Daniel Logue

Friday, January 12, 2007

Worst error message ever

I happened to be on the Pentax (US) site, left my computer, came back and pressed the back button on got this...

Quite possibly the worst error message I've ever seen on a website.

I'm not trying to make Pentax look bad - I've seen this situation before. Companies are so entrenched in their SAP system that they're captive to SAP solutions for their websites.

I'm showing this error to make a point about where software is headed. The age of local, installed, client/server software is coming to an end; and that is a good thing for companies. It's obvious that Pentax's SAP-powered website hasn't been updated since 2001 and as a result their site is lagging behind. I'm sure that they could upgrade to a newer version of the SAP module that powers their site, but I'm also sure that the cost of doing so is outrageous. If Pentax had contracted with a company that hosted a web-based software solution, they would have benefited from constant improvements and seamless software upgrades from the beginning. Of course doing so would probably require an enormous leap of faith from management. Management tends to like to own their software. It will be interesting to keep an eye on Pentax to see if/when they move to a new platform what form it will take.

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