Though they share a common web site (Autodesk Feedback Community), in a previous blog post I highlighted the differences between technology previews from Autodesk Labs and betas from the Autodesk Beta program.
That blog article chose the two ends of the spectrum. Actually the distinctions among projects on the Autodesk Feedback Community can be a little more subtle. There are a few types of projects that exist under each domain.
In general the differing notions include:
WHEN IT HAPPENS
A project can occur early in the product life cycle or much later.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE
A project can be open to the public or by invitation-only. Sometimes this is driven by whether or not Autodesk is comfortable with competitors getting their hands on the subject of the project.
A project can be conducted under a confidentiality agreement. This means you can't talk about it outside of the Feedback Community. Other projects allow you to talk about your experience publicly. Once again this is sometimes based on trying to keep things under wraps.
WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO LEARN
For a project that's early in the development process, we want to know if we should go any further. For a project that is later in the development process, we often want to know if it is ready to ship or not.
HOW YOU CAN USE IT
Some projects do not allow the technology to be used for production work. After all, projects early in their life cycle are not fully baked. We are realists and recognize that some people would not bother to join a a project unless they could use it for production use. So some projects allow this. Others don't.
We are grateful to our customers and partners who participate in our projects. You should start to see the following terms:
- Technology Preview
- Public Beta
- Clarification Project
- Invitation Only Technology Preview
- Confidential Technology Preview
on the Autodesk Feedback Community to describe the project you are participating in. This should help give you a sense as to what the project is about at its very onset. Your feedback shapes the future of our technology. To see the list of current technology previews on Autodesk Labs, check out the site:
Terminology is alive in the lab.