board will be up for election this year. Bill Adams will be leaving as he is completing his sixth continuous year. Peter Jamtgaard volunteered to have his term expire and will run for election. And following a suggestion I made back in 2009, I have volunteered to have my term expire and be open for someone new to join the Board. However, the Board did choose to have me stay as President for 2012.

This enables the directors who stepped up in recent months to be appointed to fill vacant board seats to stay on for another year. It allows me, as President, to answer directly to the Board. It allows the Board to communicate about me, without me being privy as a Director as well.

That is enough for now. I am looking forward to getting some of you into the new WLS to break it in. So, until next month, rank well!

- David

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